نگرش انگیزه، خوداثربخشی و ریسک در میان کارآفرینان در گذار به اقتصاد بازار
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|26305||2011||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6260 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Journal of Socio-Economics, Volume 40, Issue 2, April 2011, Pages 124–131
n this research were investigated the three most frequently studied characteristics of entrepreneurs – motivation, self-efficacy, and risk attitudes. We divided the sample of entrepreneurs into two subgroups: opportunity-driven vs. necessity-driven. In agreement with findings of research performed in countries with developed market economies, we found that the need for independence and the need for achievement were of higher importance to the entrepreneurs than to the non-entrepreneurs. However, this was only true of the opportunity-driven subgroup of entrepreneurs, while not of those categorized as necessity-driven. In contrast, the most important motive in the group of non-entrepreneurs and as well as the necessity-driven subgroup of entrepreneurs was job security. In accordance with Knight's claim, we found that opportunity-driven (but not necessity-driven) entrepreneurs revealed higher levels of self-confidence than the group of employees. We did not find support for the claim that entrepreneurs are more risk-prone than wage earners. On the other hand, entrepreneurs (both opportunity- and necessity-driven) reported more everyday risky investment activities than wage earners did. We interpret this observation in terms of the necessity of entrepreneurs for risk-taking, rather than personal preference and liking. Highlights ► One should distinguish opportunity-driven vs. necessity-driven entrepreneurs. ► Only opportunity-driven entrepreneurs reveal high need for independence. ► Similarly, opportunity-driven entrepreneurs reveal high levels of self-confidence. ► Both groups of entrepreneurs report high level of everyday risky activities. ► However, entrepreneurs are not more risk-prone than wage earners. JEL classification L26
here is a long history of research on the personal characteristics (traits and motivation) of entrepreneurs (see, e.g., Brandstaetter, 1997). The general finding is that although some traits and motives are related to both an individual's decision to become an entrepreneur (e.g., Wärneryd, 1988), as well as to venture performance (Baum et al., 2001), these relationships are generally weak. The most probable reason for this seems to be that the entrepreneurs do not function in isolation from environmental factors. The overall objective of the present study was to examine motivation, self-efficacy, and risk attitude – the three most frequently studied characteristics of entrepreneurs – in a specific environment. That environment being Poland in transition. When studying entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in Poland and other Central-East European countries, one cannot avoid placing the whole analysis in the context of a systemic change – of a radical socio-economic and political transition from a Communist to a market economy. One reason for this is the relatively short time elapsed since the dismantling of the Communist bloc in Central and Eastern Europe. Such a period of approximately 20 years in most country has been proven too brief to allow a full-degree of market maturity, particularly in the shaping of the relevant environment of certain institutions. As Osborn and Slomczynski (2005) state, the historical developments that took place during the Communist era and during the transition (particularly in its initial years), have profoundly affected attitudes and perceptions as well as the pool of available entrepreneurial skills. How did these historic roots affect the performance and operating patterns of Polish entrepreneurs once the systemic transition got underway in 1989? Most striking was the obsolete character of specific operating skills embedded in the context of a command economy. Even despite substantial experience in the field, the apparent lack of a proactive, customer-focused attitude among the “old entrepreneurs” made them unable to cope with the new reality and, all the more so, to compete with new entrepreneurial start-ups. According to estimates, less than 10% of the 1.7 million businesses currently active in Poland can trace their roots to the pre-1989 period. Those which were able to survive had to entirely re-engineer their businesses, as illustrated by the following statement of an old-style entrepreneur: In 1989 Poland changed to such an extent, that in order to continue my prosperous business I had to start de novo. The same business, in a different environment, became a new kind of activity (Osborn and Slomczynski, 2005, p. 88). 