Adopting a dual processing cognitive perspective, this study explores the decision-making processes past the start-up stage that small entrepreneurial businesses employ to grow. The author examines how entrepreneurs evaluate and make decisions on growth opportunities in their business environment. The author uses cognitive style as a theoretical lens to capture differences in information processing, combining interviews and psychometric questionnaires to analyse cognitive styles. The longitudinal mixed methods approach illustrates the richness of the entrepreneur’s decision-making process, which the author tracks over a two-year period. The author determines how intuitive and analytical cognitive styles are used by entrepreneurs and the contribution these styles make to decision-making. The findings show that the two cognitive styles are versatile as entrepreneurs adjust and adapt their cognitive style over time, in keeping with the situational factors of their business environment. The author also finds marked differences between novice and mature entrepreneurs and that experienced entrepreneurs exhibited greater levels of cognitive versatility, which was directly linked to their prior experience. The study has significant implications for future research, which should consider the question how an entrepreneur’s cognitive style is dependent on the business context and their prior experience.
Evans, M. (2019), "Exploring Decision-Making: An Information Processing Perspective", Higgins, D., Jones, P. and McGowan, P. (Ed.) Creating Entrepreneurial Space: Talking Through Multi-Voices, Reflections on Emerging Debates (Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship Research, Vol. 9B), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 45-71. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2040-72462019000009B004
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