Entrepreneurial cognition

Young ventures often operate in environments that are dynamic, complex, and high-velocity. Gaining and maintaining competitive advantage in these environments is a challenging task for entrepreneurs and requires flexible, adaptable, and swift decisions and action. Yet, there is only limited understanding how entrepreneurs cognitively approach such decisions and the implications of these decisions on venture strategy and performance.

Our research addresses the issue of entrepreneurial cognition and decision making in a variety of ways. For example, we published studies on strategic alliances in the biotechnology and IT industries, investigating how firm resources influence entrepreneurs’ decisions to seek new alliances (Patzelt, Shepherd, Deeds & Bradley, 2008), and how trust and control impact managers’ decisions to persist with alliances that perform poorly (Patzelt & Shepherd, 2008). Further, we explored the role of different types of strategic alliances and technological capabilities in biotech innovation (Haeussler, Patzelt & Zahra, 2012) and how firm capabilities impact a biotech venture’s capacity to cope with product development failures (Urbig, Buerger, Patzelt & Schweitzer, 2013). In another study, we investigated how entrepreneurs disengage pro-environmental values when assessing opportunities that cause harm (Shepherd, Patzelt & Baron, 2013). Finally, our recent work also explored termination decisions of entrepreneurial projects (Behrens & Patzelt, forthcoming) and entrepreneurs' early internationalization decisions (Domurath & Patzelt, forthcoming). Recently, we pushlished a review on entrepreneurial decision making which lays out a future reserach agenda (Shepherd, Williams & Patzelt, 2015).


Behrens, J., & Patzelt, H. (forthcoming). Corporate entrepreneurship managers´ project terminations: Integrating portfolio-level, individual-level, and firm-level effects. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice.

Domurath, A., & Patzelt, H. (forthcoming). Entrepreneurs' assessments of early international entry: The role of foreign social ties, venture absorptive capacity, and generalized trust in others. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice.

Shepherd, D. A., Williams, T. A., & Patzelt, H. (2015). Thinking about entrepreneurial decision making: Review and research agenda. Journal of Management, 41 (1), 11-46.

Shepherd, D., Patzelt, H., & Baron, R. (2013). "I care about nature, but ...": Disengaging values in assessing opportunities that cause harm. Academy of Management Journal, 56 (5), 1251-1273.

Urbig, D., Buerger, R., Patzelt, H., & Schweitzer, L. (2013). Investor reactions to new product development failures: The moderating role of product development stage. Journal of Management, 39 (4), 985-1015.

Haeussler, C., Patzelt, H., & Zahra, S. A. (2012). Strategic alliances and product development in high technology new firms. The moderating effect of technological capabilities. Journal of Business Venturing, 27 (2), 217-233.

Patzelt, H., & Shepherd, D. (2008). The decision to persist with underperforming alliances: The role of trust and control. Journal of Management Studies, 45 (7), 1217-1243.

Patzelt, H., Shepherd, D. A., Deeds, D., & Bradley, S. W. (2008). Financial slack and venture managers' decisions to seek a new alliance. Journal of Business Venturing, 23 (4), 465-481.