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Entrepreneurial opportunity recognition in the face of disasters

Furkan Amil Gur (Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, USA)
Joshua S. Bendickson (University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA)
Laura Madden (East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA)
William C. McDowell (Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois, USA)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 19 March 2020

Issue publication date: 28 May 2020




Disasters drastically affect regional industries; consequently, the study of regional resilience is of much interest to organizational researchers. To that end, this study examines the role of entrepreneurial opportunity recognition, stakeholder engagement, and elements of psychological recovery in the US Gulf Coast following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010.


Through a qualitative content analysis of 183 industry-relevant articles published during and after the disaster, this study unpacks the most significant themes at work in the recovery process, including the psychological elements of the oil spill and its aftermath, the role of various internal and external stakeholders, and emerging opportunities for entrepreneurial activity in the region for regional resilience and recovery.


The nine themes that emerged from the data were captured in three categories mapped over time. Category one, psychogical states during and after the oil spill, include denial, coping, and recovery. Category two, regional recovery efforts and the role of stakeholders, includes the themes distractions, bargains, and material support. Category three, emerging opportunities, includes financial support, new markets, and reparations.


By mapping these themes over distinct time periods, this study identifies and explores patterns in the recovery period and use them to draw theoretical and practical implications.



Erratum. It has come to the attention of the publisher that the article, Gur, F.A., Bendickson, J.S., Madden, L. and McDowell, W.C. (2020), “Entrepreneurial opportunity recognition in the face of disasters” published in International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, contained an error in the author order and listed a previously incorrect affiliation for Dr. Gur, which should now read as Northern Illinois University. These errors were introduced in the production process and have now been corrected online.


Gur, F.A., Bendickson, J.S., Madden, L. and McDowell, W.C. (2020), "Entrepreneurial opportunity recognition in the face of disasters", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 671-693.



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