NETWORK PERSPECTIVE ON STAKEHOLDER MANAGEMENT: FACILITATING ENTREPRENEURS IN THE DISCOVERY OF OPPORTUNITIES
N. A. DENTCHEV
The problem of opportunity discovery is central in the entrepreneurial activity. Cognitive limitations determine the search and the analysis of information, and as a consequence constrain the identification for opportunities. Moreover, typical personal characteristics – locus of control, need for independence, and need for achievement – suggest that entrepreneurs would take a central position in their stakeholder environments and as a consequence fail to adapt the complexity of stakeholder relationships in their entrepreneurial activity. We approach this problem from a network perspective on stakeholder management. We propose a heuristic of stakeholder analysis, which requires two mappings of the entrepreneurial constituents. The first mapping focuses on current interactions between the entrepreneur and his/her stakeholders, while the second focuses on a specific issue and the stakeholders that constitute it. In effect, such a stakeholder analysis requires entrepreneurs to use the complexity of stakeholder relations in order to breach their cognitive limitations and thus facilitate them in the discovery of new opportunities. This has clear implications for the ethics and the activity of entrepreneurs, as we will argue.
business ethics, entrepreneurship, network perspective, opportunity identification, stakeholder management
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