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MOTIVATIONAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE GOALS AND BUSINESS PERFORMANCES OF ENTREPRENEURS IN BANGLADESH

Article · December 2015with45 Reads
Abstract
Behavioral theory suggests that human actions spring from a mix of motivations. According to this theory, human actions are not a result of the conventional assumption of exclusive motivation of self-interest. Human actions are influenced by a general ethical factor of inclination to help one another and uphold justice and equity. However, a number of human actions may be more centered on self-interest than others, whereas some may be more centered on the interest of others. Given these tendencies, the motivations of business entrepreneurs can be expressed by a continuous scale. Centeredness on self-interest occupies one end of the scale, whereas centeredness on the interest of others occupies the other end. Scholars hypothesized that a balanced tendency of entrepreneurs between self-interest and the interest of others would contribute to social justice and equity in society. They also hypothesized that the goals and objectives of most business entrepreneurs in Bangladesh are influenced by a mix of motivations instead of conventional assumptions of exclusive motivation of self-interest. The majority of entrepreneurs in Bangladesh prefer to be labeled as social enterprises engaged in the well-being of a community. They want to be viewed as enterprises that earn normal, fair, and ethical profits instead of maximizing profit for themselves. The primary
ABSTRACT
Behavioral theory suggests that human actions spring from a mix
of motivations. According to this theory, human actions are not a
result of the conventional assumption of exclusive motivation of self
-interest. Human actions are inuenced by a general ethical factor of
inclination to help one another and uphold justice and equity. However,
a number of human actions may be more centered on self-interest than
others, whereas some may be more centered on the interest of others.
Given these tendencies, the motivations of business entrepreneurs
can be expressed by a continuous scale. Centeredness on self-interest
occupies one end of the scale, whereas centeredness on the interest of
others occupies the other end. Scholars hypothesized that a balanced
tendency of entrepreneurs between self-interest and the interest of
others would contribute to social justice and equity in society. They
also hypothesized that the goals and objectives of most business
entrepreneurs in Bangladesh are inuenced by a mix of motivations
instead of conventional assumptions of exclusive motivation of self-
interest. The majority of entrepreneurs in Bangladesh prefer to be
labeled as social enterprises engaged in the well-being of a community.
They want to be viewed as enterprises that earn normal, fair, and
ethical prots instead of maximizing prot for themselves. The primary
MOTIVATIONAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC
FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE GOALS
AND BUSINESS PERFORMANCES OF
ENTREPRENEURS IN BANGLADESH
1Mohammad Aktaruzzaman Khan
1Mohammad Zahid Hossain Bhuiyan
1Nazamul Hoque
2Raqul Islam Molla
1Department of Business Administration,
International Islamic University Chittagong, Bangladesh
2Academic Advisor,
International Islamic University Chittagong, Bangladesh
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malaysian accounting review, volume 14 no. 2, 2015
aim of this study is to test the hypothesis by identifying and analyzing the
motivational, cultural, and socio-economic factors and personal traits
that inuence the intentions and actions of entrepreneurs in Bangladesh
to apply this perspective in practice. This study is an exploratory and in-
depth investigation that uses eld data collected through in-depth personal
interviews with eight business entrepreneurs in Chittagong, the largest port
and commercial city of Bangladesh. Results strongly conrm the hypothesis
that a mix of motivations inuences business entrepreneurs in Bangladesh
to set their enterprise goals and objectives. Results also indicate that the
motivations of entrepreneurs centered on the well-being of the community.
This investigation is only a pilot study. Thus, the results must be regarded
as merely indicative.
Keywords: self-interest-centric, community wellbeing-centric, not-for-
prot, for-prot, societal well-being, entrepreneurship, paradox, social
enterprise, social business, motivation–continuum, intention
Introduction
The primary goal of economics is social well-being and ensuring equity
and social justice in economic development. The disciplinary development
of modern economics is pursued through ideological and operational
modes of entrepreneurships. Market economics, which is known as the
rst sector, relies on commercial entrepreneurships (centered on self-
interest). State economics, which is known as the second sector, relies
on state entrepreneurships (centered on public well-being) to achieve the
fundamental goal of economics, which is “societal wellbeing.” Given their
limitations, both modes fail to ensure the achievement of the primary goal.
