Societal Culture and Entrepreneurship

While a good deal of the research regarding entrepreneurship has focused on questions such as identifying individual traits and values that are positively associated with entrepreneurial activities, it is generally conceded that societal culture also plays an important role in entrepreneurship.[1]  In fact, as Mueller and Thomas put it, “culture, as the underlying system of values peculiar to a specific group or society, shapes the development of certain personality traits and motivates individuals in a society to engage in behaviors that may not be as prevalent in other societies . . . [e]ntrepreneurial activity (i.e., new venture creation) may be one of these behaviors which varies across countries due to differences in cultural values and beliefs”.[2]  Mueller and Thomas also noted that while there are many factors underlying entrepreneurial behavior that are common across all cultures, such as economic incentives that serve as motivators for entrepreneurship, differences in societal cultures influence other relevant factors by reinforcing certain characteristics related to entrepreneurship and penalizing other characteristics, thus leading to variations among societies with respect to how closely they are aligned with an entrepreneurial orientation.[3]

Representative studies of influence of societal culture on entrepreneurship

While there has been a relative dearth of research on the relationship between culture and entrepreneurship, particularly cross-border comparisons, studies have provided strong evidence that some cultures produce more innovation and entrepreneurship than others[4].  R. Bouncken et al. provided a short summary of some of the research that has been done on cultural aspects of entrepreneurial intentions.[5] They noted, for example, that dissimilarities of entrepreneurship across cultures had been identified by researchers such as Erez and Early[6] and that other researchers had analyzed issues such as the impact of values and culture on entrepreneurial motivations and the generation and success of new ventures. In addition, they cited a number of studies that appeared to confirm that entrepreneurship and the associated new venture generation are influenced by culture.  For example, McGrath et al. found that high scores of power distance, individualism and masculinity, and low scores of uncertainty avoidance, appeared to increase entrepreneurship.[7]  However, they also noted that other researchers had found contrary indications with regard to some of the cultural dimensions and concluded that the direction of the influence of culture uncovered in the research community has often been somewhat unclear and conflicting.[8]

As noted above, McGrath et al. found that a high score on power distance appeared to increase entrepreneurship[9]; however, several other researchers have found that a high score on that cultural dimension actually decreased entrepreneurship.[10]  The hypothesis that low power distance is more conducive to entrepreneurship appears to be supported by other studies relating to some of the organizational characteristics associated with increased levels of innovativeness, often mentioned as a core element of entrepreneurship.  For example, it is well accepted that innovation is more likely to occur in organic organizational structures, which feature lower power distance, than in higher power distance mechanistic structures.[11]  In addition, greater equality of prestige, rewards and social power has been found to increase innovation.[12]  Finally, it has been observed that decentralization, which is associated with low power distance, promotes innovation because upper and lower level staff members are able to communicate more easily.[13]  On balance, it appears that cross-cultural research should identify differences between low and high power distance countries with respect to entrepreneurial motivations, with high power distance having a negative impact on such motivations.[14]

There are a number of indicators that individualism should be positively associated with entrepreneurial activities and, in fact, researchers have uncovered evidence that higher levels of individualism in an entrepreneur increase the chances of his or her success.[15]  McGrath et al. found that a high societal culture score on individualism appeared to increase entrepreneurship in that society.[16]  Individualistic societies tend to be nurturing environments for several of the individual personality traits thought to be positively associated with a bent for entrepreneurship.  For example, Shane found that autonomy and independence are more common in individualistic societies[17] and studies have confirmed that these traits are found more frequently among entrepreneurs than non-entrepreneurs.[18]  In addition, Mueller and Thomas speculated, based on several research studies, that: “. . . [s]ince individualistic cultures are more supportive of individual action and more tolerant of independent action than are collectivist cultures, we would expect that an internal locus of control orientation would be less prevalent in collectivist cultures than in individualistic cultures”.[19] However, researchers have suggested that the traditional approach of a single dimension with individualism and collectivism at opposite ends of the pole should be modified to take into account that both individualism and collectivism are necessary for successful entrepreneurship[20] and, in fact, studies have shown that collectivism increases motivation to form new ventures and also facilitates the team-based entrepreneurship that often eases the path to innovation.[21]

