The impact of entrepreneurial motivation on venture performance

Anne Berthelot, University of Texas at El Paso


What are the direct and indirect effects of entrepreneurial motivation on venture performance? This question is critical given the role that motivation could be playing in entrepreneurship in general and entrepreneurial firm success in particular. Indeed, the extant literature has not clearly identified the role that entrepreneurial motivation level plays in venture performance. We attempt to address this gap by providing and testing a model of entrepreneurial motivation. Our approach diverges from previous research in that we quantify motivation, versus much of the current research which looks at the underlying motivation (goal) to start and maintain a venture. ^ Our model is based on self-determination theory (SDT), which allows us to capture the relationship between entrepreneurs and their venture. SDT describes a process, called internalization, whereby individuals take an object and allow it to become part of self. We believe SDT is appropriate because of the strong connection between entrepreneurs and their venture, to the point that they sometimes face various personal problems associated with their status. Based on SDT, we propose that entrepreneurs internalize their venture to various degrees, resulting in varying levels of entrepreneurial motivation. This, we propose, has an influence on the performance of their venture.^ We test our model with hierarchical ordinary least square regressions on samples of 156 American founders and 131 French entrepreneurs. Our results show that venture internalization (motivation) has a positive effect on performance satisfaction in both samples. This dissertation demonstrates that the individual entrepreneur matters differently from what previous research has suggested. Given our results identifying venture internalization as one of the strongest positive predictor of performance satisfaction across countries, we believe that research focusing on personality characteristics needs to expand to include factors pertaining to the internal dynamics that lead entrepreneurs to be more committed to a venture. The implications, limitations of our study and suggestions for future research, are discussed at the end of this dissertation. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, General|Business Administration, Management

Recommended Citation

Berthelot, Anne, "The impact of entrepreneurial motivation on venture performance" (2008). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3320183.