Culture as a driver of entrepreneurship : contrasting independent entrepreneurship versus employee entrepreneurship

Steffens, Paul R. (2013) Culture as a driver of entrepreneurship : contrasting independent entrepreneurship versus employee entrepreneurship. In Australia Centre for Entrepreneurship (ACE) Research Exchange Conference 2013, 5 – 8 February, Brisbane, Australia .

View at publisher


Principal Topic Counties in Northern Europe, such as Sweden, Finland and Denmark, have comparatively low per capita rates of entrepreneurship as measured by independent new venture start-up rates – as for example measured by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Total entrepreneurial activity (TEA) rate. However, the latest 2011 GEM data reveals that these same countries have comparatively very high Employee Entrepreneurship Activity (EEA) rates – that is a high rate per capita of employees involved in new product development or new enterprise activities.

This observation has prompted us to investigate the role of national culture in driving independent versus employee entrepreneurial activities. Prior research has established that national (and regional) culture plays an important role in forming an “entrepreneurial culture” that encourages (or discourages) independent business start-ups and TEA (e.g. Davidsson, 1995; Beugelsdijk, 2007). However, the relationship of culture and EEA has not received research attention.

Moreover, empirical relationships between elements of national culture and independent entrepreneurship have revealed some surprising results. For example, Wildeman et al. (1999) report an unexpected higher share of individual business ownership in countries that have higher uncertainty avoidance, higher power distance and lower individualism according to Hofstede’s dimensions of culture. They speculate that dissatisfaction can be a source of entrepreneurship: in countries with a high power distance, a high uncertainty avoidance and low individualism, there may be relatively more business owners since enterprising individuals cannot satisfy their needs within existing organizations. Yet it remains a rather open question whether entrepreneurial behaviour in existing organisations provides a satisfactory explanation for these empirical findings.

Methods We will conduct a cross sectional study of the influence of national culture according to the five / six dimensions of Hofstede (1980; 2001) on both TEA and EEA for the 54 countries that participated in GEM 2011. Since it is well established that the opportunities for entrepreneurship vary substantially with a country’s level of economic development, we intend to conduct separate analyses for the three categories of development – innovation driven economies, efficient driven economies and factor driven economies. We also intend to restrict our assessment of TEA to opportunity driven entrepreneurship, as necessity driven entrepreneurship has a different relationship to the “entrepreneurial culture” that is the focus of our study. We will control for a range of factors such as GDP growth, ease of doing business index and unemployment.

Results and Implications Descriptive analyses of the GEM TEA and EEA data reveal clusters of countries that appear to be have similar national culture. We are yet to conduct regression analyses.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

96 since deposited on 30 Apr 2013
11 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 59472
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: Culture, Entrepreneurship, Independent Entrepreneurship , Employee Entrepreneurship
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Entrepreneurship (150304)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 (please consult the authors).
Deposited On: 30 Apr 2013 07:06
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:48

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page