McGrath et al. found that low scores of uncertainty avoidance appeared to increase entrepreneurship.[22]  In turn, Dwyer et al. found that a person’s intent to engage in new venture creation will be negatively influenced by things such as uncertainty avoidance and the fear of overcoming new and unfamiliar barriers (e.g., technological bureaucracy).[23]  Mueller and Thomas speculated that “[s]ince low uncertainty avoidance cultures are more accepting of non-traditional behaviors, it follows that entrepreneurs in those contexts enjoy greater freedom and legitimacy than their counterparts in high uncertainty avoidance cultures where the ‘deviance’ of entrepreneurs would be viewed with suspicion”.[24]  Tuunanen et al. found that preferences for innovation among entrepreneurs were higher among entrepreneurs in the US, a relatively low uncertainty avoidance country, than among entrepreneurs in Finland, a relatively high uncertainty avoidance country.[25]  Shane tested the “per capita rate of innovation” among 33 countries and concluded that the rate declined as uncertainty avoidance increased.[26]

Mueller and Thomas conducted a multi-cultural survey of third- and fourth-year university students in nine countries to analyze the relationship between two common cultural dimensions, individualism-collectivism and uncertainty avoidance, and internal locus of control and innovativeness, two traits that are often associated with entrepreneurial potential.[27]  As they had expected, the results confirmed that “some cultures are more conductive for entrepreneurship than others”.[28]  Specifically, they found that an increased likelihood on internal locus of control orientation in individualistic cultures and also found that what they referred to as “entrepreneurial orientation”, defined as a combination of internal locus of control and innovativeness, was more likely to be found in individualistic, low uncertainty avoidance cultures than in collectivistic, high uncertainty avoidance cultures.  Mueller and Thomas argued that their results provided support for the notion that creating a “supportive” societal culture may have positive benefits for increasing entrepreneurial potential and suggested that business training efforts include not only technical areas but also lessons that assist prospective entrepreneurs in realizing and cultivating psychological characteristics such as self-reliance, independent action, creativity and flexible thinking.  Mueller and Thomas conceded that other traits associated with entrepreneurial behavior and not included in their study could also have an important impact and that other contextual factors (e.g., other dimensions of societal culture, educational systems, political economy and stage of economic development) should also be integrated into expanded investigations.

Bouncken et al. set out to “investigate the cultural antecedents of new venture generation” by focusing on several cultural dimensions, power distance, individualism and collectivism, and searching for differences in cultural influences on entrepreneurship between Germany and Poland.[29]  They concluded that their hypothesis that influences on entrepreneurship across cultures was supported by Germany and Poland.  For example, Bouncken et al. surveyed a sample of 450 MBA students in the two countries and found that among German students power distance, which is lower in Germany than in Poland, had a negative impact on entrepreneurial motivation while the same cultural dimension had a positive impact among Poles.  Bouncken et al. speculated that the results for the Germans, which were consistent with prior research on the relationship of power distance to entrepreneurship, was due to individuals in that country being more comfortable with being subordinates in organizations with less power distance across organizational levels.  On the other hand, people in Poland, weary of hierarchical constraints created by long-standing political conditions, might have a strong desire to break these old ties and increase their social status and freedom through entrepreneurship.  Bouncken et al. also found differences between Germany and Poland with respect to the influence of individualism and collectivism, which they believed were best treated as two separate dimensions rather than points on a continuum of a single dimension for purposes of entrepreneurship, on both motivation to form a new venture and actual intention to form a new venture.[30]  Finally, Bouncken et al. noted that although motivation to engage in entrepreneurship influenced intent to form a new venture in each country, the likelihood of new venture formation was influenced by non-cultural factors such as the economic environment and that this led to a finding that the likelihood of new venture formation was higher in Germany than in Poland.

Hyrsky et al. compared entrepreneurial behavior between entrepreneurs and small business owners in the US and Finland, with a specific focus on two personality traits generally associated with potential for entrepreneurship: “innovativeness” and “risk taking”.[31]  Their results showed that the respondents from the US scored higher on both “risk taking” propensity and on innovation than their counterparts in Finland.  Another interesting finding was that while US founders of their own businesses scored higher on risk taking than those US respondents who had purchased or inherited their businesses (referred to as “non-founders” by Hyrsky et al.) the situation in Finland was reversed with non-founders scoring higher on risk taking than Finns who founded their own businesses.  The countries scored the same with respect to several other issues.  For example, in the combined sample of US and Finnish respondents the females had higher levels of innovation preference than the males but males scored significantly higher than females with respect to risk taking.  In addition, in both the US and Finland the respondents who scored highest on innovativeness and risk taking were more likely to take the time to create formal, written plans for developing and growing their businesses.  Finally, in both countries there was a correlation between innovativeness and risk taking on the one hand and an orientation toward pursuing profits and growth as opposed to simply earning family income.

