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OPPORTUNITY DISCOVERY IN FIRMS: DOES UNIVERSITY PLAY A ROLE?

A. Chiesi, B. Bigliardi, F. Galati, A. Petroni

University of Parma (ITALY)
Opportunity discovery is the crucial bridge that connects an idea to the initial innovation evaluation process, which in turn leads to the creation of a formally established commercialization effort [1]. In the literature, this issue is associated with the “entrepreneurship as alertness” concept [2]. This perspective derives from the works of Kirzner [3; 4; 5], who emphasized the nature of competition as a discovery process: entrepreneurial profit derives from superior foresight in terms of the discovery of something unknown to competitors (e.g. new products, cost-saving technology). Large efforts were devoted to the understanding of the firms’ opportunity discovery process, but little is known about the role that university has in this context. Our review aims at summarizing the different perspectives about the firms’ opportunity discovery process and to infer whether university could play a significant role in this process.

References:
[1] G.C. O'Connor and M.P. Rice, “Opportunity recognition and breakthrough innovation in large established firms”, California Management Review, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 95-116, 2001.
[2] P.G. Klein, “Opportunity discovery, entrepreneurial action, and economic organization”, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 175-190, 2008.
[3] I.M. Kirzner, Competition and Entrepreneurship, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973.
[4] I.M. Kirzner, Perception, Opportunity and Profit: Studies in the Theory of Entrepreneurship, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979.
[5] I.M. Kirzner, “The Perils of Regulation” in idem., Discovery and the Capitalist Process. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985.