Management practice as well as management research have produced a wide toolset for decision-making and action in established company settings that we refer to as causation.
But do these tools reflect the reality in your company? What about all the unforeseen events, surprises and new developments that have disturbed a well-prepared plan? What happens in the cases you rely on prediction when information does not allow you to predict?
In the face of uncertainty, expert entrepreneurs have shown a fascinating characteristic: they do not like prediction! Instead they use effectuation to create the realities they are interested in.
If you want to know more about the scientific basis for effectuation, there is a wide range of original research to tap into. To get started, we recommend these papers:
Sarasvathy, S. D. (2001). Causation And Effectuation: Toward A Theoretical Shift From Economic Inevitability To Entrepreneurial Contingency. In: Academy of Management Review, 26 (2): 243-264.
Wiltbank, R., Dew, N., Sarasvathy, S. & Read, S. (2006). What to do next? The case for non-predictive strategy. In: Strategic Management Journal, 27-10.
Dew, N., Sarasvathy, S., Read, S. & Wiltbank, R. (2008). Immortal firms in mortal markets? An entrepreneurial perspective on the »innovator’s dilemma«. In: European Journal of Innovation Management, S. 11-3, S. 313-329.
Read, S., Sarasvathy, S., Song, M., Dew, N. & Wiltbank, R. (2009). Marketing Under Un certainty: Logic of an Effectual Approach. In: Journal of Marketing, 73-3.
For introductions to effectuation in book length, please refer to ressources:reading.