The McGill International Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Marian V. Jones and Pavlos Dimitratos
Chapter 7: Internet-enabled International Entrepreneurship: A Conceptual Model
Rasha Mostafa, Colin Wheeler and Pavlos Dimitratos INTRODUCTION Most of the research, theories and models in the entrepreneurship domain focus on the individual manager or entrepreneur, primarily because of the contribution the individual manager can make to the ﬁrm’s entrepreneurial behaviour and effectiveness (Dess et al., 1997). However, there are different approaches to the question ‘what is an entrepreneur?’ One approach investigates the entrepreneur’s personality traits (need for achievement, locus of control, risk-taking propensity and tolerance of ambiguity), another, demographic characteristics (work experience, family background, gender, age, educational level, ethnic group), and a third, owner-manager behaviour in diverse situations and under different circumstances (Carson et al., 1995). These approaches have similarities with the export behaviour literature where management characteristics and behaviour are associated with higher export performance. Nevertheless, ﬁndings in the entrepreneurial literature are mixed and critics argue that the question ‘what is an entrepreneur?’ is the wrong question to ask (Gartner, 1988). Gartner suggests that the question ‘what does the entrepreneur do?’ is more appropriate, although Carland et al. (1988) criticize this view as narrow because it does not take into account all aspects of entrepreneurial activity including the traits of the individual. An alternative approach is the theory of effects proposed by Sarasvathy (2001), which posits that the decision-making process consists of choices made in a complex environment where the entrepreneur chooses between the effects of particular decisions. This approach suggests a more comprehensive study of entrepreneurial characteristics, circumstances and decision-making processes. This is compatible...
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