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Thinking “Sustainably”: The Role of Intentions, Cognitions, and Emotions in Understanding New Domains of Entrepreneurship

Social and Sustainable Entrepreneurship

ISBN: 978-1-78052-072-8, eISBN: 978-1-78052-073-5

Publication date: 22 July 2011


If we are to better understand what it means to think “sustainably,” the entrepreneurship literature suggests that entrepreneurial cognition offers us two powerful tools. Human cognition operates with two nearly parallel systems for information processing, intentional and automatic. Entrepreneurial cognition has long focused on how entrepreneurial thinking and action are inherently intentional. Thus, intentions-based approaches are needed to understand how to encourage the identification of actionable sustainable opportunities. But first, however, we need to address key elements of our automatic processing, anchored on deep assumptions and beliefs. In short, if sustainable entrepreneurship is about addressing sustainable opportunities, then before we can take advantage of research into entrepreneurial intentions, we need a better understanding of how we enact our deep mental models of constructs such as “sustainable.”


Krueger, N., Hansen, D.J., Michl, T. and Welsh, D.H.B. (2011), "Thinking “Sustainably”: The Role of Intentions, Cognitions, and Emotions in Understanding New Domains of Entrepreneurship", Lumpkin, G.T. and Katz, J.A. (Ed.) Social and Sustainable Entrepreneurship (Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence and Growth, Vol. 13), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 275-309.



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