1.1. Entrepreneurial motivation and self-efficacy It is commonly assumed – not without empirical support – that individuals choose career roles matching their needs and values. There is a long history of theoretical and empirical efforts to identify the reasons driving individuals to become entrepreneurs. The main results have been rather consistent. Scheinberg and MacMillan (1988), who surveyed over 1400 business owners in 11 countries, identified 6 broad categories of reasons that entrepreneurs offered for creating a business: the need for approval, the perceived instrumentality of wealth, degree of communitarianism, the need for personal development, the need for independence, and the need for escape. Continuing this exploration, Birley and Westhead (1994), surveyed 405 British business owners. They identified seven factors that drove individuals to start up a business: the need for approval, the need for independence, the need for personal development, welfare considerations, the perceived instrumentality of welfare, tax reduction, and the example of role models. Interestingly enough, research by Smallbone and Welter (2001) showed that in transition economies (e.g., Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine) motives given for starting one's own businesses were not considerably different from those reported in market economies. The need for independence, personal development (personal fulfillment) and personal wealth (to boost income) were also among the most frequently declared motives in countries of transition economy. In summary, research into the motives directing individuals into an entrepreneurial life path (Gatewood et al., 1995 and Carter et al., 2003) most frequently cites four motives: personal wealth (opportunities to earn more), the need for independence, the need for personal development, and the need for approval. Additionally, there are observations that entrepreneurs tend to put their families in second place behind the interests of the enterprise (Wärneryd, 1988). Thus, compared to employees, entrepreneurs tend to accept longer work hours (Eden, 1973, Hammermesh, 1990 and Chay, 1993). On the other hand, work security seems to be a factor of special interest to wage earners (Kolvereid, 1996). Motivation is a significant factor in directing an individual into an entrepreneurial life path. Yet, in order to choose such a path, one must believe that it will allow the attainment of one's goals. As van Praag (1999) points out, several economists (e.g., Schumpeter, Knight, etc.) dealing with entrepreneurship have recognized the role of uncertainty and self-confidence in entrepreneurship. For example, Knight (1921) emphasized that people differ with respect to self-confidence. He asserted that entrepreneurs must bear uncertainty, which permits no objective calculation of the probability of success. Thus he felt that self-confidence differentiates individuals, and in particular it distinguishes entrepreneurs from others. Knight's concept of self-confidence is closely related to self-efficacy, defined by Bandura (1994) as task-specific self-confidence. Self-efficacy, according to Bandura, is based on past experience and attainment. Achieving success helps build a sense of self-efficacy, whereas failure, especially if it occurs before a sense of self-efficacy has been established, undermines it. Thus, according to Bandura, self-efficacy depends on personal experience. Another significant source of one's self-efficacy is vicarious experience – seeing others similar to oneself succeeding in something. In the light of Knight's thesis, Chen et al. (1998) asked entrepreneurs and managers to rate their confidence in dealing with various types of tasks involved in running a business. It turned out, that for some of these tasks entrepreneurs indeed had a higher sense of self-efficacy than did non-entrepreneurs. Similarly, Macko and Tyszka (2009) found that entrepreneurs showed a higher level of self-efficacy than non-entrepreneurs. In summary, the following picture of an entrepreneur emerges. The choice of an entrepreneurial career is based above all on motives related to independence, self-realization/achievement, financial success, and perhaps social approval. These motives should differentiate entrepreneurs from wage earners, for whom motives related to job security and working time should be more important. Moreover, entrepreneurs should reveal a higher level of self-efficacy than wage earners. 1.2. How can radical systemic change in the economy affect the motivation and beliefs of people with regard to engaging in entrepreneurial activities? To answer this question we followed the theoretical framework of Shapero and Sokol (1982), according to which the individual's behavioral intention to start a business depends on two main factors: perceived feasibility and perceived desirability of starting a business. Shapero and Sokol (1982) defined “perceived desirability” as the personal attractiveness of starting a business, and “perceived feasibility” as the perceived capability to create a new venture. With regard to “perceived desirability,” Shapero and Sokol (1982) recognize two main factors playing a role in prompting an individual to consider entrepreneurship as a life-path option: “negative displacement” and a “between-things” factor. We believe that both of these factors were present during the period of systemic transformation in Poland. Together they resulted in a large number of new businesses being undertaken by individuals. “Negative displacements” concern externally imposed circumstances, which deflect individuals from their previous paths, who thus have little or no choice but to start new businesses. This may be the case with refugees or with employees who have been fired, but also with managers who are bored with climbing up the corporate career ladder. Shapero and