ASSESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL INCLINATIONS 7
© 2000 Psychology Press Ltd
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF WORK AND ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY, 2000, 9 (1), 7–30 Assessing entrepreneurial inclinations:
Some approaches and empirical evidence
University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Northern Ireland
Interest in entrepreneurship is intense in many parts of the world and this has arisen because of the association between new venture creation and economic development. Entrepreneurship is a process that often leads to the creation of new enterprises but in this article the concept is broadened to include innovative and enterprising behaviour within existing organizations. While it is recognized that entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship are the products of various societal, organizational, and individual factors, this article focuses on the inherent personal traits of individuals that dispose them to engage in entrepreneurial acts. Some approaches to assessing the entrepreneurial personality are examined, but the principal focus is on pencil and paper measures of entrepreneurial attributes. Various instruments that purport to measure key entrepreneurial characteristics such as need for achievement, locus of control, and creative tendencies are considered and relevant empirical evidence is reported. A consideration of the appropriateness of the Durham University Business School’s General Enterprising Tendency test as a composite instrument for assessing enterprising or entrepreneurial tendencies follows along with some statistical norms for this test, which should prove useful for practitioners and academics alike. Finally, some problems with trait theories of entrepreneurship are discussed.
Recent years have witnessed a remarkable increase in discussion and research on entrepreneurship; indeed, it is difficult to listen to a political debate nowadays without some reference to the subject. It is topical because entrepreneurship and related issues such as innovation and enterprise are regarded as crucial determinants of economic growth and prosperity (Drucker, 1985). However, the debate about how to increase entrepreneurship has been hampered by a lack of agreed definitions of entrepreneurship and associated topics. Therefore, in this article, it is proposed to explore the nature of entrepreneurship and similar concepts such as enterprise and explain why they are especially important for Requests for reprints should be addressed to S. Cromie, University of Ulster, Shore Road, Jordanstown, Co Antrim BT37 0QB. Email: email@example.com
economic development at the present time. The issue of how to recognise individuals with the capacity to initiate entrepreneurial events will then be addressed.
Entrepreneurship has had a long association with economics (Kuratko & Hodgetts, 1995), and is closely linked with efforts to create wealth by causing or responding alertly to shifts in demand or supply rather than by optimally utilizing existing resources. Entrepreneurship “consists in doing things that are not generally done in the ordinary course of business routine” (Schumpeter, 1951, p. 255), is a “dynamic process of creating incremental wealth” (Ronstadt, 1984, p 28), is concerned with doing different things, not doing things better and typically involves such activity as upgrading “the yield from resources”, creating “a new market” or additional “purchasing power” (Drucker, 1985, pp. 19 & 27). It is not enough to have new ideas, they must lead to “the successful production, assimilation and exploitation of novelty in society” through innovation (European Union, 1996, p. 9). Many authors consider that entrepreneurship and innovation are closely linked (Drucker, 1985; Fulop, 1991; Kanter, 1989; Schumpeter, 1951); indeed, Drucker suggests that innovation is the major tool of entrepreneurship. For Drucker, innovation is a systematic search for the changes that are...
References: Anderson, H.H. (1960). The image of the teacher by adolescent children in seven countries.
Anderson, J.A., & Rosenfeld, E. (1988). Neurocomputing: Foundations for research. Cambridge,
MA: MIT Press.
Ashkenas, R., Ulrich, D., Jick, T., & Kerr, S. (1995). The boundaryless organisation . San
Ashridge Management Research Group. (1988). Management for the future. Berkhamsted, UK:
Atkinson, R.H., & Birch, D. (1979). Introduction to motivation. Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand.
Begley, T.M., & Boyd, D.P. (1986). Psychological characteristics associated with entrepreneurial
Biemans, W.G. (1992). Managing innovation within networks. London: Routledge.
Binks, M., & Vale, P. (1990). Entrepreneurship and economic change. London: McGraw-Hill.
Boyd, N.G., & Vozikis, G.S. (1994). The influence of self-efficacy on the development of
entrepreneurial intentions and actions
Bridge, S., O’Neill, K., & Cromie, S. (1998). Understanding enterprise, entrepreneurship and
Brockhaus, R.H. (1980a). Psychological and environmental factors which distinguish the
successful from the unsuccessful entrepreneur: A longitudinal study
Brockhaus, R.H. (1980b). Risk taking propensity of entrepreneurs. Academy of Management
Journal, 23, 509–520.
