Academic journal article Journal of Business Economics and Management

How Entrepreneurial Characteristics Influence Company Creation: A Cross-National Study of 22 Countriestested with Panel Data methodology/Verslumo Charakteristiku Itaka Imones Kurimui: Studijos, Atliktos 22 Valstybese, Rezultatu Pristatymas

Academic journal article Journal of Business Economics and Management

How Entrepreneurial Characteristics Influence Company Creation: A Cross-National Study of 22 Countriestested with Panel Data methodology/Verslumo Charakteristiku Itaka Imones Kurimui: Studijos, Atliktos 22 Valstybese, Rezultatu Pristatymas

Article excerpt

Introduction

Research into entrepreneurs is critical for understanding the creation of enterprises (e.g., Frederking 2004; Gruner 2006; Shirokova, Knatko 2008; Uhlaner, Thurik 2007; Westhead et al. 2005), especially in contexts marked by a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In these scenarios, the type of employment often determines the evolution of the productive unit (Gruner 2006; Johnson et al. 2006; Nikolaus, Christian 2004; Van Praag, Versloot 2007), and therefore, extensive research focuses on assessing the figure of the entrepreneur (e.g., Arenius, Minniti 2005; De Jorge Moreno, Laborda Castillo, De Zuani Masere 2010; Shirokova, Knatko 2008; Wagner 2007), including how the entrepreneur's profile affects the recognition and exploitations of business opportunities (e.g., Zhao et al. 2009).

This line of research encompassess different theoretical approaches (e.g., economic, sociological, psychological, managerial) but still is not exempt from certain disadvantages, especially pertaining to the methodology and type of sample used to study the associated phenomena (Reynolds 1997; Van Praag, Versloot 2007; Volkman 2004). Most prior work considers relatively small samples from a single country, without noting their gender or socioeconomic environment. Yet the entrepreneur's attitudes, approaches, values, and satisfaction with the status quo have remarkable impacts on the creation of the company (e.g., Arenius, Minniti 2005; Frank et al. 2007; Frederking 2004; Furkukawa et al. 2007; McCline et al. 2000; Uhlaner, Thurik 2007).

Moreover, prior research has not clearly defined the various stages of entrepreneur-ship, combining nascent, new, and consolidated entrepreneurs within the same category, which may generate biases in the results. The lack of distinction between the previous stages of the entrepeneurial activity likely creates bias, and previous research (e.g., Reynolds et al. 2005) notes the need to consider different types of entrepreneurs according to the time passed since the creation of the business. First, nascent entrepreneurs have completed the first process of entrepreneurship, moving from the conception of the business into the gestation or start-up process. They generally have paid salaries and wages for less than three months. Second, new entrepreneurs have been in business (i.e., paid salaries and wages) for at least three months but less than 3.5 years. Third, established entrepreneurs have been in business for a while, that is, at least 3.5 years.

This study therefore identifies the sociodemographic profiles of entrepreneur to determine how they affect enterpreneurial behavior. Furthermore, it employs and extends the scheme proposed by Arenius and Minniti (2005) and incorporates contextual variables related to the environment. In particular, this study includes nascent and new entrepreneurs, that is, those whose companies' duration does not exceed 42 months. The sample of entrepreneurs spans 22 diverse countries, located on four continents, and therefore can identify cross-national differences according to the gender of the entrepreneurs and their income levels (measured as each country's gross domestic product [GDP]). Finally, to analyze these data, this study uses a panel methodology, which provides added interest by combining temporal series and cross-sectional data.

This article consists of five further sections. The next section reviews theory related to entrepreneurship and related hypotheses for this investigation. After a description of the methodology, the following section details and discusses the main results. Finally, the conclusion synthesizes the principal implications and proposes a series of recommendations for both entrepreneurs and the agents in charge of developing economic policies.

2. Conceptual framework and hypotheses development

2.1. The influence of the entrepreneur's age

Entrepreneurship literature highlights the important impact of the age of the entrepreneur with regard to his or her experience and vitality (De Jorge Moreno et al. …

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