n Management Dynamics : Journal of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists - Entrepreneural traits of undergraduate Commerce students : a three-country comparison

Volume 14, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1019-567X



The literature suggests that entrepreneurs are not only persons who start up businesses, but are also persons who are entrepreneurially orientated, in that they possess certain characteristics or traits to varying degrees. The objectives of this study were to report on the levels of students' entrepreneurial orientation in three different countries, and to establish whether significant differences exist between the students studying in the three countries concerned, regarding their level of entrepreneurial orientation. "Entrepreneurial orientation" refers to the combination of psychological traits, characteristics, attitudes and values representing the entrepreneurial prototype. The entrepreneurial prototype is an individual inclined to entrepreneurial behaviour and therefore more likely to initiate a business venture than an individual lacking these traits. Convenience sampling was used to measure the responses of 1 528 undergraduate Commerce students. The sample consisted of 758 South African, 379 American and 391 Dutch students. South Africa and the USA had three of the top four most developed entrepreneurial traits in common, and the four lowest-scoring traits in all three countries were the same. Significant differences were found between the students in the three countries, with regard to all the entrepreneurial traits investigated. The USA respondents scored significantly higher for the majority of traits under investigation.

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