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Dissertation Abstract

Human Values of Entrepreneurship: An Empirical Analysis of the Human Values of Social and Traditional Entrepreneurs

Laurie A. McCabe
May 2012

There is yet no empirical evidence supporting emergent theoretical definitions of social entrepreneurship. This research provides the lacking empiricism with analysis of the human values of social entrepreneurs—the individual catalysts of the process. In a quantitative method to collect and analyze data, 89 subjects completed the Rokeach Value Survey and provided a rank order listing of their 18 instrumental values and 18 terminal human values. Among the most influential values for all subjects and both types of entrepreneurs are (a) a sense of accomplishment, (b) health, (c) family security, (d) wisdom, (e) courageous, (f) honest, (g) imaginative, (h) helpful, and (i) broad-minded. Among the values with a different influence by entrepreneur type were (a) equality, (b) freedom, (c) salvation, and (d) a world at peace. Theoretical implications of the research are that human values are a reliable source to describe and predict behavior; and the influence of these values will contribute to the emerging definitions of social entrepreneurship. Practical implications will likely be training or funding for social entrepreneurs done according to these values. Research recommendations include further analysis of correlations among subsets of values, validations of the aforementioned differences, and extrapolations of how these values affect motivations.