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A multidimensional examination of a creativity‐based opportunity recognition model

David J. Hansen (Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, USA)
G.T. Lumpkin (Department of Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA)
Gerald E. Hills (Turner Center for Entrepreneurship, Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois, USA)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 16 August 2011




This paper seeks to detail an exploratory examination of a multidimensional, creativity‐based theoretical model of opportunity recognition originally proposed by Hills et al. and later refined by Lumpkin et al., but never empirically tested. The paper also aims to examine the relationship between individual dimensions of the model and creativity.


Analyses were conducted using AMOS software on a sample of 145 entrepreneurs. One structural equation model (SEM) and three confirmatory factor analysis models were tested.


The five‐dimensional model – consisting of preparation, incubation, insight, evaluation, and elaboration – was determined to be the best fitting model. The SEM model also indicated that incubation and elaboration were significantly related to creativity. Overall, a multidimensional, creativity‐based approach to modeling opportunity recognition is supported by this study.

Research limitations/implications

Cross‐sectional data do not allow for testing of the process aspect of the model; however, they do provide evidence that the model can stand up to empirical tests of the five elements of the model. Future research should examine opportunity using multiple dimensions and a creativity perspective. Additional research is needed to examine the process aspects of opportunity recognition.

Practical implications

Fostering opportunity recognition processes that are iterative and involve multiple stages is likely to promote more creative entrepreneurial outcomes.


This study provides one of the few examples of a multidimensional perspective on opportunity recognition as well as an empirical examination of a creativity‐based theoretical model of opportunity recognition.



Hansen, D.J., Lumpkin, G.T. and Hills, G.E. (2011), "A multidimensional examination of a creativity‐based opportunity recognition model", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 17 No. 5, pp. 515-533.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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