Cultural Prototypes of the Successful Entrepreneur: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Ireland, Guatemala, and China

Naomi Birdthistle, Elizabeth J. Rozell, Wesley A. Scroggins, Aimin Guo, Juan L. Fuentes


This paper presents initial results from the first stage of the international research program “Entrepreneurship Work in Organizations Requiring Leadership Development” (E-WORLD).
Qualitative methodologies (literature reviews and focus groups) were used to collect data on perceptions of entrepreneurs in the countries of Ireland, Guatemala, and China. The data were used
to identify entrepreneurial prototypes in each country that provide and initial examination into how individuals in each country conceptualize the entrepreneur in that culture. In each of the countries, the entrepreneur is perceived to be visionary, possessing some degree of creativity and innovation and willing to explore new opportunities. They are also perceived to be determined individuals who can persevere in difficult times. However, cultural differences are evident in perceptions of independence and autonomy, entrepreneurial risks and challenges, locus of control, and entrepreneurial motivation. Implications and limitations of the study are discussed.

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