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K-State Today

July 14, 2016



Entrepreneurs succeed in societies that endorse both charismatic and self-protective leadership ideals according to new research

By Brent Fritzemeier

A new study co-authored by Kansas State University assistant professor of entrepreneurship Saurav Pathak explores the impact that specific cultural expectations about ideal leadership styles has on the levels of entrepreneurship across 42 different countries.

The paper introduces cultural leadership ideals as a relevant aspect of culture that explains cross-national differences in entrepreneurship. Cultural leadership ideals describe culturally shared expectations about the attributes, motives and behaviors of outstanding leaders. The study suggests that entrepreneurship will flourish in cultures where cultural leadership ideals closely align with entrepreneurial behaviors — specifically charismatic and self-protective leadership ideals.

"Our study helps to understand the past mixed findings on cultural values and entrepreneurship," Pathak said. "We offer novel insights into how culture influences entrepreneurship, and clarify which aspects of culture are most relevant for entrepreneurship."

The full study, titled "Beyond cultural values? Cultural leadership ideals and entrepreneurship," has been accepted and will be published in the Journal of Business Venturing. In addition to Pathak, the research was co-authored by Ute Stephan of Aston University in the United Kingdom.