Processi euristici e marketing imprenditoriale

Simone Guercini


The article examines the gap between theory and practice of marketing in small and medium-sized enterprises, proposing the thesis that a decisive contribution to understand and overcome it can be derived from the study of heuristics that characterize the behavior of top decision makers. After an analysis of the evolution of the literature on heuristics in cognitive science and especially in experimental psychology, this article examines the increasing attention paid to the heuristics in the study of marketing and strategic management. The article discusses the types of heuristics proposed in the literature, critically compared with two dimensions of heuristics (specificity and convergence) the discussion of which represents an original content of the paper as emerging from a case analysis of an Italian firm of the textile sector.


Entrepreneur; SME; cognitive limits; heuristics; marketing

Full Text:

PDF (Italiano)


Anderson J.R. (2000) Learning and memory: An integrated approach, Wiley, New York

Åstebro T., Elhedhli S. (2006) The effectiveness of simple decision heuristics: forecasting commercial success for early-stage ventures, Management Science, 52, 395-409

Axelrod R. (1984) The evolution of cooperation, Basic Books, New York

Baron R.A., Ensley M.D. (2006) Opportunity recognition as the detection of meaningful patterns: evidence from comparisons of novice and experienced entrepreneurs, Management Science, 52(9), 1331-1344

Bingham C.B., Eisenhardt K.M. (2011) Rational heuristics: the ‘simple rules’ that strategists learn from process experience, Strategic Management Journal, 32(13), 1437-1464

Bingham C.B., Eisenhardt K.M., Furr N.R. (2007) What makes a process a capability? Heuristics, strategy and effective capture of opportunities, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 1(1/2), 27-47

Birley S. (1985) The role of networks in the entrepreneurial process, Journal of Business Venturing, 1, 107-117

Boyd R., Richerson P.J. (2005) The origin and evolution of cultures, Oxford University Press, New York

Busenitz L.W., Barney J.B. (1997) Differences between entrepreneurs and managers in large organizations: biases and heuristics in strategic decision-making, Journal of Business Venturing, 12(1), 9-30

Carson D., Cromie S., McGowan P., Hill J. (1995) Marketing and entrepreneurship in SMEs.An innovative approach, Prentice-Hall, London

Cohen M.D., Burkhart R., Dosi G., Egidi M., Marengo L., Warglien M., Winter S. (1996) Routines and other recurring action patterns of organizations: contemporary research issues, Industrial and Corporate Change, 5(3), 653-698

Cowan N. (2001) The magical number 4 in short-term memory: a reconsideration of mental storage capacity, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24, 87-185

Davis J.P., Eisenhardt K.M., Bingham C.B. (2009) Optimal structure, market dynamism, and the strategy of simple rules, Administrative Science Quarterly, 54(3), 413-452

DeMiguel V., Garlappi L., Uppal R. (2009) Optimal versus naive diversification: how inefficient is the 1/N strategy? Review of Financial Studies, 22(5), 1915-1953

Einhorn H.J., Hogarth R.M. (1975) Unit weighting scheme for decision making, Organizational Behavior Human Decision Process, 13, 171-192

Eisenhardt K.M. (1989) Building theories from case study research, Academy of Management Review, 14(4), 532-550

Eisenhardt K.M., Sull D. (2001) Strategy as simple rules, Harvard Business Review, 79(1), 107-116

Fishburn P.C. (1974) Lexicographic orders, utilities and decision rules: a survey, Management Science, 20, 1442-1471

Gigerenzer G. (1996) On narrow norms and vague heuristics: A reply to Kahneman and Tversky, Psychological Review, 103, 592-596.

Gigerenzer G. (2007) Gut feelings. The intelligence of the unconscious, Penguin Books, New York

Gigerenzer G., Brighton H. (2009) Homo heuristicus: why biased minds make better inferences, Topics in Cognitive Science, 1, 107-143

Gigerenzer G., Goldstein D.G. (1996) Reasoning the fast and frugal way: models of bounded rationality, Psychological Review, 103, 650-669

Gigerenzer G., Todd P.M., & the ABC Research Group (1999) Simple heuristics that make us smart, New York, Oxford University Press

Goldstein D.G., Gigerenzer G. (2002) Models of ecological rationality: the recognition heuristic, Psychological Review, 109, 75-90

Guercini S. (2004) Developing the researcher-manager interface in the case analysis process, Management Decision, 42(3/4), 464-472

Guercini S. (2005) Marketing imprenditoriale, marketing manageriale e conoscenza di mercato del vertice d’impresa, Mercati & Competitività, n.1, 143-164

Guercini S. (2012) New approaches to heuristic processes and entrepreneurial cognition of the market, Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, 14(2), 199-213.

