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Team entrepreneurial competence: multilevel effects on individual cognitive strategies

Susana C. Santos (Rohrer College of Business, Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey, USA) (Business Research Unit (BRU-IUL), ISCTE – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal)
Michael H. Morris (Warrington College of Business, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA)
António Caetano (APPsyCI (Applied Psychology Research Center Capabilities and Inclusion – ISPA) and Business Research Unit (BRU-IUL), ISCTE – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal)
Sílvia F. Costa (University of Groningen Centre of Entrepreneurship, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands)
Xaver Neumeyer (University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 9 April 2019

Issue publication date: 19 August 2019




The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of team entrepreneurial competence, a team-level construct representing the level of shared abilities toward entrepreneurial activities within a new venture team. A multilevel model of the influence of team entrepreneurial competence and team entrepreneurial experience on the cognitive strategies of team members is developed and tested.


Using a sample of 47 early stage entrepreneurial teams (144 individuals), a set of hypotheses regarding the effect of team entrepreneurial competence on team member reliance on effectual and causal reasoning, together with the moderating effect of team entrepreneurial experience, are tested.


The results provide support for a positive multilevel association between team entrepreneurial competence and the reliance by team members on both causal and effectual reasoning strategies; members of teams with higher entrepreneurial competence and more entrepreneurial experience are more likely to engage in effectuation.

Research limitations/implications

Understanding how team-level predictors and moderators have a role in determining individual effectuation and causation strategies offers promise in advancing effectuation theory.

Practical implications

Teams develop entrepreneurial competencies that transcend those of individual team members; where teams have more collective entrepreneurial experience, the effect on the tendency of individuals to engage in effectual reasoning is enhanced, which can be beneficial in highly uncertain contexts.


The results of this study are a step forward for effectuation theory, as it demonstrates the role of team-level variables in explaining individual causal and effectual reasoning.



Santos, S.C., Morris, M.H., Caetano, A., Costa, S.F. and Neumeyer, X. (2019), "Team entrepreneurial competence: multilevel effects on individual cognitive strategies", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 25 No. 6, pp. 1259-1282.



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