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Essays in comparative international entrepreneurship research

PhD ceremony:Mr J. (Johannes) Kleinhempel
When:January 09, 2020
Start:16:15
Supervisor:prof. dr. S. (Sjoerd) Beugelsdijk
Co-supervisor:dr. M.J. (Mariko) Klasing
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:
Essays in comparative international entrepreneurship research

There is a broad consensus among researchers, policymakers, and practitioners that socio-cultural conditions influence entrepreneurship profoundly. A rapidly growing, rich, and multidisciplinary literature in comparative international entrepreneurship research has highlighted the importance of socio-cultural conditions in explaining the substantial and persistent variation in entrepreneurship rates around the world. However, the underlying mechanisms through which socio-cultural conditions influence entrepreneurship have remained elusive because of analytical challenges and conflicting findings. To advance this ongoing discussion, this dissertation introduces fresh perspectives that guide theorizing and testing on how socio-cultural conditions influence entrepreneurship. First, the distinct literatures on entrepreneurial process and comparative entrepreneurship research are synthesized against a background of societal social capital theory. Conceptualizing entrepreneurship as a dynamic and regionally embedded multi-staged process, it is shown that regional social capital has a profound yet changing influence over the course of the new venture creation process. Second, combining insights from cross-cultural theory and cultural transmission theory, durability, portability, and intergenerational transmission are articulated as mechanisms that link past cultural conditions in one locality to current entrepreneurial activity in another locality. Studying second-generation immigrants of distinct ancestries, it is shown that (country-of-ancestry) cultural effects can be isolated and influence entrepreneurship in a likely causal way. Third, the conceptual differences are outlined between three perspectives that link culture and entrepreneurship: the aggregate traits, legitimacy, and social support perspectives. Isolating the aggregate traits perspective from the other two perspectives and contextual conditions, it is shown that culture influences entrepreneurship through its effect on individuals’ values.