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Entrepreneurs and Their Personality Variables Research Paper

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Updated: May 21st, 2021


Entrepreneurship is a concept that has transformed the lives and achievements of many people across the world. Governments and international agencies have managed to implement different programs to encourage more people to engage in business-related activities. Such initiatives are usually capable of addressing the problem of absolute poverty. The emergence of small-scale and middle-size ventures in every region across the world is attributable to the efforts of these international organizations.

In the recent past, researchers have been keen to identify the leading personality attributes many successful entrepreneurs possess. Business theories and organizational models have postulated that the development of adequate traits is something that can take an investor from one level to the next. Proper knowledge of entrepreneurs’ appropriate behaviors, personalities, competencies, and variables can guide more people to start their ventures and manage them successfully. The paper below presents a detailed study aimed at understanding the major attributes associated with different entrepreneurs.

Background Information

Entrepreneurs play a significant role in the development or growth of every economy. Lambert defines an entrepreneur as a founder, manager, and owner of a new business entity. Such a professional usually focuses on innovative ideas, processes, products, procedures, markets, or services to achieve his or her objectives within the shortest time possible. Over the years, experts in the field of business have asserted that entrepreneurs should be ready to develop the most appropriate competencies and skills if they want to emerge successfully.

This kind of knowledge has encouraged many people to pursue academic programs and training that resonate with their business types or expectations (Lightfoot). However, only a small fraction of such individuals manage to start and grow their businesses successfully (Hu). This means that many new ventures are usually at risk of failing within the first three or four years (Lightfoot). Such an observation has forced many researchers and organizational theorists to address this issue from an evidence-based approach or perspective.

Within the past decade, experts have shifted their studies and analyses to focus on the area of personality traits. Their findings have echoed most of the ideas that different scholars in the field of entrepreneurship have presented in the past (Hicks). This kind of convergence has revealed that individuals cannot ignore the issue of personality traits whenever planning to start their business enterprises (Tor Guthey et al. 260). Although some attributes or traits tend to predict poor performance or ineffective entrepreneurial qualities, researchers and scholars have managed to present appropriate ideas and procedures that many people can consider if they want to become successful investors.

Since the 1980s, many scholars and psychoanalysts have been using the Big-5 model as a powerful multidimensional framework for defining human personality (Hicks). The five attributes identified in the theory include conscientiousness, openness, agreeableness, extraversion, and neuroticism (Hill). He goes further to indicate that the concept has been found to dictate the behaviors, work performance, and career choices of many people in different regions or societies.

Each of these traits defines the attributes or behaviors associated with entrepreneurs. Openness usually describes a person’s complexity, depth, experimental life, and originality. Conscientiousness is used to focus on impulse control that is capable of facilitating goal-oriented or task-oriented behaviors (Klotz and Neubaum 11). Further, the concept of extroversion describes an energetic attitude toward the material or social world. The major traits associated with it include assertiveness, sociability, emotionality, and assertiveness.

Agreeableness revolves around a wide range of attributes, including trust, altruism, tender-mindedness, and modesty. The final attribute is that of neuroticism. According to many theorists, this aspect seeks to compare and contrast even-temperedness or negative emotionality with emotional stability. Such a concept is believed to influence different feelings, such as tenseness, sadness, nervousness, and anxiety (Kelly). Individuals who are aware of their personality traits will find it easier to control themselves and pursue the most appropriate goals in their lives.

The discussion presented below uses different publications and sources to understand the major personality traits and variables associated with different entrepreneurs (Klotz and Neubaum 14). This is an interesting area of study since the insights and observations outlined can empower more individuals to start their businesses diligently, solve emerging problems, empower their followers, and eventually achieve most of their aims.

Research Question

This question was considered to complete the targeted study: what are the personality variables of different entrepreneurs?

Findings and Discussions

Numerous studies have been completed in the past in an attempt to understand the unique types of traits or personalities many entrepreneurs exhibit. Most of them have targeted the existing differences between managers and entrepreneurs. The reasoning or argument behind this approach has been that such professionals tend to lead and guide others, make organizational decisions, and pursue actions that have can result in increased profits.

In a study by Schramm, it was observed that many entrepreneurs were less extroverted and conscientious. Such an attribute made it easier for them to formulate personal decisions and implement appropriate ideas. They were also observed to record high agreeable scores (Kelly). The attraction-selection-attrition model remains a powerful theory that researchers and analysts use to monitor the unique strengths and variables among potential entrepreneurs (Schramm).

