Decision and design heuristics in the context of entrepreneurial uncertainties

Antoine Gilbert-Saad*, Frank Siedlok, Rod B. McNaughton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Building on a perspective of the entrepreneur as an interpretive agent, we argue that in situations where there is absolute uncertainty, heuristics are useful design rules that aid entrepreneurs’ judgment by synthesizing mental models and expectations to enable purposeful action. This is because decisions under absolute uncertainty pertain to subjective judgments of both outcomes and options. In contrast, objectively rational decision heuristics are useful under predictable risk. Our argument provides balance to the extant literature, which, due to the overemphasis on biases and an unrealistic view of uncertainty in entrepreneurial decision making, often overlooks the positive role of heuristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-80
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Business Venturing Insights
Early online date12 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Entrepreneurial decision making
  • Heuristics
  • Judgment under uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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