Self-Actualization: The Zenith of Entrepreneurship


  • James W. Carland, Jr. Western Carolina University
  • Jo Ann C. Carland Western Carolina University
  • James W. (Trey) Carland, III Western Carolina University


This paper presents entrepreneurship  literature  which supports  a treatment  of entrepreneurial drive as a continuum. Behavioral differences among entrepreneurs are presented and examined in the light of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The two perspectives are linked by a perspective of entrepreneurial activity as a vehicle which can support one's advancement through all levels of the hierarchy. This perspective is examined empirically with a database of 156 entrepreneurs, and the authors conclude that the respondents in this study who displayed higher entrepreneurial drive did view their businesses as vehicles for achieving self-esteem and self-actualization. Those respondents displaying lower entrepreneurial drive viewed their firms as vehicles for providing  basic financial  needs.


Bird, B. & M. Jelinek. (1988) The operation of entrepreneurial intentions, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 13 (2), Winter, 21-30.

Borland, C. ( 1974) Locus of Control. Need For Achievement and Entrepreneurship. Doctoral Dissenation, The University of Texas at Austin.

Brockhaus, R.H. (1980) Risk taking propensity of entrepreneurs, Academy of Management Journal, 23(3), 509-520.

Brockhaus, R.H. (1982) Psychology of the entrepreneur. In Kent, Sexton, Vesper (Eds),

Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 39-57.

Brockhaus, R.H. & P.S. Horwitz (1986) The psychology of the entrepreneur, In D.L. Sexton & R.W. Smilor (eds.) The An and Science of Entreoreneurship, Cambridge, MA: Ballinger, 25-48.

Bygrave, W.D. & C.W. Hofer (1991) Theorizing about entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 16 (2), Winter, 13-22.

Carland, J.W. (1982) Entrepreneurship in a small business selling: An exploratory study. Unpublished doctor.ii disscnation, University of Georgia.

Carland, J.W., Hoy, F., Bou lton, W.R. & Carland, J.A. (1984) Differentiating entrepreneurs from small business owners. The Academy of Management Review, 9(2), April, 354- 359.

Carland, J.W., Hoy, F., & Carland, J.A. (1988) Who is an Entrepreneur? Is a Question Wonh Asking. American Journal of S mall Business, 12(4), Spring, 33-39.

Carland, J.W. & Carland, J.A. (1991) An Empirical Investigation into the Distinctions Between Male and Female Entrepreneurs and Managers. I ntemational Journal of Small Business, 9(3), April-J une, 62-72.

Carland, J.W., J.A. Carland, & F. Hoy (1992) An entrepreneursh ip i ndex: An empirical validation, Pa per presented at the Babson Entrepreneurship Conference, Fontainebleau, France, Ju ly.

Carsrud, A.L., K.W. Olm, & G.G. Eddy (1986) Entrepreneurship: Research in quest of a paradigm, In D.L. Sexton & R.W. Smilor (eds.) The An and Science of Entrepreneurship. Cambridge, M A: Ball inger, 367-378.

DeCarlo, J. & Lyons, P.R. Comparison of personal characteristics of m inority and non-minority female entrepreneurs, Journal of Small Business Management, 1979, Dec, 22-29.

Dunkel bcrg, W.C. & Cooper, A.C. (1982) Entrepreneurial typologies. In K. Vesper (Ed), Frontiers of Entrepreneursh ip, Wellesley, Ma: Babson Center for Entrepreneurial Stud ies, 1-15.

Gartner, W.B. (1988) "W ho is an Entrepreneur?" ls the Wrong Question, American Journal of Small Business, Spring, 12(4), 11-32.

Gartner, W.B. (1989) Some suggestions for research on entrepreneurial trai ts and characteristics, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 14 (!), Fall, 27-38.

Gartner, W.B., T.R. Mitchell, & K.H. Vesper (1989) A taxonomy of new business ventures, Journal of Business Venturing, 4 (3), 169-186.

Gasse, Y. (1982) Elaborations on the psychology of the entrepreneur, In C.A. Kent, D.L. Sexton, & K.H. Vesper, (eds.) Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. 57-71.

