The small business entrepreneur :|ba psychological profile

Street, David Michael (1995) The small business entrepreneur :|ba psychological profile. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

With the growing importance being placed on the small business environment as having a positive influence on economic growth and vitality (Erwee, 1987: Burns & Dewhurst, 1989), there has been a corresponding increase in attention being paid to entrepreneurship and the characteristics of the entrepreneur. This increased attention is due to the fact that entrepreneurs have long been linked to small business creation and recognised as an important factor in the small business development process (Boyd & Gumpert, 1983). Despite the quantity of research on entrepreneurship, there appears to be an ongoing controversy oyer what characterises an entrepreneurial business. and the specific characteristics of the small business entrepreneur. It has been argued that although there is an overlap between entrepreneurial and non-entrepreneurial businesses. they are in fact different entities (Carland, Hoy, Boulton & Carland, 1984: Drucker, 1985), and that not every individual who starts a business is an entrepreneur (Drucker. 1985). Small business entrepreneurship has been found to be specifically related to the psychological characteristics of the owner-manager who controls the business (Miller. 1983). The purpose of this research was to identify and describe psychological characteristics displayed by a group of South African small business entrepreneurs, thereby compiling a psychological profile of the small business entrepreneur. Given the nature of entrepreneurial activities and processes, Hofer and Bygrave (1992) recommend that accurate, precise qualitative data that is rich in its descriptive characterisation of the situation and the phenomenon involved be collected. As a result the researcher used qualitative rather than quantitative methods of investigation. Innovative behaviour has long been linked to entrepreneurship (Schumpeter. 1934) and entrepreneurial businesses were distinguished from other small businesses by their use of innovative strategic practices. Two sample groups consisting of entrepreneurial and non-entrepreneurial businesses, were created and the data collected were analysed independently. The results, based on personal interviews with 32 small business owner-managers and the administration and interpretation of tihe Structured Objective Rorschach Test (SORT), indicate that small business entrepreneurship should not be used as a term synonymous with small business ownership and/or management. Despite similarities between small business entrepreneurs and other small business owner-managers. the results suggest that a distinction between the two groups is necessary for accurate future research on entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs differed from other small business owner-managers in terms of their psychological characteristics including their motives, their perception and attitude towards the external environment, and various sociological factors. The entrepreneurial businesses were also different in that they were more innovative and growth oriented than the non-entrepreneurial businesses. The research contributes towards a clarification of the concept of small business entrepreneurship and indicates a need for more precise sampling techniques to be used in entrepreneurial research.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Entrepreneurs, Innovative, Psychology, Businesspeople, Businessmen, Businesswomen
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Supervisors:Sparrius, Sandy
ID Code:4003
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:08 Nov 2012 12:49
Last Modified:08 Nov 2012 12:49
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