Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Daniels College of Business

First Advisor

Lisa Victoravich

Second Advisor

Ali Besharat

Third Advisor

Andy Cohen


Decision making, Entrepreneurial alertness, Entrepreneurial cognition, Metacognition


To better understand the mental processes that shape entrepreneurial performance, this dissertation examines the moderating effect of metacognitive abilities on the relationship between cognitive style and entrepreneurial alertness on performance at the opportunity identification and planning stages of the entrepreneurial journey. Prior research identifies these factors as components of an entrepreneurial mindset. However, the present research develops and examines theoretically driven predictions regarding how the factors interact. Using a sample of seventy teams participating in a business plan competition enables performance evaluation at these early steps in the entrepreneurship process. The hypotheses were not supported, but post hoc analyses indicate that average team metacognition and entrepreneurial alertness influence performance more significantly than leader levels. Metacognition positively relates to performance directly and by moderating the relationship between cognitive style and performance. High metacognitive abilities likely substitute for an intuitive decision making style. Entrepreneurial alertness at the team level negatively relates to performance. Understanding these combined effects provides insight into how some entrepreneurs sense opportunities and pursue them under conditions of uncertainty. This study advances entrepreneurship cognition research by empirically examining metacognition's theorized but untested role in improving entrepreneurial performance.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

John Sebesta


Received from author

File Format




File Size

82 pgs


Entrepreneurship, Cognitive psychology

Available for download on Friday, August 01, 2025