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Title: An investigation of entrepreneurial characteristics, behavioural determinants, motivations and barriers in a cross-country setting
Author: Muhammad, Ali
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 7450
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2012
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Entrepreneurs, in general, need strong entrepreneurial characteristics for sound enterprising behaviours. By examining the characteristics of potential and actual entrepreneurs across countries, this thesis aims to contribute to our understanding of entrepreneurial determinants, motivations and barriers. It is argued that the first step toward a theory of entrepreneurial behaviour is to identify its determinants. Though entrepreneurship is widely practised and taught, a unified indigenous theory is still lacking. Partially developed theories cannot reliably predict entrepreneurial outcomes (Ireland & Webb 2007; Zahra 2005). Borrowing concepts from parent disciplines, this thesis attempts to corroborate entrepreneurship theories by examining determinants of entrepreneurial behaviour in a cross-country setting. Individual entrepreneurial characteristics are analysed based on self-perceived environmental conditions such as economic, institutional, cultural and other motivations. The study adds to the literature by discovering the specific factors responsible for enduring entrepreneurial behaviour. It is argued that entrepreneurship research is mostly grounded in the western and developed economies of the world. In order to arrive at generalisable conclusions, this study compares entrepreneurial determinants, characteristics, motivations and barriers in the differing contexts of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the UK. Results are derived on a multi-method basis. Potential and practising entrepreneurs were surveyed using offline and online versions of the questionnaire. The instrument was adapted and scales modified based on existing models such as Hofstede's cultural indices, Rotter's I-E scale, Jackson's personality inventory, Linan and Chen (2009) and Giacomen et al. (2011). A combination of emic and etic approaches were used to bring about sample homogeneity across countries. In addition to the quantitative survey, limited qualitative interviews were also conducted to provide meaning to the data. Entrepreneurial characteristics were first regressed upon their determinants. Characteristics, cultural and institutional determinants, motivations and barriers were then compared across countries using multivariate analyses. Culture is evidenced in the results to act only as catalyst, while both institutional and personal strength significantly affect practising entrepreneurs. Work flexibility and administrative regulations interestingly predicted entrepreneurial characteristics. Comparative analyses revealed that the British group scored higher in perceived innovativeness, achievement need and locus of control compared to the other countries. The Afghans reported high risk-taking and competitive aggressiveness. In aggregate, while the British and Pakistani entrepreneurs consider institutional support as the main determinant, Afghans rely more on their cultural strength. This implies that Afghans, over decades of civil unrest, rely on culture and customs as viable forms of entrepreneurial support. Together with their Pakistani counterparts, they face barriers of corruption, fundamental necessities and worsening economic conditions, pushing them into necessity entrepreneurship. While several motivations emerged through the data, the interview analyses indicate that income is the strongest motivator for all three countries. Overall, the findings are partially consistent with previous literature. The study bears widespread implications by suggesting customised policies for fostering entrepreneurial behaviour/characteristics in unique country settings. In addition, the study's proposed eclectic model substantiates existing theories by projecting the factors necessary for entrepreneurial behaviour.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available