Academic journal article International Journal of Entrepreneurship

What Motivates Entrepreneurs? A Study of the Value Systems of Filipino Entrepreneur

Academic journal article International Journal of Entrepreneurship

What Motivates Entrepreneurs? A Study of the Value Systems of Filipino Entrepreneur

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The idea that cultural factors such as personal values affects or even leads to economic development of a country has pre-occupied researchers for decades Literature also credits development to the rise of entrepreneurial activities at least in the case of the United States. On the other hand, the underlying effects of cultural norms and value systems such as individualism/collectivism, loyalty, independence, Confucian value system, family and networks on management practices and innovation are continually investigated. This series of studies has finally cascaded into the field of entrepreneurship. Definitions of entrepreneurship have evolved from personal characteristics to organizational and cultural aspects. Initial conceptualization of entrepreneurship in literature merely consisted of several personality traits like innovativeness, risk taking, achievement orientation, proactive orientation and the like (Schumpeter, 1934; McClelland, 1961; Miller, 1983).

LITERATURE REVIEW

Values and Value Systems

A review of literature on human value shows that although it has been systematically studied by behavioral scientists since at least the mid-1930s (Lewin, 1935; Allport, 1937; Murray, 1938; Hull, 1943; Bruner and Goodman, 1947; Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck, 1961; Tagiuri, 1965; England, 1967), attention in this area of investigation has dramaticlally increased with the publication of Milton Rokeach's landmark Beliefs, Attitudes and Values in 1968. This has lead to substantial growth in both the conceptual and empirical literature on personal values in the next three decades that followed (Connors and Becker, 2003).

Kluckhohn (1951) defined value as "a conception, explicit or implicit ... of the desirable which influences the selection from available modes, means and ends of action". Rokeach (1968) further refined this concept by stating that it refers to "abstract ideals, not tied to any specific object or situation, representing a person's belief about modes of conduct and ideal terminal modes". England (1967) views it as composing "a relatively permanent perceptual framework which shapes and influences the general nature of an individual's behavior". Williams (1968) further adds that the core phenomenon is that values serves as "criteria or standards of preference". Posner and Schmidt (1996) described it as lying "at the core of personality, influencing the choices individual makes ... and the way individuals and organizations alike invest their time and energy". This implies the centrality of values in understanding and even predicting (or at least antecedents of) actual human behavior (Homer and Kahle, 1988; Connor and Becker, 1994; Stackman, Pinder and Connor, 2000).

Culling from the works of Aizen and Fishbein (1980) and Fazio (1986), Connor and Becker (2003) stressed that behavior is the most readily observable variable, with attitudes and values successively inferential (see Figure 1). Furthermore, this relationship provided a major reason for the growth in scholars' interest in values: the pervasive and important influence of values on an individual's interpersonal, decision-making, ethical and performance behavior (England, 1967; England and Lee, 1974). Indeed, most researchers conclude that values are predictors or at least antecedents of actual behavior. Research has shown that the most important indicator of attitudes and behavior is value structure since values are the underlying structures that affect attitude and subsequently behavior (Murphy and Anderson, 2003; Rokeach, 1979).

This relationship between values, attitudes and behavior have been validated in numerous studies. For instance, in the study of Connors and Becker (2003) among public managers, they found out that values of public managers in the United States are significantly related to their decision making styles (behavior/pattern of behavior).

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

In his landmark work The Nature of Human Values (1973), Milton Rokeach emphasized that value is an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct (or behavior) or end-state of existence is personally or socially preferable than an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end-state of existence. …

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