A Meta-Analysis of Achievement Motivation Differences between Entrepreneurs and Managers

By Stewart, Wayne H., Jr.; Roth, Philip L. | Journal of Small Business Management, October 2007 | Go to article overview

A Meta-Analysis of Achievement Motivation Differences between Entrepreneurs and Managers


Stewart, Wayne H., Jr., Roth, Philip L., Journal of Small Business Management


As a result of conflicting conclusions in primary studies, most narrative reviews have questioned the role of personality in explaining entrepreneurial behavior. We examine one stream of this research by conducting a meta-analysis of studies that contrast the achievement motivation of entrepreneurs and managers. The results indicate that entrepreneurs exhibit higher achievement motivation than managers and that these differences are influenced by the entrepreneur's venture goals, by the use of U.S. or foreign samples, and, to a less clear extent, by projective or objective instrumentation. Moreover, when the analysis is restricted to venture founders, the difference between entrepreneurs and managers on achievement motivation is substantially larger and the credibility intervals do not include zero.

**********

Because of conflicting findings in primary studies, most scholars summarizing the literature have not identified a recognizable pattern of supportive results for a relationship between personality and entrepreneurial status, particularly differences between entrepreneurs and managers. Consequently, narrative reviewers have often concluded that personality is not a predictor of entrepreneurial behavior (e.g., Brockhaus and Horwitz 1986), and some have even suggested abandoning this avenue of research (see Perry 1990; Chell 1985). Recent meta-analyses (Collins, Hanges, and Locke 2004; Stewart and Roth 2001), however, indicate that there is value in examining personality in entrepreneur-ship, and suggest that it would be premature to abandon associated research efforts.

Theorists often aver that achievement motivation underlies the commitment and perseverance necessary for the entrepreneurial endeavor, but the empirical evidence appears conflicting (Johnson 1990). On the basis of a meta-analytic assessment of this literature, Collins, Hanges, and Locke (2004) concluded that achievement motivation is significantly correlated with entrepreneurial career choice and performance. Importantly, meta-analysis entails important judgment calls, particularly concerning theoretical clarity and breadth, and the attendant primary study inclusion decisions (Bobko and Stone-Romero 1998; Wanous, Sullivan, and Malinak 1989). Definitional issues and clear comparison groups are crucial to discerning connections between dispositions (including achievement motivation) and entrepreneurial outcomes (cf. Stewart and Roth 2004). Thus, though the Collins, Hanges, and Locke (2004) meta-analysis provides important insights into the entrepreneurial motivation literature, questions remain about the role of achievement motivation in entrepreneurial status, particularly differences in managers and entrepreneurs, because of those authors' choice of definitions and samples. Notably, Collins, Hanges, and Locke (2004) did not require venture ownership, a common minimum threshold for operationalizing the entrepreneur, in their definition of the entrepreneur, and there are individuals who are not managers in the comparison group. Finally, though Collins, Hanges, and Locke (2004) conducted their analyses both with and without multiple correlations from a single study and reported no differences, we urge caution in assumptions, in a more general sense, about the potential effects of dependent samples on meta-analytic means. These issues may pose limitations to accurately determining achievement motivation differences in entrepreneurs and managers.

We seek to clarify and extend the work of Collins, Hanges, and Locke (2004) by focusing more specifically on achievement motivation differences in entrepreneurs and managers, the most stringent (Collins, Hanges, and Locke 2004) and theoretically important comparison in addressing questions about entrepreneurial motivations, which is a key research consideration in the field (Venkataraman 1997). In examining this research stream, we use inclusion rules that produce more theoretically relevant, clear, and distinct comparison groups, enabling a more rigorous achievement motivation comparison of entrepreneurs and managers.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Meta-Analysis of Achievement Motivation Differences between Entrepreneurs and Managers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.