Hunting the Heffalump: Can Trait and Cognitive Characteristics Predict Entrepreneurial Orientation?
H. VAN DEN BROECK
The aim of this study was to get more insight into what typifies Flemish entrepreneurs. We compared entrepreneurs with non-entrepreneurs for five traits (tolerance for ambiguity, selfefficacy, proactive personality, locus of control, need for achievement) and for cognitive styles. Additionally, we used these trait and cognitive characteristics to predict variances in entrepreneurial orientation (EO). Whereas the link between EO and organizational performance has been studied intensively, the examination of possible antecedents of EO remains a white space. We found that entrepreneurs (N = 177) score significantly higher on all traits than nonentrepreneurs (N = 60). For the cognitive styles (measured with the Cognitive Style Indicator), we found that non-entrepreneurs score higher on the knowing and planning style. No differences were found for the creating style. With regard to the link between the entrepreneur’s profile and EO, we found a significant contribution of tolerance for ambiguity and proactive personality to EO.
traits; cognitive styles; entrepreneurial orientation; entrepreneurs versus nonentrepreneurs
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