State entrepreneurship fails mostly because it is not an efcient manager
of economic operations. Market entrepreneurship fails because of built-in
contradictions and paradoxes in its methodological and operational strategies
and misdirected emphasis on the misunderstood and distorted assumption of
self-interest as the fundamental motivation for human behavior and action.
Given this failure, one scholar remarked that “we are coming out of a long
period dominated by what has been aptly called ‘egonomics,’ an economy
based on the individual. We have seen its failures and we are counting the
costs. The demand emerging today is for ‘weconomics,’ an economy of us,
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MOTIVATIONAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS
an economy that respects and values the social dimension.”
This assumption of self-interested motivation has caused undue damage
on the reputation of business entrepreneurs (capitalists or bourgeoisie).
Entrepreneurs are accused of owning the most important means of
production, which they use to exploit the working class. They earned social
disrespect and insult to the extent that the term bourgeoisie is abused.
The discipline employed in pushing this entirely materialistic and narrow
view that ignores humanities and the human meaning of things has been
transformed into a heartless and soulless dismal science incapable of catching
and explaining the spiritual aspects of human well -being, satisfaction,
behavior, and actions. This eld was subjected to signicant criticism on
the grounds that it became increasingly irrelevant for understanding and
solving major economic problems. This eld earned different negative labels
such as (a) “a mean, degrading, and sordid inquiry,” (b) “a pig science,”
(c) “an entirely damned state of soul,” (d) “it deals with the lower elements
of human nature” (Jhingan, 1975). The concept of humanomics emerged
to address this issue. Humanomics focuses is on ways that economy can
serve mankind instead of destroy us (Loebl, 1976). Humanomics focuses
on building “simpler theories, and sophisticated measures,” whereas
conventional economics is centered on building sophisticated theories and
simple measures. Integrating human focus to the concept of humanomics
can facilitate improved understanding of the causes and consequences of
human wellbeing thereby increasing the humanity of economics and making
it less dismal.
The Fact of the Matter
According to celebrated economics professor Joseph Schumpeter,
bourgeoisie, particularly entrepreneurs who took risks to bring innovation
to industries and the economy through creative destruction, is the driving
force behind the engine of growth and economic development. The fact of
the matter is that “without spoken honor to the bourgeoisie, there can be no
modern economic growth (the late economist Milton Friedman’s Thesis).
And without modern economic growth, there can be no spoken of honor to
the bourgeoisie (in essence the economist Benjamin Friedman’s Thesis)”
(mentioned in McCloskey, 2010). These are the roles and virtues of business
entrepreneurs in the progress of industrial civilization that humanity enjoys
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malaysian accounting review, volume 14 no. 2, 2015
and takes pride of. Society must admire business entrepreneurs and thank
and respect the bourgeoisie as capable of virtues. McCloskey considered
seven primary virtues of any human life, namely, prudence, temperance,
justice, courage, faith, hope, and love; these virtues also run a business
life. Businesspeople are also people. Thus, “bourgeois virtues” cannot be
absolutely centered on self-interest and contradict virtues centered on the
community. Capitalism works poorly without the virtues of social wellbeing.
This fact has been demonstrated by economic sociologists and has been
accepted by neo-institutional and behavioral economists.
Entrepreneurs are the economy’s initiators and drivers. They are persons
or enterprises who pioneer changes. They are essential human resources in
any economy. They improve existing resources and create new goods and
services for the well-being of mankind. Their functions are very essential for
the sustainability and progress of the society. Given the role of entrepreneurs,
Islam promoted entrepreneurial task as fared-e-kiya, which is obligatory in
society. This obligation means that fared-e-kiya must be performed by at
least a number of people in society. These people are scarce resources. Given
that they are considered social assets, their primary goals and obligations
include enhancing social well-being. Self-benets are their only defensive
obligation for survival and growth. However, business entrepreneurs are
being socially insulted and degraded to the extent that the term bourgeoisie is
abused (Jhingan, 1975) on the plea that their business decisions and actions
are inuenced by motivation centered on self-interest.
