Understanding the psychological nature and development of the individual entrepreneur is at the core of contemporary entrepreneurship research. Since the individual functions as a totality of his or her single characteristics (involving the interplay of biological, psychosocial, and context-related levels), a person-oriented approach focusing on intraindividual dynamics seems to be particularly fruitful to infer realistic implications for practice such as entrepreneurship education and promotion. Applying a person-oriented perspective, this paper integrates existing psychological approaches to entrepreneurship and presents a new, person-oriented model of entrepreneurship, the Entrepreneurial Personality System (EPS). In the empirical part, this model guided us to bridge two separate research streams dealing with entrepreneurial personality: research on broad traits like the Big Five and research on specific traits like risk-taking, self-efficacy, and internal locus of control. We examine a gravity effect of broad traits, as assumed in the EPS framework, by analyzing large personality data sets from three countries. The results reveal a consistent gravity effect of an intraindividual entrepreneurial Big Five profile on the more malleable psychological factors. Implications for entrepreneurship research and practice are discussed.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 5, 2017
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