Creative thinking style and the discovery of entrepreneurial opportunities in startups

Héctor Montiel Campos, Francesc Solé Parellada, Madet Ruiseñor Quintero, Francisco Alfonso Aguilar Valenzuela


It is generally accepted that the concept of entrepreneurship seeks to understand how opportunities are identified and exploited. However, academic research so far has been mainly conceptual. Consequently, it has been suggested that scholars in this field of research should be more concerned about the origin and nature of opportunities rather than their characteristics. The objective of this research was to explore the relationship between the creative thinking style used by the founder-manager and the type of entrepreneurial opportunity that he decided to exploit. This research empirically tested two types of creative thinking (adaptive and innovative) and two types of entrepreneurial opportunity (Kirznerian and Schumpeterian). Both perspectives have opposing views. To explore this relationship, a gradual statistical analysis of the answers provided by 116 founder-managers of startups was compiled. First, a confirmatory factor analysis was performed in order to test scale´s components. Second, correlation and regression analysis were used to analyze the relation between creative thinking and entrepreneurial opportunity. Results indicate that the thinking style that prefers to generate original ideas when confronted with a problem is strongly related to the innovative entrepreneurial opportunities, requiring intellectual creativity from the manager leading to a wealth of new information. Similarly, a thinking style that prefers exhaustive, accurate and methodical styles is related to the incremental entrepreneurial opportunities, relying on existing patterns to make things better. Other relationships between the creative thinking style and the entrepreneurial opportunity are identified in the document, as well as theoretical and practical implications of each of them.


creativity; opportunity; startups; entrepreneurship; founder-manager

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