However, this concept is a misconception, distortion, and false assumption
labeled against entrepreneurs by economic and business scholars and
educators. The truth is that entrepreneurship is similar to any other individual
with a balanced set of virtues beyond the “monster of self -interest” that
guide them in making decisions on business goals and actions. We are
conditioned and brainwashed to believe in theories on economics that are
formulated and promoted by gurus as reective of the reality of human
motivations, behaviors, and actions. We are taught and made accustomed
and habituated to think and behave according to theories formulated based
on the distorted assumption and vision of the true nature of motives for
human action and behavior.
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MOTIVATIONAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS
Fortunately, new rms theories have shifted emphasis from viewing the
rm as an entity centered on prot maximization to one that works as
a coordinator with the goal of solving society’s problems through the
production of goods or services (European Research Institute on Cooperative
and Social Enterprises, 2014). New theories on human behavior and action
suggest that every human action and every economic action are not governed
exclusively by self-interest. The behaviorist school maintains that human
actions spring from a mix of motivations (e.g., intrinsic, extrinsic, self,
others) and are inuenced by a general ethical factor of inclination to help
each other and uphold justice and equity. These theoretical developments
suggest that human beings are fundamentally ethical social beings and
secondarily economic beings. This principle is the message of Islam and all
other revealed religions (Ather, Khan & Hoque, 2011). These two theoretical
developments helped explain the reason the objective of an enterprise can be
used to solve a collective problem. The deeply ingrained general motivations
of entrepreneurship are the community well-being and earning normal and
fair prots for sustainability and growth.
Emergence of Social Enterprise Economics (Third Sector)
Given the emergence of humanomics and other similar movements and
realizations of the folly, new behavioral science theories suggest that
every human economic action is not governed exclusively by self-interest.
Human beings are fundamentally ethical social beings. This concept has
given rise to the emergence of the movement for the promotion of social
and Islamic entrepreneurships (centered on community well-being) in
the form of social enterprise economics (third sector economics). This
movement can be described as an economic system founded on and served
by entrepreneurship centered on community well-being. This form of
entrepreneurship includes for-prot and not-for-prot economic enterprises
and social businesses. These enterprises are business organization that are
driven by “social mission” with the natural provision for earning reasonable
or normal prot as necessary and legitimate claims of the entrepreneurs for
survival and general enterprise growth. However, social well-being remains
the overriding factor in their decisions and actions. The community-centric
conceptual base and social justice-driven motivation of social enterprise
economics (third sector) is the superior economic model for goal realization
in a just world. This framework promotes economics as “a profession for a
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malaysian accounting review, volume 14 no. 2, 2015
mission.” This study highlights this conceptual gap among the academics
and attempts to prove its instrumentality empirically. In this study, earning
prot is treated as a necessary condition, whereas the achievement of
social well -being is considered sufcient condition. This setup is similar to
“impact investment,” which is motivated by the intention to create a social
or environmental good. In the case of impact investment, the investor may
be willing to accept a low nancial return in exchange for achievement of
social outcome (Drexler & Noble, 2013).
