Abstract

Do individual-level variables play a role in entrepreneurs’ success and in venture performance? In the past, it was argued that such variables are so distal from venture performance that their effects are likely to be negligible. Over the last two decades, however, understanding of the role of individual-level variables, especially personality, has advanced substantially. Consequently, current knowledge now provides a firm empirical and theoretical foundation for examining potential links between these basic individual-level dimensions and entrepreneurial behavior. Many of these advances relate to the “Big Five” personality model, which suggests that personality can be understood in terms of five basic dimensions. Highly reliable and well-validated measures of these dimensions now exist, thus providing a firm basis for research on how personality influences entrepreneurial success at the personal and, the more distal, venture performance level.

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