استعداد تبدیل شدن به یک کارآفرین و ابزارهای معاملات در سرمایه اجتماعی و انسانی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|18855||2013||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||13900 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Journal of Socio-Economics, Volume 47, December 2013, Pages 55–72
This paper studies how an individual's composition of human and social capital affects his or her disposition to become an entrepreneur. Our theoretical analysis is an extension of Lazear's (2005) jack-of-all-trades theory in combination with the idea of bricolage of experiences and their effectuation in the disposition to become an entrepreneur. Our primary conclusion is that it is not individuals with a higher level of human or social capital but rather individuals with a more balanced and combined portfolio of human capital, social capital and experiences that are more disposed than others to become entrepreneurs. We use survey data from a sample of more than 2000 German students to test this hypothesis and find that the jacks-of-all-trades, i.e., individuals who are more balancing and combining different skills rather than specializing in a few, are more likely to become entrepreneurs. On the other hand, the masters-of-one, i.e., the specialists, are better off being employees and rightly prefer to do so.
Entrepreneurship is often seen not only as the cornerstone of innovation, growth and social welfare (e.g., Blanchflower, 2000 and Acs and Audretsch, 2003) but also as the key to higher individual income and well-being (e.g., Hamilton, 2000, Kawaguchi, 2002 and Benz and Frey, 2004). However, most people never consider starting their own business but rather restrict their occupational choice to being an employee. In the US and most European countries, the rate of entrepreneurship in the workforce has stabilized at around 10% (reaching a maximum of 15%) over recent decades (OECD, 2000, OECD, 2005 and Thurik, 2003). The rate of academics becoming entrepreneurs is even lower than average, despite the fact that entrepreneurs with an academic background are in general more successful (Moog, 2004 and Acs, 2006). This result raises two important questions as already mentioned by Blanchflower and Oswald (1990): what determines whether a young student decides to become an entrepreneur and what individual characteristics drive occupational choice? In this paper, we theoretically and empirically explore these questions by examining students’ entrepreneurial disposition and how it is shaped by their endowed and acquired sets of combined resources of human and social capital and experiences. We do so by combining formerly separate results on necessary resources for entrepreneurs, i.e. human capital, social capital as well as experiences and other factors. In contrast to former studies, we argue that an integrative approach that combines the formerly separately treated factors into one portfolio (of resources) helps to better understand why some young academics are more than others disposed towards entrepreneurial activities. We argue that the combined experience stemming from a balanced set of social and human capital (a) allows students to act as a bricoleur, i.e. giving them the chance to act and use their contacts and knowledge when necessary and effective in a situation to developing a business idea, and (b) allows students to finding creative solutions to realize these ideas. Here we follow Anderson and Jack (2008) who argue that entrepreneurial practices combine a variety of roles each demanding different skills, knowledge and capabilities. We combine them with Sarasvathy's (2001) arguments regarding effectuation. This process of effectuation begins with given ingredients and utensils and focuses on using them to find one of many desirable solutions (Sarasvathy, 2001). This selection of solutions given a certain set of skills (human and social capital) and experiences can also be seen as another kind of opportunity recognition and thus, entrepreneurial choices. Thus, our study will contribute novel results to entrepreneurship research in five ways. First, we provide empirical evidence showing that differences in disposition to become an entrepreneur depend on differences in portfolios of human capital; thereby we also present another test of Lazear's jack-of-all-trades theory. Second, we extend Lazear's idea and look not only at the portfolio of human capital (traditional skills as measured by education and job experience) but also at the portfolio of social capital in order to explain the disposition to become entrepreneur (Davidsson and Honig, 2003 and Florin et al., 2003). Social capital is another resource that—like in Lazear's model any type of human capital—has to be balanced for individuals if they may want to become entrepreneurs—because becoming an entrepreneur at many points is a social process leading to networks and people to work with (Hartog et al., 2008). Third, we use advanced proxies to measure the balancing of a portfolio (of human and/or social capital) in an innovative way, i.e. we introduce new operationalizations for combined skill variables. With z-transformations for different types of human and social capital variables, we obtain a more accurate measure of the balancing effect in a portfolio and thereby of its effect on entrepreneurship disposition. Fourth, following effectuation theory, we explain the effects by arguing that entrepreneurs face dynamic situations, where both, human and social capital are important resources that always have to be kept in balance. Fifth, using a sample of more than 2000 German university students, we are able to show that it is indeed the balancing and combination of skills and not so much the level of skills or the level of social capital that matters. A balanced human capital portfolio is not sufficient to foster entrepreneurship if it is not complemented by a portfolio of social capital and vice versa. The outline of the paper is as follows. First, we present our theoretical explanation and derive hypotheses on the intention to become an entrepreneur. Second, we describe the data set, which consists of detailed information of approximately 2000 students, and we introduce the empirical estimation method and variables we will use. Third, we present our findings and finally discuss our results and limitations of our study and conclude.