Objectives
An entrepreneur’s motivation is a continuum that starts from complete
self-interest at one end to complete interest in others at the other end. Some
entrepreneurs are centered on self-interest, whereas some are focused on
the community well-being. The objective is to develop and encourage
entrepreneurs that leans toward the motivation continuum of centeredness
on the interest of others. The two ends are unusually extreme cases. No
viable economic system can be developed wherein entrepreneurs belong to
either end of the continuum. When the number of entrepreneurs that belong
to the side centered on community well-being is higher than those close to
the others-interest end of the continuum, the prospect of development with
equity and social justice increases. The primary objectives of this study are
as follows:
1. To identify the major motivating factors that inuence business
entrepreneurs in deciding their enterprise goals and objectives
2. To test the hypothesis on the mix of motives instead of exclusive
motive of self-interest that inuences business behaviors and actions
3. To identify the structure of the motivation continuum of these
entrepreneurs
This study is an attempt to clarify the roles of business leaders, economic
planners, philosophers, educators, and researchers in economics and business
with respect to the motivational conviction of business entrepreneurs.
85
MOTIVATIONAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS
Methodology
This study is an in-depth investigation based on the case approach using a
mixed research method. Field data for this study were collected from eight
business entrepreneurs in Chittagong, the largest port and commercial city
in Bangladesh. Data were obtained through in-depth personal interviews
conducted by researchers using an appropriate questionnaire guide and tape
recorder. Three researchers met and discussed with the eight interviewees
at appointed times. The discussion was a story telling of the respondent
about his or her business life and activities. The interview was guided by
a questionnaire. In addition to recording the entire discussions, notes were
taken by each researcher. One of these researchers ticked the structural
part of the questionnaire guide. The interviews were mostly conducted in a
relaxed and cozy atmosphere at the residences of the respondents according
to their choice and liking. To ensure sincere cooperation and reliability of
data, all respondents were selected through personal contact with necessary
references and requests from the researchers’ respected and trusted friends
and relatives.
Prior to the eld work for data collection, four researchers conducted formal
2-hour discussions with a focus group consisting of eight reputed business
leaders, business entrepreneurs, managers of nancial institutions, and
sociology, psychology, and business teachers as critical observers of the
operations and behavior of the business sector in the country. The whole
session was video-recorded and analyzed for the development of the data
collection strategy and instruments.
A formal discussion with the focus group was centered on the following
major themes: (a) justifiability and workability of the conventional
assumption of prot maximization as the sole motive of the rm, (b)
the realistic and operational assumption that a rm is guided by a mix
of motivations of self-benet and social benet, making it a continuum
ranging from self -interest at one end and others-interest at the other end,
(c) prot-maximizing syndrome and the psychic of the business community,
the social image of the business community, (d) other socio-cultural and
political factors inuencing their business decisions and actions, (e) the
vitally important position of business entrepreneurs to the extent that it is
“fardal kiya” (an obligatory task of the society) and its implications, leading
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malaysian accounting review, volume 14 no. 2, 2015
to making business as a social enterprise, and (f) the need and scope for
the development and promotion of social enterprise economics. This study
is a research project funded by the Centre for Research and Publications
(CRP) of International Islamic University Chittagong (IIUC), Bangladesh.
This study focuses on Structural Development for Mainstreaming Social
Enterprise Economics.
Data Analyses and Findings
In-depth interviews with eight reputed and established business houses
(entrepreneurs) were conducted by three of the researchers to generate
data in the following themes: (a) motivational and other socio-cultural and
political factors inuencing their business decisions and actions, (b) structure
of their motivational convictions and achievement and the nature of their
motivation continuum, (c) understanding of the vital role of business in the
society and the role of business as a social enterprise, (d) social image of
the business, and (e) prospects for the development of social enterprises.
Identication of the Factors that Inuence Business
Decisions and Actions
Inheritance from family; network of relatives, friends, and associates; social
need fulllment; earning ethical or reasonable prot; government and
government policy; and inner drive for innovation are the dominant factors
that inuence the decisions and actions of the business entrepreneurs. Most
of the entrepreneurs emphasized these factors, as shown in Table 1. Business
background of the family is a dominant motivating and inuencing factor
for sample business entrepreneurs in entering a business profession. Most
of them have entered the business profession through inheritance from their
fathers or family. However, this case is not general and is possibly a special
feature of business entrepreneurs in Chittagong.
