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Developing a new measure of entrepreneurial mindset: Reliability, validity, and implications for practitioners.

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Abstract

There has long been interest in the personality traits, motivations, attitudes, and behaviors that contribute to entrepreneurial status and success. To date, however, efforts to measure these constructs have typically proceeded in a piecemeal fashion. This article describes the development of a new measure of entrepreneurial mindset-the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile (EMP)-which seeks to measure them in a more comprehensive way. In a series of 3 studies, we describe the development of the instrument and provide evidence for its psychometric adequacy and construct validity. As expected, entrepreneurs and corporate managers differed significantly from one another on each of the EMP's 14 scales. Relationships between the EMP scales and measures of the Five Factor Model patterned largely as expected, with Openness to Experience displaying the broadest and strongest associations with EMP scales. Finally, the EMP dimension that explicitly assesses the ability to think creatively (Idea Generation) was associated with 2 different performance measures of divergent thinking. Thus, evidence to date supports the view that the EMP is a valid and reliable measure of entrepreneurial mindset. In addition to being a useful tool for research, the EMP can also be a valuable resource for consulting psychologists. (PsycINFO Database Record
Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and
Research
DEVELOPING A NEW MEASURE OF ENTREPRENEURIAL
MINDSET: RELIABILITY, VALIDITY, AND IMPLICATIONS FOR
PRACTITIONERS
Mark H. Davis, Jennifer A. Hall, and Pamela S. Mayer
Online First Publication, October 19, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/cpb0000045
CITATION
Davis, M. H., Hall, J. A., & Mayer, P. S. (2015, October 19). DEVELOPING A NEW MEASURE OF
ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET: RELIABILITY, VALIDITY, AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTITIONERS.
Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research. Advance online publication. http://
dx.doi.org/10.1037/cpb0000045
DEVELOPING A NEW MEASURE OF
ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET:
RELIABILITY, VALIDITY, AND
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTITIONERS
Mark H. Davis
Eckerd College
Jennifer A. Hall
Jennifer Hall LLC, Largo, Florida
Pamela S. Mayer
College of Charleston
There has long been interest in the personality traits, motivations, attitudes, and behaviors
that contribute to entrepreneurial status and success. To date, however, efforts to measure
these constructs have typically proceeded in a piecemeal fashion. This article describes the
development of a new measure of entrepreneurial mindset—the Entrepreneurial Mindset
Profile (EMP)—which seeks to measure them in a more comprehensive way. In a series of
3 studies, we describe the development of the instrument and provide evidence for its
psychometric adequacy and construct validity. As expected, entrepreneurs and corporate
managers differed significantly from one another on each of the EMP’s 14 scales. Relation-
ships between the EMP scales and measures of the Five Factor Model patterned largely as
expected, with Openness to Experience displaying the broadest and strongest associations
with EMP scales. Finally, the EMP dimension that explicitly assesses the ability to think
creatively (Idea Generation) was associated with 2 different performance measures of
divergent thinking. Thus, evidence to date supports the view that the EMP is a valid and
reliable measure of entrepreneurial mindset. In addition to being a useful tool for research,
the EMP can also be a valuable resource for consulting psychologists.
Keywords: assessment, coaching, entrepreneurial mindset, entrepreneurial personality,
entrepreneurship
The economic importance of entrepreneurial activities is widely recognized. It is considered a key
factor in creating new jobs, increasing trade, and generating new ideas, technologies, and products
(e.g., Arzeni, 1998; Audretsch, 2007; Birch, 1987; Kirchoff, 1997).
Given this importance, it is not surprising that significant effort has been expended in an attempt
to understand what may foster and support such activities. Some approaches have focused on
Mark H. Davis, Department of Psychology, Eckerd College; Jennifer A. Hall, Jennifer Hall LLC, Largo, Florida;
Pamela S. Mayer, School of Professional Studies, College of Charleston.
The authors of this article receive royalties on sales of the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Mark H. Davis, Department of Psychology,
Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL 33711. E-mail: davismh@eckerd.edu
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research © 2015 American Psychological Association
2015, Vol. 67, No. 4, 000– 000 1065-9293/15/$12.00 http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/cpb0000045
1
“macro” factors such as characteristics of the organization and the larger economic environment
(e.g., Aldrich & Wiedenmayer, 1993; McDougall, Robinson, & DeNisi, 1992). However, other work
has taken a more “micro” approach and focused on characteristics of the entrepreneurs themselves
(e.g., Obschonka, Schmitt-Rodermund, Silbereisen, Gosling, & Potter, 2013; Stewart & Roth,
2007).
This study falls within the latter tradition and is concerned with entrepreneurial mindset (EM),
defined as the constellation of motives, skills, and thought processes that distinguish entrepreneurs
from nonentrepreneurs and that contribute to entrepreneurial success. In this paper we seek to
accomplish five goals. First, we will present a selective review of the existing literature on attempts
to measure the individual characteristics associated with entrepreneurial intentions and behavior.
Second, based on this review, we will describe the set of characteristics that seem to best capture
the entrepreneurial mindset. Third, we will describe the process by which we constructed an
instrument to measure these constructs. Fourth, we will offer validity evidence regarding the
relationship of these dimensions to other individual difference measures and their ability to
distinguish between entrepreneurs and managers. Finally, we will briefly describe some ways in
which practitioners can use such an assessment of entrepreneurial mindset.
General Background
Attempts to identify elements of EM (often referred to in previous work as “entrepreneurial
personality”) have had a long but rocky history. Early interest in this question led to the nomination
of several personality traits (e.g., need for achievement, locus of control) as especially characteristic
of entrepreneurs (see Rauch & Frese, 2000, for a review of these). However, relations between these
traits and various entrepreneurial outcome measures were often weak or inconsistent, prompting
many to abandon this question and leading some to conclude that attempts to identify an entrepre-
neurial personality were fundamentally misguided (e.g., Gartner, 1989).
Recent years, though, have seen a renewed interest in the question of how psychological
variables may influence entrepreneurial outcomes (e.g., Baum, Frese, & Baron, 2007; Brandstätter,
2011; Haynie, Shepherd, Mosakowski, & Earley, 2010). This resurgence has come about primarily
for two reasons. First, evidence has begun to accumulate that personality variables may have their
most potent impact on entrepreneurial variables not directly but indirectly through a variety of
mediating variables. For example, Baum, Locke, and Smith (2001) have offered a model in which
distal personality traits such as tenacity and passion have an influence on entrepreneurial outcomes
via their impact on more proximal variables such as situation-specific goals and self-efficacy. Thus,
traits may have a meaningful influence on entrepreneurial outcomes even if the zero-order corre-
lations between traits and outcomes are low.
Second, attention to personality has made a comeback because of a more sophisticated
understanding of how specific personality traits may be usefully conceptualized within broader and
more comprehensive taxonomies. In particular, the success of the Five Factor Model (FFM) of
personality has provided a theoretical context for understanding the role of specific traits. For
instance, Rauch and Frese’s (2007) model proposes that broad personality traits such as those in the
FFM exert an influence on entrepreneurial outcomes through a series of pathways leading from
broad traits (e.g., Openness to Experience), to specific traits (e.g., creativity), to goal-setting, and
finally to business creation and success. Thus, for a variety of reasons, interest in the role that
personality plays in entrepreneurial activity has increased in recent years. Let us turn to a
consideration of these efforts.
Prior Approaches to Defining EM
The dominant approach in prior attempts to define and measure EM has been to focus on specific
traits thought to be linked to entrepreneurial intentions or success, and a number of traits have
received attention. Some have been studied quite extensively, with the result that they have had
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2 DAVIS, HALL, AND MAYER
meta-analyses devoted specifically to them. For example, Stewart and Roth (2007) conducted a
meta-analysis of the link between achievement motivation and entrepreneurial status and found that
entrepreneurs had reliably higher achievement motivation than managers; the difference was even
greater for entrepreneurs who had founded their companies and for growth-oriented entrepreneurs
(as opposed to income-oriented ones). The same two investigators also carried out a meta-analysis
of the association between risk propensity and entrepreneurial status and found entrepreneurs to
have reliably higher risk propensity than managers; again, the difference was even greater for
growth-oriented entrepreneurs (Stewart & Roth, 2001).
Other candidates for inclusion in EM have received empirical scrutiny to a lesser degree but still
appear to be reliably associated with entrepreneurial outcomes. Some of the most prominent of these
are tolerance for ambiguity (Begley & Boyd, 1987), autonomy (Utsch, Rauch, Rothfuss, & Frese,
1999), action orientation (Seibert, Kraimer, & Crant, 2001), persistence (Baum & Locke, 2004),
passion (Baum & Locke, 2004), and creativity (Cromie, 2000). In each case, evidence supports the
conclusion that individuals who are drawn to or occupy entrepreneurial roles score higher on the
dimension in question.
Another, more recent approach has been to use the FFM (e.g., Costa & McCrae, 1992) as an
organizing structure for examining the link between personality and entrepreneurial variables.
The FFM has emerged in recent years as perhaps the dominant approach to conceptualizing
personality (e.g., Funder, 2013; McCrae & Costa, 2013). It holds that a wide variety of
personality variables may be organized into five broad dimensions: Agreeableness, Extraver-
sion, Conscientiousness, Openness to Experience, and Neuroticism (or Emotional Stability). It
has been argued that a particular configuration of FFM personality traits is especially likely in
entrepreneurs and may lead them to select entrepreneurial careers. In support of this hypothesis,
Zhao and Seibert (2006) found in a meta-analysis of 23 studies that, compared with managers,
entrepreneurs scored higher on traits reflecting Conscientiousness and Openness to Experience
and lower on traits reflecting Neuroticism and Agreeableness; no difference was found on
Extraversion.
Instruments for Measuring EM
As can be seen from the research described thus far, almost all of the investigations of EM have
been carried out using personality instruments that were not designed to specifically assess it.
That is, many investigations have used broad and well-known personality instruments such as
the 16PF (Cattell, Eber, & Tatsuoka, 1970), the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI; Myers,
McCaulley, & Most, 1985), or measures of the Five Factor Model (e.g., Costa & McCrae,
1992), none of which were designed as a measure of EM. Similarly, many other investigations
(e.g., Begley & Boyd, 1987; Stewart & Roth, 2001; Utsch et al., 1999) have used measures of
specific traits, such as achievement motivation (see Stewart & Roth, 2007), to predict entre-
preneurial outcomes— but these measures were also never intended to be measures of EM.
Only a handful of instruments designed specifically to measure EM have been developed,
and none have been used widely. For example, the General Enterprising Tendency (GET) test,
developed by the Durham University Business School (1988), measures five facets of the
entrepreneurial individual: need for achievement, autonomy, creative tendency, calculated
risk-taking, and internal locus of control. Evidence suggests that entrepreneurs score higher on
each dimension than control groups such as teachers or managers (e.g., Cromie & Callaghan,
1997). The Entrepreneurial Attitude Scale (EAS; Robinson, Stimpson, Heufner, & Hunt, 1991)
assesses four constructs: need for achievement, self-esteem, personal control, and innovation.
