University of Twente Student Theses


The influence of national culture on entrepreneurial processes

Mones, Redginald Aafko (2012) The influence of national culture on entrepreneurial processes.

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Abstract:The focus of this research is on understanding the influence that national culture could have on entrepreneurial processes. The aim is to find out whether novice entrepreneurs in two different countries have different approaches towards entrepreneurial processes. The method of causation and effectuation developed by Saras D. Sarasvathy is the leitmotiv in this research, combined with theory on national culture. When entrepreneurs use causational reasoning, they take a certain effect as given and focus on selecting means to create a particular effect, whereas when entrepreneurs use effectual reasoning, they start with a given set of means and allow objectives to emerge over time from the varied imagination and diverse aspirations of the entrepreneurs. With the last approach the interaction with other people is also important and could have influence. Although entrepreneurship has gotten more attention over time, the focus of entrepreneurial research has always been on economical causes and elements and the influence of culture has been a less researched subject. The last decades economies have become global and opportunities that cross boarders keep increasing. That makes it important to know how entrepreneurs from different countries think and react. A possible influence on entrepreneurial differences between countries could be the underlying cultural values. Culture provides a communally held set of customs and meanings, many of which are adopted by an individual, becoming part of personality and influencing interaction with all facets of the environment. Because entrepreneurs grow up within a social background these cultural values should have an influence on their processes. Within this research a comparison between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands is done. The research is based upon the cultural values and the entrepreneurial processes that entrepreneurs apply. The national cultures of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are conceptualized by means of the cultural dimensions defined by the scientist Hofstede. His original values are used and the participating entrepreneurs are asked to fill out a questionnaire to see if differences exist. The data on the entrepreneurial processes is gathered through a case. This case is executed by all the participating entrepreneurs through a think aloud protocol. The use of the think aloud protocol means that the participating entrepreneurs keeps talking out loud while executing the case. In this way the best insight in their thinking process should be acquired. Furthermore all the participating entrepreneurs are asked to fill out a survey to test the dimensionality of causation and effectuation. Because the Dutch and British cultures are much alike it is hard to find solid evidence for an influence of culture on effectual entrepreneurship. Only three out of fourteen elements showed a significant difference. Although there are implications for an influence of entrepreneurship hard evidence could not be delivered.
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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