Measuring Cognitive and Behavioural Habit Systems of Entrepreneurs
14 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 11, 2016
This paper presents a new 29-item measurement instrument designed to assess the impact of habits and behaviour of business founders on organizational routines. Adopting an evolutionary approach, habits and routines are conceived as social replicators with the former impacting the latter. The instrument design is informed by constructs and themes emergent from a prior longitudinal study that captured entrepreneurial thinking and behaviour. The study aims to foreground flexible thinking and ability to change mind-sets. New scales were deployed alongside existing scales for measuring cognitive flexibility and other attributes. The survey provided a small but meaningful data set able to show the impact of habits and behavioural dispositions on business practices and firm performance. Ridgidity of thought impacted performance while self-awareness and ability to change habits of thought was evident and positively impacted firm success. Accordingly, implications for entrepreneurship education include exploration of the mind-set and development of business leaders towards more flexible thinking and behaviour. We have begun the important process of developing a new scale that focuses on the influence of entrepreneurial preferences on business practices, rather than on entrepreneurial competencies per se. This is a novel and important step in entrepreneurship research.
Keywords: Habits, behaviour, routines, entrepreneurs, rigidity of thought, cognitive flexibility
JEL Classification: A11, A12, B15, B25, B41, B49, L26, M13
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