Although it is described as an attitude measure rather than a personality measure, most of its
items strongly resemble those on personality instruments (e.g., “I do everything as thoroughly
as possible”). Entrepreneurs scored higher than managers on all four dimensions. The Measure
of Entrepreneurial Tendencies and Abilities (META; Ahmetoglu, Leutner, & Chamorro-
Premuzic, 2011) taps four constructs: entrepreneurial awareness, entrepreneurial creativity,
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3A NEW MEASURE OF ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET
opportunism, and vision. Scores on these dimensions are positively associated with self-
reported entrepreneurial achievement and activities.
Importantly, all of these instruments attempt to measure a constellation of individual traits
and motives that characterize entrepreneurs. Rauch and Frese (2000), among others, have
persuasively argued that single traits will never have very substantial associations with
entrepreneurial outcomes and that a superior strategy is to employ sets of traits. However, in our
view these existing measures are not comprehensive enough in scope. Given the accumulated
evidence from more than 30 years of investigation, it seems clear that a larger set of individual
characteristics should be included in a comprehensive instrument of entrepreneurial mindset.
Thus, we undertook the development of a new instrument to measure EM. Our goal was to
create an instrument that would provide a more systematic and comprehensive approach to
measuring the facets of EM.
Creating a New Instrument: The Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile (EMP)
Our initial step in this process was to identify a comprehensive list of possible dimensions that might
characterize entrepreneurs and contribute to entrepreneurial success. Thus, we examined the
research literature for likely candidates. This included not only research specifically focused on the
traits and motivations of individuals but also work that considered the characteristics of entrepre-
neurial organizations (e.g., Covin & Slevin, 1989; Lumpkin & Dess, 1996). In addition, it included
research dealing with creativity and innovation rather than entrepreneurial activity per se (e.g.,
Torrance, 1968). Furthermore, we had conversations with entrepreneurs and asked them to offer
their views as to the characteristics that most distinguished them from nonentrepreneurs. Thus, some
of the dimensions that we eventually selected for inclusion had not necessarily been suggested by
previous scholarly investigation.
As we constructed the first version of the instrument, we were guided by two considerations.
First, based on our reading of the literature, and on the recommendations offered by Rauch and
Frese (2000), we chose to measure relatively specific dimensions rather than broader domains,
because such an approach seemed more likely to yield meaningful associations with entrepre-
neurial outcomes. Even some of those who have employed the FFM approach recommend that
serious efforts to understand the link between personality and entrepreneurialism will benefit
from attention to more specific facets of the five broad domains. Of necessity, broad domains
combine specific facets that may have very different relations with entrepreneurial variables
(Zhao, Seibert, & Lumpkin, 2010), and thus an exclusive focus on the five factors is likely to
underestimate the association between personality and entrepreneurial outcomes. Consistent
with this argument, evidence indicates that specific traits tend to display higher correlations
with entrepreneurial outcomes than do broader dimensions (Rauch & Frese, 2007).
Second, during the scale-development process we came to believe that there might be an
important distinction between dimensions that are more purely “personality-like” (relatively endur-
ing traits and motivations) and those that might be considered skills. Our reasoning was that some
dimensions thought to be associated with entrepreneurial outcomes (e.g., achievement motivation,
nonconformity), although somewhat malleable, are likely to be relatively stable. On the other hand,
there may be other dimensions (e.g., self-confidence, persistence) that are more easily malleable and
thus better candidates for interventions.
To be sure, the dividing line between these two categories is not always clear or precise, and it
is certainly a matter of degree. Nevertheless, we felt that making this effort was worthwhile. The
entrepreneurial enterprise unfolds over time, and at varying stages different aspects of the EM may
be more or less useful (Baron, 2007). In particular, it seems quite plausible that certain traits and
motives may predispose individuals to be drawn toward becoming an entrepreneur in the first place.
However, once someone has become an entrepreneur, these characteristics may recede in impor-
tance, and a different set of skills or abilities may become more important in order to be successful.
Broadly speaking, our working hypothesis is that what may draw people to entrepreneurship is
personality, and what makes them good at it is their skill set.
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4 DAVIS, HALL, AND MAYER
Thus, in assigning particular EMP dimensions to these two categories, we were primarily guided
by this question: Is there evidence that this dimension can be altered by training, practice, or
intervention? If so, then we included it in the skills category, even though one might not ordinarily
think of it as a skill. Based on research indicating the malleability of creativity (Rose & Lin, 1984;
Gist, 1989), optimism (Luthans, Avey, & Patera, 2008), persistence (Eisenberger, 1992; Duckworth,
Grant, Loew, Oettingen, & Gollwitzer, 2011), self-confidence (Carney, Cuddy, & Yap, 2010),
execution (Burke & Day, 1986; Thach, 2002), future focus (Fujita, Trope, Liberman, & Levin-Sagi,
2006; Liberman & Trope, 2008), and interpersonal skills (Blanchard, Hawkins, Baldwin, & Fawcett,
2009; Hawkins, Blanchard, Baldwin, & Fawcett, 2008), we eventually elected to place these
dimensions in the skills category.
Preliminary Versions of the EMP
Version 1
Drawing on our review of the literature and discussions with entrepreneurs, we identified 14
dimensions for inclusion in the first version of the instrument (see Table 1). Most of these
dimensions have received (sometimes considerable) empirical attention in prior research. A few
emerged from our discussions with entrepreneurs (in particular, Nonconformity and Preference for
Limited Structure). Four came from Torrance’s (1968) model of creativity: Ideational Fluency,
Flexibility, Originality, and Elaboration. Each of the three authors independently wrote items to tap
each dimension. These items were compared, discussed, and in some cases revised to produce the
initial version of the instrument, which consisted of 118 items (with the number of items per scale
ranging from 8 to 10). Each scale contained some negatively worded items. For each item,
respondents were asked to indicate how well it described them on a 5-point scale ranging from does
not describe me well to describes me very well. This version was administered online to a
convenience sample of 300 working adults primarily living in the Tampa–St. Petersburg area. The
authors prevailed upon friends, coworkers, and clients to complete the instrument. In addition, the
St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce agreed to send an e-blast to its members asking them to
consider completing the scale; this produced the largest single group of participants.
Table 1
Scales Making Up Each Version of the EMP
Version 1
Personality traits Skills
Self-Confidence Persistence
Optimism Preference for Limited Structure
Openness/Relishing Experimentation Future Focus
Action Orientation Ideational Fluency
Nonconformity Flexibility
Passion Originality
Need to Achieve Elaboration
Version 2
Personality traits Skills
Independence Future Focus
Preference for Limited Structure Idea Generation
Nonconformity Execution
Risk Acceptance Self-Confidence
Action Orientation Optimism
Passion Persistence
Need to Achieve Interpersonal Sensitivity
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5A NEW MEASURE OF ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET
To evaluate the adequacy of this initial set of items, we first carried out two separate exploratory
factor analyses (EFA)— one for the 61 items intended to tap trait dimensions, and the other for the
57 items intended to measure skill dimensions. These analyses employed principal components
extraction and oblique factor rotation. For the trait items, 14 factors with an eigenvalue greater than
1.0 emerged; for the skill items, 14 factors also emerged. For both item sets we then eliminated a
number of items which: (a) did not load at least .40 on any factor, or (b) loaded .40 or higher on more
than one factor. Doing so reduced the number of items roughly by half; we then carried out new
EFAs on these two reduced item sets.
We examined the new factor loadings and determined that for six of the seven trait dimensions
(Self-Confidence, Optimism, Action Orientation, Nonconformity, Passion, and Need to Achieve) a
factor clearly capturing that dimension emerged; only the Openness/Relishing Experimentation
factor did not. The EFA results for the skill dimensions were somewhat less clear. Three scales
clearly emerged (Elaboration, Future Focus, Preference for Limited Structure), and two scales
(Ideational Fluency and Flexibility) loaded together on a single factor. A Persistence factor emerged,
but with only one item loading substantially on it; the Originality dimension did not emerge as a
coherent factor at all.
Version 2
Several steps were taken in the creation of the second version of the instrument. First, for the nine
scales that had received strong support in Version 1, it was not necessary to make a major effort to
write new items or revise existing ones. Second, some scales (e.g., Persistence) received partial
support and required more attention; this took the form of writing new items and revising existing
items that had not loaded sufficiently on the intended factor. Third, two constructs that were intended
to be separate from one another (Ideational Fluency, Flexibility)— but which turned out to be too
similar—were combined into a single dimension (Idea Generation). Fourth, as our thinking about
these dimensions evolved, we moved two constructs (Optimism, Self-Confidence) from the trait
category to the skills category, and another (Limited Structure) from skills to traits. Finally, based
on our continuing examination of the literature and further conversations with entrepreneurs and
those who study them, three new factors (Autonomy, Risk Acceptance, and Interpersonal Sensitiv-
ity) were added to the instrument. Although autonomy and risk acceptance have been linked to
entrepreneurial behavior in prior research, interpersonal sensitivity had not. However, because many
entrepreneurial ventures are launched by multiple founders rather than the stereotypical “solopre-
neur,” it seemed quite possible that interpersonal skills would prove to be important. Such skills
have also been found to contribute meaningfully to leadership effectiveness, and we were frankly
curious to see how entrepreneurs would fare in this regard. The second version of the EMP consisted
of 115 items tapping 14 dimensions (see Table 1). Each scale consisted of 7 to 10 items.
Importantly, our approach to collecting and analyzing responses to this version of the instrument
was fundamentally different from the approach we used with the first version. Specifically, for the
first version of the instrument we were content with a convenience sample, since we simply wanted
to assess the statistical properties of our initial items and scales in order to revise and improve the
content. For the second version, however, we wanted to collect responses from two specific kinds
of people: entrepreneurs and corporate managers. This was necessary so that we could not only
evaluate the statistical adequacy of the instrument but also determine whether each dimension could
successfully differentiate between entrepreneurs and nonentrepreneurs.
Thus, we used a number of different methods to recruit participants to complete this version. To
recruit managers we contacted senior leaders at a number of organizational clients of the Leadership
Development Institute, the arm of Eckerd College with which the second and third authors are
affiliated. We asked these senior leaders if they would be willing to ask the managers reporting to
them to complete the EMP in return for group-level data. To recruit entrepreneurs we used a variety
of strategies, most involving visits by one of the coauthors to events that draw entrepreneurs. Names
and e-mails were collected from individuals willing to complete the second version of the EMP
online, after which links were sent to them. In return for the participation of the group members or
event participants, the organizers of these events were offered group-level EMP data. Examples of
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6 DAVIS, HALL, AND MAYER
groups from whom we solicited participation include the Tampa Bay Technology Forum and the
Entrepreneur Social Club of St. Petersburg. Additionally, we recruited entrepreneurs through
e-blasts sent out by the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and through the Leadership
Development Institute’s own social-media initiatives. The net result of our recruitment efforts was
a sample of 725 individuals who completed this version.