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MOTIVATIONAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS
Table 1: Transcription and Analysis of Data Generated from the In-Depth Interviews with Eight Leading Business
Entrepreneurs in Chittagong
SL. Factors S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8
01 Way of entry to
the business
profession
(inheritance,
etc)
Inherited from
father and then
expanded and
extended
Inherited from
family (4th
generation)
Being pushed
by family as
well as social
need and
inspired by
values of the
organization
associated with
Being inspired
by the
experience
gained while
working in a
missionary
hospital and
the ideology of
the apolitical
organization
attached with
Being
encouraged
by friends and
associates
Inherited from
father
Inherited from
father
Inherited from
father
02 Role of
network
Started
garment
business being
inuenced by
network of
friends.
Expanded
business with
the help of
strong family
and social
network
Network of
friends inspired
for starting
business
Network has
been the
strong factor
in developing
business
enterprises
Network
of close
associates
inspired to start
business
Family
inherited
networks
inuence
taking business
decisions
Network
of friends
inuence
taking up
new business
ventures.
Anonymity
Very good
network always
help business
entrepreneurs
03 Response
to business
opportunities
Generally
make efforts to
exploit
Make serious
efforts to exploit
Generally
attempt to
exploit
Generally
attempt to
exploit
Make usual
efforts to exploit
Make usual
efforts to
exploit
Make usual
efforts to exploit
Make usual
efforts to exploit
04 Risk-taking Risk avoider Take ordinary
business risk
Take calculated
business risk
Take moderate
and affordable
business risk
Take ordinary
business risk
Take moderate
and calculated
business risk
Take moderate
risk
High risk taker
in spite of
experience of
failure
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malaysian accounting review, volume 14 no. 2, 2015
SL. Factors S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8
05 Innovative
actions
- Extended
the business
with new
dimensions-
started real-
estate business
Have strong
interest and
liking for
innovative
initiatives
Have strong
interest and
liking for
innovative
initiatives, and
accordingly
introduce new
technology
Introducing the
new Peace
School based
on the concept
of Dr. Zakir
Nayek (India)
Introduced
vitamin-added
edible oil in the
country
Introduced
Tea brokerage
business in the
country which
changed the
socio economic
scenario of tea
workers of low
social class
Introduced new
lines of business
06 Personal
economic
motives
Making
reasonable
profit
Reasonable
profit making
Utilizing full
potentials for
self and societal
benefits
Making
reasonable
profit through
development
of business
enterprises
Making
reasonable
profit by
maintaining
ethics and
norms
Making
reasonable
profit by
maintaining
ethics and
norms
Making
reasonable
profit
Making
reasonable profit
07 Societal
motive
Helping the
destitute and
needy people
Helping the
destitute and
needy people
Solving
unemployment
problem and
ensuring
country’s
economic
development
Social welfare
through
employment
creation and
expanding
health care
services
Employment
creation and
helping the
needy people
Employment
generation
and providing
education
facilities
especially in
own locality
An inner urge
for social
service is
always in mind
Employment
generation
and providing
education
facilities
especially in
own locality
08 Desired and
earned rate of
profit
Desired 15%
but earn 2-5%
profit
Desired and
earn 10-15%
profit
Desired 10%
but actually
earn 2-3%
Earlier we
earned very
minimum rate
(2-3%) but at
present 12-15%
profit
Desired and
earn 10% profit
Desired and
earn 5-10%
profit
Desired 12%
but earn Less
than 5%
Desire for a
reasonable
rate(10-15%) of
profit but now
earn no profit
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MOTIVATIONAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS
SL. Factors S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8
09 Role and
nature of
education
Vital for
developing
skill and moral
and values
for ethical
business
Moral education
should be
provided from
childhood
Present system
of education
provides
technical skills
but failed to
inject required
values
Present
education
system provides
skill but without
required ethical
values
Requires
value and
ethics based
education
integrating
religion and
technology
3- level
education
systems
to produce
human
resources
in terms of
workers,
supervisors
and executives
Requires
value and
ethics based
education
integrating
religion and
technology
It must have
positive impact
in producing
entrepreneurial
mind set
10 Role of
government
and Politics
It is the main
obstacle to
business
Not business
friendly
Not business
friendly
Not so
unfriendly for
business
Not business
friendly
Unfriendly
government
policy and
institutional
structure is the
main obstacle
for business.
