Entrepreneurial Alertness: Theoretical, Empirical, and Asia Pacific Perspectives
Asia Pacific Journal of Management Special Issue
Submissions Open: December 1, 2022
Manuscripts Due: February 1, 2023
Special Issue Editors
Jintong Tang, Saint Louis University, U.S.A. firstname.lastname@example.org
David Ahlstrom, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. email@example.com
Andrew Corbett, Babson College, U.S.A. firstname.lastname@example.org
Chinmay Pattnaik, The University of Sydney, Australia. email@example.com
Jeffrey Pollack, North Carolina State University, U.S.A. firstname.lastname@example.org
Shane and Venkataraman (2000: 218) define entrepreneurship research as the “scholarly examination of how, by whom, and with what effects, opportunities to create future goods and services are discovered, evaluated, and exploited” (emphasis added). These crucial questions carve out the particular focus of entrepreneurship research on the founding and early development of new companies. Opportunity recognition, therefore, can be viewed as the very beginning of the entrepreneurial process; without an opportunity to develop, there simply is no entrepreneurship. As entrepreneurship research “involves the study of sources of opportunities” (Shane & Venkataraman, 2000: 218), many researchers have investigated the factors that play a role in the identification of opportunities. Although the results of this research are not entirely consistent, entrepreneurial alertness has been widely acknowledged as one of the most influential factors related to opportunity recognition (Ardichvili, Cardozo, & Ray, 2003) and hence remains a key focus in entrepreneurship research (Baron, 2004, 2006; Foss & Klein, 2009; Valliere, 2013).
First proposed by Kirzner (1973, 1979), alertness to business opportunities has been regarded as one of the most influential interpretations of entrepreneurial actions. Kirzner (1979: 48) defined alertness as “the ability to notice, without search, opportunities that have hitherto been overlooked,” and later (1985: 56) as “a motivated propensity of man to formulate an image of the future.” Although alertness has been increasingly associated with opportunity recognition and entrepreneurial actions, ambiguity abounds in the literature with respect to the conceptualization and operationalization of the construct.
In an attempt to consolidate the fragmented conceptualizations of alertness, Tang, Kacmar, and Busenitz (2012) drew upon social cognition theory (Fiske & Taylor, 1991) and reconceptualized alertness as consisting of three dimensions: (1) consciously or subconsciously scan the environment to search for new information; (2) associate previously unrelated pieces of information; and (3) evaluate and judge the potential of the newly-associated information. More importantly, Tang et al. (2012) developed and validated a theoretically justified measure of entrepreneurial alertness (EA) based on this reconceptualization.
The year of 2022 marks the 10-year anniversary of the Tang et al. (2012) research and the past decade has witnessed a significant increase in research examining EA. Systematic literature reviews on EA reveal that scholars have drawn heavily on the individual perspectives – cognitive and psychological – when accounting for the differential levels and qualities of entrepreneurial alertness (Chavoushi, Zali, Valliere, Faghih, Hejazi, & Dehkordi, 2021; Lanivich, Smith, Levasseur, Pidduck, Busenitz, & Tang, 2022; Sharma, 2019). A more recent systematic review identified over a thousand articles on EA in a large array of disciplines (Araujo, Karami, Tang, Roldan, & dos Santos, 2022). Among these, 267 were empirical studies and the majority of the 267 utilized the scale developed and validated by Tang et al. (2012). In addition, scholarship on this topic has been regularly published internationally, including in the Asia Pacific region.
Despite this surge in EA research, there remain several key gaps regarding important conceptual and methodological aspects of the EA construct, and numerous unexplored research opportunities relating to the antecedents and consequences of EA. Further, globalization and the growing popularity of entrepreneurship worldwide have motivated interest in understanding the manifestation and application of EA in diverse socio-cultural contexts.
The Asia pacific region provides an excellent context as a laboratory to explore and extend the EA research considering the explosion of entrepreneurial activities in this region. Entrepreneurs have driven the unprecedented economic transformation of the region as one of the most economically developed regions. Nonetheless, the Asia pacific region differs from other geographical regions in terms of political and socio-cultural contexts, which provides an opportunity for alternative conceptualizations of EA. Within the Asia-pacific region, there is ubstantial heterogeneity in terms of level of economic development, intensity of entrepreneurial activities, political ideology, religious and philosophical beliefs. This provides opportunities to conduct comparative studies on EA in the region and examine the validity of EA conceptualization and operationalization in different sub-contexts.
