This essay will examine the three reasons for the rejection of the personality approach to entrepreneurship, supporting the analysis with the trait theory of entrepreneurship.
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The personality approach to entrepreneurship is one framework that examines why certain individuals are successful in creating business. It focuses on the traits that can potentially make people decide to become entrepreneurs and positively influence their performance (Frese & Rauch, 2008). Characterizing personal characteristics, concerning the modern personality approach, considered in a business context, is a key to the approach.
Several reasons explain why many scholars rejected the personality approach to entrepreneurship at the end of the 1980s. The framework has been criticized because of the numerous inconsistencies in research conducted and the heterogeneity of provisions utilized for description forming (Frese & Rauch, 2008; Sun et al., 2020). It implies the complexity in defining the trustful concept that would clearly show which traits are influential ones and to what extent.
The second reason is the impact of distinct situations on becoming a successful entrepreneur. Personal characteristics are manifested differently in people under similar circumstances, which also contributes to the impossibility of making trustful conclusions about repeatable dependencies (Sun et al., 2020; Mitra, 2020). Finally, despite that the specific traits, which will be discussed further, show a positive relationship with business performance, any explanation of how they are transmitted into entrepreneurial behavior is relatively weak because of the background of a person and life circumstances (Sun et al., 2020; Drucker, 2015).
Such traits as internal locus of control, need for achievement, risk tolerance, and entrepreneurial alertness are the ones that define the probability of entrepreneurial intention development. The measure of the degree of someone’s influence on the environment is limited by factors beyond the control (Karabulut, 2016; Kerr Sari, Kerr William, and Xu, 2018). The drive for achievement can be restricted by the level of tasks’ complexity multiplied by unspecialized personal characteristics (Karabulut, 2016). Inappropriate risk tolerance can result in weak business performance (Karabulut, 2016). Finally, entrepreneurial alertness might lead to an irrational opportunity choosing through false information consumption.
Drucker, P.F. (2015) Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles. Abingdon: Routledge.
Frese, M., and Rauch, A. (2008). A personality approach to entrepreneurship, Oxford University Press & British Academy, pp. 121-136.
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Karabulut, T. A. (2016) ‘Personality Traits on Entrepreneurial Intention’, Science Direct, 229, pp.12–21. Web.
Kerr, S. P., Kerr W. R and Xu T. (2018), ‘Personality Traits of Entrepreneurs: A Review of Recent Literature’, Foundations and Trends in Entrepreneurship, 14(3), pp. 279-356. Web.
Mitra, J. (2020) Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development, 2nd ed. Oxon, Routledge.
Sun, H. et al. (2020), ‘The Systematic Impact of Personal Characteristics on Entrepreneurial Intentions of Engineering Students’, Foundations and Trends in Entrepreneurship, 11(1072). Web.