Opportunity-as-hologram: Real or artificial in entrepreneurship

Main Article Content

David Leong


Entrepreneurship must necessarily involve actions under uncertainties. How is opportunity discovered and perceived that will eventually trigger and stimulate entrepreneurial action? An ongoing conversation in entrepreneurship concerns the clumsiness in the definition of opportunity – whether discovered or created, objective or subjective. Can opportunity exist independently, as a pre-existing object, even without being observed by any actors? Or is opportunity subjectively and socially constructed? Are they real or artificial? This paper articulates opportunity as a holographic representation that provides cues and signals to alert entrepreneurs to act. We attempt to explain how opportunity-as-hologram inspires and motivates entrepreneurial action. The proposed opportunity-as-hologram construct (or holographic opportunity) is representationally valuable as it embraces the various definitional variations and clarifies the opportunity concepts underpinning entrepreneurship. Central to this paper are the re-casted perspectives on opportunities by addressing the major conceptual issues at the core of entrepreneurship theories. The three views – discovery, creation, and actualisation of opportunities – can be valid and mutually non-exclusive in holographic terms. This paper explores implicate and explicate orders and quantum theory concepts theorised by physicist David Bohm. This conceptual construct of holographic opportunity contributes to the ongoing dialogues on the opportunity, improves the conceptual clarity of opportunity, and opens new research and practice possibilities. 

Article Details

How to Cite
Opportunity-as-hologram: Real or artificial in entrepreneurship. (2023). Asian Academy of Management Journal, 28(2), 421–448. https://doi.org/10.21315/aamj2023.28.2.14
Original Articles


Ahmed, W. S., Mehmood, A., Sheikh, T., & Bachaya, A. (2022). Unveiling the linkages between emerging market stock indices and cryptocurrencies. Asian Academy of Management Journal, 27(2), 189–209. https://doi.org/10.21315/aamj2022.27.2.9

Alvarez, S. A., & Barney, J. B. (2007). Discovery and creation: Alternative theories of entrepreneurial action. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 1(1–2), 11–26. https://doi.org/10.1002/sej.4

Ardichvili, A., Cardozo, R., & Ray, S. (2003). A theory of entrepreneurial opportunity identification and development. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(1), 105–123. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0883-9026(01)00068-4

Baker, T., & Nelson, R. E. (2005). Creating something from nothing: Resource construction through entrepreneurial Bricolage. Administrative Science Quarterly, 50(3), 329–366. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.2189/asqu.2005.50.3.329

Berglund, H., & Glaser, V. L. (2021). The artifacts of entrepreneurial practice. In N. A. Thompson, O. Bryne, A. Jenkins, & B. T. Teague (Eds.), Research Handbook on Entrepreneurship as Practice (pp. 168–186). Edward Elgar Publishing.

Bhowmick, S. (2015). They look while they leap: Generative co-occurrence of enactment and effectuation in entrepreneurial action. Journal of Management & Organization, 21(4), 515–534. https://doi.org/10.1017/jmo.2014.81

Bloomberg. (2022). Ex-GIC CIO’s S’pore fund Avanda amasses $13b for global foray. The Straits Times, B12.

Bohm, D. (1980). Wholeness and the implicate order. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjps/32.3.303

Bohm, D. (2002). Wholeness and the implicate order (1st ed.). Routledge.

Bohm, D., Hiley, B. J., & Kaloyerou, P. N. (1987). An ontological basis for the quantum theory. Physics Reports, 144(6), 321–375. https://doi.org/10.1016/0370-1573(87)90024-X

Bohm, D. (1990). A new theory of the relationship of mind and matter. Philosophical Psychology, 3(2–3), 271–286. https://doi.org/10.1080/09515089008573004

Cardon, M. S., Gregoire, D. A., Stevens, C. E., & Patel, P. C. (2013). Measuring entrepreneurial passion: Conceptual foundations and scale validation. Journal of Business Venturing, 28(3), 373–396. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusvent.2012.03.003

Cardon, M. S., & Kirk, C. P. (2015). Entrepreneurial Passion as mediator of the self- efficacy to persistence relationship. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 39(5), 1027–1050. https://doi.org/10.1111/etap.12089

Cherry, J. D. (2004). The chronology of the 2002–2003 SARS mini pandemic. Paediatric Respiratory Reviews, 5(4), 262–269. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prrv.2004.07.009