In this special issue of Asia Pacific Journal of Management (APJM), we provide an opportunity for scholars to address both under-researched areas and unresolved issues related to a shared understanding of EA. We welcome manuscripts on a large variety of topics, especially those that broaden and deepen our knowledge of EA, enhance our understanding of the role of EA in the nomological network of entrepreneurship research, expand our appreciation of the methodological operationalizations and construct representations associated with EA, and illuminate and advance EA research in the Asia Pacific region.
This special issue focuses on clarifying and expanding our knowledge of EA. Studies that provide unique insights into the conceptualization, measurement, and nomological network of EA, as well as the antecedents and consequences of EA in the contexts of Asia Pacific region with innovative methodologies are especially encouraged. Both theoretical and empirical manuscripts that consider important aspects of EA will be considered. A representative, but by no means exhaustive, listing of topics includes:
• New approaches to conceptualizing EA and the challenges in rigorously developing new measurements within these approaches in the empirical contexts of the Asia Pacific region
• New and novel advancement related to the measurement of EA that renders EA research to broader disciplines and questions
• The methodological and operational challenges of studying EA in the Asia Pacific region
• Research into how EA is manifest within lesser studied contexts such as the Asia Pacific region
• The identification and incorporation of specific institutions, institutional theories, and institutional considerations which influence the manifestation and consequences of EA in Asia Pacific region
• Temporal examinations of EA’s impact on opportunity recognition and new venture creation over time, as well as mediating influences which help explain EA’s impact on individual and organizational outcomes in the Asia Pacific region
• Unique antecedents and consequences of EA, as well as contextual moderating influences including important individual and organizational factors and considerations in Asia Pacific region
• Qualitative studies examining both the micro and macro foundations of EA in the Asia Pacific region
Original manuscript submission deadline: February 1, 2023
1st round review comments: May 1, 2023
1st revision submission deadline: August 1, 2023
2nd round review comments: November 1, 2023
2nd revision submission deadline: February 1, 2024
Expected publication: 2024
Manuscripts should be formatted as per the Journal’s guidelines
Authors should select this special issue, while submitting manuscripts online (https://www.editorialmanager.com/apjm/default.aspx). Informal inquiries are welcome and can be directed to the guest editors.
Araujo, C., Karami, M., Tang, J., Roldan, L., & dos Santos, J. 2022. Entrepreneurial alertness: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Working paper.
Ardichvili, A., Cardozo, R., & Ray, S. 2003. A theory of entrepreneurial opportunity identification and development. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(1): 105–123.
Baron, R.A. 2004. The cognitive perspective: A valuable tool for answering entrepreneurship’s basic “why” questions. Journal of Business Venturing, 19(2): 221–239.
Baron, R.A. 2006. Opportunity recognition as pattern recognition: How entrepreneurs “connect the dots” to identify new business opportunities. Academy of Management Perspectives, 20(1): 104-119.
Chavoushi, Z. H., Zali, M. R., Valliere, D., Faghih, N., Hejazi, R., & Dehkordi, A. M. 2021. Entrepreneurial alertness: A systematic literature review. Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship, 33(2): 123-152.
Fiske, S. T., & Taylor, S. E. 1991. Social cognition (2 nd ed). McGraw-Hill.
Foss, N.J., & Klein, P.G. 2009. Entrepreneurial alertness and opportunity discovery: Origins, attributes, critique. In H. Landström & F. Lohrke (Eds.), The historical foundations of entrepreneurship research. Aldershot, UK: Edward Elgar.
Kirzner, I. M. 1973. Competition and entrepreneurship. University of Chicago Press.
Kirzner, I. M. 1979. Perception, opportunity, and profit: Studies in the theory of entrepreneurship. University of Chicago Press.
Kirzner, I. M. 1985. Uncertainty, discovery, and human action. In I. Kirzner (Ed.), Discovery and the capitalist process: 40–67. University of Chicago Press.
Lanivich, S.E., Smith, A., Levasseur, L., Pidduck, R., Busenitz, L., & Tang, J. 2022. Advancing entrepreneurial alertness: Review, synthesis, and future research directions. Journal of Business Research, 139: 1165-1176.
Shane, S., & Venkataraman, S. 2000. The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research. Academy of Management Review, 25(1): 217-226.
Sharma, L. 2019. A systematic review of the concept of entrepreneurial alertness. Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, 11(2): 217-233.
Tang, J., Kacmar, M., & Busenitz, L. 2012. Alertness in the pursuit of new opportunities. Journal of Business Venturing, 27(1): 77-94.
Valliere, D. 2013. Towards a schematic theory of entrepreneurial alertness. Journal of Business Venturing, 28(3): 430–442.