Journal of Evolutionary Economics

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 231–253 | Cite as

On the entrepreneurial genesis of new markets: effectual transformations versus causal search and selection

  • Nicholas DewEmail author
  • Stuart Read
  • Saras D. Sarasvathy
  • Robert Wiltbank
Regular Article


The generation of new markets is an emerging area of interest among researchers working in the traditions of evolutionary economics. And true to those traditions, the current study incorporates empirical evidence from psychology and cognitive science to develop micro-foundations for evolutionary theories of new market generation. In this paper we present an in-depth analysis of how expert entrepreneurs use effectual logic to conceptualize the creation of new markets. Our results challenge received wisdom based on search and selection processes and move beyond combinatorial ideas to develop instead a “transformational” view of market genesis.


Entrepreneurship Transformation Industrial dynamics New market creation 

JEL Classification

D4 D52 D71 D72 L1 L2 M13 M31 P42 



We would like to thank an anonymous reviewer at the Journal of Evolutionary Economics for many helpful comments that helped us improve this paper. The usual disclaimers apply.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Dew
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stuart Read
    • 2
  • Saras D. Sarasvathy
    • 3
  • Robert Wiltbank
    • 4
  1. 1.Naval Postgraduate SchoolMontereyUSA
  2. 2.IMDLausanneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Darden Graduate School of Business AdministrationUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  4. 4.Atkinson Graduate School of ManagementWillamette UniversitySalemUSA

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