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this paper, we study the disposition to become an entrepreneur based on the entrepreneurship theory of Lazear (2005). We focus on young entrepreneurs, namely students before they enter the labor market. We apply Lazear's jack-of-all-trades theory not only to human capital as in the original model but also to social capital. We do so because we believe social capital should also foster the disposition to become an entrepreneur. We combine Lazear's jack-of-all-trades model with the idea of entrepreneurs requiring a bricolage of experiences and their effectuation to become successful and we thereby explain why a balanced portfolio of skills and social capital correlates with the disposition to become an entrepreneur. We use survey data from a sample of more than 2000 German students to test our hypotheses and find strong support for the jack-of-all-trades explanation for human and social capital. Out study is the first to show that it is not so much the level of skills or the number of social contacts but rather the effect of balancing the individual portfolio of skills in combination with its social contacts that makes it more likely that an individual will decide to become an entrepreneur. Three empirical results are important for future entrepreneurship research. First, those with a more balanced portfolio of skills and work experience are more disposed to become entrepreneurs because they are more likely to be successful. Those with specialized human capital are less disposed to become entrepreneurs because they are better off in an employment relation than in entrepreneurship, where many different skills are required to be successful. Second, those with a more balanced portfolio of social contacts are more disposed to become entrepreneurs because they are more likely to be successful as entrepreneurs. Vice versa, individuals with few and specialized social contacts are less likely to become entrepreneurs because to be successful in entrepreneurship they would need a more balanced portfolio of social contacts. Specialists in human capital or social capital instead prefer to become employees where it pays more to be a specialist. Third, we are able to show that the jack-of-all-trades argument also applies across the two types of capital. Individuals who are balancing human and social capital are more likely to become entrepreneurs than individuals who are either strong in skills or strong in social contacts. Thus, it is the jacks-of-all-trades across a whole portfolio of individual resources and not the masters-of-one who are likely to become entrepreneurs. The mere social butterflies or the mere computer nerds are not likely to become entrepreneurs because they are both too imbalanced and thereby less likely to be successful as entrepreneurs. The jack-of-all-trades argument can be successfully extended beyond human capital. It proves to be valuable for other types of capital as well (e.g., social capital). We explain the observed effects of balance of human and social capital by using effectuation theory and argue that entrepreneurs face dynamic situations, where both, human and social capital are important resources that always have to be kept in balance to be successful. In a next step, it would be interesting to see whether the same arguments hold for an extension to financial capital, but our data are not well suited for this analysis. Of course, there are other limitations to our results. First of all, we base our study on cross-sectional data. Thus, we cannot see how people vary over time or during their studies or how a specific event may affect their attitudes toward entrepreneurship. Moreover, we do not know whether students prefer high-tech or low-tech self-employment. Yet even with these limitations in mind, we are confident that our results provide a valuable contribution to research on entrepreneurship, as important and far-reaching implications can be derived from our results. The jack-of-all-trades explanation for example helps to explain why the entrepreneurship rate does not follow that of educational expansion over the last decades. Entrepreneurship always requires a balanced set of skills, so it is not enough to expand investments in one type of skill, such as academic knowledge. To raise the entrepreneurship rate, other types of skills and individual resources, like for example social capital in the form of contacts to potential customers or suppliers would have to grow at the same rate. Thus, additional education may not raise the entrepreneurship rate but, in fact, bring about the opposite, namely more specialists and more individuals that are disposed to become employees. If an expansion in education is not flanked by additional social or financial capital, education will only lead to a rising share of employees. Thus, we support Sarasvathy (2001), arguing that it could be more helpful to shift away in teaching from “…“how to build a successful firm” or “how to become a successful entrepreneur” to “What types of ideas and opportunities should YOU pursue?” and “Given who you are, what you know, and whom you know, what types of economic and/or social artifacts can you, would you want to, and should you create?” (Sarasvathy, 2001: pp. 258–259). A negative effect of a mere expansion of academic education may be intensified if those individuals who reach a higher educational degree have to specialize more in order to meet the educational degree requirements. Educational expansion may therefore be highly counterproductive for the entrepreneurship rate if everything else is kept constant. This conclusion may explain why, despite rapidly growing entrepreneurship trainings, technology transfer offices, start-up advice and incubators, the entrepreneurship rate remains more or less stable. As argued above, there is a strong trend working against the willingness to become an entrepreneur, and if these measures had not been taken, educational expansion would have driven down the entrepreneurship rate even more. A great number of activities may be necessary simply to stabilize the entrepreneurship rate. According to the jack-of-all-trades argument, an increase in the entrepreneurship rate would require more balanced human and social capital, and would also have to be balanced with a better provision of financial capital to make becoming an entrepreneur even more attractive.