A Research Companion
Edited by Mustafa F. Özbilgin and Ayala Malach-Pines
Chapter 8: Contrasting Entrepreneurs and Non-entrepreneurs Among Canadian and Israeli MBAs
8. Contrasting entrepreneurs and nonentrepreneurs among Canadian and Israeli MBAs Galit Chimo-Vugalter and Miri Lerner INTRODUCTION Some researchers claim that successful entrepreneurs have qualities beyond being merely capable executives and that ‘the entrepreneurial event’ takes shape through the interaction of both personal and environmental factors (Malecki, 1997). According to this view, speciﬁc personal traits, such as the willingness to take risks, help determine the success or failure of entrepreneurs (Sexton and Bowman, 1985). Other scholars suggest that one’s upbringing and education level are the most critical factors in shaping entrepreneurs; whether one had an entrepreneurial parent or parents seems particularly signiﬁcant (Malecki, 1997; Roberts, 1991). Roberts (1991) suggests that family background, goal orientation, personality, motivation, education, age and work experience are the personal factors that most inﬂuence entrepreneurial activity. Although there are many studies that identify the characteristics of entrepreneurs, few have explored the explicit inﬂuence of an MBA education on entrepreneurial performance. One exception is Robinnet (1985), who shows that universities and research institutions have been fruitful environments for entrepreneurship development and that MBA curricula, especially entrepreneurship courses, majors and programs, help entrepreneurs initiate and succeed at business ventures (see also McMullan et al., 1985). Robinnet argues that MBA programs provide students with role models to foster their incipient interest in entrepreneurship and the practical skills to turn their ideas into businesses. According to the human capital approach developed by Mincer (1974), education level is an indicator of cognitive skills, abilities, productivity, stability and accommodation...