Cherry, J. D., & Krogstad, P. (2004). SARS: The first pandemic of the 21st century. Pediatric Research, 56(1), 1–5. https://doi.org/10.1203/01.PDR.0000129184.87042.FC

Collewaert, V., Anseel, F., Crommelinck, M., De Beuckelaer, A., & Vermeire, J. (2016). When passion fades: Disentangling the temporal dynamics of entrepreneurial passion for founding. Journal of Management Studies, 53(6), 966–995. https://doi.org/10.1111/joms.12193

Davidsson, P. (2021). Ditching discovery-creation for unified venture creation research. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 47(2), 104225872110308. https://doi.org/10.1177/10422587211030870

Dimov, D. (2011). Grappling with the unbearable elusiveness of entrepreneurial opportunities. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 35(1), 57–81. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6520.2010.00423.x

Eckhardt, J. T., & Shane, S. (2010). An Update to the Individual-Opportunity Nexus. In Handbook of Entrepreneurship Research (pp. 47–76). Springer New York. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1191-9_3

Eckhardt, J. T., & Shane, S. A. (2003). Opportunities and entrepreneurship. Journal of Management, 29(3), 333–349. https://doi.org/10.1177/014920630302900304

Fernandez, A. (2022). Study of vibration. https://power-mi.com/content/study-vibration

Fisher, G. (2012). Effectuation, causation, and bricolage: A behavioral comparison of emerging theories in entrepreneurship research. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 36(5), 1019–1051. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6520.2012.00537.x

Foss, N. J., & Klein, P. G. (2012). Organising entrepreneurial judgment: A new approach to the firm. Cambridge University Press.

Foss, N. J., & Klein, P. G. (2005). Entrepreneurship and the economic theory of the firm: Any gains from trade? In S. A. Alvarez, R. Agarwal, & O. Sorenson (Eds.), Handbook of entrepreneurship research. International handbook series on entrepreneurship (vol. 2, pp. 55–80). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/0-387-23622-8_4

Foss, N. J., & Klein, P. G. (2010). Alertness, judgment, and the antecedents of entrepreneurship. SSRN Electronic Journal. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1579975

Foss, N. J., & Klein, P. G. (2020). Entrepreneurial Opportunities: Who needs them? Academy of Management Perspectives, 34(3), 366–377. https://doi.org/10.5465/amp.2017.0181

Gartner, W. B. (1985). A conceptual framework for describing the phenomenon of new venture creation. Academy of Management Review, 10(4), 696–706. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.1985.4279094

Gartner, W. B. (1993). Words lead to deeds: Towards an organisational emergence vocabulary. Journal of Business Venturing, 8(3), 231–239. https://doi.org/10.1016/0883-9026(93)90029-5

Gartner, W. B., Bird, B. J., & Srarr, J. A. (1992). Acting as if: Differentiating entrepreneurial from organisational behaviour. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 16(3), 108–126. https://doi.org/10.1177 /104225879201600302

Garud, R., Gehman, J., & Giuliani, A. P. (2014). Contextualising entrepreneurial innovation: A narrative perspective. Research Policy, 43(7), 1177–1188. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2014.04.015

Garud, R., Kumaraswamy, A., & Karnøe, P. (2010). Path dependence or path creation? Journal of Management Studies, 47(4), 760–774. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6486.2009.00914.x

Gell-Mann, M. (1995). The quark and the jaguar: Adventures in the simple and the complex. Macmillan.

Gielnik, M. M., Spitzmuller, M., Schmitt, A., Klemann, D. K., & Frese, M. (2015). “I put in effort, therefore I am passionate”: Investigating the path from effort to passion in entrepreneurship. Academy of Management Journal, 58(4), 1012–1031. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43589382

Giones, F., Brem, A., Pollack, J. M., Michaelis, T. L., Klyver, K., & Brinckmann, J. (2020). Revising entrepreneurial action in response to exogenous shocks: Considering the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 14, e00186. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbvi.2020.e00186

Hill, R. (1995). Metaphors and mental models: Sensemaking and sensegiving in innovative and entrepreneurial activities. Journal of Management, 21(6), 1057–1074. https://doi.org/10.1016/0149-2063(95)90022-5

