Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Schmitt A., Rosing K., Zhang S.X. and Leatherbee M. (2018)

A Dynamic Model of Entrepreneurial Uncertainty and Business Opportunity Identification: Exploration as a Mediator and Entrepreneurial Self­Efficacy as a Moderator

Revista : Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice
Volumen : 42
Número : 6
Páginas : 835-859
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


This study focuses on the identification of business opportunities when entrepreneurs’ perceived level of environmental uncertainty changes. We suggest that within persons, exploration mediates this relationship and entrepreneurial self-efficacy moderates whether entrepreneurs explore more or less with increasing uncertainty. To test our moderated mediation model we conducted a monthly field study with 121 early-stage entrepreneurs. Multilevel regression analyses reveal that an increase in the level of perceived uncertainty within entrepreneurs predicted the identification of opportunities through exploration for entrepreneurs high in self-efficacy, but not for those low in self-efficacy. Entrepreneurial self-efficacy acts as a personal resource that helps entrepreneurs to transform increasing perceptions of uncertainty into exploration and opportunity identification.