Author's School

Olin Business School

Author's Department

Organizational Behavior


English (en)

Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Markus Baer

Committee Members

Erik Dane, Jackson Nickerson, Matthew Grimes, William Bottom,


Highly successful entrepreneurial ventures often result from solving problems that have not been solved before (i.e., entrepreneurial problems). The problem-solving and entrepreneurship literatures indicate that individuals need to develop novel problem frames—uncommon interpretations of observable needs or pain points (i.e., symptoms) signaling the problems—to create solutions that other people would not typically think of and generate unique value that is key to entrepreneurial success. However, developing novel frames of entrepreneurial problems is difficult for two reasons. The symptoms of the problems are ambiguous and unstructured, and the structured information to find the right frame of problems is costly to acquire. Given the high costs associated with structured information, individuals need to rely on intuition—an associative and unconscious form of thinking—in the absence of structured, validated information to diagnose the problem frame. However, intuition is a double-edged sword that rarely results in novel problem frames and tends to exploit readily available, obvious, and well-known frames to quickly categorize and react to the problems. This dissertation draws on Cognitive-Experiential Self-Theory (CEST) to propose a delayed intuition model, in which individuals should delay intuition with rational, analytic thinking. Rational-analytic thinking can encourage individuals to think of alternative problem frames, avoid common biases in problem framing, and prevent intuition from reaching premature conclusions. By doing so, rational-analytic thinking allows intuition to be more informed and aware of alternative frames of problems, increasing the likelihood of forming novel frames of entrepreneurial problems. Evidence from an archival study and a randomized field experiment with samples of entrepreneurs support the value of delaying intuition when generating novel frames of entrepreneurial problems.