We again evaluated the adequacy of the items by first carrying out separate EFAs for the 55
items intended to tap trait dimensions and the 60 items intended to measure skill dimensions. For
the trait items, 13 factors with an eigenvalue greater than 1.0 emerged. Five of the factors with the
highest eigenvalues corresponded clearly to EMP trait dimensions (Self-Confidence, Preference for
Limited Structure, Action Orientation, Need to Achieve, and Nonconformity); items for the two
other scales (Passion, Independence) each split into two separate factors, but all of these factors were
among those with the highest eigenvalues. For the skill items, 11 factors with an eigenvalue greater
than 1.0 emerged. In this case, seven of the eight factors with the highest eigenvalues corresponded
directly to the seven EMP trait dimensions.
We then conducted separate EFAs for the trait and skill items, using only the five or six items
from each dimension that had loaded most highly in the previous EFAs. For the trait items, nine
factors with eigenvalues greater than 1.0 emerged. Five of the factors clearly consisted of items
making up intended trait dimensions (Need to Achieve, Preference for Limited Structure, Self-
Confidence, Passion, and Independence). The items designed to measure Action Orientation and
Nonconformity each split into two factors, with the positively worded and negatively worded items
loading separately. For the skill items, eight factors with an eigenvalue greater than 1.0 emerged,
with the first seven factors perfectly matching the seven intended skill dimensions. The final factor
was not interpretable and in fact had no item with a loading as high as .40.
At this point we were able to settle on a final set of items for the instrument using the following
decision rules. In general, items were assigned to a particular scale if they loaded .40 or higher on that
factor but no higher than .30 on any other factor. In actuality, the overwhelming majority of items loaded
higher than .50 and many loaded above .60. In general, the five items loading most highly on a factor
were selected for the final version, but to ensure that some negatively worded items were included for
each scale, a lower-loading item was sometimes selected instead. For two scales (Action Orientation,
Nonconformity), the six highest-loading items were selected to ensure adequate reliability. The result of
this process was the creation of 14 scales, each tapping a distinct construct. The scales making up the final
instrument, and the mean factor loading for the items making up each scale, are as follows: Noncon-
formity (.57), Need to Achieve (.66), Self-Confidence (.72), Passion (.61), Preference for Limited
Structure (.71), Action Orientation (.63), Independence (.62), Idea Generation (.71), Execution (.73),
Persistence (.57), Optimism (.74), Future Focus (.67), Risk Acceptance (.73), and Interpersonal Sensi-
tivity (.79). The final version consists of 72 items, with each of the 14 scales containing 5 or 6 items. It
is to this version of the instrument that we now turn.
Study 1: Factor Structure, Reliability, Gender Differences, and Construct Validity
The first step in establishing the psychometric adequacy of the EMP was to determine the degree to
which responses to the instrument actually reflect the factor structure thought to underlie the
measure. We did so in two ways. First, we used the responses from the large sample of adults (N
725) whose responses had allowed us select the items making up the final version of the EMP.
Second, we used the responses from a separate sample (N1,872), none of whom had completed
any previous version of the instrument. For both samples we then used confirmatory factor analysis
(CFA) to evaluate how well the scale items reflected the dimensions they were intended to assess.
In both samples we also assessed the internal reliability of the 14 scales, tested for gender
differences, and evaluated criterion validity by comparing the scores of entrepreneurs and managers.
Method
Participants. Sample 1 consisted of the 725 individuals (448 men, 277 women) who had
completed the second version of the questionnaire. The sample was overwhelmingly White (89.5%),
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7A NEW MEASURE OF ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET
with small numbers of African American (3.0%), Hispanic (2.3%), and Asian (2.9%) respondents.
The mean age was 47.09 years (range 23–77). With regard to education, 18.1% of the sample
reported high school or less, 50.5% reported having associate’s or bachelor’s degrees, and 29.5%
reported some form of advanced degree (1.9% provided no information regarding education). The
organizations from which these participants came reflected a cross-section of industries, including
energy, financial services, hospitality, manufacturing, and technology.
Sample 2 consisted of the 1,872 individuals (1,096 men, 742 women, 34 did not answer) who
completed the final commercial version of the EMP, which was available online for anyone wishing
to purchase it. Some respondents found the EMP on their own, but many took the instrument as part
of executive-training programs conducted by management consultants; student respondents typi-
cally took the instrument as part of a college or university course. As a result Sample 2 is more
heterogeneous than Sample 1. However, managers and entrepreneurs continued to be well-
represented, along with a number of students. Within the managerial group, this sample had an even
broader cross-section of industry groups, including government, pharmaceutical, and retail sectors.
This sample was also overwhelmingly White (82.3%), with small numbers of African American
(4.0%), Hispanic (4.3%), and Asian (4.4%) respondents; another 5% indicated some other racial
category or indicated none at all. The mean age was 38.25 years (range 17– 82). With regard to
education, 24.6% of the sample reported high school or less, 37% reported having associate’s or
bachelor’s degrees, and 33.8% reported some form of advanced degree (4.6% provided no infor-
mation regarding education).
Measures. All participants completed the EMP, an instrument designed to measure the per-
sonality and motivational dimensions associated with entrepreneurial mindset. The 14 dimensions
are assessed via responses to 72 Likert-type scale items. Respondents are told that the instrument
asks “a variety of questions about work-related thoughts, feelings, and behaviors” and are asked to
indicate for each item “how well it describes you” using a 5-point scale running from does not
describe me well to describes me very well. Each scale consists of five or six items; a sample item
from each scale appears in Table 2.
In addition, the instrument includes a number of items that ask about the respondent’s
background, current employment, prior entrepreneurial activities (if any), and future entrepreneurial
intentions. In particular, participants are asked several questions that allow us to place many of them
in one of two categories: entrepreneurs and managers.
The first of these items asks if the respondent considers himself or herself to be an entrepreneur
(yes;no;maybe/not sure). The second question asks if the respondent owns or co-owns a business.
In order to be categorized as an entrepreneur, respondents had to answer “yes” to both questions.
To be categorized as a manager, individuals had to indicate that they do not own or co-own a
business, and to respond “no” to the question asking if they consider themselves an entrepreneur. In
addition, they had to indicate on a separate item that they have at least two direct reports (that is,
subordinates who report directly to them). No one who answered “maybe/not sure” to the first
question was placed in either category.
Thus, respondents falling into these two categories should represent the groups most appropriate
for comparison: (a) those who consider themselves entrepreneurs and who have acted on that belief
by owning their own business; and (b) those who do not see themselves as entrepreneurs but who
occupy a supervisory position that requires at least some of the same traits and skill sets. Such
managers are typically seen as the best comparison group when studying entrepreneurs (e.g.,
Collins, Hanges, & Locke, 2004). With this classification procedure, Sample 1 had 161 entrepre-
neurs and 169 managers and Sample 2 had 228 entrepreneurs and 228 managers.
Results and Discussion
Confirmatory factor analysis. Responses from all participants were analyzed using confir-
matory factor analysis (CFA), a technique that assesses the degree to which a hypothesized factor
model can reproduce the observed item covariances. Unlike exploratory factor analysis, which
inductively identifies the best-fitting solution for a given set of data, CFA begins with a hypothesized
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8 DAVIS, HALL, AND MAYER
model and determines its feasibility by means of assessing how well it fits the existing data. As a
result it offers somewhat more definitive evidence for the underlying factor structure of a scale.
In carrying out these analyses a variety of approaches is possible. One strategy would be to carry
out 14 CFAs examining the adequacy of each of the scales separately; another strategy would be to
conduct a single CFA examining the entire EMP simultaneously. As a reasonable compromise
between having too narrow or too broad an analytic focus, we chose to focus on two domains—the
trait items and the skill items.
For each domain, two models were tested: a one-factor model in which all items in that domain
loaded together, and an alternative model, based on the EMP scales, in which the loadings of the
items making up a given scale were freely estimated for that factor and were fixed at zero for all
other factors. The seven factors were allowed to correlate, and the sizes of these correlations were
also estimated. (Figure 1 displays these seven-factor models—minus the scale intercorrelations—for
the trait and skill domains, with the factor loadings that were found for Sample 1.).
Model feasibility was assessed using EQS (Bentler, 1995), based on several fit indices. The
chi-square goodness-of-fit statistic assesses the magnitude of variance unexplained by the model but
is sensitive to small differences when sample sizes are large (Comrey & Lee, 1992; Loehlin, 1992;
Marsh, Balla, & McDonald, 1988). As a result we also examined several indices less sensitive to
sample size: the non-normed fit index (NNFI) and comparative fit index (CFI; Bentler, 1990, 1995),
the goodness-of-fit index (GFI) and adjusted goodness-of-fit index (AGFI; Jörskog & Sörbom,
1988), and the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA). For the first four indices, values
greater than .90 traditionally are taken as evidence of an acceptable fit; for the RMSEA, values equal
Table 2
Dimensions Making Up the EMP
Traits
Independence: The desire to work with a high degree of independence (e.g., I’m uncomfortable when
expected to follow others’ rules).
Preference for Limited Structure: A preference for tasks and situations with little formal structure (e.g., I
find it boring to work on clearly structured tasks).
Nonconformity: A preference for acting in unique ways; an interest in being perceived as unique (e.g., I
like to stand out from the crowd).
Risk Acceptance: A willingness to pursue an idea or a desired goal even when the probability of
succeeding is low (e.g., I’m willing to take a certain amount of risk to achieve real success).
Action Orientation: A tendency to show initiative, make decisions quickly, and feel impatient for results
(e.g., I tend to make decisions quickly).
Passion: A tendency to experience one’s work as exciting and enjoyable rather than tedious and draining
(e.g., I’m passionate about the work that I do).
Need to Achieve: The desire to achieve at a high level (e.g., I want to be the best at what I do).
Skills
Future Focus: The ability to think beyond the immediate situation and plan for the future (e.g., I’m
focused on the long term).
Idea Generation: The ability to generate multiple and novel ideas and to find multiple approaches for
achieving goals (e.g., Sometimes the ideas just bubble out of me).
Execution: The ability to turn ideas into actionable plans; the ability to implement ideas well (e.g., I have
a reputation for being able to take an idea and make it work).
Self-Confidence: A general belief in one’s ability to leverage skills and talents to achieve important goals
(e.g., I am a self-confident person).
Optimism: The ability to maintain a generally positive attitude about various aspects of one’s life and the
world (e.g., Even when things aren’t going well, I look on the bright side).
Persistence: The ability to bounce back quickly from disappointment and to remain persistent in the face
of setbacks (e.g., I do not give up easily).
Interpersonal Sensitivity: A high level of sensitivity to and concern for the well-being of those with whom
one works (e.g., I’m sensitive to others’ feelings).
