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What are they talking about when they talk about entrepreneurship?

by Peterson, Kristoffer; Bengtsson, Niklas

Abstract (Summary)
The concept of entrepreneurship is widely used in many different contexts. There is however no common agreement of what the concept entrepreneurship is, even among academics within the area (Davidsson, 2004; Gartner, 1990). According to Churchill & Muzyka (1994) it is important that a concept is viewed upon in agreement, and to know what is viewed upon in disagreement. A shared view of the concept entrepreneurship is significant in communication to be able to understand the content of the notion. Since academics and professionals within the subject are in disagreement of the most accurate definition of entrepreneurship, other people are most probably also in disagreement. The purpose of this thesis was to explore the view students, store managers and small businesses listed under entrepreneurial activities have of entrepreneurship and what characteristics are associated with the concept from their point of view. The method used to identify attributes, themes and viewpoints to the definition of entrepreneurship was a Delphi approach. The Delphi was performed in three rounds starting off with an open-end question asking the participants: What is your definition of entrepreneurship? Attributes were then broken down from these definitions, typed into a new questionnaire and e-mailed back to the participants. The second questionnaire asked the participants: How important is each attribute to your definition of entrepreneurship? The participants were asked to rank each attribute on a scale from 1 to 4, where 1 was unimportant and 4 very important. The responses from the second questionnaire were then analyzed through principal component factor analysis in order to reduce the data and discover themes. These themes were then e-mailed back to the participants. The third questionnaire asked the participants: How important is each theme to your definition of entrepreneurship? No common realization of the definition of entrepreneurship was evident after performing the Delphi. Thus, the authors analysed the data from the Delphi through principal component factor analysis, hierarchical cluster analysis and k-means cluster analysis. These analyses revealed no common realization of the concept entrepreneurship, although major viewpoints of the definition of entrepreneurship were discovered for each targeted group. ii The major viewpoint (71%) of high school students to the definition of entrepreneurship was successful management of a business. We also concluded that the most essential viewpoint of high school students can not be related to the presented definitions of entrepreneurship. Through the analyses we discovered that the major viewpoint (83%) of the definition of entrepreneurship within store managers is managing a well performing business where importance is on taking care of customers. The same conclusion was made in this group as in the group of high school students; the most essential viewpoint of store managers can not be related to the presented definitions of entrepreneurship. In the group of small businesses listed under entrepreneurial activities we discovered a major viewpoint (67%) of the definition of entrepreneurship within this group is the entrepreneur - leader and problem solver. This viewpoint was clearly related to entrepreneurship scholars such as Say and Cantillion as well as Churchill and Muzyka (1994) who identifies the individual, Shane and Venkatararman (2000) also recognizes this with entrepreneurship involving lucrative opportunities and enterprising individuals. iii
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Högskolan i Jönköping

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:entrepreneurship

ISBN:

Date of Publication:02/26/2008

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