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Loyola University Chicago

Quinlan School of Business

Funded Research

Assessing Entrepreneurial Decision Processes to Exploit Business Opportunities: A Cross-Cultural Experiment

Brief Description:
Understanding how individuals with different cognitive framework and knowledge base identify and exploit business opportunities is fundamental to both management and entrepreneurship research. Increasingly similar business environments and standards across cultures may impact entrepreneurial cognition in a systematic way and lead to similar prototypes of ideal business opportunities. However, due to the pervasive and direct influence of local culture, entrepreneurs may develop different cognitive frameworks across cultures and use heterogeneous prototypes. This study seeks to explain how an individual’s entrepreneurial dispositions and knowledge endowments, developed in different cultural contexts, influence his or her evaluation of new business opportunities. More specifically, do entrepreneurs with different cultural backgrounds consider similar prototypes of ideal business opportunities in evaluating business opportunities? Do U.S. individuals have entrepreneurial dispositions distinct from those of Europeans or Asians? To what extent are opportunity evaluations affected by entrepreneurs’ knowledge profiles with respect to their academic and professional experiences?

Our methodological approach uses a choice-based conjoint analysis of opportunity evaluations with respect to stated and revealed importance of opportunity dimensions (i.e., market size, growth potential, competitive pressure, time to first sale, product desirability, and product innovativeness). We then examine if differences in these opportunity evaluations are attributed to the individual’s cultural backgrounds (i.e., US, EU, or Asia), entrepreneurial dispositions (i.e., goal and growth orientation, and risk-taking propensity), academic and professional experiences (i.e., marketing, entrepreneurship, management, finance, accounting, and engineering). In addition, we explore whether the difference in opportunity assessments can be explained by the big five personality traits (i.e., openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) and the demographic characteristics (i.e., age, gender, and education level).

Preliminary results of 19,632 observations from the sample of 409 participants from US, EU, and Asia indicate that individuals with different cultural backgrounds, entrepreneurial dispositions, and academic and professional experiences differ in systematic ways they evaluate new business opportunities. In particular, the US respondents who are mostly driven by financial goals tend to focus on annual market growth dimension in their evaluation of business opportunities while the EU respondents with similar financial goal orientation consider current market size as a key opportunity dimension. With respect to the impact of their risk propensity on opportunity evaluations, the US respondents who are highly risk averse on their job loss tend to disregard the overall attractiveness of business opportunities while the EU counterparts deemphasize only product innovativeness dimension. In their academic backgrounds, the US respondents with marketing and management education find the number of competitors most important while the US respondents with finance degree tend to emphasize time to first sale when compared to the EU counterparts. In their work experience, the US respondents with managerial experience put stronger emphasis on current market size than the EU counterparts while the EU respondents with financial experience put lower emphasis on time to first sale in their opportunity evaluations.


Social Enterprise Alliance: A Framework to Develop Social Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies

Brief Description:
This research develops a social enterprise framework to support social entrepreneurship in emerging economies. In this framework, each partner contributes resources and strengths that co-create value. The non-governmental organization has an understanding of the local conditions and offers financial and social capital; the university utilizes its research efforts to assess the processes and enhance the positive outcomes of the strategic venture; the corporation utilizes its financial capital and provides market access to the local business; and the local business provides human capital as well as products.  This strategic alliance encourages long-term sustainability with economic returns, advocates social development goals, and fosters dynamic capabilities that provide the local business a competitive advantage in the marketplace. In this research, a Coffee Cooperative in Tanzania (although not presented in this working paper) serves as an illustrative example that demonstrates the formation and operation of the strategic alliance framework. 

For access to the full paper, please contact Linda Tuncay Zayer


Center for International Business
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