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IJMR - Special Issue Call for Papers: The Mind in the Middle: Taking Stock of Cognition Research in Entrepreneurship for Future Development

It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that the International Journal of Management Reviews (IJMR) invite all interested scholars to submit review papers that document research advances in the cognitive and affective dimensions of entrepreneurship.

About the Special Issue

The Mind in the Middle:
Taking Stock of Cognition Research in Entrepreneurship for Future Development

Special Issue Guest Editors:
Dimo Dimov, Bath School of Management (
Joep Cornelissen, VU University Amsterdam (
Elco van Burg, VU University Amsterdam (
Denis A. Grégoire, Syracuse University (

Click here to dowload the full call for papers (pdf)

Cognition has become a critically important perspective within entrepreneurship research. It examines how entrepreneurs ‘make sense’ of the world to imagine, identify and design ideas for new products, services or business models (Baron & Ensley, 2006; Cornelissen & Clarke, 2010; Grégoire, Barr, & Shepherd, 2010), how they evaluate such opportunities (Mitchell, Smith, Seawright, & Morse, 2000; Mitchell & Shepherd, 2010) how they form intentions for developing and pursuing these ideas (Dimov, 2007; Wood, Williams & Grégoire, 2012), how they make decisions for marshalling resources and exploiting these ideas (Baker & Nelson, 2005; Sarasvathy, 2001), how investors, consumers and other stakeholders make sense of entrepreneurial efforts (e.g., Martens, Jennings, & Jennings, 2007), and how interactions with other entrepreneurs and external stakeholders influence the development of early routines and strategies in their burgeoning ventures (e.g., Santos & Eisenhardt, 2009). Broadly defined, cognition research has also paralleled recent interest in the role of affect, emotions and feelings in entrepreneurship (cf. Cardon, Foo, Shepherd & Wiklund, 2012; Foo, 2011).

Cognitive research in entrepreneurship has matured so much in recent years that a special review issue on the topic becomes timely and necessary, not only to take stock of current bases of knowledge but also to open up opportunities and directions for further research. Indeed, and in spite of its clear advances, extant cognitive research in entrepreneurship remains characterized by a multiplicity of theoretical approaches, foci, methodologies, variables and measures (cf. Forbes, 1999 vs. Grégoire, Corbett & McMullen, 2011). Although this multiplicity affords a lot of breadth and richness in research explorations, it also signals potential dangers—from the lack of a coherent knowledge base to making this research confusing, difficult to understand, or seemingly superficial.

To help guard against these dangers and in order to augment the impact and value-adding contribution of future cognition research in entrepreneurship, we invite scholars to develop and submit manuscripts that take a cognitive perspective or address issues of cognition in relation to entrepreneurship topics. As such, we invite systematic reviews that document progress in this area, but also develop insightful and innovative suggestions for augmenting the impact of future research on these topics—whether in the form of a framework, process model, or the articulation of a research agenda. Thus, we explicitly encourage papers that build on a review of the literature to develop a set of ideas and theoretical signposts that may inform and guide future research—thereby leading to less fragmentation in the field and a convergent research agenda. Towards these aims, the “ideal” papers will pursue one or more of the following three objectives:

  1. To take stock, consolidate and/or synthesize the cognitive approach to entrepreneurship as a whole for the specific purpose of articulating promising avenues for future contributions. Papers with such aims may include a bibliometric or systematic literature review of significant parts of the cognitive research literature on entrepreneurship;
  2. To take stock, consolidate and/or synthesize research on one or more specific entrepreneurship phenomena (e.g., sensemaking and opportunities, intentions, team dynamics, resource acquisition, network creation, legitimation, etc.) and in relation to one or more aspects of cognition broadly defined (imagination, thinking, information processing, intention, learning, affect, feeling/emotions, passion, etc.). Contributions in this category may consist of papers that review cognitive research on a specific entrepreneurial phenomenon, or on an aspect of cognition with particular relevance in entrepreneurship, or both. Papers may also explicitly discuss, in relation to such phenomena and cognitive approaches, issues of process (i.e., time) and context (e.g., industry setting, private and public sector, etc.).
  3. To nudge cognitive research in entrepreneurship forward through work that focuses on a particular theoretical approach and its relation to other theories in entrepreneurship, in order to elicit the fundamental assumptions, mechanisms and boundary conditions of the particular theory in relation to different research traditions. Here we expect papers that zoom in on a particular theoretical approach or set of constructs, where the review serves to spotlight either important limitations and oversights or opportunities for theory development, or both.

Although we encourage any and all papers at the interface between affect / cognition and entrepreneurship, potential topics for review and extension include:

  • What different approaches towards cognition are used in entrepreneurship studies? What have been the dominant approaches and what opportunities (e.g., embodied cognition, dual systems thinking) does cognitive science provide for enriching the study of entrepreneurship?
  • What are some of the more important cognitive processes in opportunity ideation, identification, evaluation and/or exploitation? What is the nature of the entrepreneur’s imagination and how does it influence opportunity ideation and entrepreneurial action? What is the nature and role of inductive reasoning (e.g., analogical thinking) in entrepreneurship?
  • How do feelings and emotions affect cognitive processes in different settings?
  • What learning processes and dynamics underpin entrepreneurial action at different stages?
  • How do enactment and sensemaking processes play a role at different stages of a new venture?
  • How does the research on effectuation, bricolage or from the (radical) Austrian view (Chiles et al., 2010) on entrepreneurship deal with (underlying) cognitive processes?
  • What is the nature and role of individual and/or shared cognitive processes in the engagement of potential investors and other resource provides with a focal entrepreneurial effort?
  • What cognitive processes underlie the development of routines in emerging ventures?
  • What are the implications of situated / embodied cognition for studying the entrepreneurial process, in both an individual and social sense?
  • What are the interactive dynamics / modalities governing the potential unfolding of cognitive phenomena across levels of analysis (e.g., from individual to group, firm, etc. or from society / cultures / institutions to firm, group, individual)?

Submission procedures (including paper proposals)

In order to help articulate eventual submissions to the Special Issue, we invite any scholars interested to submit a preliminary, two-page proposal for preliminary feedback by the editorial team. To ensure timely feedback, such proposals should be submitted no later than June 20, 2013. Submitting a preliminary proposal is not necessary: however, doing so allows the Guest Editors to provide formative feedback at this stage and to support the manuscript's further developments.

The deadline for submitting full manuscripts for consideration is November 1, 2013.

Authors should ensure they follow the journal guidelines available at:

See also: Macpherson A. & Jones O. (2010). Editorial: Strategies for the Development of International Journal of Management Reviews. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2370.2010.00282.x

Papers should be submitted online at following the guidelines and authors should ensure they answer ‘yes’ to the question ‘Is this submission for a special issue’ and should enter the title to the special issue in the box provided.

The Special Issue will be published in 2015 (Volume 17; Issue 2).

For questions regarding this special issue, please contact Dimo Dimov (

Click here to download the full call for papers (pdf)


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