Another study by Abbey focused on identifying differences between entrepreneurs in the US, generally recognized as a highly individualistic societal culture, and the relatively collectivist society of Ghana.[32]  The survey results uncovered statistically significant differences were found between the entrepreneurs in the two countries on entrepreneurial motivations such as the desire for independence, need for economic security, social standing and opportunity to contribute; however, no difference between entrepreneurs in the US and Ghana were found on other entrepreneurial motivational factors such as the desire for recognition, innovativeness and challenge.  Abbey cited his results as confirmation that certain motivational factors may be common to entrepreneurs from different cultural backgrounds (i.e., “universal”) and that there are also differences between countries caused by differences in the cultural frame of reference of the entrepreneurs in those countries.  Abbey observed that recognition of cultural differences is important for policymaking creating economic development policies for collectivist societies such as Ghana since those policies are not likely to be effective if they are based on a Western model that solely or heavily encourages individualist values such as individual initiative and need for individual achievement.  Abbey urged policymakers to “focus on how to use the cultural orientation of the people to foster entrepreneurship”.[33]

Universality and cultural specificity of entrepreneurial cognitions

As noted above, there appears to be little opposition to the notion that societal culture plays an important role in entrepreneurial activity.[34] However, as in other areas of leadership and management studies, “universality” has long been debated among scholars and researchers involved in international studies of entrepreneurship and the evidence has been inconclusive as to whether or not there are universal reasons for entrepreneurship.  Mitchell et al., for example, suggested that some part of entrepreneurial thinking may be “universal” due, in part to the increasing similarity of the global environment for business and the need for entrepreneurs everywhere to confront and overcome many of the same challenges along the road to new venture creation.[35]  Other researchers, however, have cautioned that any “universal” values and norms attributed to entrepreneurs must be tempered by culture-specific values and norms that heavily influence behaviors in particular countries.[36]  Accordingly, while there seems to be a growing consensus that entrepreneurship is an important driving force for new infrastructure, technology and job creation around the world[37], the development of a new global system based on entrepreneurship will be impact by both cultural homogenization and cultural clashes.[38]

Researchers have conducted studies in multiple countries in an effort to identify reasons for new business formation and have found indications that entrepreneurs in many countries act out of needs for approval, personal wealth, personal development, independence, social status and escape.[39]  A study conducted by McGrath et al. provided support for the idea that entrepreneurs share a common set of values despite differences in cultural background.[40] Shane et al. identified the “desire for job freedom” as a universal reason for new business formation.[41]  A study of entrepreneurs in the US and Ghana led Abbey to conclude that it was likely that “desire for independence” was a universal reason for new business formation.[42]  However, other results from the same study caused Abbey to conclude that there are also differences between countries caused by differences in the cultural frame of reference of the entrepreneurs in those countries.  Shapero and Sokol also observed that entrepreneurial activity varies from society to society because of cultural beliefs about entrepreneurship.[43]

One interesting exploration of universality versus culture-specificity was grounded in entrepreneurial cognition research, which focuses on identifying and analyzing entrepreneurs’ distinctive ways of thinking as a way of addressing issues related to the entrepreneurship phenomena.[44]  Entrepreneurial cognitions have been shown to be useful in explaining a number of aspects of entrepreneurial activity including, for example, differentiation between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs[45]; opportunity identification[46]; success in the start-up process[47]; and making the venture-creation decision.[48]  Specifically, Mitchell et al. conducted a comprehensive study of 990 entrepreneurs and business managers in eleven countries, including the members of what was then known as the “G7” (i.e., the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Japan) and four Pacific Rim countries—Australia, Chile, Mexico and China.[49]  The researchers explained that they had identified two cognitive scripts of entrepreneurs, which were generally referred to as “entry” and “doing”.[50]  The “entry” phase required attention to making “arrangements” for embarking on the entrepreneurial activities.  Once those arrangements have been completed, the entrepreneur then moves to the “doing” phase which requires that the entrepreneur have the “willingness” and the “ability” to takes the actions necessary to achieve the goal of successfully engaging in the entrepreneurial activities.  Mitchell et al. briefly described the three conditions, mindsets and skills that must be present in order for entrepreneurship to be successful as follows:

