The IUP Journal of Entrepreneurship Development
Expertise and Cognitive Development of Entrepreneurs

Article Details
Pub. Date : June, 2020
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Entrepreneurship Development
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJED10620
Author Name : Lehlohonolo Dongo, Brian Barnard
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management Journals
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 41



The purpose of this study is to evaluate the cognitive development and expertise of entrepreneurs and the impact thereof on the success of entrepreneurship. The existing theory on success factors for entrepreneurs is lacking in relation to the cognitive development and expertise of entrepreneurs. A qualitative research in the form of semi-structured interviews with experienced entrepreneurs was conducted. Data analysis and interpretation were undertaken using thematic analysis. The findings revealed that experienced entrepreneurs are characterized by enhanced quality of thinking and depth of processing information. This gives them the capability to schematically map interconnections by identifying problems and designing solutions for complex opportunities. In addition, it appears that experience is compulsory for novices to develop into experts. Consequently, a prolonged duration of exposure is required for novices to develop expertise. An evaluation of faster and effective methods of transferring entrepreneurship experience is necessary to expedite expertise.


Cognitive development entails the level of thinking, depth of processing, cognitive complexity and cognitive efficiency through knowledge structures and cognitive scripts (Craik, 2002; Baron, 2006; Benet-Martinez et al., 2006; Krueger, 2007a; and Kalyuga, 2009). Expertise refers to practical competency (Collins and Evans, 2008), while it confers a leadership status to individuals in a particular domain of practice through intricate knowledge and skills (Chi et al., 1981). The constructs of cognitive development and expertise are not unrelated. In fact, the levels of cognitive development naturally correlate with the levels of expertise.


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