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Determinants of Exploration and Exploitation in the Process of Entrepreneurial Learning

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: This paper presents a study of the process through which entrepreneurs transform experience into knowledge. By bringing theories of experiential learning into the ἀeld of entrepreneurship, a model of determinants of exploration and exploitation in the process of entrepreneurial learning is constructed and tested on a sample of 291 Swedish entrepreneurs. The ἀndings suggest that entrepreneurs with a higher preference for an effectual reasoning and with a transitory career orientation show a signiἀcantly higher emphasis on an explorative mode of transforming career experience into knowledge. Similarly, entrepreneurs with a higher preference for a causational rea-soning and with an expert career orientation show a signiἀcantly higher emphasis on an exploit-ative mode of transformation. The overall results give ample support for the overall argument that entrepreneurial learning can be conceived as an experiential process where entrepreneurs develop knowledge both by exploiting previous skills and knowledge as well as exploring new possibilities in the ventures they are involved in.

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