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9A NEW MEASURE OF ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET
to or less than .05 indicate a good fit, whereas values in excess of .10 indicate a poor one. Table 3
displays the results of these analyses.
In Sample 1, for both the trait and skills items, both models provided a clearly better fit to the
data than a null model did. However, the models that incorporated the seven scales were also clearly
Table 3
Results of CFAs Testing the Factor Structure of Trait and Skill Items of the EMP
Model
2
df NNFI CFI GFI AGFI RMSEA
Sample 1
Trait items
Null model 8887.13 666
One-factor model 5442.96 628 .38 .41 .57 .51 .10
Seven-scales model 2060.19 601 .80 .82 .85 .82 .06
Free 3 items 1875.58 590 .82 .84 .86 .83 .06
Skill items
Null model 11159.38 595
One-factor model 5815.52 559 .47 .50 .60 .55 .11
Seven-scales model 1639.06 532 .88 .90 .87 .85 .05
Sample 2
Trait items
Null model 19928.66 666
One-factor model 11444.19 628 .41 .44 .65 .61 .10
Seven-scales model 4201.29 601 .79 .81 .87 .85 .06
Free 3 items 3793.82 590 .81 .83 .88 .86 .06
Skill items
Null model 26076.87 595
One-factor model 14847.50 559 .40 .44 .59 .54 .12
Seven-scales model 3048.32 532 .89 .90 .90 .88 .05
Note. CFAs Confirmatory Factor Analyses; EMP Entreprenurial Mindset Profile; NNFI non-normed fit index;
CFI comparative fit index; GFI goodness-of-fit index; AGFI adjusted goodness-of-fit index; RMSEA root mean
square error of approximation.
Independence Limited
Structure
Non-
Conformity
Risk
Acceptance
Acon
Orientaon Passion Need to
Achieve
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5
.70 .76 .55 .54 .33
Q6
.70 .75 .62 .70 .71
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5
.80 .92 .81 .57 .70 .61 .57 .72 .52 .80 .82
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q6
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5
.63 .66 .75 .89 .62 .62 .81 .70 .71 .68 .46
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5
.44 .63 .67 .66 .72
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5
Future
Focus
Idea
Generaon Execuon Self-
Confidence Opmism Persistence Interpersonal
Sensivity
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5
.70 .63 .64 .66 .90 .47 .63 .76 .80
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5
.68 .67 .51 .62 .82
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5
.61 .60 .71 .75 .72
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5
.77 .99 .95 .47 .57
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5
.70 .66 .77 .76 .70 .69 .80 .78 .66 .62
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5
Traits
Skills
.76
Figure 1. Results of separate seven-factor confirmatory factor analyses for trait items and skill items. Values are
factor loadings for the items making up each scale. See the online article for the color version of this figure.
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10 DAVIS, HALL, AND MAYER
superior to the one-factor model. The evidence regarding the skill items was relatively strong. The
CFI value reached the .90 criterion for model fit, and the NNFI and GFI approached this value; the
RMSEA value of .05 also indicated a good fit. In contrast, the evidence for the trait items was not
as strong. Although the RMSEA value of .06 suggested an acceptable fit, the other indices were not
as positive, with values ranging from .80 to .85.
Therefore, we next examined the Lagrange multiplier values provided by the EQS program to
discover which parameters, fixed to zero by the theoretical model, would most improve the fit of the
trait model to the data if freely estimated. This examination suggested that there were three trait
items (one each from the Nonconformity, Action Orientation, and Preference for Limited Structure
scales) that would load on other scales if allowed to do so. Thus, we freed a total of 11 parameters
involving these three items. As Table 3 reveals, this change resulted in a modest improvement in fit.
The NNFI, CFI, GFI, and AGFI values increased slightly, and the RMSEA remained at .06. So
although the EMP model was adequate to describe the covariances of the skill items, evidence for
its adequacy with regard to the trait items was somewhat less compelling.
For Sample 2, a similar pattern was found. For the skill items, evidence was good for the
adequacy of the model; all of the fit indices reached or closely approached the levels indicative of
acceptable fit. In contrast, for the trait items only the RMSEA value of .06 suggested an acceptable
fit, with the other indices less positive. We then tested a model with some parameters freed, as we
had done for the Sample 1 data. However, instead of simply inspecting the Lagrange multiplier
values for the worst-fitting parameters, we freed the same 11 parameters that we had freed for
Sample 1. Doing so produced a slight increase in the fit indices; however, the only one that
suggested a good fit continued to be the RMSEA.
Internal consistency. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were calculated for responses to each of
the 14 EMP scales, and these values appear in Table 4, along with the mean item score and standard
deviation for each scale. As the table reveals, for Sample 1 reliability estimates exceeded .70 for 13
of the 14 scales and exceeded .80 for 5 of them. For Sample 2, 11 of the 14 reliabilities exceeded
.70 and 5 exceeded .80.
Scale intercorrelations. The relationships among the 14 EMP scales are displayed in Table 5
(Sample 1) and Table 6 (Sample 2). Most of the EMP dimensions were positively correlated with
Table 4
Means, Standard Deviations, and Internal Reliabilities for the Final 14 Scales Making
Up the EMP
Sample 1 (N725) Sample 2 (N1,872)
Scale Mean SD Alpha Mean SD Alpha
Personality traits
Independence 2.35 .67 .72 2.53 .69 .69
Limited Structure 3.01 .79 .79 3.15 .81 .79
Nonconformity 3.49 .61 .67 3.66 .64 .71
Risk Acceptance 3.88 .70 .83 3.86 .68 .80
Action Orientation 3.86 .57 .70 3.77 .63 .75
Passion 4.18 .66 .76 4.02 .65 .67
Need to Achieve 4.37 .54 .71 4.26 .58 .68
Skills
Future Focus 3.51 .64 .75 3.26 .68 .73
Idea Generation 3.93 .74 .81 3.95 .79 .83
Execution 3.98 .63 .85 3.85 .70 .79
Self-Confidence 4.18 .66 .79 3.80 .78 .80
Optimism 4.19 .67 .83 3.96 .79 .83
Persistence 4.43 .48 .78 4.30 .57 .77
Interpersonal Sensitivity 3.85 .86 .85 3.70 .88 .83
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11A NEW MEASURE OF ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET
Table 5
Correlations Among the 14 Scales Making Up the EMP (Sample 1)
Scale 2345 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
1. Independence .54
ⴱⴱⴱ
.36
ⴱⴱⴱ
.23
ⴱⴱⴱ
.09
.12
ⴱⴱ
.09
.12
ⴱⴱ
.10
ⴱⴱ
.10
ⴱⴱ
.08
.15
ⴱⴱⴱ
.13
ⴱⴱⴱ
.40
ⴱⴱⴱ
2. Limited Structure .36
ⴱⴱⴱ
.33
ⴱⴱⴱ
.17
ⴱⴱⴱ
.01 .04 .06 .22
ⴱⴱⴱ
.01 .01 .01 .03 .20
ⴱⴱⴱ
3. Nonconformity .47
ⴱⴱⴱ
.31
ⴱⴱⴱ
.19
ⴱⴱⴱ
.26
ⴱⴱⴱ
.17
ⴱⴱⴱ
.46
ⴱⴱⴱ
.25
ⴱⴱⴱ
.25
ⴱⴱⴱ
.15
ⴱⴱⴱ
.32
ⴱⴱⴱ
.28
ⴱⴱⴱ
4. Risk Acceptance .45
ⴱⴱⴱ
.33
ⴱⴱⴱ
.26
ⴱⴱⴱ
.18
ⴱⴱⴱ
.43
ⴱⴱⴱ
.36
ⴱⴱⴱ
.36
ⴱⴱⴱ
.34
ⴱⴱⴱ
.40
ⴱⴱⴱ
.05
5. Action Orientation .35
ⴱⴱⴱ
.35
ⴱⴱⴱ
.03 .36
ⴱⴱⴱ
.52
ⴱⴱⴱ
.37
ⴱⴱⴱ
.30
ⴱⴱⴱ
.46
ⴱⴱⴱ
.10
ⴱⴱ
6. Passion .45
ⴱⴱⴱ
.30
ⴱⴱⴱ
.30
ⴱⴱⴱ
.45
ⴱⴱⴱ
.48
ⴱⴱⴱ
.45
ⴱⴱⴱ
.58
ⴱⴱⴱ
.13
ⴱⴱⴱ
7. Need to Achieve .25
ⴱⴱⴱ
.26
ⴱⴱⴱ
.43
ⴱⴱⴱ
.38
ⴱⴱⴱ
.24
ⴱⴱⴱ
.54
ⴱⴱⴱ
.02
8. Future Focus .22
ⴱⴱⴱ
.30
ⴱⴱⴱ
.31
ⴱⴱⴱ
.25
ⴱⴱⴱ
.37
ⴱⴱⴱ
.09
9. Idea Generation .44
ⴱⴱⴱ
.34
ⴱⴱⴱ
.27
ⴱⴱⴱ
.40
ⴱⴱⴱ
.03
10. Execution .47
ⴱⴱⴱ
.39
ⴱⴱⴱ
.60
ⴱⴱⴱ
.06
11. Self-Confidence .50
ⴱⴱⴱ
.55
ⴱⴱⴱ
.10
ⴱⴱ
12. Optimism .55
ⴱⴱⴱ
.29
ⴱⴱⴱ
13. Persistence .10
ⴱⴱ
14. Interpersonal Sensitivity
p.05.
ⴱⴱ
p.01.
ⴱⴱⴱ
p.001.
