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Faculty & Research


A Scientific Approach to Entrepreneurial Decision Making: Large Scale Replication and Extension

Journal Article
Research summary: this article runs a large-scale replication of Camuffo and colleagues in 2020, involving 759 firms in four randomized control trials. The larger sample generates novel and more precise insights about the teachability and implications of a scientific approach in entrepreneurship.The authors observe a positive impact on idea termination and results that are consistent with a nonlinear effect on radical pivots, with treated firms running few over no or repeated pivots. The authors provide a theoretical interpretation of the empirical results: the scientific approach enhances entrepreneurs' efficiency in searching for viable ideas and raises their methodic doubt because, like scientists, they realize that there may be alternative scenarios from the ones that they theorize. Managerial summary: the findings of this article, based on four randomized control trials involving 759 firms, offer new insights into how entrepreneurial practices can benefit from a scientific approach to decision-making. Key outcomes include an increase in the termination of ideas and a nuanced influence on the tendency to make strategy changes. Specifically, firms that adopted a scientific approach made a few strategic shifts, as opposed to either not changing or constantly changing their strategy. The authors suggest that this is due to the scientific approach helping entrepreneurs be more efficient when searching for valuable ideas, as well as being more careful in selecting those ideas.

Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise