کشورهای کارآفرین: چشم انداز سرمایه اجتماعی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4208||2010||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Venturing, Volume 25, Issue 3, May 2010, Pages 315–330
This research examined the effects of social capital on entrepreneurial opportunity perception and weak tie investment using individual-level data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor linked with national-level data on social capital. Consistent with a social capital perspective, this study found that a resident of a country with higher generalized trust and breadth of formal organizational memberships was more likely to perceive entrepreneurial opportunities. A resident of a country with higher generalized trust was also more likely to invest in an entrepreneur with whom he or she had a weak personal tie than was a resident of a country with lesser generalized trust.
There is a growing literature suggesting that social capital at the national level is positively associated with investment and growth at the country level. Knack and Keefer (1997), for example, show that an increase of one standard deviation in country-level trust predicts an increase in economic growth of more than one-half of a standard deviation for a sample of 29 countries. Using a bigger sample of 41 countries, Zak and Knack (2001) show that, controlling for other influences, national growth rises by nearly 1% for each 15 percentage point increase in trust. La Porta et al. (1997) also find that, holding per capita GNP constant, an increase in trust raises large firms' share of the economy for a sample of 40 countries. If social capital influences the economic development of a country significantly, it seems reasonable to expect that social capital would have some influence on the entrepreneurial activities of a country as well: We suggest this because economic activities are also significantly driven by a high level of entrepreneurial activities in a country (Schumpeter, 1942). However, social capital research has not adequately addressed this causal link at the country level—for an early exception to this claim, see Tocqueville and Reeve (1835)—and, instead, tends to focus on a micro perspective at the individual level. Thus, an extensive body of theoretical and empirical research now exists which links personal networks of individuals with opportunity recognition (Arenius and De Clercq, 2005 and Davidsson and Honig, 2003), resource acquisition (Aldrich and Zimmer, 1986 and Shane and Cable, 2002), the creation of new ventures (Johannisson and Ramirez-Pasillas, 2001), and venture performance (Honig, 1998 and Ruef, 2002). However, the question of whether and how social capital at the societal level encourages entrepreneurial activities in a country has been overlooked by entrepreneurship researchers. This is unfortunate since there is growing evidence that social networks of individual entrepreneurs are embedded in the broader societal context (e.g., Dodd and Patra, 2002 and Staber and Aldrich, 1995) and that actions and outcomes of individual actors are influenced not just by their dyadic relationships with network contacts but also by social environments at large (Granovetter, 1992). For those reasons, the previous research that focuses only on the dyadic network ties of individuals runs the risk of neglecting contextual factors that can significantly facilitate or constrain individual social capital (Adler and Kwon, 2002). This risk is even greater in international entrepreneurship research, given that researchers have empirically documented a large cross-national variation in social capital at the societal level (e.g., Paxton, 2002 and Schofer and Fourcade-Gourinchas, 2001). To address this gap in the extant research on the relationship between entrepreneurship and social capital at the societal level, we pose these research questions: Do features of social capital at the country level explain cross-national variation in (1) entrepreneurial opportunity perception and (2) weak tie investment (i.e., investment in an entrepreneur with a weak personal tie to the investor)? We focus on these entrepreneurial phenomena first, because much of entrepreneurship involves seeking new opportunities and investments (Shane and Venkataraman, 2000), and second, because recognizing such entrepreneurial and investment opportunities is conditioned by the entrepreneur's social context (Jack and Anderson, 2002). While we acknowledge that opportunity perception and weak tie investment are individual-level phenomena, we argue that they are embedded in the societal context and, thus, shaped by its social capital. In the following sections, we formulate hypotheses on the above question and test these hypotheses with unique datasets that permit cross-level modeling.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The entrepreneurship literature acknowledges that opportunity perception and weak tie investment may be shaped by factors at multiple levels. However, few studies have empirically examined the simultaneous effects of individual- and country-level factors on these phenomena. Our study found that individual-level attributes exerted significant effects on opportunity perception and weak tie investment, but the magnitude of the effects of social capital at the country level was nontrivial. What the findings suggested at the individual level was that people who perceive entrepreneurial opportunities or invest in a weak tie share common personal attributes that are distinct from those who do not, regardless of their national context. At the same time, the findings also provided support for the hypothesized contextual effects of social capital at the national level: even after controlling for individual level attributes, we found significant effects of social capital at the country level. The findings have an important implication for theories of entrepreneurship. To date, major theories have focused on the role of individual entrepreneurs in discovering or recognizing opportunities (for reviews, see Ardichvili et al., 2003 and Gaglio, 1997). For example, Khilstrom and Laffont's (1979) neoclassical equilibrium model and psychological theories (e.g., McClelland, 1961) stressed fundamental attributes of individual entrepreneurs in explaining entrepreneurial opportunity perception. Austrian economists also focused on an individual entrepreneur's alertness (Kirzner, 1997) or prior experience and education (Shane, 2000). While our study found individual level effects, it extends these individual-level theories by suggesting that the social context in which an entrepreneur is embedded, especially social capital at the country level, is an additional and important contributor to entrepreneurship. Hence, our study suggests that entrepreneurial activities are jointly determined by the individual—as well as the contextual-level factors. Unfortunately, however, existing literature in the entrepreneurship research has not paid much attention to the degree to which social capital at the individual level and social capital at the country level complement each other in their joint effects on entrepreneurial opportunity perception and weak tie investment. It is reasonable to speculate that the effects of individual-level social capital on entrepreneurial opportunity perception would be stronger in nations with low levels of national social capital. Previous research suggests that particularized personal ties are very important in business relationships in countries without stable legal and regulatory environments (Redding, 1990 and Xin and Pearce, 1996) or generalized trust (Putnam, 1992). Future study can examine whether this holds for entrepreneurship. Alternatively, researchers might study whether a high level of social capital at the country level compensates for a lack of social capital at the individual level. For example, consistent with a large body of research on entrepreneurship, we found that gender was one of the strongest predictors of entrepreneurial opportunity perception and weak tie investment, with females significantly less likely to report that they perceived entrepreneurial opportunities or invested in a stranger's good idea. Although there may be multiple reasons for this, females in many societies may have a lower level of social capital at the individual level, which in turn may contribute both to their lack of opportunity perception and to their reliance on strong ties. If this is the case, high societal levels of generalized trust and organizational memberships may compensate for the lack of individual-level social capital. Thus, the gender gap may be narrower in a society with a high level of generalized trust and dense organization memberships than in a society without these attributes. Pursuing these types of questions will advance considerably our understanding of how social capital at the individual and country levels affects entrepreneurial opportunity perception and weak tie investment. Our study also provides two important methodological advances. First, past research hinted at the possibility of cross-national variation in opportunity perception and weak tie investment but never evaluated it systematically. To our knowledge, this study offers the first empirical test using information on entrepreneurship in multiple countries including some economic, social, and institutional features of each. It thus contributes to a growing literature on the country-level determinants of entrepreneurship, such as GDP (Carree et al., 2002 and Tang and Koveos, 2004), unemployment rate (Carree, 2002), market opportunities (Begley et al., 2005), governments (Jennifer et al., 2005) and financial institutions (George and Prabhu, 2000). Second, our paper contributes to multi-level research that explores micro and macro factors simultaneously as they influence cross-country variations in entrepreneurship. Unlike previous studies in international entrepreneurship, which tended to emphasize either a macro perspective (e.g., government policy, capital, legal markets, and technology) or a micro perspective (e.g., entrepreneurs' motives, goals, cognitions, skills, traits, age, gender, and race), our study included variables from both perspectives, as well as a sufficiently large number of countries and a nationally representative sample of individual residents in each country for multi-level analysis. While this study provides initial evidence as to whether social capital at the country level affects entrepreneurship, there are some important limitations of the present analysis. First, though we tried to address the issue of unobserved heterogeneity in country-level factors by including multiple control variables and using the 2SLS regressions, we were not able to provide a stronger test of the robustness of our results, such as using a dummy variable for each country because our social capital variables did not vary much within a country. Since the levels of social capital within a country do not change much in a short term,16 in order to carry out a fixed effect model, future studies will need panel data on social capital variables for a substantial period. Second, our measures of social capital were significantly correlated with broad cultural characteristics measured by Hofstede (1980). Specifically, both generalized trust and formal organization memberships are associated with high individualism, low uncertainty avoidance, and high power-distance, which in turn have been found to be related to entrepreneurial activities in cross-cultural research (Hayton et al., 2002). This raises the question of whether our results are truly driven by social capital or national cultural effects. Given their conceptual closeness and high empirical correlations, in order to tease out the individual effects of each, we would need a much larger sample of countries varying simultaneously on both dimensions. Third, a small country sample in this study also meant that the developmental variation of the country sample was somewhat limited. Most of the countries come from Western or Eastern Europe, with a few countries from South America. Africa, the Middle East, and Asia remain underrepresented in the sample. To make sure that we are not describing the effects in developed countries only, we split the sample into 23 developed (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and U.S.) and 13 developing countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Hungary, India, Mexico, People's Republic of China, Poland, Russian Federation, Slovenia, South Africa, and Uganda). While all of the proposed hypotheses were still supported in the sub-sample of developed countries, the generalized trust variable lost significance in the sub-sample of developing countries. We speculated that this might be due to the possibility that our measure of the generalized trust could vary from a developing country to a developed country; that is, in a more inward or traditional country, dominated by family and extended family, the respondents might not be able to visualize beyond their particular trust circumstances. To examine this concern, we again split the sample into countries that scored high on the traditionalism scale in the WVS and those that scored low. However, our findings were consistent in both sub-samples. Thus, future studies need to examine why the effect of generalized trust is stronger among developed countries. Finally, the implications of our results are limited to explaining the initial phases of entrepreneurship: perceiving opportunities and investing. Further study could examine the effects of social capital on the decision to exploit entrepreneurial opportunities and on modes of exploitation (Shane and Venkataraman, 2000). Research might investigate whether social capital can explain cross-national variations in such outcomes as self-employment and business startup rates.