University of Twente Student Theses


The influence of national culture on entrepreneurial processes: a comparison between Mexican and Dutch entrepreneurs

Krijgsman, Judith (2012) The influence of national culture on entrepreneurial processes: a comparison between Mexican and Dutch entrepreneurs.

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Abstract:This research focuses on the understanding of the influence of national culture on entrepreneurial processes. The aim is to find out whether starting entrepreneurs in different countries apply different entrepreneurial processes. The leitmotiv in this research is the theory of Saras D. Sarasvathy on causation and effectuation, combined with theory on national culture. Causational reasoning takes a certain effect as given and focuses on selecting between means to create a particular effect, whereas effectual reasoning starts with a given set of means and allows objectives to emergence over time from the varied imagination and diverse aspirations of the entrepreneurs and the people they interact with. Even though the positive trend in entrepreneurship publications over time, many researchers investigated the causes and elements of entrepreneurship focused on economy, underestimating the role of culture. As economies become global and opportunities for cross border operations are increasing, it is important to understand how entrepreneurs from different countries differ. A possible source for this differences among entrepreneurs is the underlying cultural values these entrepreneurs have. Because entrepreneurs grow up within a social background, they are influenced by these underlying values of their culture. Culture provides a communally held set of customs and meanings, many of which are adopted by the person, becoming part of personality and influencing interactions with the social and physical environment. Within this research a comparison between Mexico and the Netherlands is executed, based upon their cultural values and entrepreneurial processes that the entrepreneurs apply. The national cultures of the two countries are conceptualized by means of cultural dimensions defined by the scientists Hofstede, House and Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner . The data on the entrepreneurial processes applied is gathered by means of the execution of the think aloud method by student entrepreneurs from Mexico as well as the Netherlands. Thinking aloud means that during problem solving the subject keeps talking, speaks out loud whatever thoughts come up in his or her mind, while performing a task in that moment. Furthermore, a survey is executed among the Mexican student entrepreneurs to test the dimensionality of causation and effectuation. The cultural dimension performance orientation did not have a correlation with causation, neither did external locus of control with effectuation. However, uncertainty avoidance has a significant correlation with effectuation, uncertainty avoidance leads entrepreneurs to be less favoring of non-predictive controls. Masculinity has a significant correlation with causation, masculinity leads entrepreneurs to be less favoring of cooperation and have a IV distributive perspective on competition. However, an individualistic culture has a significant correlation with effectuation, it leads entrepreneurs to be cooperative, to seek long term connections and emphasize working together. Furthermore, to go more in depth, the correlation of gender roles with causation and effectuation was explored but did not have a significant correlation. Furthermore, there is no significant correlation between personal background and the degree of use of causation or effectuation. The factor analysis on the data of the survey showed that causation as well as effectuation are multidimensional in this research, in contradiction to the theory of Sarasvathy stating that causation and effectuation are two different approaches to venture creation. A second factor analysis executed on the date, after combining questions of causation and effectuation turned out to be one-dimensional. National culture seems to be correlated with the use of certain entrepreneurial processes among entrepreneurs with the establishment of a company. Differences of entrepreneurial activities could be noticed between Mexico and the Netherlands, however not all aspects were significantly different among the two countries. As a consequence, more in depth study can be executed into underlying cultural values influencing the profile of environmental conditions favoring entrepreneurship, such as gender roles, traditions, patriotism, importance of status, high value on relationships and high value on mutual trust.
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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