Abasyn Journal of Social Sciences. Special Issue: AiCTBM 2018

Entrepreneurial Sense-making: An Examination of Socially Situated Cognitive Mechanisms

Gohar Saleem Parvaiz, Dr. Muhammad Nouman (corresponding author), Dr. Lin Xiong

Assistant Professor, Institute of Management Sciences
Assistant Professor, Institute of Management SciencesLecturer, Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University Aberdeen Scotland


This paper focuses on entrepreneurial sensemaking with an emphasis on cognitive mechanisms utilized by entrepreneurs during business opportunity development. More specifically the focus is to find out how an individual entrepreneur may assign meaning to important cues derived from innumerable unending events, interpret these cues and then take actions as per interpretations of these cues and events. These cues can be cognitively conceptualized as drivers and barriers through which the entrepreneur makes sense of his or her enterprise and the opportunities it may offer. Using a narrative case study approach this paper relies on inductive reasoning of a single female entrepreneur. A three-tiered and six-dimensional framework of entrepreneurial sensemaking has been presented. The cognitive mechanisms employed by the entrepreneur were presented in the form of cues, events and their interpretations by the entrepreneur resulting in a unique perspective on sensemaking. This paper is particularly useful because even though the use of sensemaking in entrepreneurship research has been well-recognized there is a general lack of empirical work on how an entrepreneur uses socially situated cognitive mechanisms to proceed further in terms of offering a better understanding of his or her new enterprise to others within any social or cultural setting.
Keywords: Sensemaking; Entrepreneurial Sensemaking; Cognitive Mechanisms; Cues; Events


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