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Entrepreneurial decision-making in the video game industry: a study on entrepreneurs based in the METU Technopark

Durukan, Cansu
This study aims to investigate the phases of the journey of entrepreneurs who are faced with high dynamism and uncertainty pertaining to the video game industry, which environmental factors impact their decisions and to what extent effectuation theory of Sarasvathy can explain decision-making process in this context. To this end, twenty-two semi-structured interviews were conducted with entrepreneurs located in METU Technopark, Turkey, and findings were interpreted with grounded theory method. Entrepreneurs in this sample are grouped in terms of the initial conditions and intentions when they joined to industry. These groups are student entrepreneurs, professional idealists, job quitters and experienced entrepreneurs. The findings suggest that entrepreneurs basically go through eight phases in their entrepreneurial journeys. These phases are identified as; initial decision, team formation, business model & product development, marketing, networking, crisis, reconfiguration of organizational structure and reconfiguration of teams. The findings show that entrepreneurs use effectuation approach more than causation in their decisions. However, the context and scope of employment of effectuation approach varies. Besides, some conflicting findings are derived regarding the studies which examine the relationship between employment of effectuation and entrepreneurial experience. This study argues that, entrepreneurs use market experimentation as a tool to navigate uncertainty and although uncertainties cannot be fully resolved, and as the resources of entrepreneurs increase, their decision-making approach converge towards causation. The policy implications of this study are handled with the lens of national innovation system approach and they are examined under two aims (increasing the resources of entrepreneurs and companies and designing a favorable ecosystem for VGI in Turkey) as the main policy aims. For these policy aims, a complete policy recommendation framework is suggested at multiple levels.