Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of affective appraisal dimensions on the use of two ecologically rational, social heuristics: imitate the majority (IMH) and imitate the best (IBH) during an entrepreneurial strategic decision-making process (ESDM).
Design/methodology/approach - The authors test the hypotheses in a controlled field experiment, on a final sample of 98 entrepreneurs.
Findings - The study shows that entrepreneurs experiencing affect described by certainty appraisal display a preference for relying on IMH, but not on IBH. Moreover, entrepreneurs who experience unpleasant affect tend to rely more on IMH, rather than IBH. The reverse is true for the entrepreneurs who experience positive affect. Finally, the use of IMH is most likely under unpleasant and certain affect, while the use of IBH is most likely under pleasant and certain affect.
Originality/value - The main contribution of this study is that it provides initial support for the impact of affective appraisal dimensions on the use of ecologically rational heuristics (i.e. heuristics that save important resources, but bring beneficial results) during an ESDM process.
- Ecological rationality
- Entrepreneurial strategic decision making
- Imitation heuristics
- Incidental affective states
- POSITIVE AFFECT