The Hunt for the Heffalump Continues: Can Trait and Cognitive Characteristics Predict Entrepreneurial Orientation?


  • Eva Cools Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, Ghent University, Belgium
  • Van den Broeck Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, Ghent University, Belgium


In this paper, we aimed to get more insight into what typifies Flemish entrepreneurs. Therefore, we compared entrepreneurs with non-entrepreneurs for five characteristics (tolerance for ambiguity, self-efficacy, proactive personality, locus of control, need for achievement) and for cognitive styles. Additionally, we used these trait and cognitive characteristics to predict variances in entrepreneurial orientation (EO). We found that entrepreneurs (n = 177) score significantly higher on all traits than non-entrepreneurs (n = 60). For the cognitive styles (measured with the Cognitive Style Indicator), we found that non-entrepreneurs score higher on the knowing and planning style. No differences were found for the creating style. With regard to the link between the entrepreneur's profile and EO, we found a significant contribution of tolerance for ambiguity and proactive personality to EO.


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