Entrepreneurial heuristics: Making strategic decisions in highly uncertain environments

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Entrepreneurs use heuristics more than other groups of decision-makers do, particularly when developing strategies in highly uncertain environments. We conducted 27 semi-structured interviews with founders of recently created ventures to identify the heuristics they use for strategic decisions and then analyzed these from the perspective of their roles (what these are used for) and functions (how these fulfill their role). Our results show that heuristics are the primary decision-making strategy for inexperienced entrepreneurs and suggest that they are useful in the entrepreneurial process for (1) organizing the venture, (2) projecting the founder's identity onto their ventures, and (3) exchanging information between the venture and the market. We also expand on the conceptualization of heuristics as simple rules used in decision-making by uncovering a new functional type: metacognitive heuristics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number122335
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Early online date18 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Entrepreneurship
  • Heuristics
  • Simple rules
  • Strategic decision making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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