Hill, R. C., & Levenhagen, M. (1995). Metaphors and mental models: sensemaking and sensegiving in innovative and entrepreneurial activities. Journal of Management, 21(6), 1057–1074. https://doi.org/10.1177/014920639502100603

Huang, L., & Pearce, J. L. (2015). Managing the unknowable: The effectiveness of early- stage investor gut feel in entrepreneurial investment decisions. Administrative Science Quarterly, 60(4), 634–670. https://doi.org/10.1177/0001839215597270

Iyortsuun, A. S., Nmadu, M. T., Dakung, R., & Gajere, M. C. (2019). Entrepreneurial passion and venture performance: A proposed framework. Management Research Review, 42(10), 1133–1147. https://doi.org/10.1108/MRR-10-2018-0382

Karmeshu, J. (2003). Entropy measures, maximum entropy principle and emerging applications. Springer Science & Business Media.

Kirzner, I. M. (1973). Competition and entrepreneurship. University of Chicago Press.

Kirzner, I. M. (1979). Perception, opportunity, and profit: Studies in the theory of entrepreneurship. University of Chicago Press.

Leong, D. (2020). Entrepreneurial Energy and opportunities existing in space. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Business and Economics, 8(2), 196–218. http://scientificia.com/index.php/JEBE/article/view/144

Leong, D. (2021). Re-contextualizing opportunity as artifact signalling for entrepreneurial action. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 26(3), 2150021. https://doi.org/10.1142/S1084946721500217

Lévi-Strauss, C. (1966). The savage mind. University of Chicago Press.

Lichtenstein, B. (2020). Generative emergence: Research and praxis for social innovation.

Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190236557.013.735

Lichtenstein, B. B. (2014). Generative emergence. Oxford University Press.

McBride, R., & Wuebker, R. (2022). Social objectivity and entrepreneurial opportunities. Academy of Management Review, 47(1), 75–92. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2017.0451

McMullen, J. S., & Dimov, D. (2013). Time and the entrepreneurial journey: The problems and promise of studying entrepreneurship as a process. Journal of Management Studies, 50(8), 1481–1512. https://doi.org/10.1111/joms.12049

McMullen, J. S., Plummer, L. A., & Acs, Z. J. (2007). What is an entrepreneurial opportunity? Small Business Economics, 28(4), 273–283. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-006-9040-z

McMullen, J. S., & Shepherd, D. A. (2006). Entrepreneurial action and the role of uncertainty in the theory of the entrepreneur. Academy of Management Review, 31(1), 132–152. https://doi.org/10.5465/AMR.2006.19379628

Mishra, D. P. (2021). COVID-19 disruption and service firms’ adaptation strategies: institutional theory perspectives. In H. Han, & J. Lee (Eds.), COVID-19 and the future of the service industry post-pandemic: Insights and resources (pp. 175–203). Springer.

Planck, M. (2013). Treatise on thermodynamics. Courier Corporation.

Ramoglou, S. (2021). Knowable opportunities in an unknowable future? On the epistemological paradoxes of entrepreneurship theory. Journal of Business Venturing, 36(2), 106090. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusvent.2020.106090

Ramoglou, S., & Gartner, W. B. (2022). A historical intervention in the “opportunity wars”: Forgotten scholarship, the discovery/creation disruption, and moving forward by looking backward. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 47(4), 104225872110693. https://doi.org/10.1177/10422587211069310

Ramoglou, S., & Tsang, E. W. K. (2016). A realist perspective of entrepreneurship: Opportunities as propensities. Academy of Management Review, 41(3), 410–434. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2014.0281

Rerup, C. (2005). Learning from past experience: Footnotes on mindfulness and habitual entrepreneurship. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 21(4), 451–472. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scaman.2005.09.010

Rodríguez, R. A., & Cáceres-Hernández, J. J. (2018). Information, entropy, value, and price formation: An econophysical perspective. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications, 512, 74–85. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physa.2018.08.005

Russell, R., & Faulkner, B. (1999). Movers and shakers: Chaos makers in tourism development. Tourism Management, 20(4), 411–423. https://doi.org/10.1016/ S0261-5177(99)00014-X

Sandberg, J., & Tsoukas, H. (2015). Making sense of the sensemaking perspective: Its constituents, limitations, and opportunities for further development. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 36(S1), S6–S32. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.1937

