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Title page for ETD etd-05142012-155300

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Grimes, Matthew Glenn
Author's Email Address mggrim@gmail.com
URN etd-05142012-155300
Title To thine own self be true?: the process and consequences of ‘pivoting’ during idea-stage entrepreneurship
Degree PhD
Department Management
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Bart Victor Committee Chair
Elizabeth Lingo Committee Member
Rangaraj Ramanujam Committee Member
Timothy Vogus Committee Member
  • entrepreneurship
  • values
  • sensemaking
  • pivot
  • creativity
Date of Defense 2012-05-07
Availability unrestricted
Existing research has argued that entrepreneurs’ identification with their ideas is linked to their persistence, yet scholars have also noted that entrepreneurs’ ideas rarely survive exposure to stakeholder demands. As such it remains unclear how entrepreneurs remain persistent with their organizing efforts despite frequent changes to their ideas. To address this research gap, I take a grounded theory approach that relies on ethnographic observation, recurring and in-depth interviews, and document analysis. I find that entrepreneurs navigate stakeholder demands by engaging in both sensemaking and sensegiving processes, whereby they alter or ‘pivot’ their entrepreneurial ideas. As such I develop a theory of ‘pivoting’ within the context of nascent entrepreneurship, specifying the various types of pivots that get made as well as the consequences for each type. My findings will also contribute to practice by highlighting how entrepreneurs more effectively navigate stakeholder demands on their ideas.
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