It demands for
radical change
Not supportive
for real
entrepreneurs.
Only 5%
entrepreneurs
having link with
govt. enjoy the
benefits
Government
and political
climate is the
main constraint
for business
entrepreneurship
development in
the country
11 Major
achievements
Earning
recognition as
trustworthy
Earning respect
and affection of
people from all
corners
Earning
recognition and
respect as a
technical expert
in the circle
of industrialist
community
Acceptance
as guardian-
like leader in
the circle of
physicians,
earning love
and respect of
people from
all corners
and charitable
hospital in Cox’s
Bazar
Moderate level
of continuous
success
Introducing
vitamin-added
edible oil first
time in the
country.
Introduction of
Tea brokerage
first time in the
country which
changed the
socio economic
scenario of
low status tea
workers & build
a modern and
fully equipped
library for
secondary
school
To become
market leader
in embroidery
sector in the
country &
creation of
more than one
thousand jobs
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SL. Factors S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8
12 Failure Could not
expand
business due
to inadequate
structural
support
Incurred
financial loss
in garment
business
Shrinking of
business and
retrenchment
of employees
and could not
establish an
automatic brick
field due to lack
of necessary
Govt. support
Failure to instill
the missionary
spirits and zeal
among most of
the employees
So to say
failure of the
social project
(Peace School)
due to lack
of skilled
management
leaders
Shrinking of
business and
employees
from 12 to
9 thousand
and failed
to establish
the planned
national data
base on
finance
Failed to many
viable and
interesting
business
initiatives due
to unfavorable
political climate
Could not retain
the experienced
and skilled
manpower in
garment fir and
could not make
the garment
business
sustainable even
in 5 years
13 Things
for which
entrepreneurs
feel proud of
Love and
affection
received from
a wide range of
people from all
corners
Love and
respect received
from a wide
variety of people
from different
corners
Received
recognition
from society for
honesty and
integrity
Own social
enterprise
(hospital) has
become market
leader in Cox’s
Bazar
A high image in
business circle
Pioneer in
introducing
vitamin-added
edible oil in
Bangladesh
Pioneer in
introducing
tea brokerage
house in the
country and
improving the
social and
economic
status of
workers
Market leader
in embroidery
sector in the
country and
employment
generation of
more than one
thousand
14 Factors used
for measuring
own
achievements
Customer
loyalty and
goodwill
Customer
confidence and
goodwill
Goodwill
and market
reputation of
product
Goodwill and
customer loyalty
Continuous
success rate
Business
expansion
Recognition
as trustworthy
and love and
respect get
from business
colleagues
Customer
satisfaction
15 Desirable
criteria for
measuring
entrepreneurs’
achievements
Honesty and
integrity in
business
Product quality,
employment
generation and
responsiveness
to the society’s
need
Service quality,
employment
generation
Service
quality and
responsiveness
to the needs of
the society
Honesty,
integrity and
responsiveness
to society’s
need
Employment
generation,
business ethics
Providing
quality goods
and services
with reasonable
price
Professionalism
in business
and social
commitment
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MOTIVATIONAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS
SL. Factors S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8
16 Allegation of
being selfish
without
societal care
Not true, since
there has
been always
certain level of
commitment to
social service
Not true, since
there has
been always
certain level of
commitment to
social service
Not true, since
there has
been always
certain level of
commitment to
social service
Not true, since
there has
been always
certain level of
commitment to
social service
Not true, since
there has
been always
certain level of
commitment to
social service
Not true, since
there has
been always
certain level of
commitment to
social service
Not true, since
there has
been always
certain level of
commitment to
social service
Not true, since
there has
been always
certain level of
commitment to
social service
17 Business
entrepreneurs
as social
assets True True True
Very much
true. They are
committed to
work for social
benefit, they are
social workers
Very much
true. As social
worker they are
committed to
work for social
benefit
True
Very much
true. They are
committed
