Most research and popular writing includes entrepreneurial role models as an important factor in the decision to start a business. Few, if any, studies compare the influence of business owner role models between two different countries. Further, studies cite the importance of role models for potential entrepreneurs but ignore how the role model process actually works. This study looks at activities that role models might engage in and compares their influence on respondents in the US and Mexico. This is the first study that examines differences in role model influence between two countries. Ten of the variables are significantly different between respondents in the two countries. Nine of the differences were rated as being significantly more influential among Mexican students than US students while only one variable was rated as being significantly less influential. Results of the study, especially as related to the specific influence of role models on career intentions, may be relevant in designing entrepreneurship programs. The results may also be appropriate in courses that discuss entrepreneurship in different countries (e.g., international entrepreneurship). The results may also be relevant in family businesses where eventual continuity of family ownership through succession is desired.
International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 7, 2006
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