Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Entrepreneurial Passion, Achievement Motivation Goals and Behavioural Engagements in Malaysia: Are There Any Differences across Ethnic Groups?

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Entrepreneurial Passion, Achievement Motivation Goals and Behavioural Engagements in Malaysia: Are There Any Differences across Ethnic Groups?

Article excerpt


This study was set out to investigate entrepreneurial passion, achievement motivation goals and behavioural engagement among Malaysian entrepreneurs. In addition, this empirical study was also intended to compare entrepreneurial passion with goal settings and behavioural engagement of Malay and Chinese Malaysians. From a sample of 305 entrepreneurs, the findings show there is a significant difference between the two ethnic groups in terms of passion, goals and need for creativity, ambition and daring. Malaysian Chinese were found to harbour higher harmonious passion than their counterparts, while both Malay and Chinese Malaysians share a moderate perception of obsessive passion. Furthermore, Chinese Malaysians perceive a strong relationship with the dimensions of mastery, performance and performance avoidance goals. On the other hand, Malay Malaysians have a high perception of mastery and performance goals but moderate perception of performance avoidance goals. The estimation coefficients also indicate that Malaysian entrepreneurs perceive strong relationships with their need for independence, ambition, daring and creativity.

Keywords: achievement motivation goals, behavioural engagements, harmonious passion, obsessive passion

1. Introduction

Entrepreneurship continues to capture the awareness of Malaysians and is viewed by many as a viable means of achieving their dreams (Omar, 2006). The Malaysian business scenario is unique in a sense that it encapsulates multiple ethnic groups (e.g., Malay, Chinese and Indian) who operate and behave in unique ways (i.e., perceived best by them). According to the Department Of Statistics (2013), Malay and Chinese represent 67.4% and 24.6% of the total Malaysian population respectively making the Malay representation in the total labour force higher (58.5%) than Chinese (23%). Small entrepreneurial businesses (SEBs) represent a major portion of overall business in Malaysia. A report by the Central Bank of Malaysia (2006) revealed this contribution is as high as 95%. In addition, SEB offers employment to 60% of the total work force. Despite SEB's representation and contribution to the total employment, output remains on the low side (i.e., 45%).

Past literature on Malaysian business indicates that certain ethnic groups have dominated certain types of business. For example, Omar (2006) reported that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia are mostly owned by the Chinese. Furthermore, Gomez, Loh, and Lee (2004) reported that Chinese owned 50% of the construction sector equity, 82% of the wholesales trade, 58% of the retail trade and about 40% of the manufacturing sector. On the other hand, Shafii, Abiddin, and Ahmad (2009) uphold the view that the participation of a particular ethnic group in the economy should be analyzed by looking at economic factors such as income distribution, poverty, share ownership and ownership of real property.

The yearbook of statistics for 2012 indicates that the average income earned by a Malay was RM3,624 in 2009, whereas a Chinese earned RM5,011 (Department Of Statistics, 2012). One of the reasons for this gap may be income generation from self employment, as 23.0% of income earned by Chinese was generated from self employment compared with 14.0% by Malay. Consequently, the poverty level among Chinese decreased from 1.2% in 1999 to 0.6% in 2009, but Malay remained by far at the highest poverty level despite a decrease from 12.4% in 1999 to 5.3% in 2009 (Department Of Statistics, 2012).

The mid-term review report on the 9th Malaysian Plan (2008) highlights that equity held by Malay individuals and government-linked agencies increased from 2.4% in 1970 to its peak of 20.6% in 1995 before falling to 19.4% in 2006. Nonetheless, Chinese equity ownership continued to rise during the New Economic Policy (NEP) decades from 27.2% to 45.5% though the volume of their equity ownership declined to 42.4% in 2006. The ownership vector can also serve as an indicator to measure the wealth disparity among ethnic groups in Malaysia. …

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