Sokol (1982) quote numerous instances of such cases. The radical systemic changes in Poland from 1989 onward affected hundreds of thousands of people, who lost their jobs in state-owned enterprises, farms and institutions – jobs that had brought less-than-satisfactory income, but were considered secure. Many such individuals had no other choice but to start a new business. We labelled them necessity-driven entrepreneurs. For this group, job security became a motive of prime importance. For people who lost jobs, opening a business of one's own was often the only chance to earn a living. They had no alternative if they wished to attain an acceptable standard of living. It was crucial for them to satisfy the needs that lie at the base of Maslow's hierarchy. Empirical studies, particularly those concentrating on the initial period of 1989–1993, have emphasized the importance of the transition context for the decision to start one's own business. Indeed, this was the typical view of Polish entrepreneurs interviewed by Osborn and Slomczynski (2005). They stressed the role of “Wind of history”, meaning the magnitude and the irreversibility of the social change taking place. Shapero and Sokol (1982) speak also of a “between-things” factor, which manifests itself in a situation when a certain period of life comes to a natural end (e.g., end of school, end of military service), thus necessitating a decision as to the next phase. We think that in Poland, apart from necessity-driven entrepreneurs, there were certainly others who decided to start their own businesses based upon other motives, such as the need for independence and/or self-reliance. In particular, middle-aged managers who had experienced working in the highly bureaucratic state-owned firms, where they had been unable to express their views nor put into action their initiatives, were motivated to start their own businesses. Finding themselves “between systems,” they could feel compelled to change their lives by an overwhelming sense of very substantial and irreversible change taking place around them. Thus, we decided to follow the distinction introduced by Reynolds et al. (2002) between opportunity and necessity entrepreneurship. They classified opportunity and necessity entrepreneurship according to the declared motivation to start and grow business. Entrepreneurs indicated whether they did it to “take advantage of a unique market opportunity” (opportunity-driven entrepreneurs) or because “it was the best option available” (necessity-driven entrepreneurs) ( Reynolds et al., 2002). Other researchers differentiated between opportunity and necessity using slightly different criteria. For example, Block and Wagner (2010) classified opportunity and necessity entrepreneurs examining the circumstances under which the entrepreneur had left his/her previous job as a paid employee. A person was classified as an opportunity entrepreneur if she/he had voluntary left her/his paid job to set up a business or became an entrepreneur after deliberately moving through several jobs to acquire all the competencies considered relevant to starting her/his own business. A person was classified as a necessity entrepreneur if she/he had left her/his previous job involuntarily. Some researchers claim that treating entrepreneurs as driven entirely either by opportunity or by necessity motives is too simplistic. They point to the coexistence of both types of motivation in most entrepreneurs (Aidis et al., 2006 and Smallbone and Welter, 2004). For example, Williams (2008) found that entrepreneurs in three different countries, one well-developed economy – the UK and two transition economies – Ukraine and Russia, the most often observed pattern of motivation involved opportunity and necessity factors (in different proportions). Yet, results of the study by Block and Wagner (2010) showed that the opportunity entrepreneurs pursue more profitable opportunities than necessity entrepreneurs. Thus, we decided to distinguish between these two categories of entrepreneurship. The above considerations led us to formulate the following hypothesis: H1. Opportunity-driven entrepreneurs will be motivated more strongly than either employees or necessity-driven entrepreneurs by the need for independence and the need for achievement. On the other hand, employees and necessity-driven entrepreneurs will be motivated more strongly than opportunity-driven entrepreneurs by job security and having more time for themselves and their families. Regarding the perceived feasibility of creating a new venture, Shapero and Sokol (1982) consider “positive pull” from the milieu (family, peers, etc.) as a factor prompting an individual to consider entrepreneurship as a life-path option. In the early period of transformation in Poland, a potential entrepreneur might observe a growing number of entrepreneurial initiatives being undertaken by his relatives, friends and co-workers. This experience might allay the individual's fear of business failure, increase his self-efficacy, and bolster his intent to start his own business. Indeed, Shapero's model considers self-efficacy as a proxy for feasibility. If Knight (1921) was correct in stating that self-confidence (self-efficacy) is the feature distinguishing entrepreneurs from others, then we may formulate a hypothesis that: H2a. Opportunity-driven entrepreneurs, but not necessity-driven entrepreneurs, should show higher self-efficacy than employees. Moreover, assuming that Bandura (1994) was right in that an experience of success helps build a sense of self-efficacy, we may surmise that in regions with higher numbers of enterprises, a higher level of self-efficacy should be observed. Therefore, we formulate a hypothesis that: H2b. The higher the number of enterprises in a region, the higher the level of self-efficacy among its inhabitants. 