Entrepreneurial Mindset: A Synthetic Literature Review


Objective: The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the state-of-the-art in research on entrepreneurial mindset (EM). The paper identifies research areas which have contributed to the current status of the EM concept, outlines areas which remain under-addressed and suggests areas for future research.

Research Design & Methods: A comprehensive method of a synthetic literature review was employed. In a four-step process, relevant papers were identified and classified. Research methods and sampling were analysed and put into a perspective of the EM concept development. Based on that, recommendations for future research are presented.

Findings: No commonly shared EM concept was found. Instead, scholars have contributed largely by depicting particular attributes of EM. These attributes can be divided into core attributes of EM and meta-cognitive attributes of EM. While core attributes are easier to recognize and exhibited through behaviour, meta-cognitive attributes are more hidden within an individual. Mainly the Anglo-American perspective influences the research on EM. The dominating research design methods remain quantitative. Only one longitudinal and one qualitative study using in-depth interviews were identified in the pool. Links to other research areas are provided.

Implications & Recommendations: The EM concept might be investigated further with the inclusion of more other cultures or with people from other cultural backgrounds to test the validity of the existing assumptions.

Contribution & Value Added: This literature review contributes to the current body of knowledge by giving an overview of the EM concept and its attributes and associated qualities. It identifies current gaps in research and provides recommendations on how to close them.


entrepreneurial mindset; entrepreneurial cognition; cognitive adaptability; cognitive tuning of mindsets; literature review

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Published : 2017-09-19

Naumann, C. (2017). Entrepreneurial Mindset: A Synthetic Literature Review. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 5(3), 149-172. https://doi.org/10.15678/EBER.2017.050308

Christiane Naumann  cnaumann@internationalize-edu.com
Anhalt University of Applied Sciences  Germany

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