Edited by Ayala Malach-Pines and Mustafa F. Özbilgin
Chapter 9: Attitudes Towards High-tech Entrepreneurs and Company Heads in Hungary
Ágnes Utasi Introduction: contradictions in the need for technical–technological progress Some observers believe that entrepreneurs and company directors operating at high technical and technological levels are the driving force of economic growth in today’s societies. Zimmerer and Scarborough (2001) called entrepreneurs the heroes of the new economy. Lerner and Avrahami (1999) called them the newest cultural hero and role model, a figure to be respected and emulated by large parts of the younger generation, and Pines et al. (2005) demonstrated that in a country where entrepreneurs have high status, individuals will describe themselves as more entrepreneurial, will exhibit a greater risk-taking tendency and more will be involved in entrepreneurial activity. However, the public perception of entrepreneurs is far from universally positive. Even the very notion of ’technological progress’ comes under increasing public criticism. With the growing influence of ecologists and an ever-widening public awareness of the hazards brought about by climate changes, there has been a growing tendency to emphasize the harmful effects of the ongoing technological evolution on world environment, and observers are deeply concerned about the unpredictable consequences in the future. Today’s academic debates are increasingly dominated by the issues of ‘sustainable growth’ and experts stress the pressing need for a delineation of the limits to technical–civilizatory progress. Since the advent of the notion of ’sustainable growth’, the emphasis of academic debates has shifted from the benefits to the costs of growth (Club of Rome Report, Meadow et al., 1972). The citizens of technically developed, rich...
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