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Entrepreneurial Cognition

Special issue call for papers from Management Decision

Special Issue on Entrepreneurial Cognition

Guest Editors: Brandon Randolph-Seng, College of Business, Texas A&M University-Commerce, USA; Jean S. Clarke, Emlyon Business School, France

As a stream of research, the study of entrepreneurial cognition has shown appeal and resiliency as a narrative that contributes explanations to questions concerning how entrepreneurs think (Mitchell et al., 2007).  As this literature has developed, the rich variety in both theoretical and empirical work has been manifest in what, to some observers, might seem to be a somewhat separate set of conversations, depending upon focus (e.g. biases, heuristics, scripts, etc. as described in, Mitchell, et al., 2007).  Helpfully, recent developments in cognitive psychology provide an opportunity for synthesis in entrepreneurial cognition research.
That is, whereas much entrepreneurial cognition research to date has reflected a more static kind of representation of abstract disembodied cognitive structures or boxologies (see e.g., Smith & Semin, 2004), more recent research has begun to broaden conceptualizations of entrepreneurial cognition.  Recent conceptualizations suggest that entrepreneurial cognition is socially situated (Cornelissen & Clarke, 2010; Haynie, Shepherd, Mosakowski, & Earley, 2010; Mitchell, Mitchell, Randolph-Seng, 2014; Mitchell, Randolph-Seng, & Mitchell, 2011).

This special issue in Management Decision adopts the lens of socially situated cognition as a generally applicable approach to the examination of the many facets of entrepreneurial cognition research. A socially situated cognition approach to entrepreneurial cognition reflects how, as the entrepreneurial process unfolds, “social objects not only constitute the content of thought but also shape the process underlying thought and behavior” (Mitchell et al., 2011: 774).  Four broad themes constitute a socially situated approach to entrepreneurial cognition (Mitchell et al., 2011: 774-775; Smith & Semin, 2004):
(1) Entrepreneurial cognition is action-oriented (i.e., captures the positive or negative evaluations of, or motivations toward an object or concept)
(2) Entrepreneurial cognition is embodied (i.e., captures the interrelationship between the physical brain and body to capture how the body shapes the mind)
(3) Entrepreneurial cognition is situated (i.e., captures the communicative context, relational context, and group context in which cognition and action occur), and
(4) Entrepreneurial cognition is distributed  (i.e., captures the variety that occurs in the distribution of cognition across social agents and the environment)

The purpose of this special issue is to bring together papers in entrepreneurial cognition research to address questions that – broadly construed – might be encapsulated within one or more of the four themes laid out above. Both empirical and theoretical manuscripts are encouraged. 

By organizing current research around a more dynamic conceptualization of entrepreneurial cognition – the socially-situated cognition research in general, and these themes in particular – we suggest the opportunity for a more-comprehensive framework to be offered. Please feel free to contact the Editors below to discuss paper ideas for this special issue. Our hope is that the resulting collection of papers will provide a noteworthy point of departure for scholars seeking to further expand the boundaries of entrepreneurial cognition research.

Submissions to this special issue must be made through ScholarOne, the online submission and peer review system, which can be found at Authors are asked that before submitting, they ensure their manuscript complies with the Author Guidelines for Management Decision, which can be found here( When submitting, please be sure to select the correct Special issue title from the drop down menu.

Submission Deadline: 15th November 2017
Author notified of initial decision: 15th February 2018
Article Revision Due: 15th June 2018
Final Decision Made: 15th October 2018 

Guest Editors
Brandon Randolph-Seng, [email protected]
Jean Clarke, [email protected]

Cornelissen, J. P., & Clarke, J. S. 2010. Imagining and rationalizing opportunities: Inductive reasoning and the creation and justification of new ventures. Academy of Management Review, 35(4): 539-557.
Haynie, J. M., Shepherd, D. A., Mosakowski, E., & Earley, C. 2010. A situated metacognitive model of the entrepreneurial mindset. Journal of Business Venturing, 25(2): 217-229.
Mitchell, R. K., Busenitz, L., Bird, B., Gaglio, C. M., McMullen, J. S., Morse, E. A., & Smith, J. B. 2007. The central question in entrepreneurial cognition research 2007. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 31(1): 1-27.
Mitchell, J. R., Mitchell, R. K., & Randolph-Seng, B. (Eds). 2014. Handbook of entreprenurial cognition. Northhampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing. 
Mitchell, R. K., Randolph-Seng, B., & Mitchell, J. R. 2011. Socially situated cognition: Imagining new opportunities for entrepreneurship research (Dialogue). Academy of Management Review, 36(4): 774-776.
Smith, E. R., & Semin, G. R. 2004. Socially situated cognition: Cognition in its social context. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 36: 53-117. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.