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12 DAVIS, HALL, AND MAYER
Table 6
Correlations Among the 14 Scales Making Up the EMP (Sample 2)
Scale 2 3 4567 8 91011121314
1. Independence .46
ⴱⴱⴱ
.34
ⴱⴱⴱ
.18
ⴱⴱⴱ
.13
ⴱⴱⴱ
.02 .01 .01 .15
ⴱⴱ
.02 .05 .08
ⴱⴱⴱ
.01 .35
ⴱⴱⴱ
2. Limited Structure .35
ⴱⴱⴱ
.37
ⴱⴱⴱ
.21
ⴱⴱⴱ
.08
ⴱⴱⴱ
.02 .10
ⴱⴱⴱ
.34
ⴱⴱⴱ
.12
ⴱⴱⴱ
.14
ⴱⴱⴱ
.12
ⴱⴱⴱ
.14
ⴱⴱ
.20
ⴱⴱⴱ
3. Nonconformity .43
ⴱⴱⴱ
.29
ⴱⴱⴱ
.21
ⴱⴱⴱ
.20
ⴱⴱⴱ
.13
ⴱⴱⴱ
.40
ⴱⴱⴱ
.20
ⴱⴱⴱ
.21
ⴱⴱⴱ
.13
ⴱⴱⴱ
.28
ⴱⴱⴱ
.27
ⴱⴱⴱ
4. Risk Acceptance .40
ⴱⴱⴱ
.30
ⴱⴱⴱ
.24
ⴱⴱⴱ
.17
ⴱⴱⴱ
.37
ⴱⴱⴱ
.29
ⴱⴱⴱ
.35
ⴱⴱⴱ
.33
ⴱⴱⴱ
.36
ⴱⴱⴱ
.09
ⴱⴱ
5. Action Orientation .33
ⴱⴱⴱ
.28
ⴱⴱⴱ
.05
.27
ⴱⴱⴱ
.51
ⴱⴱⴱ
.41
ⴱⴱⴱ
.28
ⴱⴱⴱ
.42
ⴱⴱⴱ
.13
ⴱⴱⴱ
6. Passion .35
ⴱⴱⴱ
.27
ⴱⴱⴱ
.31
ⴱⴱⴱ
.50
ⴱⴱⴱ
.44
ⴱⴱⴱ
.37
ⴱⴱⴱ
.53
ⴱⴱⴱ
.07
ⴱⴱ
7. Need to Achieve .22
ⴱⴱⴱ
.16
ⴱⴱⴱ
.30
ⴱⴱⴱ
.26
ⴱⴱⴱ
.17
ⴱⴱⴱ
.42
ⴱⴱⴱ
.01
8. Future Focus .19
ⴱⴱⴱ
.26
ⴱⴱⴱ
.20
ⴱⴱⴱ
.12
ⴱⴱⴱ
.28
ⴱⴱⴱ
.01
9. Idea Generation .36
ⴱⴱⴱ
.25
ⴱⴱⴱ
.27
ⴱⴱⴱ
.31
ⴱⴱⴱ
.04
10. Execution .45
ⴱⴱⴱ
.30
ⴱⴱⴱ
.57
ⴱⴱⴱ
.02
11. Self-Confidence .47
ⴱⴱⴱ
.52
ⴱⴱⴱ
.05
12. Optimism .43
ⴱⴱⴱ
.29
ⴱⴱⴱ
13. Persistence .04
14. Interpersonal Sensitivity
p.05.
ⴱⴱ
p.01.
ⴱⴱⴱ
p.001.
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13A NEW MEASURE OF ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET
one another, often substantially. The weakest associations (and the largest number of negative
correlations) were for three dimensions: Independence, Preference for Limited Structure, and
Interpersonal Sensitivity. The strongest correlations were found among a cluster of three dimen-
sions: Self-Confidence, Optimism, and Persistence. One interesting pattern was that Interpersonal
Sensitivity was for the most part negatively associated with the trait dimensions— often signifi-
cantly— but was for the most part unrelated or positively related to the skill dimensions.
Gender differences. To determine whether there are gender differences on the EMP scales,
responses of men and women were compared via MANOVA. A significant multivariate effect of
gender was found for both Sample 1, F(14, 710) 2.72, p.001, and Sample 2, F(14, 1823)
9.92, p.001. Follow-up ttests for each scale were then carried out and appear in Table 7. Given
the number of comparisons, we used the Bonferroni correction method and established an alpha
level of .003 for the tests carried out in each sample. For Sample 1, the only scale for which a
significant difference was found was Future Focus, with men scoring higher than women. In Sample
2, seven significant gender differences were found, with men scoring higher on Independence,
Preference for Limited Structure, Nonconformity, Risk Acceptance, and Idea Generation; women
scored higher on Optimism and Interpersonal Sensitivity. Thus, men and women differed on several
of the EMP dimensions; however, the size of these differences was consistently quite modest. The
mean effect size (Cohen’s d) was .10 for Sample 1 and .14 for Sample 2. Even the largest effect size
(d.28) was in the range that Cohen (1992) describes as “small.”
Comparison of entrepreneurs and managers. To determine whether the EMP dimensions
successfully differentiate between entrepreneurs and managers, we classified respondents into these
two categories based on the criteria described earlier. For each sample, we then compared the
responses of entrepreneurs and managers using MANOVA. A significant multivariate effect of
entrepreneurial status was found in each case: for Sample 1, F(14, 315) 13.65, p.001; for
Sample 2, F(14, 441) 16.82, p.001. Follow-up ttests for each scale were then carried out and
appear in Table 8. Given the number of comparisons, we used the Bonferroni correction method and
established an alpha level of .003 for the tests carried out in each sample.
For Sample 1, there was a significant difference between entrepreneurs and managers for 13 of
the 14 scales. Only Need to Achieve failed to display such a difference, although the difference on
Table 7
Gender Differences on the 14 EMP Scales
Sample 1 Sample 2
Scale
Men
(N448)
Women
(N277)
Effect size
(d)
Men
(N1,096)
Women
(N742)
Effect size
(d)
Independence 2.38 2.29 .12 2.57 2.47
.14
Limited Structure 3.02 2.99 .03 3.23 3.04
.23
Nonconformity 3.50 3.47 .06 3.72 3.57
.23
Risk Acceptance 3.91 3.83 .11 3.91 3.78
.19
Action Orientation 3.85 3.88 .06 3.75 3.81 .09
Passion 4.18 4.18 .00 4.01 4.04 .04
Need to Achieve 4.39 4.35 .07 4.24 4.30 .09
Future Focus 3.57 3.41
.25 3.30 3.22 .12
Idea Generation 3.96 3.89 .08 3.99 3.88
.14
Execution 3.99 3.96 .05 3.86 3.82 .06
Self-Confidence 4.22 4.12 .14 3.81 3.78 .05
Optimism 4.15 4.26 .15 3.89 4.07
.23
Persistence 4.44 4.42 .04 4.31 4.29 .04
Interpersonal Sensitivity 3.79 3.95 .19 3.60 3.86
.28
Mean effect size .10 .14
p.003.
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14 DAVIS, HALL, AND MAYER
Table 8
Comparison of Entrepreneurs and Corporate Managers on the 14 EMP Scales
Sample 2
Sample 1 Sample 2 Student self-identification as entrepreneurs
Scale
Entrepreneurs
(N161)
Managers
(N169)
Effect size
(d)
Entrepreneurs
(N228)
Managers
(N228)
Effect size
(d)
Yes
(N183)
No
(N175)
Effect size
(d)
Personality traits
Independence 2.66 2.18
.73 2.87 2.29
.84 2.60 2.33
.39
Limited Structure 3.28 2.81
.60 3.54 2.92
.77 3.13 2.65
.60
Nonconformity 3.80 3.16
1.11 3.92 3.23
1.16 3.96 3.54 .67
Risk Acceptance 4.23 3.52
1.11 4.15 3.56
.89 4.10 3.59
.81
Action Orientation 4.08 3.70
.69 3.99 3.71
.45 3.92 3.52 .69
Passion 4.36 3.95
.63 4.29 4.06
.40 4.02 3.62
.63
Need to Achieve 4.41 4.25 .30 4.30 4.20 .18 4.45 4.18
.48
Skills
Future Focus 3.48 3.25
.37 3.36 3.25 .16 3.28 3.07 .31
Idea Generation 4.29 3.55
1.07 4.32 3.63
.95 4.05 3.48
.75
Execution 4.06 3.75
.51 4.09 3.91
.28 3.87 3.38
.73
Self-Confidence 4.33 3.97
.56 3.99 3.79
.29 4.01 3.40
.77
Optimism 4.34 3.98
.55 4.24 3.90
.47 3.92 3.64
.33
Persistence 4.54 4.24
.67 4.48 4.26
.41 4.39 4.03
.61
Interpersonal Sensitivity 3.65 3.95
.34 3.48 3.76
.31 3.61 3.88
.34
Mean effect size .66 .54 .58
p.003.
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15A NEW MEASURE OF ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET
this scale did attain a conventional level of significance (p.01). For Sample 2, significant
differences emerged for 12 of the 14 dimensions; only Need to Achieve and Future Focus failed to
display such a difference (both were of marginal significance; p.10). In general, the pattern in
Sample 2 was the same as that in Sample 1—with entrepreneurs scoring higher than managers on
all scales except Interpersonal Sensitivity.
Not only were these differences very consistent across samples, they were also relatively
large. The mean effect sizes for the two samples displayed in Table 8 were .66 and .54, which
fall into the “medium to large” range. In fact, four individual scales (Independence, Noncon-
formity, Risk Acceptance, and Idea Generation) had differences with effect sizes of .70 or
greater in both samples.
Finally, we evaluated the relative importance of the trait and skill dimensions in predicting
entrepreneurial status by conducting two hierarchical regression analyses in which entrepreneurial
status (entrepreneur or manager) was the criterion variable and the EMP scales were the predictors.
In the first analysis the seven trait dimensions were entered first and the skill dimensions entered
second; in the second analysis this sequence was reversed. Given our belief that the EMP trait
dimensions are what predispose people to become entrepreneurs, our expectation was that the trait
dimensions would be a more substantial determinant of entrepreneurial status than would skills. The
results of these analyses appear in Table 9. (We also carried out equivalent analyses using logistic
regression and found a highly similar pattern of results.).
For Sample 1 both the trait and skill domains were significantly associated with entrepreneurial
status, even when controlling for the other. However, the relationship between entrepreneurial status
and the trait dimensions was stronger. The change in R
2
when traits were entered into the equation
after skills was .10; the change in R
2
when skills were entered last was .04. Thus, the unique
contribution of traits to entrepreneurial status was roughly twice that of skills. For Sample 2 the
pattern was even stronger. The change in R
2
when traits were entered into the equation after skills
was .13; the change in R
2
when skills were entered last was .02. Thus, the unique contribution of
traits to entrepreneurial status was six times as great as that of skills.
Comparison of students self-identifying as entrepreneurs or not. Respondents who iden-
tified themselves as full-time students were also asked whether they considered themselves to
be entrepreneurs. We used those responses to compare the EMP scale scores of those describing
themselves as entrepreneurs and those who did not. There was a significant multivariate effect
of this self-identification, F(14, 343) 9.23, p.001. Follow-up ttests for each scale were
then carried out and appear in Table 8. Given the number of comparisons, we used the
Bonferroni correction method and established an alpha level of .003 for the tests carried out in
each sample.
Significant differences emerged for 13 of the 14 dimensions; only Future Focus failed to display
such a difference, although the difference on this scale did attain a conventional level of significance
(p.01). The pattern was the same as for the prior analyses; those identifying as entrepreneurs
scored higher on all scales except Interpersonal Sensitivity. Again, the size of these differences was
considerable. The mean dvalue was .58, and four of the scales displayed differences with dvalues
of .70 or higher.
We also carried out a pair of hierarchical regression analyses, identical to those used to
predict entrepreneurial status, to predict student self-identification as entrepreneurs (see Table
9). Again, both the trait and skill domains had significant and unique relationships with such
self-identification. However, unlike the analyses using actual entrepreneurs, in the student
analyses there was no real superiority of the trait domain. The change in R
2
when traits were
entered into the equation after skills (.04) was essentially identical to the change in R
2
when
skills were entered after traits (.05).
