Abstract

Researchers have suggested that entrepreneurship can be seen as a social role—a patterned set of behaviors, rights, and obligations connected to a social position (Davidsson, 2007). Role content stems from expectations within the larger society, so role-holders who conform to those expectations will receive the legitimacy and approbation required for effective role performances (Stryker & Statham, 1985). Individuals who adopt or internalize the entrepreneurial role will be strongly motivated to carry out role-consistent activities. Thus, a focus on the entrepreneur role can help us understand and predict entrepreneurial behavior. However, we know very little about the entrepreneur role content. The purpose of this study is to assess the content of the entrepreneur role as a shared social construct in three cultures (U.S., China, and Taiwan). Our research questions center on 1) the entrepreneur prototypical schema that will emerge, 2) the relationship between the prototypical entrepreneur schema and prototype holders’ personal values and exposure to entrepreneurship, and 3) the extent to which the prototypes and those relationships are similar or different across cultures.

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