1.3. Entrepreneurial risk-taking Both economic theory and every-day observation suggest that risk-taking or risk-propensity is important aspects of running a business. Mill (1848/1984) described the entrepreneur as a risk-taker and captain of enterprise, and he emphasized risk-taking as a feature differentiating an entrepreneur from a manager. Similarly, risk is a business factor that is widely assumed in economic theory to be a source of entrepreneurial profit. As Wärneryd (1988, p. 407) put it, “… there seems to be general agreement that risk bearing is a necessary … prerequisite for being called an entrepreneur.” However, psychological studies are not yet conclusive on the matter of entrepreneurs being more risk-prone than other people. Results are mixed. The two most frequently used measures of risk-taking are the Kogan–Wallach Choice-Dilemma Questionnaire (CDQ, Kogan and Wallach, 1964) and the risk-taking scale that is included in the Jackson Personality Inventory (JPI, Jackson, 1976). Using the CDQ, Brockhaus (1980) obtained no significant difference between entrepreneurs and managers in risk-taking propensity. In similar studies, no difference between start-up entrepreneurs and managers was found by Brockhaus and Nord (1979), nor by Masters and Meier (1988). On the other hand, in studies in which the JPI was used, entrepreneurs generally turned out to be greater risk-takers, as compared to non-entrepreneurs (Begley, 1995, Carland et al., 1995 and Stewart et al., 1999; see also the meta-analytic review in Stewart and Roth, 2001). Thus the question of whether entrepreneurs are more risk-prone than other people still lacks a definitive answer. Moreover, there is evidence that risk-taking is not a well-defined concept. Firstly, an individual need not show the same risk-propensity across various domains, such as finance and health. Keyes (1985), who analyzed cases of individuals whose occupations are commonly regarded as requiring risk-taking (e.g., gamblers, wire-walkers, entrepreneurs), concluded that they did not manifest a generalized cross-situational propensity for risk-taking. In line with this, Jackson et al. (1972) studied risk attitudes and posited a priori that the concept of risk-taking comprises at least four dimensions: (i) monetary, (ii) physical, (iii) social and (iv) ethical. Using self-reported attitudes toward risk-taking and measures of hypothetical behavior in risky situations, the authors confirmed their proposed four-dimensional model of risk propensity. Factor analysis revealed a four-factor structure that corresponded to the four domains specified. Similar results were obtained by XXXX and XXXX (2004). Secondly, various measures of risk attitude can be used. Perhaps the most straightforward is risk-taking behavior, i.e. observed behavior in naturally occurring risky situations. Another measure of risk preference is respondents’ declared behavior in hypothetical risky situations. Here a person declares what he or she would do in a given situation. This type of measure is referred to as attitude toward risk. Other kinds of measures are also possible; for example, Kogan and Wallach (1964) constructed a Choice-Dilemma Questionnaire which asked individuals to indicate acceptable probabilities for choosing a risky option instead of a safe one. Overall, research using various measures of risk preference (actual risk behavior, declared behavior in hypothetical risky situations, etc.) is inconclusive. Macko and Tyszka (2009), in their research on entrepreneurial risk-taking, found that in well-defined (laboratory) risky situations entrepreneurs were not more risk-prone than non-entrepreneurs. However, in naturalistic-business risky situations they found more risky choices among entrepreneurs than among non-entrepreneurs. They concluded this study with the assertion: Perhaps, like most humans, entrepreneurs try to avoid risks. Risky ventures which they undertake outside the laboratory are perhaps the result of a special motivation and/or a special perception of the risk involved in those ventures. In line with this idea, we speculate that risk-proneness is not a specific characteristic of entrepreneurs. On the contrary, willy-nilly, entrepreneurs have to deal with risky situations (they simply face them), so they cannot avoid undertaking risky activities in business (e.g., investing, taking out credit, etc.). As a result, even if they prefer avoiding risky situations, they show more risky business-related activities than those who have decided to remain plain wage earners. Thus, we formulate the hypothesis: H3. Independent of the motivation for creating one's own new business, those who have chosen an entrepreneurial career should show more risky business-related activities than those who have decided to remain wage earners.