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A systematic review of the concept of entrepreneurial alertness

Lalit Sharma (Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad, India)

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies

ISSN: 2053-4604

Article publication date: 26 October 2018

Issue publication date: 22 May 2019




Entrepreneurial alertness is a key factor in business opportunity identification. Scholars have determined that successful entrepreneurs have high levels of entrepreneurial alertness, but only a limited number of studies are available on the concept. One of the major reasons identified is the fragmented constituents and less knowledge of the components determining the level of alertness. The present study aims to integrate the varied research on entrepreneurial alertness, identify its core components and develop the understanding of the concept of entrepreneurial alertness.


The study is based on a systematic review of secondary research. The first stage involved identifying relevant publications and applying practical screening. In the second stage, the resources were screened for the inclusion criteria, and in the final stage, the articles meeting the inclusion criteria were read in detail for the final analysis.


The review resulted in identification of the following core components of the alertness construct – sensing and searching information, cognitive ability, personality factors (like creativity and self-efficacy), environment, social networks, knowledge and experience. The review also highlighted that cognitive ability plays a central role in alertness.


Based on the review of literature, the study proposes a model of the alertness construct, which attempts to draw a relationship between the identified components. The review also uncovers several unexplored areas, which still need to be addressed in the area of entrepreneurial alertness.



The author would like to extend his sincere gratitude to Dr Sunil Shukla, the Director of Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, for his continuous guidance, consistent encouragement and all necessary support required for the completion of this study.


Sharma, L. (2019), "A systematic review of the concept of entrepreneurial alertness", Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 217-233.



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