Abstract

There is a large agreement that certain cultures tend to promote entrepreneurship more than others. However, empirical research has failed to show consistent support for this assumption. Most of the previous empirical studies of cultural attitudes and their association with entrepreneurial activity in different countries have used Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions (Hofstede, 1980) as a basis for their examination. We suggest that the choice of such generic aggregative variables of cultural attitudes might have blurred the significant correlations within each category, possibly contributing to the inconclusive empirical results, and that less generalized cultural variables have to be addressed. The aim of this study is to find out whether cultural attitudes are a capital for entrepreneurship, by differentiating between certain cultural variables that may encourage entrepreneurship versus those that may discourage it. Drawing on the cognitive perspective, social learning theory and resource-based theory, and using Bourdieu's "cultural capital" concept, we developed several hypotheses that are examined in the context of four countries. Generally, we expected that the more cultural attitudes encourage entrepreneurship in a given country, the higher the prevalence of actual entrepreneurial activity and vice versa.

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