Study 2: Relations of EMP to Big Five Traits
Considerable evidence has begun to accumulate that the FFM traits are associated in predictable
ways with entrepreneurial intentions and behavior (e.g., Zhao & Seibert, 2006). Thus, another way
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16 DAVIS, HALL, AND MAYER
to evaluate the validity of the EMP is by examining its relationship to the FFM domains. Given the
well-documented pattern of associations between the FFM and entrepreneurial status (entrepreneurs
tend to be higher on Conscientiousness and Openness, lower on Neuroticism and Agreeableness,
and no different on Extraversion), our general expectation was that the 14 EMP dimensions would
tend to be positively associated with Conscientiousness and Openness, and negatively associated
with Neuroticism and Agreeableness.
Table 9
Hierarchical Regression Analyses Predicting Entrepreneurial Status From EMP Trait
and Skill Dimensions
Scale Sample 1 Sample 2
Student
self-identification
Traits entered first
Step 1: Traits
Independence .18
ⴱⴱ
.16
ⴱⴱⴱ
.06
Limited Structure .04 .09 .14
Nonconformity .25
ⴱⴱⴱ
.30
ⴱⴱⴱ
.06
Risk Acceptance .23
ⴱⴱⴱ
.16
ⴱⴱⴱ
.16
ⴱⴱⴱ
Action Orientation .06 .03 .12
Passion .16
ⴱⴱ
.08 .13
Need to Achieve .09 .05 .08
R
2
change .34
ⴱⴱⴱ
.33
ⴱⴱⴱ
.22
ⴱⴱⴱ
Step 2: Skills
Future Focus .08 .02 .02
Idea Generation .20
ⴱⴱⴱ
.15
ⴱⴱ
.13
Execution .04 .08 .15
Self-Confidence .03 .03 .16
Optimism .10 .08 .03
Persistence .04 .02 .06
Interpersonal Sensitivity .05 .02 .07
R
2
change .04
ⴱⴱ
.02
.05
ⴱⴱ
Total R
2
.38
ⴱⴱⴱ
.35
ⴱⴱⴱ
.27
ⴱⴱⴱ
Skills entered first
Step 1: Skills
Future Focus .07 .02 .03
Idea Generation .36
ⴱⴱⴱ
.38
ⴱⴱⴱ
.21
ⴱⴱⴱ
Execution .05 .05 .13
Self-Confidence .03 .01 .24
ⴱⴱⴱ
Optimism .16
ⴱⴱ
.16
ⴱⴱ
.02
Persistence .08 .05 .01
Interpersonal Sensitivity .19
ⴱⴱⴱ
.17
ⴱⴱⴱ
.15
ⴱⴱ
R
2
change .28
ⴱⴱⴱ
.22
ⴱⴱⴱ
.23
ⴱⴱⴱ
Step 2: Traits
Independence .20
ⴱⴱⴱ
.16
ⴱⴱ
.05
Limited Structure .05 .06 .10
Nonconformity .15
.26
ⴱⴱⴱ
.02
Risk Acceptance .15
.12
.13
Action Orientation .05 .04 .03
Passion .11 .07 .01
Need to Achieve .09 .05 .10
R
2
change .10
ⴱⴱⴱ
.13
ⴱⴱⴱ
.04
ⴱⴱ
Total R
2
.38
ⴱⴱⴱ
.35
ⴱⴱⴱ
.27
ⴱⴱⴱ
p.05.
ⴱⴱ
p.01.
ⴱⴱⴱ
p.001.
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17A NEW MEASURE OF ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET
Method
Participants. The 127 individuals in this sample (67 men; 60 women) were all participants in
the 5-day Leadership Development Program (LDP)
®
, a program designed by the Center for Creative
Leadership (CCL
®
) and offered—through a Network Associate relationship—at the Leadership
Development Institute (LDI) at Eckerd College. Between September 2013 and June 2014, partici-
pants attending LDP at LDI were invited to participate in this research by taking the EMP; in return,
those choosing to participate received a scored EMP report, which they had the opportunity to
review with an executive coach during the LDP program. LDP is designed for and attracts midlevel
leaders primarily from private industry.
Participants ranged in age from 28 to 65 (M43.37). They were overwhelmingly White
(79.5%), with smaller numbers of Hispanic (6.3%), Asian (2.4%), and African American (2.4%).
The remainder of the sample reported some other ethnicity or none at all.
Materials. All participants completed the EMP and the Workplace Big Five Profile (Howard
& Howard, 2001). The Workplace Big Five Profile, as the name suggests, is a measure of the Big
Five personality dimensions designed specifically for use in work settings. Thus, although it assesses
the familiar five personality domains, it uses a somewhat different language to denote these five
broad personality domains. The instrument consists of 107 items measuring the constructs of
Extraversion, Need for Stability (Neuroticism), Originality (Openness to Experience), Accommo-
dation (Agreeableness), and Consolidation (Conscientiousness).
Results and Discussion
The zero-order correlations between the Workplace Big Five domains and the EMP scales appear
in Table 10. As expected, EMP scores were generally positively related to Conscientiousness (10 of
14 correlations) and Openness to Experience (14/14) and negatively associated with Agreeableness
(10/14) and Neuroticism (10/14). They were also consistently positively associated with Extraver-
sion (14/14).
In addition, Table 10 reveals several clear patterns. First, Openness to Experience was the FFM
dimension with the strongest and most consistent associations with EMP scales. Second, Neuroti-
cism and Extraversion display essentially mirror-image relationships with several of the EMP scales.
Table 10
Correlations Between the 14 EMP Scales and the Workplace Big Five Domains
Scale Neuroticism Extraversion
Openness to
Experience Agreeableness Conscientiousness
Independence .07 .00 .29
ⴱⴱⴱ
.18
.02
Limited Structure .12 .13 .38
ⴱⴱⴱ
.05 .19
Nonconformity .17 .06 .28
ⴱⴱ
.34
ⴱⴱⴱ
.02
Risk Acceptance .07 .11 .42
ⴱⴱⴱ
.20
.02
Action Orientation .06 .07 .29
ⴱⴱⴱ
.33
ⴱⴱⴱ
.18
Passion .26
ⴱⴱ
.30
ⴱⴱⴱ
.27
ⴱⴱ
.18
.33
ⴱⴱⴱ
Need to Achieve .07 .28
ⴱⴱ
.10 .33
ⴱⴱⴱ
.49
ⴱⴱⴱ
Future Focus .08 .10 .24
ⴱⴱ
.11 .38
ⴱⴱⴱ
Idea Generation .01 .07 .54
ⴱⴱⴱ
.00 .01
Execution .10 .20
.28
ⴱⴱ
.19
.35
ⴱⴱⴱ
Self-Confidence .38
ⴱⴱⴱ
.29
ⴱⴱⴱ
.22
.34
ⴱⴱⴱ
.40
ⴱⴱⴱ
Optimism .48
ⴱⴱⴱ
.29
ⴱⴱⴱ
.38
ⴱⴱⴱ
.10 .01
Persistence .25
ⴱⴱ
.25
ⴱⴱ
.26
ⴱⴱ
.27
ⴱⴱ
.24
ⴱⴱ
Interpersonal
Sensitivity .40
ⴱⴱⴱ
.31
ⴱⴱⴱ
.09 .37
ⴱⴱⴱ
.03
p.05.
ⴱⴱ
p.01.
ⴱⴱⴱ
p.001.
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18 DAVIS, HALL, AND MAYER
For five scales (Passion, Self-Confidence, Optimism, Persistence, and Interpersonal Sensitivity),
Extraversion was significantly positively associated while Neuroticism was significantly negatively
related. Third, Conscientiousness displayed positive relationships with several EMP scales, most
especially Need to Achieve, Self-Confidence, Future Focus, Execution, and Passion.
Next, we carried out 14 multiple regression analyses in which the EMP scales served as criterion
variables and the five Workplace Big Five domains served as simultaneous predictors. This
approach allows us to ascertain the unique contribution of each domain to each EMP dimension. The
results of these analyses appear in Table 11. For each of the EMP scales the regression equation
containing the five FFM dimensions accounted for a significant degree of the variance, and the
results of these analyses closely mirror the zero-order correlations.
As was the case with zero-order correlations, these analyses clearly indicate the very broad and
reliable association between the EMP dimensions and Openness to Experience. This domain of the
FFM was uniquely associated with 12 of the 14 EMP scales, more than any other FFM dimension.
In contrast, and as expected, Extraversion displayed the weakest association, with only three unique
effects. Conscientiousness had its strongest effects on a cluster of “accomplishment-oriented” EMP
scales—Need to Achieve, Future Focus, and Execution. Neuroticism was most strongly (and
negatively) related to two “emotion-oriented” scales—Self-Confidence and Optimism. Agreeable-
ness was negatively associated with several EMP dimensions but was strongly positively associated
with Interpersonal Sensitivity.
It is also worth noting that the amount of variance accounted for differed across the 14 EMP
dimensions, with the highest R
2
values occurring for Need to Achieve (.38), Idea Generation (.40),
and Interpersonal Sensitivity (.45). Interestingly, a different dimension of the FFM had the strongest
effect for each one: Conscientiousness for Need to Achieve, Openness for Idea Generation, and
Agreeableness (and Extraversion) for Interpersonal Sensitivity. This pattern reinforces the variety of
characteristics that are part of the entrepreneurial mindset and the variety of ways in which FFM
constructs contribute to them.
Table 11
Multiple Regression Analyses Predicting EMP Scale Scores From Workplace Big Five
Domains
Domain Independence
Limited
Structure Nonconformity
Risk
Acceptance
Action
Orientation Passion
Need to
Achieve
Neuroticism .16 .03 .20
.03 .02 .07 .29
ⴱⴱⴱ
Extraversion .20
.08 .16 .16 .30
ⴱⴱ
.10 .15
Openness .41
ⴱⴱⴱ
.39
ⴱⴱⴱ
.34
ⴱⴱⴱ
.47
ⴱⴱⴱ
.34
ⴱⴱⴱ
.23
.16
Agreeableness .14 .14 .31
ⴱⴱ
.15 .34
ⴱⴱⴱ
.02 .10
Conscientiousness .10 .16
.05 .04 .20
.29
ⴱⴱ
.53
ⴱⴱⴱ
R
2
.16 .20 .22 .21 .23 .20 .38
Future
Focus
Idea
Generation Execution
Self-
Confidence Optimism Persistence
Interpersonal
Sensitivity
Neuroticism .14 .25
ⴱⴱ
.13 .32
ⴱⴱⴱ
.33
ⴱⴱⴱ
.18
.20
Extraversion .12 .10 .01 .09 .16 .04 .53
ⴱⴱⴱ
Openness .40
ⴱⴱⴱ
.74
ⴱⴱⴱ
.36
ⴱⴱⴱ
.09 .25
ⴱⴱ
.17
.06
Agreeableness .03 .20
.02 .31
ⴱⴱⴱ
.22
.22
.59
ⴱⴱⴱ
Conscientiousness .47
ⴱⴱⴱ
.20
.39
ⴱⴱⴱ
.28
ⴱⴱⴱ
.05 .17
.03
R
2
.25 .40 .23 .33 .32 .18 .45
p.10.
p.05.
