Elitists, Risk-Takers, and Rugged Individualists? An Exploratory Analysis of Cultural Differences between Entrepreneurs and Non-Entrepreneurs

Posted: 17 Nov 2009

See all articles by Rita Gunther McGrath

Rita Gunther McGrath

Columbia Business School - Management

Ian C. MacMillan

University of Pennsylvania - Management Department

Sari Scheinberg

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 1992

Abstract

This study examines whether or not certain values are likely to be held consistently by entrepreneurs, which are not held by non-entrepreneurs. The four underlying dimensions of culture from Hofstede's 1980 study--power distance, individualism, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity--are used to derive a set of hypotheses suggesting that each dimension exists for entrepreneurs regardless of their cultural orientation. Responses from 1,217 entrepreneurs and 1, 206 non-entrepreneurs, in nine countries, were used to examine these hypotheses. Findings supported all five initial hypotheses, indicating that: entrepreneurs share a predictable set of values, when compared with non-entrepreneurs; entrepreneurs do not appear to mind social inequality, but expect to be at the top of any social hierarchy due to their own merit; entrepreneurs favor independent action and separation from groups; entrepreneurs can tolerate risk and ambiguity; and entrepreneurs are more highly motivated to obtain economic and recognition rewards than are non-entrepreneurs. (SFL)

Keywords: Individualism, Sex roles, Masculinity, Value systems, Cultural differences, Inequality, Social equality, Individual traits, Entrepreneurial orientation, Social networks, Risk orientation, Values

Suggested Citation

McGrath, Rita and MacMillan, Ian C. and Scheinberg, Sari, Elitists, Risk-Takers, and Rugged Individualists? An Exploratory Analysis of Cultural Differences between Entrepreneurs and Non-Entrepreneurs (1992). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1504488

Rita McGrath (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Management ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://ritamcgrath.com/site/about/

Ian C. MacMillan

University of Pennsylvania - Management Department ( email )

The Wharton School
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6370
United States

Sari Scheinberg

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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