According to this framework, workers or individuals will always be willing to focus on those jobs and activities that resonate with their motives, personality traits, and talents (Klotz and Neubaum 11). This means that some people will have a desire to engage in professions that are rewarding and capable of supporting their potential.

The issue of experience is something that many analysts have taken seriously over the years. Hu indicates that the majority of enterprises will always engage in lifelong learning in an attempt to acquire new experiences or ideas. This is an area that managers do not perform positively. The acquired knowledge is then converted into powerful concepts and procedures for promoting performance and delivering positive results. Some entrepreneurs will embrace this unique ability to monitor the major changes experienced in the surrounding environment (Tor Guthey et al. 261).

This means that they will examine issues such as emerging theories in the world of business, organizational models, technologies, and ideas that can result in positive performance (Flatter). This is the reason why many entrepreneurs use the concept of innovation to minimize competition and emerge successful in their respective fields or ventures.

Another variability observed among entrepreneurs is that of conscientiousness. Many people planning to start their businesses or ventures tend to record high scores in this area. This attribute is believed to guide entrepreneurs to become motivated and empowered to achieve greater goals. Persons who decide to pursue their entrepreneurial aims will record high scores for achievement motivation (Falzani).

This is the reason individuals with such entrepreneurial tendencies will be unwilling to have performance or long-term careers. Patel also acknowledges that many entrepreneurs tend to be achievement-oriented (Hu). This means that they will always embrace the most appropriate actions and ideas that can eventually make them successful. They will also be willing to identify and develop superior efforts and ideas that can eventually make them successful.

Another observation analysts and scholars have made in the recent past is that entrepreneurs or those with similar competencies will tend to have reduced levels of neuroticism and agreeableness. However, not all individuals will portray similar results. This means that there is an extended degree of variability in these two personality traits. Hudson and Okhuysen use this idea to explain why many entrepreneurs would focus on the most appropriate initiatives and procedures to take their ventures to the next level (249).

Such an achievement will eventually make them chief executive officers (CEOs) of their respective firms or business entities. Such professionals will no longer worry about others. Instead, they will embrace the most appropriate initiatives and strategies that will eventually make them successful. Hudson and Okhuysen observed that managers in different companies were found to be more neurotic (250). However, many entrepreneurs performed poorly in this attribute.

Some researchers have focused on the issue of confidence to understand how different people with entrepreneurial tendencies perform. For instance, Brandi et al. realized that many entrepreneurs or those planning to start their ventures recorded high self-confidence scores (315). This kind of attribute made it possible for them to focus on risky areas and sectors in an attempt to achieve their objectives. Such a trait also empowered them to be prepared for predictable challenges and risks that could affect their objectives. However, the level of this skill was observed to vary from one entrepreneur to another. Those who performed better exhibited increased scores, thereby being able to record positive business results within the shortest time possible.

The issue of environment or nurture has become a key area of focus within the past few decades. Brandi et al. observed that the region, family, and country where an individual grew up could have significant impacts on his or her personality traits (316). Such attributes would vary from an individual A to B. However, most of the people with appropriate entrepreneurial competencies would be in a position to start their ventures and ensure that they remain successful or profitable. They would also engage in different practices and initiatives in an attempt to deliver positive results (Tor Guthey et al. 260). Thus, with proper support and guidance, many people can develop the best mindset and tackle most of the obstacles they might encounter in their lives.

Some other studies have managed to challenge the possession of the five major traits and their specific impacts on entrepreneurial abilities or performance. For instance, Tor Guthey et al. realized that most of the successful entrepreneurs in different parts of the world were smart and capable of identifying emerging challenges (260). Hu identified intuition and perception as appropriate traits that made it possible for many people to perform well as entrepreneurs. These attributes empower individuals to focus on opportunities existing in different ventures and pursue them diligently. They also identify issues that might arise when one tries to fulfill their objectives.

Some personality traits have also been found to play critical roles in the career and engagements of many people who display entrepreneurial tendencies. In a study by Lok and Willmott, it was revealed that passion was a unique attribute that empowered many individuals to focus on new opportunities and start new ventures (220). With this kind of trait, an individual can take a lot of time to implement appropriate strategies and practices to ensure that positive results are realized. Although some variables were observed among entrepreneurs, the outstanding issue was that all of them had some degrees of passion, thereby making it possible for them to emerge successful in their respective fields.

