Team entrepreneurial competence: multilevel effects on individual cognitive strategies

Susana C. Santos, Michael H. Morris, António Caetano, Sílvia F. Costa, Xaver Neumeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of team entrepreneurial competence, a team-level construct representing the level of shared abilities toward entrepreneurial activities within a new venture team. A multilevel model of the influence of team entrepreneurial competence and team entrepreneurial experience on the cognitive strategies of team members is developed and tested. Design/methodology/approach: Using a sample of 47 early stage entrepreneurial teams (144 individuals), a set of hypotheses regarding the effect of team entrepreneurial competence on team member reliance on effectual and causal reasoning, together with the moderating effect of team entrepreneurial experience, are tested. Findings: The results provide support for a positive multilevel association between team entrepreneurial competence and the reliance by team members on both causal and effectual reasoning strategies; members of teams with higher entrepreneurial competence and more entrepreneurial experience are more likely to engage in effectuation. Research limitations/implications: Understanding how team-level predictors and moderators have a role in determining individual effectuation and causation strategies offers promise in advancing effectuation theory. Practical implications: Teams develop entrepreneurial competencies that transcend those of individual team members; where teams have more collective entrepreneurial experience, the effect on the tendency of individuals to engage in effectual reasoning is enhanced, which can be beneficial in highly uncertain contexts. Originality/value: The results of this study are a step forward for effectuation theory, as it demonstrates the role of team-level variables in explaining individual causal and effectual reasoning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1259-1282
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 19 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)


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