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Entrepreneurial decision-making: new conceptual perspectives

Kaylee De Winnaar (Department of Management, Monash University – South Africa Campus, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Frances Scholtz (Department of Management, Monash University – South Africa Campus, Johannesburg, South Africa)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 21 March 2019

Issue publication date: 4 September 2020




The purpose of this paper is to call for inclusion of alternative but complementary conceptual perspectives in entrepreneurial decision-making theory and practice.


A conceptual approach, drawing on two sets of theoretical perspectives relating to decision making of entrepreneurs, is adopted.


The paper presents a conceptual framework of entrepreneurial decision making utilising the intersection between a metacognitive model of the entrepreneurial mindset and the recognition-primed decision-making theory. The paper argues that the convergence of these theoretical viewpoints provides a selection of decision-making processes for entrepreneurs in an uncertain business environment.

Practical implications

Decision-making models and tools are available to entrepreneurs; however, the relevance and applicability are restrained by the complexity and uncertainty of business environments in which entrepreneurs operate. New and more inclusive conceptual perspectives are required to improve the accuracy of decision making.


The study offers a framework that integrates two diverse theoretical dimensions of entrepreneurial decision making. The findings of this study provide direction for practice and for future research on entrepreneurial decision making. The paper intends to encourage researchers to support a new combined theoretical approach and to help practitioners better understand the reasons for entrepreneurial decision failure.



This article forms part of a special section “Entrepreneurial cognition”, guest edited by Brandon Randolph-Seng, Jean S. Clarke and Yasemin Atinc.


De Winnaar, K. and Scholtz, F. (2020), "Entrepreneurial decision-making: new conceptual perspectives", Management Decision, Vol. 58 No. 7, pp. 1283-1300.



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