to work for
social benefit
and should be
regarded as
social workers
True
18 Social status/
image of
business
community
Not negative Mixed feelings Negative Positive Moderately
positive
Strongly
negative
Somewhat
negative
Somewhat
negative
19 Educational
reformation
and
reorientation of
curriculum with
ethical inputs
Agree Agree Agree Agree Agree Agree Agree Agree
20 Government
initiative
needed for
creating
entrepreneurial
zeal and
environment
protection
Agree Agree Agree Agree Agree Agree Agree Agree
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malaysian accounting review, volume 14 no. 2, 2015
Proposition that Mixed Motivations and Not the Conventional
Assumption of Prot Maximization Guides and Inuences
Entrepreneurs
Contrary to the view and conventional assumption that business entrepreneurs
are prot maximizers, business entrepreneurs in Chittagong are committed
to society. The fulllment of society’s need takes precedence over the motive
of maximizing prot for self-interest. This result is shown in Table 1. All
respondents reported that they are satised with earning ethical or reasonable
prot. Similarly, all of them reported that meeting social needs, such as the
creation of employment opportunities, support for the needy and destitute,
and expansion of health services are their strong motivational force. They
tend to measure their achievements and success through societal benets
produced and people’s love, respect, and recognition. They derive pleasure
and fulllment from the achievement of societal benets (Table 2). Their
attachment and commitment to societal well-being is strong that they prefer
to be known as social assets and social workers instead of businesspersons.
Therefore, the analyses of the data in Tables 1 and 2 conrm that mixed
motivations of enhancing social well-being and earning reasonable prot for
self-guide and inuence business entrepreneurs of Chittagong in deciding
their business goals, objectives, and actions.
Table 2: Summary of the Evaluation of Eight Entrepreneurs of
31 Statements on Various Aspects of Business Operations
(Measured by a five-point Likert scale)
SPSS Output of Interview data Descriptive Statistics of
Evaluation Score
SL. Statements N Min. Max. Mean Std.
Dev.
1. To ensure reasonable profit is the main goal and
objective of my organization
8 2.00 5.00 4.2500 1.16496
2. Ethical profit should be the main objective of any
business enterprise
8 4.00 5.00 4.8750 .35355
3. Profit maximization helps growing sustainable
business enterprises
8 1.00 5.00 3.6250 1.68502
4. My business effort are always to address the
needs of the society
8 3.00 5.00 4.7500 .70711
5. Monopolistic dominance is not a healthy practice
in business
8 5.00 5.00 5.0000 .00000
93
MOTIVATIONAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS
SPSS Output of Interview data Descriptive Statistics of
Evaluation Score
SL. Statements N Min. Max. Mean Std.
Dev.
6. Family is the basic institution to teach social-
base entrepreneurship development
8 4.00 5.00 4.8750 .35355
7. Family values and tradition has great inuence
on future social entrepreneurship development
8 5.00 5.00 5.0000 .00000
8. Parents can easily inuence their children to do
something good for others in the society
8 5.00 5.00 5.0000 .00000
9. Education can develop a good concept among
students to start a social enterprise in future
8 4.00 5.00 4.8750 .35355
10. Basic schooling (primary level) or post
schooling should incorporate entrepreneurial
education and training for the future business
entrepreneurs
8 4.00 5.00 4.8750 .35355
11. As a businessman I am always in favor of
“consumerism” that is what I produce for the
society is economically beneficial and healthy
8 5.00 5.00 5.0000 .00000
12. I feel the pleasure of fulfillment since I produce
products/services as per needs of the society
8 5.00 5.00 5.0000 .00000
13. Uncertainty inuences my profit maximizing
decision as because I want to ensure safe future
of my children
8 1.00 4.00 2.2500 1.16496
14. My enterprises’ priority is to run programs that
are directly tied to social mission
8 4.00 5.00 4.5000 .53452
15. Businessmen should have commitments to the
community/society
8 5.00 5.00 5.0000 .00000
16. My organization promotes the concept of “Go
Green” through producing environment-friendly
products
8 3.00 5.00 4.2500 .88641
17. All business entrepreneurs should produce
environment-friendly products
8 4.00 5.00 4.8750 .35355
18. Entrepreneurs can bring social justice in society
through doing business on ethically sound
footing.
