Complex Patterns in Construction of Entrepreneurial Identity Among Youth in Estonia Cover Image

Complex Patterns in Construction of Entrepreneurial Identity Among Youth in Estonia
Complex Patterns in Construction of Entrepreneurial Identity Among Youth in Estonia

Author(s): Tarmo Tuisk, Axel Kirch
Subject(s): Business Economy / Management, Social development, Rural and urban sociology, Economic development, Financial Markets, Business Ethics, Socio-Economic Research
Published by: Exeley Inc.
Keywords: Entrepreneurial identity; identification patterns; values and beliefs; Identity Structure Analysis; Estonia;

Summary/Abstract: The goal of the study was to assess entrepreneurial identity focusing on the beliefs and values such as individualism, risk-taking, innovativeness, opportunity recognition and tolerance.Methods: An Identity Structure Analysis (ISA) (Weinreich, 2003/2012) was applied as a meta-theoret­ical framework to conceptualize entrepreneurial identity and identification patterns among students with the image of an entrepreneur. A Bayesian dependency-modelling (Myllymäki et al, 2002) was applied to validate the cohesiveness of the research instrument.Results: This empirical study, carried out among the students of Tallinn University of Technology (n=45), shows similarities on shared dimensions across groups with varying entrepreneurial experience and differences on specific identity processes, particular to each group. These findings are evidenced when using ‘significant others’ as ‘a successful entrepreneur’ , ‘co-students’, ‘business circles’, ‘the govern­ment’, ‘family members’ and ‘ethno-cultural groupings’ as reference points within one’s identity struc­ture. The results also demonstrate that dominant and increasing role of identifications with ‘father’ significantly contributes to one’s personal entrepreneurial development while simultaneous distancing from ‘co-students’ seems inevitable. At the same time, those who are tightly bound with their peers in their identifications are less likely to become successful entrepreneurs and their positive identifica­tions with all family members have decreased continuously during their life span. Those who are and aspire to become entrepreneurs have much higher overall self-evaluation and tolerance, individualism and innovativeness form their core identity dimensions when compared to those who are less entre­preneurial and reveal collectivistic values. The results are consistent with earlier studies (MacNabb 2003/2012; Nabi et al 2010) and the application of ISA together with its methodological possibilities has been justified despite the small number participants. In the future, cross-cultural assessments of entrepreneurial orientation and identity should help to verify if the findings have universal validity or remain only applicable to the Estonian socio-cultural context

  • Issue Year: 9/2015
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 208-223
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: English