International Journal of Entrepreneurship (Print ISSN: 1099-9264; Online ISSN: 1939-4675)


Think Entrepreneurially. Entrepreneurs vs Non-Entrepreneurs Cognitive Profiles

Author(s): Barbara Barbieri, Clara Amato, Marco Zurru, Max Rapp Ricciardi, Paula Benevene, Danilo Garcia

Many recent contributions try to identify the way of thinking of individuals who pursue entrepreneurial careers. This study aims at investigating the cognitive styles (i.e., the stable preferred way to thinking by an individual) of a sample of entrepreneurs (vs. non-entrepreneurs.) According to Sternberg’s theories and based on the previous researches it is assumed that some cognitive styles better describe the entrepreneurial way of thinking. Through a discriminant analysis, this assumption has been assessed on an Italian sample of 276 participants (147 entrepreneurs and 129 non-entrepreneurs.) The data show that the anarchical (i.e., a random approach to problems, by sometimes drawing up connections that the others would not be able to establish), legislative (i.e., the free decision of what to do and how to do it), internal (i.e., the inclination towards autonomy for the performance of tasks) and liberal style (i.e., the tendency to deviate from the way in which things are currently made) are distinctive of the Entrepreneurs group, confirming the assumption concerning different cognitive profiles between the two groups interviewed. Directions for future research are discussed.