Sarasvathy, S. D. (2001). Causation and effectuation: Toward a theoretical shift from economic inevitability to entrepreneurial contingency. Academy of Management Review, 26(2), 243–263. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2001.4378020

Sarasvathy, S. D. (2003). Entrepreneurship as a science of the artificial. Journal of Economic Psychology, 24(2), 203–220. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-4870(02)00203-9

Savolainen, R. (2017). Information need as trigger and driver of information seeking: A conceptual analysis. Aslib Journal of Information Management, 69(1), 2–21. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-08-2016-0139

Selden, P. D., & Fletcher, D. E. (2015). The entrepreneurial journey as an emergent hierarchical system of artifact-creating processes. Journal of Business Venturing, 30(4), 603–615. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusvent.2014.09.002

Shane, S. (2003). A general theory of entrepreneurship: The individual-opportunity nexus. A General Theory of Entrepreneurship: The Individual-Opportunity Nexus, 1–327. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781781007990

Shane, S., & Venkataraman, S. (2000). The promise of enterpreneurship as a field of research. Academy of Management Review, 25(1), 217–226. https://doi.org/10.2307/259271

Smilor, R. W., & Feeser, H. R. (1991). Chaos and the entrepreneurial process: Patterns and policy implications for technology entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing, 6(3), 165–172. https://doi.org/10.1016/0883-9026(91)90007-Z

Stinchfield, B. T., Nelson, R. E., & Wood, M. S. (2013). Learning from Levi-Strauss’ legacy: Art, craft, engineering, bricolage, and brokerage in entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 37(4), 889–921. https://doi.org/10.1111/ j.1540-6520.2012.00523.x

Storoy, D. (2014). David Bohm, implicate order and holomovement. Science and NonDuality. https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/article/david-bohm-implicate-order-and-holomovement

Tang, J., Kacmar, K. M. (Micki), & Busenitz, L. (2012). Entrepreneurial alertness in the pursuit of new opportunities. Journal of Business Venturing, 27(1), 77–94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusvent.2010.07.001

Tang, J., Levasseur, L., Karami, M., & Busenitz, L. (2021). Being alert to new opportunities: It is a matter of time. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 15, e00232. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbvi.2021.e00232

Townsend, D. M., Hunt, R. A., McMullen, J. S., & Sarasvathy, S. D. (2018). Uncertainty, knowledge problems, and entrepreneurial action. Academy of Management Annals, 12(2), 659–687. https://doi.org/10.5465/annals.2016.0109

Venkataraman, S., Sarasvathy, S. D., Dew, N., & Forster, W. R. (2012). Reflections on the 2010 AMR decade award: Whither the promise? moving forward with entrepreneurship as a science of the artificial. Academy of Management Review, 37(1), 21–33. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2011.0079

Vergne, J. P., & Durand, R. (2010). The missing link between the theory and empirics of path dependence: Conceptual clarification, testability issue, and methodological implications. Journal of Management Studies, 47(4), 736–759. https://doi. org/10.1111/j.1467-6486.2009.00913.x

Vo, A. H. K., Truong, T. T. T., & Huynh, K. D. (2022). The impact of COVID-19 to financing decisions of SMEs in Vietnam. Asian Academy of Management Journal, 27(2), 163–187. https://doi.org/10.21315/aamj2022.27.2.8

Weick, K. E. (1995). Sensemaking in organisations. SAGE Publications.

Weick, K. E., Sutcliffe, K. M., & Obstfeld, D. (2005). Organising and the process of sensemaking. Organization Science, 16(4), 409–421. https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1050.0133

Welter, C., Mauer, R., & Wuebker, R. J. (2016). Bridging behavioral models and theoretical concepts: Effectuation and bricolage in the opportunity creation framework. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 10(1), 5–20. https://doi.org/10.1002/sej.1215

Wright, M., & Phan, P. (2020). Opportunity: Is there a future in the construct? Academy of Management Perspectives, 34(3), 297–299. https://doi.org/10.5465/amp.2018.0162

Zott, C., & Huy, Q. N. (2016). How Entrepreneurs use symbolic management to acquire resources. Administrative Science Quarterly, 52(1), 70–105. https://doi.org/10.2189/asqu.52.1.70