“Confucian” traits, entrepreneurial personality, and entrepreneurship in China : a regional analysis

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review

3 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Martin Obschonka
  • Mingjie Zhou
  • Yixin Zhou
  • Jianxin Zhang
  • Rainer K. Silbereisen

Related Research Unit(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961–979
Journal / PublicationSmall Business Economics
Volume53
Issue number4
Online published22 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Abstract

Regional personality differences have been linked to regional entrepreneurship in Western countries. Here, we offer a first analysis of the relationship between regional personality and manifest and latent entrepreneurship in China. Because Western research has highlighted the role of an entrepreneurial constellation of the Big Five traits, we compare region-level correlates of Big Five scores with corresponding correlates of indigenous “Confucian” traits, interpersonal relatedness, and its sub-facets traditionalism, Renqing, face, discipline, and harmony. We utilize personality data collected from a representative sample (N = 26,405) of 44 major Chinese cities. We find substantial, meaningful, and robust negative correlations of interpersonal relatedness and its sub-facet traditionalism, face, and discipline with indicators of both manifest entrepreneurship (e.g., rate of newly registered individually owned businesses) and latent entrepreneurship (e.g., number of entrepreneurship-related search queries in the leading Chinese internet search engine: Baidu.com). Robustness checks using the geographical distance to the Forbidden City in Beijing as an exogenous instrument for regional “Confucian” traits supported our findings. In contrast, regional levels in the Big Five traits and in an entrepreneurial Big Five profile were rather irrelevant (e.g., openness was negatively associated with indicators of manifest entrepreneurship). Our study indicates the usefulness of an indigenous personality approach in the study of entrepreneurship in China. The present results give rise to the idea that in populations in China with less emphasis on traditional Confucian values and norms, the development of an active entrepreneurial culture is more accelerated.

Research Area(s)

  • Big Five, China, Cities, Confucianism, Entrepreneurship, Personality, Regions, Traits

Citation Format(s)

“Confucian” traits, entrepreneurial personality, and entrepreneurship in China : a regional analysis. / Obschonka, Martin; Zhou, Mingjie; Zhou, Yixin; Zhang, Jianxin; Silbereisen, Rainer K.

In: Small Business Economics, Vol. 53, No. 4, 12.2019, p. 961–979.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review