  • Arrangements: Arrangements include seeking and finding a supportive environment in relation to an opportunity and organizing the resources available from that environment (e.g., capital, social networks (i.e., contacts and relationships), plant and equipment, labor, etc.) that would allow the entrepreneur to capitalize on the opportunity.[51]
  • Willingness: Willingness includes a commitment to venturing and receptivity to the idea of starting a new venture[52], readiness to commit[53], motivation to seek an opportunity[54] and eagerness to act versus missing an opportunity.[55]
  • Ability: Ability refers to the knowledge structures or scripts[56] that individuals have to support the capabilities, skills, knowledge, norms, and attitudes required to create a venture[57] and recognize, capture and protect an opportunity.[58]

Mitchell et al. assumed that high arrangements cognitions were threshold conditions for entrepreneurship and then went on to suggest the following four entrepreneurial archetypes based on the levels of the other two cognitive categories—willingness and ability:

  • Dangerous: This archetype included individuals who had high levels of arrangement and willingness but low levels of ability which ultimately created a high risk that the new venture would fail.
  • Professionals: This archetype included individuals with high levels of arrangements, willingness and ability cognitions, which made them to be more likely than any of the other archetypes to be successful in their new venture activities due to their higher relative levels of expertise and experience.
  • Arrangers: This archetype included individuals with low levels of both of the “doing” cognitions—willingness and ability—which meant that while they are likely to possess a protectable niche they would not be actively seeking other opportunities.
  • Conservatives: This archetype included individuals have relatively higher levels of arrangements and ability cognitions, but lower willingness cognitions. Individuals in this category tended to be extremely careful about pursuing opportunities even though they had access to the necessary resources and the skills that are necessary to form a new venture to exploit an opportunity.

Using the framework discussed above, Mitchell et al. used their survey group to test several hypotheses.  They found, for example, that it was universally true (i.e., true across all of the countries in the survey) that “entry” and “doing” differed between “professional” entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs.  There was only mixed support for differences between the other entrepreneurial archetypes and non-entrepreneurs.  In addition, they found that entrepreneurs could be differentiated into archetypes described in all of the countries in the survey, which they argued was evidence that entrepreneurs share a number of common cognitive constructs—an “entrepreneurial way of thinking”–regardless of the country in which they are operating.[59]  However, evidence of cultural influence on entrepreneurial cognitions was also found in the form of country-based differences in the script content of the arrangements, willingness and ability cognitions of entrepreneurs and differences among countries with respect to the proportion of individuals populating a given entrepreneurial archetype.  For example, entrepreneurs in the United States were observed to have higher Seeking Focus and Commitment Tolerance cognitions then entrepreneurs in Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany, or France, and greater Resource Access cognitions than entrepreneurs in Mexico, Italy, Germany, and France. However, there were also some similarities such as Situational Knowledge, Venture Diagnostic Ability, and Opportunity Recognition, which indicates an important similarity in entrepreneurial cognitions.

The general conclusion seems to be that the search for universality is of limited utility and attempts to develop universal theories of business formation should be abandoned in favor of focusing on more robust models that acknowledge and accept culture-based differences among entrepreneurs, their organizations and the processes they follow to create new businesses.[60]  If this is true, researchers have a wide array of questions that need to be addressed including identifying and measuring just how cultural values influence entrepreneurial activity and the institutions that support entrepreneurship, a topic discussed in more detail below.  Another challenge is isolating and understanding the influence of cultural factors in the face of evidence that the level of entrepreneurship is also significantly related to other factors such as economic development and growth, the quality of the legal and regulatory environment, access to financing and other resources and the prevalence of informality.[61]

This post is part of the Sustainable Entrepreneurship Project’s extensive materials on  Entrepreneurship.

[1] See, e.g., D. Holt, “A comparative study of values among Chinese and USA entrepreneurs: Pragmatic convergence between contrasting cultures”, Journal of Business Venturing, 12(6) (1997), 483–505; R. McGrath, I. MacMillan and S. Scheinberg, “Elitists, risk-takers, and rugged individualists – an exploratory analysis of cultural-differences between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs”, Journal of Business Venturing, 7(2) (1992), 115–135; R. Peterson, “Understanding and encouraging entrepreneurship internationally”, Journal of Small Business Management, 26(2) (1988), 1–7; and D. Huisman, “Entrepreneurship: Economic and cultural influences on the entrepreneurial climate”, European Research, 13(4) (1985), 10–17.

