Comparing effectuation to discovery-driven planning, prescriptive entrepreneurship, business planning, lean startup, and design thinking
Journal article, 2020

There has been a growing interest among entrepreneurs and students in explicit guidance for entrepreneurial action. Both scholars and practitioners have responded to this demand by suggesting a variety of entrepreneurial methods. This has led, however, to a proliferation of relatively unrelated methods with varying degrees of rigor and relevance. In an attempt to organize and bring clarity to the range and diversity of entrepreneurial methods, this article compares effectuation with five other entrepreneurial methods along nine conceptual dimensions. Through the application of two conceptual frameworks, core underpinnings of each method are highlighted. In addition to revealing similarities and differences between the methods, the study identifies some key implications for theory, practice, policy, and education. The strengths of effectuation on a theoretical level could be used to develop other entrepreneurial methods. Conversely, the strengths of other entrepreneurial methods could be used to shore up the potential weaknesses of effectuation, such as a lack of behavioral tactics and limited applicability in later stages of venture development. Findings from this article can thus aid entrepreneurship scholars and practitioners to improve their prescriptions and can create new avenues for developing entrepreneurial methods.


And relevance

Entrepreneurial methods



Prescriptive theories


Yashar Mansoori

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Entrepreneurship and Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Strategy

Martin Lackéus

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Entrepreneurship and Strategy

Small Business Economics

0921-898X (ISSN) 1573-0913 (eISSN)

Subject Categories

Information Studies

Business Administration

Information Systemes, Social aspects



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