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Titolo: Between Innovation and Risk: Mapping the entrepreneurs and students' knowledge structures
Data di pubblicazione: 2014
Abstract: This research, based on the Entrepreneurial Cognition perspective (Mitchell, Busenitz et al., 2002), investigates the entrepreneurs' and students' knowledge structures connected to the concept Entrepreneur. The exploratory purpose is to elucidate which motivational factors and decision making processes are connected the most with the Entrepreneur concept; to investigate whether and which differences emerge between students' and entrepreneurs' knowledge structures. A three-stage procedure was brought. (1 ): 30 concepts were extrapolated from the literature on entrepreneurial motivation (Shane, Locke and Collins, 2003) and decision-making processes (Mitchell et al., 2007); (2) two focus-group of 12 entrepreneurs and 12 students, respectively, were conducted to prune the list of 30 to 19 ones: Experience, Intuition, Planning, Change events, Selfefficacy, Risk, Earn, Personal success, Passion, Autonomy, Power, Market, Innovation, Funds, Failure, Friends entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurs, Sardinia*; (3): 26 entrepreneurs (age 33, SD 5.84, 8% women) and 111 students (age 25, SD 3.62, 42% women ) reported the correlation between each pair of concepts with a 5 point-scale where 1 is not at all connected and 5 is strongly connected. The technique used to analyze the correlation matrices are based on the Pathfinder algorithm (Schvaneveldt Dearholt and Durso, 1988), by which non-informative edges are pruned in order to simplify the structure of individuals' representations. An ad-hoc Python software was developed with NetworkX. It allows (1) to visualize individual representations; (2) to calculate two measures of centrality relying on graph theory (Steyvers and Tenenbaum, 2005): Degree (number of links associated to each concept);and Betweenness (number of times a concept should be traversed when connecting every couple of concepts in the network). The results show that for entrepreneurs the concept Entrepreneur is more central than for students and for students one of the central concept is Self-efficacy. In addition, among the entrepreneurs the concept Risk is related to the context in which the company was created, failure, innovation and intuition, while in students' representation it is is related only to the concept Entrepreneur. This type of analysis can be useful in the context of entrepreneurial training to check the effects of experience and new acquisitions. *Italian Region
Tipologia:4.2 Abstract in Atti di convegno

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