[2] S. Mueller and A. Thomas, “Culture and Entrepreneurial Potential: A Nine Country Study of Locus of Control and Innovativeness”, Journal of Business Venturing, 16 (2000), 51-75, 58.

[3]  Id. at 59.

[4] W. Baumol, “Entrepreneurship: productive, unproductive, and destructive”, Journal of Political Economy, 98(5) (1990), 893–921; S. Shane, “Uncertainty avoidance and the preference for innovation championing roles”, Journal of International Business Studies, 26(1) (1995), 47–68; A. Shapero and L. Sokol, “The social dimensions of entrepreneurship”, in K. Vesper, (Ed.): Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1982), 72–90.

[5]  R. Bouncken, J. Zagvozdina and A. Golze, “A comparative study of cultural influences on intentions to found a new venture in Germany and Poland”, International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 3(1) (2009), 47-65, 51-52.

[6]  M. Erez and P. Earley, Culture, Self-Identity, and Work (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993).

[7] R. McGrath, I. MacMillan and S. Scheinberg, “Elitists, risk-takers, and rugged individualists – an exploratory analysis of cultural-differences between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs”, Journal of Business Venturing, 7(2) (1992), 115–135.

[8] See, e.g., R. McGrath, I. MacMillan and S. Scheinberg, “Elitists, risk-takers, and rugged individualists – an exploratory analysis of cultural-differences between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs”, Journal of Business Venturing, 7(2) (1992), 115–135; L. Busenitz and C. Lau, “A cross-cultural cognitive model of venture creation”, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 20(4) (1996), 25–39; R. Mitchell, B. Smith, K. Seawright and E. Morse, “Cross-cultural cognitions and the venture creation decision”, Academy of Management Journal, 43(5) (2000), 974–993; M. Morris, D. Davis and J. Allen, “Fostering corporate entrepreneurship – cross-cultural comparisons of the importance of individualism versus collectivism”, Journal of International Business Studies, 25(1) (1994), 65–89; and S. Takyi-Asiedu, “Some socio-cultural factors retarding entrepreneurial activity in sub-Saharan Africa”, Journal of Business Venturing, 8(2) (1993) 91–98.  The discussion of the various cultural dimensions herein assumes familiarity with the topic, which is introduced and discussed in “Globalization: A Library of Resources for Sustainable Entrepreneurs” prepared and distributed by the Sustainable Entrepreneurship Project (www.seproject.org).

[9] R. McGrath, I. MacMillan and S. Scheinberg, “Elitists, risk-takers, and rugged individualists – an exploratory analysis of cultural-differences between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs”, Journal of Business Venturing, 7(2) (1992), 115–135.

[10] See, e.g., M. Aiken and J. Hage, “The organic organization and innovation”, Sociology, 5(1) (1971), 63–82; T. Burns and G. Stalker, The Management of Innovation (London: Tavistock, 1961); J. Thompson, Organizations in Action  (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967); and G. Zaltman, R. Duncan and J. Holbek, Innovations and Organizations (New York: A Wiley-Interscience Publication, 1973).

[11] T. Burns and G. Stalker, The Management of Innovation (London: Tavistock, 1961).

[12] Id.  The relative “equality” associated with a low power distant environment also increase opportunities for the formation of coalitions that are useful in combining the resources required for innovation.  See, e.g., J. Thompson, Organizations in Action (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967).

[13] H. Aldrich, Organizations and Environments (Englewood Cliffs, NJ.: Prentice Hall, 1979); and M. Aiken and J. Hage, “The organic organization and innovation”, Sociology, 5(1) (1971), 63–82. Other researchers have also found that the more innovative organizations in surveys conducted in the US and Japan were those that created mechanisms for freer communications throughout the organization.  See, e.g., S. Shane, “Cultural influences on national rates of innovation”, Journal of Business Venturing, 1993, 59–73; and J. Thompson, Organizations in Action (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967).

[14]  R. Bouncken, J. Zagvozdina and A. Golze, “A comparative study of cultural influences on intentions to found a new venture in Germany and Poland”, International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 3(1) (2009), 47-65, 51.

