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Effectuation as a Decision Principles

Effectuation as a Decision Principles

Effectuation as a Decision Principle

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Effectuation as a Decision Principle

Is 'Effectuation' a Cross-cultural Concept? Decision Principles of German Entrepreneurs

"Effectuation" is a relatively new concept of entrepreneurial decision-making based on research of the U.S. most successful entrepreneurs. The concept has gained international attention in the media and in the field of entrepreneurship research and education. Instead of starting a new venture by detailed business planning to reach pre-defined goals, experienced entrepreneurs rather follow an emergent way of actions by (1) creating a project through actions, (2) starting with their means, (3) building partnerships, (4) investing only what they can afford to lose and (5) their openness for contingencies. This is the first study, which examined if effectuation is a cross-cultural concept based on research with Germany's most successful entrepreneurs. It turned out that German entrepreneurs follow less the effectual approach than their U.S. colleagues, however it plays still an important role for them. This study is a starting point in order to do research in more countries.


Susanne Kistler is a marketing and sales professional from Munich. She has worked for international corporates like Sony and Lego as well as smaller companies in Germany and the UK. Susanne has a degree in communications, media management and an MBA. She is highly interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. This is why the concept of ,,effectuation" caught her attention. ,,Effectuation" explains how successful entrepreneurs think and act when starting new ventures. In this context she interviewed Germany's most successful entrepreneurs for her MBA thesis. Through her academic work Susanne has become an effectuation expert and currently applies her knowledge at a food company in the UK. 

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Prof. Dr. Herbert Gillig is professor for Entrepreneurship at the Munich University of Applied Sciences and responsible for the New Venture Program at the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE). Herbert holds a diploma in Business Administration and Engineering (Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Ing.) and an MBA & Eng. from the Munich University of Applied Sciences and the Grenoble Ecole de Management (France). His main focus is on the areas of open innovation, effectuation, business models and innovation processes in start-ups.

Presented at ISPIM Conference in Budapest.