Academic journal article International Journal of Entrepreneurship

Cross-Cultural Differences in Entrepreneurial Tendencies: An Exploratory View in Turkey and Canada

Academic journal article International Journal of Entrepreneurship

Cross-Cultural Differences in Entrepreneurial Tendencies: An Exploratory View in Turkey and Canada

Article excerpt


The field of entrepreneurship has a recognized scientific community that expresses itself through large numbers of conferences and scientific journals (Bruyat and Julien, 2000) as a result of its significant effects on both economic and corporate performance. Entrepreneurship is now considered as one of the most powerful tools to survive economic recessions and bottlenecks through creating new businesses and new jobs, fostering creative thinking and nurturing the economy itself. Entrepreneurship is even more crucial for developing countries since its vital role in economic growth, wealth creation and distribution grows as we speak.

Triggered by the global and organizational changes, entrepreneurship has been receiving a growing interest both by the universities and other institutions. While globalization, removal of trade barriers and the emergence of Internet and telecom technologies are offering opportunities and risks globally, massive changes at organizational level like lay-offs, corporate restructurings, mergers & acquisitions, corporate alliances are also occuring constantly. These intense changes at macro and micro level call for an entrepreneurial action for increasing number of people day after day. Figure 1 shows the major factors fostering individual to consider entrepreneurship as an option.

Parallel to the growing interest in entrepreneurship, increasing number of programs and courses offered by universities, private consultants and trade associations. The number of entrepreneurship research centers and degrees offered by those institutions are also growing rapidly.

However, there is also a strong debate among academics about whether the entrepreneurship can actually be taught (Fiet, 2001). Albeit these strong discussions, entrepreneurship is relatively well established in most academic areas. Entrepreneurship scholars and teachers seem winning the battle for academic respectability that they fought over two decades (Johnson et al., 2006) and proved that entrepreneurship can be taught. In a survey of American professors, Vesper found that 93 percent of respondents indicated that entrepreneurship can be taught (Hynes, 2005). Supporting this view, Kantor (1988), studied 408 entrepreneurship students in Ontario and concluded that the most generally believed that the majority of entrepreneurial traits and skills can be taught, with skills perceived as being more teachable compared to traits (Henry et al., 2005).

Entrepreneurial qualities and tendencies have long been closely linked with some personality characteristics such as need for achievement, need for autonomy, creative tendency, calculated risk taking and internal locus of control.

Need for achievement

Need for achievement is probably one of the most studied personality characteristics in the field of entrepreneurship. Need for achievement has a great potantial to trigger the entrepreneurial initiatives. Because the need for achivement is an unconscious motive that drives individuals to perform better and improve their current performance that in return creates some personal standards of excellence (Loon and Casimir. 2008). According to McClelland, need for achievement is amongst the primary motives behind the entrepreneurial success as the individuals score high on need for achievement tend to have personal control over their lives and coutcomes (McClelland, 1961). They tend to prefer challenging tasks with moderate difficulty, seek feedback on their performance and take responsibility for their actions (Ong and Ismail, 2008). McClelland also suggests that high-need-for-achivement individuals may have higher entrepreneurial tendencies because entrepreneurship offers more control over their outputs than other traditional forms of employment (Zhao et al., 2010). Numerous comparisons, in regards to need for achievement, between entrepreneurs and managers/non-entrepreneurs revealed that the correlation between need for achivement and entrepreneurship is much stronger (Gurol and Atsan, 2006). …

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