Entrepreneurial Alertness

Dr. Storr has written extensively on the (cultural) determinants of entrepreneurial alertness. In addition to his books Enterprising Slaves and Master Pirates (Peter Lang, 2004) and Understanding the Culture of Markets (Routledge, 2012) which explore how culture colors the entrepreneurial activity, Dr. Storr has also written:

“The Determinants of Entrepreneurial Alertness and the Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs” (with Arielle John), Annual Proceedings of the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations, Vol. 2, Emily Chamlee-Wright, ed., Beloit College Press, 2011.

Israel Kirzner has made important contributions to our understanding of the critical role that entrepreneurship plays in markets and has considerable influence in economics, public policy and entrepreneurship studies. For Kirzner, understanding the role of the entrepreneur is essential to understanding how errors get corrected in the market and understanding the role of alertness is essential to understanding how it is that entrepreneurs come to identify these errors. As he explains, alert individuals discover profit opportunities and, thus, driving the market process toward equilibrium. Although Kirzner’s work on entrepreneurship has been widely celebrated, it has been criticized on several fronts. Specifically, he has been criticized for abstracting from the psychological characteristics of real world entrepreneurs and the determinants of alertness. These criticisms, we contend, are unfair and misunderstand Kirzner’s project. Moreover, we argue, rather than closing off inquiry, his theory of entrepreneurship makes a fruitful analysis of the psychological characteristics of entrepreneurs and the determinants of alertness possible.

Download “The Determinants of Entrepreneurial Alertness …” from SSRN.

“Prior-knowledge and opportunity identification” (with Jason Arentz and Frederic Sautet), Small Business Economics,41  (2) 2013.

An entrepreneur’s prior knowledge and experience play a critical role in his ability to identify and exploit entrepreneurial opportunities. Although entrepreneurship research has acknowledged the role that prior information and prior knowledge play in opportunity recognition, few studies have explored their role in entrepreneurial discovery. We test the role of a particular prior knowledge in entrepreneurial discovery within a laboratory setting. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups. Those in the propitious treatment were given prior knowledge that oriented them toward the arbitrage opportunity within the experiment, and those in the unpropitious treatment were given prior knowledge that oriented them away. As hypothesized, those in the propitious treatment were significantly more likely to discover the arbitrage opportunity.

Download “Prior-knowledge and opportunity identification” from Springer.

Categories: Featured Publications