ⴱⴱ
p.01.
ⴱⴱⴱ
p.001.
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19A NEW MEASURE OF ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET
Study 3: EMP Scores, Social Desirability, and Divergent Thinking
One of the core elements traditionally associated with entrepreneurialism is creativity. Entrepreneurs
are thought to be a prime source of new ideas, techniques, and products (Arzeni, 1998; Audretsch,
2007; Birch, 1987) and to constitute a virtual engine of economic novelty. Although successful
entrepreneurial activity unquestionably requires more than simple creativity, it may nevertheless be
an important component of many entrepreneurial enterprises. Thus, we attempted in this study to
ascertain the relationship between measures of divergent (creative) thinking and the EMP scales.
Although it is possible that multiple EMP dimensions might be related to greater creativity, we only
offered a prediction for one of them; we hypothesized that the Idea Generation scale would be
positively associated with greater creativity. We also included a measure of social desirability in this
investigation to gather evidence regarding the degree to which EMP scale scores are subject to
biases related to socially desirable responding.
Method
Participants. Participants were 77 Eckerd college students (20 male, 57 female) who were
recruited from psychology classes. They received extra credit for their participation.
Materials and procedure. In group-testing sessions participants completed a battery of in-
struments, three of which are relevant for these analyses. The first of these was an adapted version
of the Alternative Uses Task (AUT; Guilford, 1957). Participants were asked to list as many uses
for a brick as possible and were given two minutes to do so.
Two indices of divergent thinking were calculated from these responses. Fluency is simply the
number of valid responses produced by the participant in the allotted time (invalid responses would
be those that were not actually uses for a brick, e.g. “red,” as well as any repetitions generated by
an individual subject). Weighted Fluency (Runco, Okuda, & Thurston, 1987) combines fluency with
the originality of the ideas. It was computed by determining the statistical frequency of each
response in the sample, using this to generate response weights (higher weights for less frequent
responses) and then summing the weighted responses for each participant.
The second measure of creative/divergent thinking was created specifically for this investiga-
tion. Participants were asked to imagine that they were the owners of a pizza parlor and needed to
come up with possible names for a new red-colored gelato they would be selling. They were given
two minutes to generate as many such names as possible. The responses were later coded by two
raters and given points for increasing levels of creativity. A single point was given for responses that
simply referred to the color red (e.g., Scarlet Surprise), a type of fruit (e.g., Cherry Blast), or the
sweetness of the product (e.g., Sweet Stuff). Two points were given to responses that made a
metaphorical reference to color, fruit, or sweetness (e.g., Bloody Valentine). Three points were
given to responses that used some form of clever wordplay or reference to pop culture (e.g., Cherry
Magdalene, Moulin Rouge). A summed creativity score was calculated for each participant.
Thus, for each creativity task we had a measure of simple fluency and one of creative/unique
responses. In addition to analyzing these four indices separately, we also computed an “overall
fluency” measure by standardizing the two separate fluency measures and summing these values.
We carried out an identical procedure to create an “overall creativity” index as well.
Finally, participants completed the Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding (BIDR; Paul-
hus, 1984), a measure of social desirability that contains two subscales: Impression Management,
which is designed to assess a tendency to deliberately tailor self-presentations to an audience
(Sample item: “I have said something bad about a friend behind his or her back”); and Self-
Deception, which is designed to capture the tendency to provide self-reports that are honest but
positively biased (“When my emotions are aroused, it biases my thinking”). The former scale
measures the tendency to describe the self in a way that will be more positive to others, even though
the respondent knows the presentation is false. The latter scale measures the tendency to report
honestly, but overly positively, about oneself. The BIDR is a 40-item instrument to which
respondents indicate how true of them each statement is on a scale running from 1 (not true)to7
(very true).
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20 DAVIS, HALL, AND MAYER
Within 24 hours of their group-testing session, participants received an e-mail containing a link
allowing them to complete the EMP online. Eighty-two participants attended group-testing sessions,
and 77 of these later completed the EMP; the latter group constitutes the usable sample.
Results
Table 12 displays the correlations between the EMP scales, scores on the two creativity tasks, and
scores on the BIDR. With regard to the measures of creative/divergent thinking, the pattern is fairly
clear. The only EMP dimension to be consistently significantly related to these measures was Idea
Generation, as expected. This facet of the EMP was related not only to the sheer number of
responses offered to the tasks (fluency) but also to the number of especially unusual/creative
responses. Other scales (Action Orientation, Interpersonal Sensitivity, Optimism) were occasionally
related but did not display the same consistency.
The measures of social desirability were for the most part unrelated to the EMP scales. The
Self-Deception subscale of the BIDR was significantly related to 4 of the 14 EMP scales (the mean
racross the 14 scales was .17); the Impression Management subscale was significantly related to 3
(mean r.07). The most intriguing pattern was that significant correlations were notably more
common for the Skills dimensions (6) than the Traits dimensions (2). Specifically, the Self-
Deception scale of the BIDR was associated with Execution, Self-Confidence, Optimism, and
Persistence, suggesting that these respondents were somewhat more likely to have an unrealistic
perception of these particular skills.
General Discussion
In this article we have attempted to establish the psychometric adequacy of the EMP in several ways:
(a) through an examination of the factor structure of the instrument using CFA; (b) through a
Table 12
Correlations Between EMP Scale Scores and Measures of Creativity and Social
Desirability
Unusual uses test Gelato task Combined BIDR
Scale Fluency Creativity Fluency Creativity Fluency Creativity
Self-
Deception
Impression
Management
Personality traits
Independence .19 .17 .10 .01 .18 .11 .03 .03
Limited Structure .01 .15 .04 .05 .02 .06 .04 .15
Nonconformity .11 .07 .04 .02 .04 .05 .21 .05
Risk Acceptance .04 .02 .07 .05 .02 .04 .14 .20
Action Orientation .25
.19 .17 .09 .26
.18 .15 .16
Passion .03 .03 .10 .06 .08 .05 .30
ⴱⴱ
.28
Need to Achieve .10 .08 .08 .01 .11 .06 .13 .13
Skills
Future Focus .07 .01 .05 .05 .07 .04 .14 .10
Idea Generation .25
.14 .23
.27
.29
.26
.04 .05
Execution .09 .15 .04 .01 .08 .09 .28
.16
Self-Confidence .05 .10 .15 .17 .12 .17 .47
ⴱⴱ
.10
Optimism .11 .24
.20 .14 .19 .23
.41
ⴱⴱ
.17
Persistence .02 .02 .08 .08 .04 .04 .36
ⴱⴱ
.24
Interpersonal
Sensitivity .23
.19 .18 .10 .25
.18 .10 .24
p.05.
ⴱⴱ
p.01.
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21A NEW MEASURE OF ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET
comparison of known groups (entrepreneurs and managers); (c) through the associations between
EMP scales and the dimensions of the Five Factor Model; (d) through the associations between EMP
scales and a measures of divergent thinking; and (e) through an examination of the relationships
between EMP scales and measures of socially desirable responding. Taken as a whole, evidence for
the reliability and validity of the EMP was strong, suggesting that this instrument provides a useful
way to measure a constellation of traits, motives, and skills that are especially important for
entrepreneurial activity.
Factor Structure and General Psychometric Properties
It could be argued that the weakest evidence for the psychometric adequacy of the EMP comes from
the CFAs carried out to evaluate the factor structure of the instrument. Evidence for the skill
dimensions was reasonably strong, with some of the fit indices (CFI, GFI, RMSEA) indicating a fit
that was acceptable or good, whereas other indices (NNFI) approached such values. Evidence was
less powerful for the trait dimensions, with only one fit index (RMSEA) reaching the level
conventionally taken to indicate a reasonable fit. However, considerable disagreement surrounds the
most appropriate way to evaluate a successful fit between theoretical models and observed data (e.g.,
Marsh, Hau, & Wen, 2004) and in particular the best ways to use cutoff values (e.g., Barrett, 2007).
Most germane for this discussion, some investigators have argued that conventional cutoff values
may typically be too stringent for even well-established personality measures to reach.
For example, Beauducel and Wittmann (2005) employed Monte Carlo simulations to examine
the performance of various CFA fit indices with data sets designed to actually resemble those
typically found in personality research—as opposed to the less realistic data sets that were used in
the original formulation of various rule-of-thumb cutoff values (e.g., Hu & Bentler, 1999). Specif-
ically, in contrast to those earlier data sets, Beauducel and Wittman created sets with somewhat
lower primary factor loadings and with a modest loading of some items on secondary factors. Using
these more realistic data led most of the fit indices to produce values that failed to reach traditional
cutoff scores. Interestingly, the RMSEA index was the least likely to lead to misfit under these more
realistic conditions, and it was that index that provided the strongest support for the models in this
investigation.
In a related vein, Hopwood and Donnellan (2010) used a variety of CFA fit indices
(including most of the ones used in this article) to evaluate the theoretical models underlying
such well-known and validated measures as the 16PF (Conn & Rieke, 1994), the California
Psychological Inventory (CPI; Gough & Bradley, 1996), and NEO-PI-R (Costa & McCrae,
1992). Using the traditional rules of thumb for evaluating fit, none of these instruments were
found to provide a good fit between the theoretical model and the observed data; in fact, none
even came close to the evidence of fit found in this investigation for the EMP. Hopwood and
Donnellan argued that this lack of fit was probably the result of several things, including
correlated residuals resulting from the impossibility of writing “perfect” items that tap only the
intended dimension and from methodological artifacts resulting from item wording (e.g.,
negatively worded items). Their conclusion was that an evaluation of the adequacy of an
instrument should be made by considering more than whether it reaches the traditional cutoff
values on the fit indices:
Internal structure should be regarded as just one element of construct validity among several others. In line
with the importance of multiple kinds of validity evidence, we suggest that future research should
thoughtfully combine the analysis of internal structure with investigations of criterion-related validity to
a more substantial degree. (p. 343)
They also noted that the danger of overreliance on cutoff values is especially great when
evaluating a new instrument, because there is relatively little validity evidence available.
Unsurprisingly, we agree with this conclusion and believe that the overall determination of
the adequacy of the EMP should include not only these CFA findings but the additional validity
and reliability evidence that was collected. Part of this evidence comes from the findings
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22 DAVIS, HALL, AND MAYER
regarding the reliability of the instrument. The EMP scales appear to be internally reliable
(mean Cronbach’s alpha values of .77 and .76 for Samples 1 and 2, respectively). Another piece
of the picture comes from the relationships found between the EMP scales and BIDR, which
contains two subscales measuring different forms of socially desirable responding. The 14 EMP
scales displayed few correlations with the measure of impression management, suggesting that
responses to the EMP are relatively free from attempts to portray the self in a positive light to
other people. On the other hand, the association between some of the EMP scales (especially
Self-Confidence, Optimism, and Persistence) and the Self-Deception scale suggest that to some
degree the scores on these EMP scales may be colored by an overly optimistic view of the self.
