Edited by Léo-Paul Dana and Robert B. Anderson
Chapter 48: A Multidisciplinary Theory of Entrepreneurship as a Function of Cultural Perceptions of Opportunity
Léo-Paul Dana and Robert B. Anderson Introduction Why do individuals from some nations have a greater propensity to engage in diﬀerent forms of entrepreneurship than do others who have unlike values? It appears that any given situation may present itself as an opportunity, or not, based on culturally inﬂuenced interpretation. Helander argued that ‘the time is ripe for a new paradigm when looking at the issues of Indigenous people’ (1999, pp. 26–7). Indeed it is. The leading scholars who contributed to this Edward Elgar reference book discuss the contemporary economic activities of Indigenous peoples from a variety of perspectives, including anthropology, business, development, education, entrepreneurship, ethnic studies, geography, management, sociology and subsistence. We could have assigned categories of analysis prior to data collection; instead, we wished to avoid imposing classiﬁcations in advance. Taking an emic approach, we opted to seek units of conceptualisation by analysing the experiences of the people studied. Let us take a moment for some inductive analysis, to identify patterns of themes that emerge from the data described in the preceding chapters. Observations and patterns There is rich heterogeneity among Indigenous peoples; their respective values are far from identical. Even within one Indigenous people there can be signiﬁcant diﬀerences, as explained, for example, by Ruotsala’s chapter in this volume. Some people are Dionysian, with emphasis on being. Others are Promethean, with emphasis on doing. Benedict wrote, ‘Like most of the American Indians, except those of the Southwest pueblos, the tribes...
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