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Opportunity beliefs lead entrepreneurs to explore or walk away from opportunities. The dominant process for explaining opportunity beliefs is structural alignment theory’s analogical problem solving of information. Information can be conceptualized according to its structure with some information presented as separate pieces of information (local) and others as aggregated information (global). We conducted an experiment with 116 upper-level managers and engineers, and found that structural and procedural similarities between technologies and socioeconomic conditions of markets drive opportunity beliefs. We found that the constraining effects of technological and socioeconomic differences on opportunity beliefs are contingent on individuals’ global versus local processing.

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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Journal of Small Business Management on 2023, available online at doi: 10.1080/00472778.2020.1750296