Entrepreneurial Individuals

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Title: Entrepreneurial Individuals
Empirical Investigations into Entrepreneurial Activities of Hackers and Makers
Author: Halbinger, Maria
Abstract: New ventures are central to an economy’s welfare and substantial promoters of technological change and innovation. Extant research has identified individuals and their role in entrepreneurial processes as the core pillars of entrepreneurship. This PhD dissertation aims to refine our understanding of the fundamental relationship between individuals and their entrepreneurial activities. In order to empirically test the hypotheses built, the analyses are based on a unique dataset on individuals in hacker- and makerspaces, i.e. open communities with physical workspaces where individuals with a common interest in technology, computing, science, art and hacking culture can meet, socialize and collaborate. Given that hackers and makers engage in various entrepreneurial activities, this empirical setting offers crucial benefits when analyzing entrepreneurial individuals. The thesis combines the literatures on psychology and entrepreneurship and consists of three essays. The first essay focuses on the early activities in the entrepreneurial process and depicts how the individual’s creativity as well as different forms of motivation influence different process activities including the discovery and exploitation of opportunities. The second essay consists of a longitudinal analysis and examines how the identity of the founder relates to firm exit. The third essay applies computational linguistic tools on haiku poems written by hackers to investigate how self-confidence, social awareness and social influence are related with entrepreneurial experience, defined by the number of times the individual has been involved in new firm establishments. Overall, the thesis aims to contribute to the field of entrepreneurship by providing empirical evidence on the individual-level factors that shape entrepreneurial activities.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/8931
Date: 2014-06-17

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