Interestingly, this pattern has been frequently reported in prior research employing the BIDR.
As noted by Li and Bagger (2006), “Self-deception creates a belief in personal control and
optimism, which may foster one’s motivation at work, increase persistence at task, and
ultimately lead to better performance” (p. 133).
Construct Validity
Another important component of the case to be made for the EMP’s value is its construct validity. Three
forms of evidence for such validity were collected. The first, and in some ways the most important, kind
of evidence comes from a comparison of groups that logically should differ on these dimensions. Our key
comparison was between entrepreneurs (defined as those self-identifying as an entrepreneur and also
owning a business) and managers (those who do not self-identify as an entrepreneur, do not own a
business, and who have at least two direct reports). In both samples, entrepreneurs scored higher than
managers on every EMP scale except Interpersonal Sensitivity—the one dimension for which we had no
specific expectation. These differences were statistically significant for all scales except Need to Achieve
and Future Focus. This pattern also held for an analysis comparing undergraduate students who identified
themselves as entrepreneurs or not. Thus, the EMP appears to do a very good job of distinguishing
between entrepreneurs and another group—managers—who should be similar to entrepreneurs in other
important ways (Collins et al., 2004). Moreover, the differences between these groups tended to be quite
substantial, as evidenced by the large effect sizes.
A second form of construct validity came from examining the relationship between the EMP
scales and scores on a workplace measure of FFM dimensions. Considerable evidence exists that
entrepreneurs tend to display a particular pattern on such measures: higher on Conscientiousness and
Openness and lower on Neuroticism and Agreeableness. This was in fact the general pattern that we
found in Study 2. These analyses revealed some interesting additional patterns. The most striking of
these is the very broad and reliable association between the EMP dimensions and Openness to
Experience. This domain of the FFM was uniquely associated with almost all of the EMP scales, far
more than any other FFM dimension. In contrast, other FFM dimensions tended to be related to
specific subsets of EMP scales. Conscientiousness had its strongest effects on a cluster of “accom-
plishment-oriented” EMP scales—Need to Achieve, Future Focus, and Execution. Neuroticism was
most strongly (and negatively) related to two “emotion-oriented” scales—Self-Confidence and
Optimism. Agreeableness was negatively associated with several EMP dimensions but was strongly
positively associated with Interpersonal Sensitivity.
Finally, evidence from the two measures of divergent thinking used in Study 3 suggests that
there is a reliable association between one specific EMP dimension—Idea Generation—and per-
formance measures of ideational fluency and creativity. Although the size of the relationship is
modest, this finding is noteworthy because the creativity measures do not rely upon simple
self-report but are based on the actual amount and creativity of the responses. Thus, it appears that
respondents’ self-reported standing on Idea Generation is in fact related to a more objective measure
of this ability.
Implications for Practitioners
There would seem to be several ways in which the EMP could be useful to individuals and
organizations. Perhaps its most important use will be as a means of providing would-be entrepre-
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23A NEW MEASURE OF ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET
neurs with greater insight into how their entrepreneurial motives and skills—at any given point in
time— compare with actual entrepreneurs. For example, scores on the seven trait dimensions can
provide feedback to individuals regarding the degree to which they are generally “wired” like an
entrepreneur, which may have implications for fit within the generally uncertain environment faced
by many entrepreneurs. Further, these scores can indicate the particular kinds of motivations that are
most important to the individual. For example, individuals with extremely high scores on Passion
and Need to Achieve may decide to become entrepreneurs out of a sense that working within an
organization would not allow them to make as significant or large-scale an impact as they desire.
Alternatively, very high scores on Independence and Preference for Limited Structure may suggest
that the greatest motivation for launching a business is a desire for freedom and autonomy.
Similarly, scores on the seven skill dimensions can provide feedback regarding the areas of relative
strength and weakness. In this case, the information can be used to identify areas in which additional
training and experience can help foster competencies that are currently underdeveloped.
Another potential use for the EMP would be for organizations interested in supporting entre-
preneurial initiatives among their employees; in such situations EMP feedback can be valuable when
constructing entrepreneurial teams. Depending on the particular kind of work team (sales, opera-
tions, finance) different EMP scales will be more or less important; what is highly valuable for some
teams will be less so for others. Moreover, for some dimensions the most important thing may be
to have at least some members of the team sufficiently high. Idea Generation is perhaps the clearest
example of this, but it may be true for others as well. Although we believe that it is possible for
individuals to develop skills in areas in which they have relatively little natural capacity, team
membership often allows for a complementary approach. As long as the necessary skills are
represented somewhere in the team, each individual has the luxury of being able to utilize and
capitalize on existing strengths. Thus, although altering someone’s “wiring” may be impossible, and
developing skills takes times and effort, it may be relatively quick and simple to create effective
entrepreneurial teams.
Finally, there are numerous applications for the EMP in educational settings. Teachers and
administrators from colleges and universities that have either academic or non-credit-bearing
programs in entrepreneurship can use the EMP to help students understand both the concept of
entrepreneurial mindset as well as their own unique profiles. This exercise may be useful for
students who either have, or plan to have, a major or minor in entrepreneurship, as well as for
students who are seeking even broader academic and career direction. The EMP may be adminis-
tered and presented in group settings or used by advisors and career counselors in one-on-one
sessions. The EMP may also have value as a pre- and posttest measure of the impact of entrepre-
neurship curricula. A number of entrepreneurship educators are currently using the EMP for this
purpose.
Directions for Future Research
There are a variety of possible directions for future research involving the EMP; however, there are
three which seem especially important. The first is research explicitly comparing the EMP’s trait and
skill dimensions. At the conceptual level this distinction makes sense. There is considerable
evidence for the success of interventions designed to increase creativity (Rose & Lin, 1984; Gist,
1989), optimism (Luthans et al., 2008), persistence (Eisenberger, 1992; Duckworth et al., 2011),
self-confidence (Carney et al., 2010), execution (Burke & Day, 1986; Thach, 2002), future focus
(Fujita et al., 2006; Liberman & Trope, 2008), and interpersonal skills (Blanchard et al., 2009;
Hawkins et al., 2008); thus it seems defensible to consider these dimensions—at least to some
degree—to be skills. To date, of course, none of this research has specifically examined the effect
of interventions on EMP scale scores, and evidence for such effects will be of considerable value.
Other related questions will also be worth exploring. For example, do the skill and trait
dimensions differ in their temporal stability? Although skill measures should display some stability,
it might be predicted that such stability would be at least somewhat lower than for the trait measures.
Another question has to do with the predictive power of the skill and trait domains. In this
investigation we found, as expected, that trait dimensions predicted entrepreneurial status more
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24 DAVIS, HALL, AND MAYER
strongly than did skills. Research examining entrepreneurial success (capital raised, revenues and
profits, number of companies started, number of successful exits, longevity) would be valuable and
would allow a similar evaluation of the hypothesis that success is more strongly associated with
skills than traits. It will also be useful to identify the individual dimensions that have the most
predictive power. In this investigation, we found that Independence, Nonconformity, Risk Accep-
tance, and Idea Generation were the dimensions most associated with entrepreneurial status. Which
dimensions will prove most important in predicting success? One interesting possibility is that
Interpersonal Sensitivity might be a potent predictor of entrepreneurial success despite— or perhaps
because—it is the one dimension of the EMP on which entrepreneurs fall short of managers.
Consistent with this possibility, there is some evidence that measures of emotional intelligence are
associated with some measures of entrepreneurial success (Zampetakis, Beldekos, & Moustakis,
2009; Ahmetoglu et al., 2011).
A second avenue for future research is to examine entrepreneurial mindset with different types
of entrepreneurs. For example, would we see different patterns of scores for high- versus low-growth
entrepreneurs? For tech versus nontech entrepreneurs? For entrepreneurs by choice versus by
necessity? Would different EMP dimensions be important for predicting success in these different
entrepreneurial environments? In addition, it will be informative to examine the relations between
EMP dimensions and indicators of job success for managers. It is widely believed by business
executives that all companies can behave in entrepreneurial ways (Deloitte Growth Enterprise
Services, 2012). Which aspects of an entrepreneurial mindset will be most useful within corporate
settings? It may well prove to be that corporate culture (supportive of entrepreneurial activities or
not) will be an important moderator of such associations.
Finally, future research should explore the specific mechanisms through which EM dimensions
influence entrepreneurial choices and behaviors. Such an effort would be in keeping with the Baum
et al. (2001) model linking personality traits to entrepreneurial outcomes via their impact on
mediating variables such as goal-setting and self-efficacy. In fact, self-efficacy might be an
especially likely conduit through which some of the EMP dimensions may operate. Self-Confidence,
Optimism, and Persistence all seem like dimensions that would contribute to higher levels of
self-efficacy; importantly, self-efficacy perceptions have been linked to entrepreneurial intentions
(McGee, Peterson, Mueller, & Sequeira, 2009) and behaviors such as goal-setting (Gist, 1987).
Regardless of the specific mechanism in question, however, there would appear to be much value
in efforts to identify exactly how EM comes to have its effects.
Limitations
Although we believe that the evidence presented here suggests a real value for the EMP, it is also
true that these findings have limitations. Perhaps the most serious of these is the almost total reliance
thus far on self-report data. With the exception of the divergent/creative thinking measure in Study
3 (in which creativity was coded by someone other than the respondent), all of the validity evidence
presented here was reported by the respondents themselves. Thus, all of the usual caveats about such
data (deliberate or unconscious distortions, biased recall, etc.) clearly apply. Even something as
seemingly “objective” as our measure of entrepreneurial status (entrepreneur or manager) ultimately
relies on the reports of the respondents, especially the subjective evaluation of whether they consider
themselves to be an entrepreneur. Data based on actual behavior or other objective measures will be
necessary to fully validate the instrument. This will be especially important when examining the
possible relationship between EMP dimensions and entrepreneurial success, an issue which has not
yet been studied.
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Received October 1, 2014
Latest revision received August 22, 2015
Accepted August 25, 2015
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28 DAVIS, HALL, AND MAYER
... Third, execution is defined as the turning of ideas into actionable plans and implementing those ideas well (Davis et al., 2016). By this definition, execution refers to the ability to take a strategy and translate it into tactical action steps. ...
... In contrast to cognitive EM, behavioural EM reveals ways of doing or actions, including special abilities or skills. Such skills are malleable to some extent and can arise from EE (Davis et al., 2016). There is evidence for the positive impact of EE on the components of BEM. ...
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