University of Twente Student Theses


The influence of national culture on entrepreneurial processes: The usage of causation and effectuation among Dutch and Polish student entrepreneurs

Steentjes, Robin (2012) The influence of national culture on entrepreneurial processes: The usage of causation and effectuation among Dutch and Polish student entrepreneurs.

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Abstract:This research focuses on the influence of a country’s national culture on entrepreneurial processes among student entrepreneurs. The effectual theory of Sarasvathy (2001b) forms the basic theoretical foundation for this thesis. This theory states that, in contradiction to general thought, experienced entrepreneurs do not follow well-planned, future-oriented, market research based paths. These effectual entrepreneurs do not try to make predictions for the future, but rather focus on the present. Further, they are not focused on goals and competitors, but they make use of their means and relationships. However, within this theory no consideration is paid to possible cultural influences on the use of either causation or effectuation, although scientific literature provides strong evidence of cultural influences on entrepreneurial processes. In order to research this cultural influence, it was necessary to develop a new intercultural theory, based on an extensive literature review. This theory links the concepts of the effectual and causal perspective with appropriate dimensions of several established intercultural theories. In order to find out whether cultural differences influence the use of either an effectual or a causal perspective, 15 student entrepreneurs in Poland and 15 student entrepreneurs in the Netherlands are interviewed. The interview consisted of a business case and a questionnaire. The subjects were asked to think aloud continuously as they solved the business problems and made their decisions. Their think-aloud protocols were gathered on tape. These tapes were transcribed by using a coding scheme and the transcriptions were analyzed. It turns out that, as hypothesized, the overall results show that Polish student entrepreneurs indeed make significantly more use of effectual reasoning in comparison to their Dutch colleagues. However, analyzing the results per dimension, it can be said the significance is proven for only one of the six hypotheses. This proven hypothesis says that the more a culture is focused on internal control, the more causation-oriented the entrepreneur will be. The fact is that this thesis is a comparison between two countries. Since this thesis is part of a larger project, with identical studies conducted in different countries, the eventual results of all conducted and coded interviews have to be compared in order to accept or reject the hypotheses developed in this master thesis. Finally, the more and more increasing complexity of the current business world, due to globalization and technology advances, seems to decrease the possibility to predict the future and could therefore be a reason which makes an effectual perspective more and more useful.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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