Brockhaus, R.H. (1982). The psychology of the entrepreneur. In C.A. Kent, D.L. Sexton, &
Brockhaus, R.H., & Nord, W.R. (1979). An exploration of factors affecting the entrepreneurial
decision: Personal characteristics v environmental conditions
Caird, S. (1990). What does it mean to be enterprising? British Journal of Management, 1,
Caird, S. (1991). The enterprising tendency of occupational groups. International Small Business
Journal, 9, 75–81.
Caird, S., & Johnson, C. (1988). Some reflections on the meaning of enterprise. Unpublished
manuscript, Durham University Business School, UK.
Carland, J.W., Hoy, F., Boulton, W.R., & Carland, J.A.C. (1984). Differentiating entrepreneurs
from small business owners: A conceptualisation
Chell, E. (1991). The small business owner manager. In J. Stanworth & C. Gray (Eds.), Bolton 20
years on (pp
Chell, E., Haworth, J.M., & Brearley, S.A. (1991). The entrepreneurial personality: Concepts,
cases and categories
Chen, P.C., Greene, P.G., & Crick, A. (1998). Does entrepreneurial self efficacy distinguish
entrepreneurs from managers? Journal of Business Venturing, 13, 295–316.
Cochran, T.C. (1969). Entrepreneurship. In D.L. Sills (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the
Collins, O.F., & Moore, D.G. (1970). The organisation makers. NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
Covin, J.G., & Slevin, D.P. (1989). Strategic management of small firms in hostile and benign
Cromie, S., & Callaghan, I. (1997). Assessing enterprising attributes—the usefulness of the DUBS
General Enterprise Tendency (GET) test
Cromie, S., Callaghan, I., & Jansen, M. (1992). The entrepreneurial tendencies of managers: A
Cromie, S., & Johns, S. (1983). Irish entrepreneurs: Some personal characteristics. Journal of
Organizational Behaviour, 4, 317–324.
Cromie, S., & O’Donoghue, J. (1992). Assessing entrepreneurial inclinations. International Small
Business Journal, 10, 66–73.
Cunningham, J.B., & Lischeron J. (1991). Defining entrepreneurship. Journal of Small Business
Management, 29, 45–61.
Donaldson, L. (1985). Entrepreneurship applied to middle management: A caution. Journal of
General Management, 10, 5–20.
Drucker, P. (1985). Innovation and entrepreneurship . London: Heinemann.
Durham University Business School. (1988). The General Enterprising Tendency test. Durham,
European Union. (1996). Green paper on innovation (Suppl. 5/95). Luxembourg: ECSC-ECEAEC,
Fagenson, E.A. (1993). Personal value systems of men and women entrepreneurs versus managers.
Forehand, G.A. (1963). Assessment of innovative behaviour: Partial criteria for the assessment of
Fulop, L. (1991). Middle managers: Victims or vanguards of the entrepreneurial movement.
Gartner, W.B. (1989). “Who is the entrepreneur?” is the wrong question. Entrepreneurship Theory
and Practice, 13, 47–73.
Genus, A. (1998). The management of change. London: International Thomson Business Press.
Gibb, A.A. (1987). Enterprise culture—its meaning and implications for education and training.
Ginsberg, A. (1985). Measuring changes in entrepreneurial orientation following industry
deregulations: The development of a diagnostic instrument
Gist, M.E. (1987). Self-efficacy: Implications for organisational behaviour and human resource
Hammersley, M. (1990). Reading ethnographic research. London: Longman.
Hampson, S.E. (1988). The construction of personality. London: Routledge.
Handy, C. (1990). The age of unreason . London: Arrow Books.
Harwood, E. (1982). The sociology of entrepreneurship. In C.A. Kent, D.L. Sexton, & K.H. Vesper
(Eds.), Encyclopedia of entrepreneurship
Ho, T.S., & Koh, H.C. (1992). Differences in psychological characteristics between
entrepreneurially inclined accounting graduates in Singapore
Holmes, D.S. (1974). The conscious control of thematic projection. Journal of Consulting and
Clinical Psychology, 42, 323–329.
Holt, K. (1983). Product innovation management. London: Butterworth.
Hornaday, J.A. (1982). Research about living entrepreneurs. In C.A. Kent, D.L. Sexton, &
Hull, D.L., Bosley, J.J., & Udell, G.G. (1980). Renewing the hunt for the heffalump: Identifying
Please join StudyMode to read the full document