This paper compares the main Entrepreneurial Trait theories with the profile of a successful entrepreneur: Mr Ian Robertson. Using qualitative methods, Mr Robertson's entrepreneurial characteristics are established, analyzed and weighed against the attributes discussed in entrepreneurial literature. The research methods undertaken for the purpose of this study include a forty-five minute interview; electronic correspondence and a literature study.
[...] Mr Robertson accepted this position when headhunted by the Department for Trade and Industry as he feels strongly that graduates who choose entrepreneurship as a career are a valuable resource to the economy. Mr Robertson also aspires to be a politician. Therefore, it may be construed that he is an individual who has a high Need for Achievement. Locus of Control In his book ‘Entrepreneurship' (2003) Kirby summarizes the various ‘Locus of Control' theories. Rotter's (1966 - Kirby, pg 112) view is that a person who believes in internal control believes that the achievement of a goal is dependant on his/her own behavior or individual characteristics. [...]
[...] 4. What made you decide to take time out from managing your ventures to head the NCGE? 5. What are the objectives of NCGE? 6. For how long will you continue to head the NCGE? 7. Can you tell me about your upbringing? 8. Were your parents or any other family members business owners? 9. Did you know any business owners when you were a child? 10. Can you tell me about your education, did you attend College or University? [...]
[...] (Kirby, 2003) For example, one of the nineteen required elements Timmin's et al attribute to entrepreneurship is need for status and power'. However, when asked to indicate how closely the statement like the power that my leadership position holds over subordinates' represents his true feelings, Mr Robertson indicated ‘frequently true' - number 4. (Scale of with 1 meaning least representative ‘almost never true' and 5 indicating the most representative ‘almost always true') (Kirby Appendix 7.1 ) When asked to comment on the characteristics that make a good entrepreneur, Mr Robertson replied, need to be focused and you need the ability to work in uncertainty.” He felt that there is no definitive answer to the question entrepreneurs born or made?' He believes that it is a mixture of both. [...]
[...] Mr Robertson was asked if his organization (SVIC) has a framework in place to encourage and enable creativity and entrepreneurship to develop. He replied that his company has created several off-shoot mini companies to whom he out-sources work. This permits him to keep costs down and allows creativity to thrive and employee ownership of ideas to prosper. This indicates that Mr Robertson is an innovator who recognizes the competitive advantage that creativity and innovation can produce. “Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or a different service” (Drucker - Kirby, 2003) Leadership style questionnaire This questionnaire, based on the Theories of Leadership Style devised by Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1973) helps to determine the leadership style that the respondent normally operates from. [...]
[...] It is difficult to apply a solitary Smith definition to Mr Robertson's case as the evidence seems to indicate that his position has altered over time. In his early career, Mr Robertson's entrepreneurial attributes seem to have corresponded with the Craftsman paradigm, but then his company became more established making the Opportunist model a better match. Mr Robertson displays a small number of the features of a Craftsman entrepreneur, the first being that he comes from a working class back ground. [...]
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