Academic journal article Business Renaissance Quarterly

Revisiting Personality Traits in Entrepreneurship Study from Resource-Based Perspective

Academic journal article Business Renaissance Quarterly

Revisiting Personality Traits in Entrepreneurship Study from Resource-Based Perspective

Article excerpt

Abstract

The concept of personality traits is one of the popular research areas in entrepreneurship study but has been rejected due to inconsistency in the findings. Some studies in personality traits (e.g Littunen & Storhammar, 2000; Lee & Tsang, 2001; Jaafar & Abdul-Aziz, 2005) found that these inconsistencies were due to several reasons such as the selection of the dependent variables and the failure of firm performance in capturing the outcome of entrepreneurship. Thus, by using the theory of resource-based view (Wernerfelt, 1984; Barney, 1991; Peteraf, 1993; Peteraf & Barney, 2003), this study was formulated in order to study the association between personality traits and competitive advantage. 365 set of responses were collected from the entrepreneurs in Malaysian's Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The data was analysed using SPSS and the results from Pearson Correlation confirmed that the significance of association between personality traits and competitive advantage of the firm did exist. From the analysis, recommendations are forwarded to the policy makers and entrepreneurs. Future researchers are also urged to further validate the claim and expand of this study.

Introduction

Personality traits have been among the popular stream of researches in entrepreneurship (Beugelsdijk, 2007; Korunka, Frank, Lueger & Mugler, 2003; Littunen & Storhammar, 2000; Rauch & Frese, 2000), especially in studying the smaller firms (Rauch & Frese, 2000). Vast research interests have been attracted to this stream of research (Llewellyn & Wilson, 2003). However, inconsistencies between theory and empirical findings have burst the bubble of personality traits study at the end of 1980 (Llewellyn & Wilson, 2003), which led to the recommendation to shift the research interest to more behavioral approach, which is expected to be more productive (Gartner, 1989). Lack of empirical supports and relative success of consequence research interests using environmental sensitive approach further rejected the concept of personality traits (Llewellyn & Wilson, 2003).

This rejection however does not limit the interest of personality traits in entrepreneurship research (e.g. Beugelsdijk, 2007; Entrialgo, Fernández, & Vázquez, 2000; Jaafar & Abdul-Aziz, 2005; Korunka et. al., 2003; Lee & Tsang, 2001; Littunen, 2000; Rauch & Frese, 2000). In fact, personality traits study remains as a major school of taught in most of the entrepreneurship study (Cunningham & Lischeron, 1991). However, mixed of findings in empirical has led failure in concluding the role of personality traits in entrepreneurship study. This might be seen as one of the reasons that eventually led to rejection of personality traits in entrepreneurship study. Various reasons have been highlighted for the inconclusive of personality traits in entrepreneurship study which include among others, the inconsistency for the definition of entrepreneur and entrepreneurship and the problem with the internal consistency of the concept used in different studies (Llewellyn & Wilson, 2003). As such, this study will shed some lights on the problems that would likely to associate with the measure of outcome or dependent variable used in personality traits' studies.

The common practice for personality traits study in entrepreneurship is to associate the personality traits with firm's performance (e.g. Entrialgo et al., 2000; Littunen & Storhammar, 2000; Lee & Tsang, 2001; Jaafar & Abdul-Aziz, 2005). Among these studies, various different measures for firm's performance have been used. For example, Littunen and Storhammar (2000) used growth of the firm, firm's profit margin, and entrepreneurs own assessment of success to capture success of the firm. Similarly, Lee and Tsang (2001 ) measured the firm performance through venture growth, while Jaafar and Abdul-Aziz (2005) measure the firm performance using overall performance. …

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