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Habitual Entrepreneurs

Deniz Ucbasaran, Paul Westhead and Mike Wright

Deniz Ucbasaran, Paul Westhead and Mike Wright use a combination of theory and empirical evidence to illustrate why it is so important for researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs and investors to distinguish between novice (i.e. first time) entrepreneurs and habitual entrepreneurs. Issues tackled include human capital characteristics, information search and opportunity identification behaviours, and the performance of different types of entrepreneurs. The book also highlights the heterogeneity of habitual entrepreneurs by drawing attention to serial and portfolio entrepreneurs.
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Chapter 5: Information Search and Opportunity Identification, Pursuit, and Exploitation by Type of Entrepreneur

Deniz Ucbasaran, Paul Westhead and Mike Wright


Introduction This chapter adopts a human capital framework to explore differences between the types of entrepreneurs with regards to information search and opportunity identification, pursuit, and exploitation. Presented hypotheses will be tested with a bivariate statistical framework and then a multivariate statistical framework. Tests will compare habitual and novice entrepreneurs, and then serial and portfolio entrepreneurs will be compared. Finally, some conclusions are presented. Information Search and Opportunity Identification, Pursuit, and Exploitation: Bivariate Analysis Information Search Respondents were presented with 14 sources of information. They were asked to indicate if they had used any of them. Table 5.1 shows that habitual entrepreneurs used weakly significantly (p < 0.09) more information sources (8.94) than novice entrepreneurs (8.37). Table 5.2 shows that while portfolio entrepreneurs used more information sources than serial entrepreneurs, this difference was not statistically significant. Overall, these findings do not provide support for hypotheses H10a and H10b. Contrary to expectations, habitual entrepreneurs used more information sources than their novice counterparts. Tables 5.3 and 5.4 report individual sources of information used by types of entrepreneur. Table 5.3 shows that a significantly larger proportion of habitual rather than novice entrepreneurs utilized employees, consultants, financiers, and national government sources. Table 5.4 reports differences between serial and portfolio entrepreneurs with respect to the information sources used; only two significant differences were 98 Information search and opportunity 99 Table 5.1 Number of information sources utilized by novice and habitual entrepreneurs Variable Novice Habitual n t-statistic Sig. level (2-tailed) Number of information sources used 8.37 8.94...

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