Author: Marius Kahlert, UTwente

Culture is carried by a network of individuals sharing similar values, beliefs, customs, behaviours and objectives, which are transmitted from generation to generation. Therefore, culture can be considered as a group phenomenon which is learned via interaction with other group members. As of the early 1980s, Hofstede (1980) introduced the cultural dimensions to assess a national culture. His dimensions consist of individualism vs. collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance, masculinity vs. femininity, and long-term vs. short-term orientation. Especially the first four dimensions are still frequently used in order to elaborate culture in the context of entrepreneurship. However, societies often consist of various sub-cultures with differing values, beliefs etc.

Firms are embedded in a national cultural system. The cultural values are reflected and reinforced in the social institutions, industry characteristics and behaviours (such as entrepreneurial action) in a country. Therefore, national culture can influence the collective measure of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial behaviour and start-up activities. Haydon, George and Zahra (2002) suggest that individualism and low uncertainty avoidance are positively correlated with entrepreneurship and derive from their findings that there might be an entrepreneurial culture across countries. In a more recent research, Hayton and Cacciotti (2013) however do not find support for an entrepreneurial culture and state that less confidence was found of the existence of a single entrepreneurial culture.

Sources: Hayton, J., Cacciotti, G. (2013) Is there an entrepreneurial culture? A review of empirical research, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development: An International Journal, 25:9-10, 708-731.

Hayton, J., George, G., & Zahra, S. (2002). National Culture and Entrepreneurship: A Review of Behavioural Research. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33-52.

Hofstede, G. (1980a). Culture's consequences: International differences in work related values. Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE Publications.

Hofstede, G. (1980b). Motivation leadership and organization: Do American theories apply abroad? Organizational Dynamics (Summer), 42-63.

Hofstede, G., & Bond, M. (1984). Hofstede's cultural dimensions: An independent validation using Reach’s value survey. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 15, 417-433.

Jandt, F. E. (2007). An Introduction to Intercultural Communication. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

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