Entrepreneurs as cultural heroes: A cross‐cultural, interdisciplinary perspective

Ayala Malach‐Pines, Haim Levy, Agnes Utasi, T.L. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Purpose This exploratory, interdisciplinary, cross‐cultural study attempt to examine the hypothesis that in a country, where entrepreneurs have high status, individuals will describe themselves as more entrepreneurial, will exhibit greater risk‐taking tendency and more will be involved in entrepreneurial activity. Design/methodology/approach The study included MBA students in Israel, the USA and Hungary who were asked to compare the social status of entrepreneurs with that of other professionals, rate themselves on traits that were identified as characterizing successful entrepreneurs, and rate the risk they were willing to take to join a start‐up. Findings Results showed that Israelis perceived entrepreneurs as having higher social status than Americans and Hungarians. Israelis also demonstrated greater risk taking expressed in the readiness to leave a secure job to join a start‐up. Israelis and Americans rated themselves higher than Hungarians on initiative, love of challenge and independence, the three traits rated highest by actual entrepreneurs. Cautious attempt was made to relate these findings to the total entrepreneurial activity in the three countries and the percentage of adults in the population who start new businesses. Originality/value The study contributes to theory and resarch on entrepreneurship by demonstrating the potential inherent in a cross‐cultural, interdisciplinary perspective in general, and the connection between the social status of entrepreneurs and actual entrepreneurial activity in particular.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-555
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2005


  • Cross-cultural studies
  • Entrepreneurs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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