[15] R. Peterson, “Entrepreneurship and organization”, in P. Nystrom and W. Starbuck (Eds.), Handbook of Organizational Design (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1980).

[16] R. McGrath, I. MacMillan and S. Scheinberg, “Elitists, risk-takers, and rugged individualists – an exploratory analysis of cultural-differences between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs”, Journal of Business Venturing, 7(2) (1992), 115–135.

[17]  S. Shane, “Why do some societies invent more than others?”, Journal of Business Venturing, 7(1) (1992), 29–46.

[18] For extensive discussion of the various “trait” theories of entrepreneurship, see “Motivational Traits of Prospective Entrepreneurs” in “Entrepreneurship: A Library of Resources for Sustainable Entrepreneurs” prepared and distributed by the Sustainable Entrepreneurship Project (www.seproject.org).

[19] S. Mueller and A. Thomas, “Culture and Entrepreneurial Potential: A Nine Country Study of Locus of Control and Innovativeness”, Journal of Business Venturing, 16 (2000), 51-75, 60 (including citations).  Research has generally confirmed that firm founders are more “internal” than the general public with regard to locus of control.

[20]  R. Bouncken, J. Zagvozdina and A. Golze, “A comparative study of cultural influences on intentions to found a new venture in Germany and Poland”, International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 3(1) (2009), 47-65, 52 (citing J. Tiessen, “Individualism, collectivism and entrepreneurship: a framework for international comparative research”, Journal of Business Venturing, 12(5) (1997), 367–384).

[21]  Id. (citing S. Shane, “Why do some societies invent more than others?”, Journal of Business Venturing, 7(1) (1992), 29–46; and S. Shane, “Cultural influences on national rates of innovation”, Journal of Business Venturing, (1993), 59–73).

[22] R. McGrath, I. MacMillan and S. Scheinberg, “Elitists, risk-takers, and rugged individualists – an exploratory analysis of cultural-differences between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs”, Journal of Business Venturing, 7(2) (1992), 115–135.

[23] S. Dwyer, H. Mesak and H. Maxwell, “An exploratory examination of the influence of national culture on cross-national product diffusion”, Journal of International Marketing, 13(2) (2005), 1–28.

[24] S. Mueller and A. Thomas, “Culture and Entrepreneurial Potential: A Nine Country Study of Locus of Control and Innovativeness”, Journal of Business Venturing, 16 (2000), 51-75, 61.

[25] M. Tuunanen and K. Hyrsky, “Innovation preferences among Finnish and U.S. entrepreneurs”, Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal, 3(1) (1997), 1–11.

[26] S. Shane, “Cultural influences on national rates of innovation”, Journal of Business Venturing, 8 (1993), 59–73 (innovation rates determined by reference to number of trademarks granted to nationals of the 33 countries included in the survey). See also S. Shane, “Uncertainty avoidance and the preference for innovation championing roles’”, Journal of International Business Studies, 26(1) (1995), 47–68.

[27] S. Mueller and A. Thomas, “Culture and Entrepreneurial Potential: A Nine Country Study of Locus of Control and Innovativeness”, Journal of Business Venturing, 16 (2000), 51-75.  While students in 15 countries were surveyed the cultural analysis was limited to those nine countries within that group that were in 1980 survey conducted by Hofstede: the United States, Croatia and Slovenia (former Yugoslavia), Canada, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Singapore and China (PRC).

[28] Id. at 52.

[29]  R. Bouncken, J. Zagvozdina and A. Golze, “A comparative study of cultural influences on intentions to found a new venture in Germany and Poland”, International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 3(1) (2009), 47-65.  The authors noted that the cultural profiles of the two countries based on Hofstede’s four cultural dimensions were as follows: power distance—Germany “low” and Poland “high”; uncertainty avoidance—both “high”; individualism-collectivism—Germany “individualist” and Poland “collectivist”; and masculine-feminine: both “masculine”.  Id. at 50.

[30] Bouncken et al. commented that collectivism is important to certain aspects of successful entrepreneurship such as leveraging resources internally, establishing external ties and effective teamwork among members of a group involved in launching a new venture.  They noted that their results for Poland, a “collectivist” society as opposed to the “individualism” associated with Germany, explicitly identified the positive impact of collectivism as a motivator for entrepreneurship and thus suggested that it was best for “research to move from the single dimensional measures of individualism to two dimensional measures of individualism and collectivism”.  Id. at 60-61.