Hofer, C.W. & W.D. Bygrave. (1992) Researching entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship: Theorv and Practice, 16 (3), Spring, 91-100.

Hornaday, J.A. & Aboud, J. (1971) Characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, Personal Psychology, 24, 141-153.

Ket de Vries, M.F.R. (1985) The darkside of entrepreneurship, Harvard Business Review, 85 (6), 160-167.

Kirchhoff, B.A. (1991) Entrepreneurship's contribution to economics, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 16 (2), Winter, 93-112.

Louis, K.S., D. Blumenthal, M.E. Gluck, & M.A. Stoto (1989) Entrepreneurs in academe: An exploration of behaviors among life scientists, Administrative Science Ouarterly, 34 110-131.

Mancuso, J.R. (1975) The entrepreneurs' quiz, Entrepreneurship and Venture Management,Englewood: Prentice-Hall.

Maslow, A.H. (1943) Behavior and motivation, Psychosomatic Medicine, 5, 85-92.

Maslow, A.H. (1971) The Farther Reaches of H uman Nature. New York: The Viking Press. Mason, R.D. (I982) Statistical Techniq ues in Business and Economics (5th Ed). Homewood, Richard D. Irwin, Inc.

McClelland, D.C. (1961) The Achievin g Society. Princeton: Van Nostrand.

McClelland, D.C. (1987) Characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, Journal of Creative Behavior, 21 , 219-233.

Mescon, T.S. & J.R. Montanari (1981) The personalities of independent and franchised entrepreneurs, Academy of Management Proceedings, 413-317.

Mitton, D.G. (1989) The compleat entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 13 (3), Spring, 9-20.

Pickle, H.B. (1964) Personality and success: An evaluation of personal characteristics of successf ul small business managers, Small Business Research Series No. 4. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.

Reynolds, P.D. (1991) Sociology and entrepreneurship: Concepts and contributions, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 16 (2), Winter, 47-70.

Sandberg, W.R. (1992) Strategic management's potential contributions to a theory of entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 16 (3), Spring, 73-90.

Sexton, D.L. & N.B. Bowman (1984) Personality inventory for potential entrepreneurs: Evaluation of a modified JPl/PRF/E test instrument, Paper presented at the Babson Entrepreneurship Conference, Wellesley, MA: Babson College.

Sex ton, D.L. & N.B. Bowman (1985) The entrepreneur: A capable executive and more, Journal of Business Vent uring, I , 129-140.

Shaver, K.G. & L.R. Scott. (I991) Person, process, choice: The psychology of new venture creation, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 16 (2), Winter, 23-46.

Smith, N. (1967) The Entrepreneur and His Firm: The Relationship Between Type of Man and Tywf Company. East Lansing: Michigan State University.

Solomon, G.T. & E.K. Winslow (1988) Toward a descriptive profile of the entrepreneur, Journal of Creative Behavior, 22, 162-171.

Stewan, A. ( 1991) A prospectus on the anthropology of entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 16 (2) Winter, 71-92.

Timmons, J.A. (1978) Characteristics and role demands of entrepreneursh ip, American Journal of Small Business, 3, 5-17.

VanderWerf, P.A. & C.G. Brush. (1989) Achieving empirical progress in an undefined field, Entreoreneurship: Theory and Practice, 14 (2), Winter, 45-58.

Vesper, K.H. (1980) New Venture Strategies, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.

Webster, F.A. (1977) Entrepreneurs and Ventures: An Attempt at Classification and Clarification, Academy of Management Review, 2(1), .54-61.

Winslow, E.K. & G.T. Solomon (1987) Entrepreneurs are more than nonconformists: They are mildly sociopathic, Journal of Creative Behavior, 21(3), 202-213.

Winslow, E.K. & G.T. Solomon (1989) Further development of a descriptive profile of entrepreneurs, Journal of Creative Behavior, 23, 149-161.

Wortman, M.S. (1987) Entrepreneurship: An integrating typology and evaluation of the empirical research in the field, Journal of Management, 13, 259-279.







How to Cite

Self-Actualization: The Zenith of Entrepreneurship. (1995). Journal of Small Business Strategy (archive Only), 6(1), 53-66.

Most read articles by the same author(s)