Haley U.C., Stumpf S.A. (1989) Cognitive trails in strategic decision-making: linking theories of personalities and cognitions, Journal of Management Studies, 26(5), 477-497

Hills G.E., Hultman C.M., Miles M.P. (2008) The evolution and development of entrepreneurial marketing, Journal of Small Business Management, 46(1), 99-112

Hoyer W.D., Brown S.P. (1990) Effects of brand awareness on choice for a common, repeat purchase product, Journal of Consumer Research, 17, 141-148

Jacoby L.L., Dallas M. (1981) On the relationship between autobiographical memory and perceptual learning, Journal of Experential Psychology, 110, 306-340

Johnson E.J., Goldstein D.G. (2003) Do defaults save lives? Science, 302, 1338-1339

Kahneman D. (2003) Maps of bounded rationality: a perspective on intuitive judgment and choice, in T. Frangsmyr (ed.) Les Prix Nobel: The Nobel Prizes 2002, 449-489, Nobel Found, Stockholm

Kahneman D., Tversky A. (1973) On the psychology of prediction, Psychological Review, 80(4), 237-251

Kahneman D., Tversky A. (1996) On the reality of cognitive illusions. A reply to Gigerenzer’s critique, Psychological Review, 103, 582-591

Kahneman D., Tversky A. (1972) Subjective probability: a judgment of representativeness, Cognitive Psychology, 3, 430-454

Katsikopoulos K.V., Gigerenzer G. (2012) Behavioral operations management: a blind spot and a research program, Journal of Supply Chain Management, in press

Kelman M.G. (2011) The heuristic debate, Oxford University Press, New York, NY

Kruglanski A.W., Gigerenzer G. (2011) Intuitive and deliberate judgements are based on common principles, Psychological Review, 118(1), 97-109

Levinthal D.A. (2011) A behavioral approach to strategy – What’s the alternative? Strategic Management Journal, 32(13), 1517-1523

Manimala M. (1992) Entrepreneurial heuristics: a comparison between high PI (Pioneering-Innovative) and low PI ventures, Journal of Business Venturing, 7(6), 477-504

March J.G. (1994) A primer on decision making. How decisions happen, The Free Press, New York.

Marchini I. (1995) L’imprenditorialità manageriale, Piccola Impresa / Small Business, 1, 3-12

Miller G.A. (1956) The magical number seven, plus or minus two: some limits on our capacity for processing information, Psychological Review, 63, 81-97

Musgrave A. (1974) Logical versus historical theories of confirmation, British Journal of Philosophy of Science, 25, 1-23

Nelson R.R., Winter S.G. (1982) An evolutionary theory of economic change, BelknapHarvard University Press, Cambridge MA

Newell A., Simon H.A. (1972) Human problem solving, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs

Paoli M. (2006) Management della complessità, complessità del management, Franco Angeli, Milano

Parikh J. (1994) Intuition: the new frontier of management, Blackwell Business, Oxford

Piattelli-Palmarini M. (2005) Psicologia ed economia delle scelte. Quattro lezioni al Collegio di Francia, Codice Editore, Torino

Savage L.J. (1954) The foundation of statistics, New York, Dover, 2nd edition

Simon H.A. (1955) A behavioral model of rational choice, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 69, 99-118

Simon H.A. (1967) The logic of heuristic decision making, in N. Rescher (ed.) The logic of decision and action, Pittsburg, The University of Pittsburg, 1-20

Simon H.A. (1990) Invariants of human behavior, Annual Review of Psychology, 41, 1-19

Stoelhorst J.W. (2007) The Naturalist View of Universal Darwinism: An Application to the Evolutionary Theory of the Firm, in G.M. Hodgson (ed.) The Evolution of Economic Institutions: A Critical Reader. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 233-251

Strack F., Martin L.L., Stepper S. (1988) Inhibiting and facilitating condition of facial expressions: a non-obtrusive test of the facial feedback hypothesis, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 768-777

Switzer F.S., Sniezek J.A. (1991) Judgement processes in motivation: anchoring and adjustment effects on judgment and behavior, Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes, 49(2), 208-229

Tomasello M. (2009) Why we cooperate, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA

Tversky A., Kahneman D. (1971) Belief in the law of small numbers, Psychological Bulletin, 76(2), 105-110

Tversky A., Kahneman D. (1974) Judgement under uncertainty: heuristics and biases, Science, 185, 1124-1131

Varaldo R., Dalli D., Resciniti R. (2006) Marketing-non-marketing all’italiana: virtù, limiti e prospettive, Congresso Internazionale “Le Tendenze del Marketing”, Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia, 20-21 gennaio

Wilson TD., Schooler J.W. (1991) Thinking too much: introspection can reduce the quality of preferences and decisions, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60(2), 181-192

Wübben M., von Wangenheim F. (2008) Instant customer base analysis: managerial heuristics often “get it right”, Journal of Marketing, 72, 82-93

Yin R.K. (1984) Case study research. Design and methods, Sage, Thousand Oaks

Zollo M., Reuer J.J., Singh H. (2002) Interrogational routines and performance in strategic alliances, Organization Science, 13(6), 701-713



Copyright (c)

ISSN 0394-7947 / eISSN: 2421-5724