[31] K. Hyrsky, M. Tuunanen and M. Koiranen, “Innovativeness and Risk-taking Propensity: A Cross-Cultural Study of Finnish and U.S. Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners”, lta.hse.fi/1999/3/lta_1999_03_s2.pdf [accessed March 22, 2012]

[32]  A. Abbey, “Cross-Cultural Comparison of the Motivation for Entrepreneurship”, Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship, 14(1) (2002), 69-82.  The researcher noted that Ghana’s place as a more collectivist society on the Hofstede individualism-collectivism scale was consistent with other countries in West Africa where there is a strong emphasis on extended familial relationships and traditional values that persist even in the face of the influences of modernization.  See, e.g., R. Sadowsky, The Things We Lose (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1989); and J. McFadden and K. Gbekobou, “Counseling African children in the United States”, Elementary School Guidance and Counseling, 18 (1984), 223-230.  The researcher conducted his own assessment among the respondents in his survey to confirm the differences between the two groups of entrepreneurs on various indicators used to measure placement on the individualist-collectivist pole.

[33]  A. Abbey, “Cross-Cultural Comparison of the Motivation for Entrepreneurship”, Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship, 14(1) (2002), 69-82.

[34] See, e.g., D. Huisman, “Entrepreneurship: Economic and cultural influences on the entrepreneurial climate”, European Research, 13(4) (1985), 10-17; and D. Wittman, “Why democracies produce efficient results”, Journal of Political Economy, 97(6) (1989), 1395-1424.

[35] R. Mitchell, B. Smith, K. Seawright and E. Morse, “Cross-cultural cognitions and the venture creation decision”, Academy of Management Journal, 43(5) (2000), 974-993.  Other researchers have found similarities across countries with respect to certain predictors of success of small firms including staffing, level of education and use of professional advice and planning.  R. Lussier and S. Pfeifer, “A Cross-National Prediction Model for Business Success”, Journal of Small Business Management, July 1, 2001 (comparing small firms in the US and in Central Eastern Europe).

[36] L. Busenitz, C. Gomez and J. Spencer, “Country institutional profiles: Unlocking entrepreneurial phenomena”, Academy of Management Journal, 43(5) (2000), 994-1003.

[37] S. Arzeni, “Entrepreneurship and job creation”, The OECD Observer, Dec 1997/Jan 1998, 18-20; T. Bates and C. Dunham, “Asian-American success in self-employment”, Economic Development Quarterly, 7(2) (1993), 199-214; and P. McDougall and B. Oviatt, “International entrepreneurship literature in the 1990s and directions for future research” in D. Sexton and R. Smilor (Eds.), Entrepreneurship 2000 (Chicago: Upstart Publishing, 1997), 291-320.

[38] R. King and T. Craig, “Asia and global popular culture: The view from He Yong’s garbage dump” in R. King and T. Craig (Eds.), Global goes local: Popular culture in Asia (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2002), 1-11.

[39] D. Ray and D. Turpin, “Factors influencing entrepreneurial events in Japanese high tech venture business” in N. Churchill et al. (Eds.), Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research (Wellesley, MA: Babson College, 1987); and S. Scheinberg and I. MacMillan, “An eleven-country study of the motivation to start a business”, in B. Kirchoff, W. Long, W. McMullan, K. Vesper and W. Wetzel (Eds.), Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research (Wellesley, MA: Babson College, 1988).

[40] R. McGrath, I. MacMillan and S. Scheinberg, “Elitists, risk-takers, and rugged individualists? An exploratory analysis of cultural differences between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs”, Journal of Business Venturing, 7(2) (1992), 115-135.

[41]  S. Shane, L. Kolvereid and P. Westhead, “An exploratory examination of the reasons leading to new firm formation across country and gender (Part 1)”, Journal of Business Venturing, 6(6) (1991), 431-446.

[42]  A. Abbey, “Cross-Cultural Comparison of the Motivation for Entrepreneurship”, Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship, 14(1) (2002), 69-82.

[43] A. Shapero and L. Sokol, “The social dimensions of entrepreneurship”, in C. Kent, D. Sexton and K. Vesper (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1982), 72-88.