Intrinsic motivation is something that the majority of entrepreneurs have been observed to possess. According to Karssiens et al., many individuals planning to start their businesses will not expect their supervisors or managers to guide or push them (239). An internal drive is what keeps them moving and willing to take every challenge head-on (Karssiens et al. 239). They will also communicate or share their dreams with other people. They will also formulate the most appropriate procedures to ensure that positive results are recorded. However, the level of motivation has been found to vary from one person to another.

Attributes such as optimism and creativity make it possible for many entrepreneurs to achieve their potential. These personality traits guide them to identify new ways of solving most of the problems their targeted customers face (Lambert). They remain optimistic that their ventures will emerge successfully. Those who record high scores in these attributes will succeed much faster. Those who score low will pursue their goals diligently and eventually become successful (Lambert). Risk-taking is a powerful trait many entrepreneurs display. They use this ability to start new businesses and support them to the very end. They also partner with skilled friends and individuals who can empower them to deliver positive results within a short time.

Personal Reflection

The completed critical literature analysis has revealed that entrepreneurs possess unique competencies and skills that make it easier for them to achieve their goals. This topic is relevant for me since it has equipped me with numerous insights that will empower me as I prepare to start my business venture in the future. With the possession of adequate competencies, I will focus on the most appropriate ideas and procedures to capitalize on my personality traits.

Such a move will guide me to work on my weaknesses and develop a superior philosophy that will guide me until I succeed as an entrepreneur. Those who plan to engage in different business activities will find this topic resourceful and beneficial (Lambert). They can take the above ideas and traits seriously in an attempt to succeed in their respective fields or sectors.


Entrepreneurs possess specific competencies, personality traits, and skills that can empower them to identify emerging opportunities and start new ventures that resonate with their dreams. Some of the attributes include motivation, risk-taking abilities, conscientiousness, intuition, self-confidence, and reduced neuroticism. When individuals focus on these attributes, they can manage to develop superior philosophies and models that will guide them to become successful in their respective business ventures or fields. These insights and ideas will continue to empower and guide more entrepreneurs to achieve their goals.

Works Cited

Brandi, Julia, et al. “Why French Pragmatism Matters to Organizational Institutionalism.” Journal of Management Inquiry, vol. 23, no. 3, 2014, pp. 314-318.

Falzani, David. “ Financial Times. 2014. Web.

Flatter, Georgina C. “ Financial Times. 2018. Web.

Hicks, Stephen R. “The Wall Street Journal, 2016. Web.

Hill, Andrew. “ Financial Times. 2018. Web.

Hu, Winnie. “ The New York Times. 2018. Web.

Hudson, Bryant A., and Gerardo A. Okhuysen. “Taboo Topics: Structural Barriers to the Study of Organizational Stigma.” Journal of Management Inquiry, vol. 23, no. 3, 2014, pp. 242-253.

Karstens, Amarantha E., et al. “Embodied Mind Knowledge in Leadership Practice.” Journal of Management Inquiry, vol. 23, no. 3, 2014, pp. 231-241.

Kelly, Caitlin. “ The New York Times. Web.

Klotz, Anthony C., and Donald O. Neubaum. “Article Commentary: Research on the Dark Side of Personality Traits in Entrepreneurship: Observations from an Organizational Behavior Perspective.” Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, vol. 40, no. 1, 2016, pp. 7-17.

Lambert, Lance. “Bloomberg Businessweek, 2017. Web.

Lightfoot, Liz. “Entrepreneurship: Not Just for Heroes.” Bloomberg Businessweek, 2018. Web.

Lok, Jaco, and Hugh Willmott. “Identities and Identifications in Organizations: Dynamics of Antipathy, Dreadlock, and Alliance.” Journal of Management Inquiry, vol. 23, no. 3, 2014, pp. 215-230.

Schramm, Carl. “ The Wall Street Journal. 2018. Web.

Tor Guthey, Greig, et al. “Place and Sense of Place: Implications for Organizational Studies of Sustainability.” Journal of Management Inquiry, vol. 23, no. 3, 2014, pp. 254-265.

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