[44]  M. Ho and M. Wilson, “Cognitive Mapping Methodologies for Entrepreneurial Cognition Research”, http://www.swinburne.edu.au/lib/ir/onlineconferences/agse2008/000022.pdf [Accessed March 31, 2012]  For further discussion of the “cognitive view” of entrepreneurship, see D. Meyer, W. Gartner and S. Venkataraman, “The research domain of entrepreneurship”, Entrepreneurship Division Newsletter, 15 (2000), 6; H. Stevenson and J. Jarillo, “A paradigm of entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurial management”, Strategic Management Journal, 11 (1990), 17-27; and S. Venkataraman, “The distinctive domain of entrepreneurship research” in J. Katz (Ed.), Advances in entrepreneurship, firm emergence and growth (Vol. 3) (Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1997), 119-138.

[45] R. Baron, “Cognitive mechanisms in entrepreneurship: Why and when entrepreneurs think differently than other people”, Journal of Business Venturing, 13 (1998), 275-294.

[46] N. Krueger, “The cognitive infrastructure of opportunity emergence”, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 24(3) (2000), 5-23.

[47] E. Gatewood, K. Shaver and W. Gartner, “A longitudinal study of cognitive factors influencing start-up behaviors and success at venture creation”, Journal of Business Venturing, 10(5) (1995), 371-391.

[48] R. Mitchell, B. Smith, K. Seawright and E. Morse, “Cross-cultural cognitions and the venture creation decision”, Academy of Management Journal, 43(5) (2000), 974-993.

[49] R. Mitchell, J. Smith, E. Morse, A. Peredo and B. McKenzie. “Are entrepreneurial cognitions universal? Assessing entrepreneurial cognitions across cultures”, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 26.4 (2002), 9-32.

[50] J. Leddo and R. Abelson, “The nature of explanations” in J. Galambos, R. Abelson and J. Black (Eds.), Knowledge structures (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1986), 103-122.

[51] K. Vesper, New venture experience (Seattle, WA: Vector Books, 1996); and R. Mitchell, B. Smith, K. Seawright and E. Morse, “Cross-cultural cognitions and the venture creation decision”, Academy of Management Journal, 43(5) (2000), 974-993.

[52] Id.

[53] P. Ghemawat, Commitment: The dynamics of strategy (New York: The Free Press, 1991); and R. Hisrich and A. Jankowicz, “Intuition in venture capital decisions: An exploratory study using a new technique”, Journal of Business Venturing, 5(1) (1990), 49-62.

[54] I. Kirzner, “The theory of entrepreneurship in economic growth” in C. Kent, D. Sexton and K. Vesper (Eds.), Encyclopedia of entrepreneurship (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1982), 272-276; and N. Krueger and D. Brazeal, “Entrepreneurial potential and potential entrepreneurs”, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 19 (Spring, 1994), 91-104.

[55] D. Sexton and N. Bowman-Upton, “The entrepreneur: A capable executive and more”, Journal of Business Venturing, 1(1) (1985), 129-140.

[56] R. Glaser, “Education and thinking”, American Psychologist, 39 (1984), 93-104.

[57] R. Mitchell, B. Smith, K. Seawright and E. Morse, “Cross-cultural cognitions and the venture creation decision”, Academy of Management Journal, 43(5) (2000), 974-993.

[58] H. Stevenson, M. Roberts and H. Grousbeck, New business ventures and the entrepreneur (Homewood, IL: Irwin, 1994).

[59] D. Meyer, W. Gartner and S. Venkataraman, “The research domain of entrepreneurship”, Entrepreneurship Division Newsletter, 15 (2000), 6; H. Stevenson and J. Jarillo, “A paradigm of entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurial management”, Strategic Management Journal, 11 (1990), 17-27; and S. Venkataraman, “The distinctive domain of entrepreneurship research” in J. Katz (Ed.), Advances in entrepreneurship, firm emergence and growth (Vol. 3) (Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1997), 119-138.

[60] W. Gartner, “A conceptual framework for describing the phenomenon of new venture creation”, Academy of Management Review, 10(4) (1985), 696-706; and A. Gibb and J. Richie, “Understanding the process of starting small business”, European Small Business Journal, 1(1) (1982), 26-45.

[61]  L. Klapper, R. Amit and M. Guillén, Entrepreneurship and Firm Formation across Countries (Washington, DC: The World Bank Group, February 2008).

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