8 2.00 5.00 4.3750 1.06066
19. My organization always does business with
social justice that bridges product price and
standards
8 4.00 5.00 4.7500 .46291
20. Ethical business concerns can successfully
reduce the growing inequality between fortunate
and unfortunate population.
8 4.00 5.00 4.6250 .51755
21. Social networks with friends or business people
is a necessary task to start a business enterprise
8 4.00 5.00 4.8750 .35355
94
malaysian accounting review, volume 14 no. 2, 2015
SPSS Output of Interview data Descriptive Statistics of
Evaluation Score
SL. Statements N Min. Max. Mean Std.
Dev.
22. Trust or credibility of entrepreneurs is essential
for getting necessary institutional support for
doing business.
8 4.00 5.00 4.8750 .35355
23. Business associates with high integrity
and credibility have positive influence on
entrepreneurs’ business decisions and actions
8 5.00 5.00 5.0000 .00000
24. I always favor a strong emphasis on innovations 8 4.00 5.00 4.6250 .515755
25. In our industry, we are very often the first to
introduce new products or services
8 4.00 5.00 4.3750 .51755
26. I am always looking for new ways to address
social needs
8 2.00 5.00 4.2500 1.03510
27. Business entrepreneurs should innovate new
products and services through green technology
8 4.00 5.00 4.5000 .53452
28. Politics act as inuential factor for businessmen
to provide social welfare products.
8 5.00 5.00 5.0000 .00000
29. Corruption within state apparatus can reduce
the probability of successful of social enterprises
8 4.00 5.00 4.7500 .46291
30. Entrepreneurs with political attachment get more
institutional support for doing business
8 5.00 5.00 5.0000 .00000
31. Government should enact and enforce
necessary law/s to ensure the consumers’
right (consumerism)
8 4.00 5.00 4.8750 .35355
Source: Field data
Structure of Entrepreneurs’ Motivation Continuum
This group also indicated the dominant motivations of community well-
being. This nding pushes entrepreneurs beyond the middle of the line
toward the side of motivation continuum that pertains to centeredness on the
interest of others. The other end of the continuum pertains to motivations
centered on self-interest.
(0-self______<<_______M.___>>__CE______>____0-others)
0-self = Centered on self-interest
0-others = Centered on the interest of others
M = Middle of the line scale
CE = Chittagong entrepreneurs
95
MOTIVATIONAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS
This scale shows the structure of the motivation continuum of the
entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs who are close to the scale centered on the
community are highly concerned for social well-being. This position
encourages healthy economic development with social justice. Chittagong
business entrepreneurs are prospective candidates for the successful
transformation of their enterprises into social enterprises for the success
of bringing social enterprise economics in the country to the mainstream.
Despite their praiseworthy social commitments and contributions, the
entrepreneurs observed that the business community in the country has
poor image in the society (Table 1). The low social image of the business
community is unfortunate and painful.
Eight business entrepreneurs evaluated 31 statements on nine major aspects
(prot for self, social and environmental benets, role of family values,
role of networks of friends and business associates, education, innovative
drive, ethics, morality and corruption, and government and politics) that
inuence their business operations and actions. They used a 5-point Likert
scale (1-strongly disagree to 5-strongly agree) in the evaluation. Some of
these aspects are actually check statements for cross -checking purposes.
The summary of the assessment of the statements is provided in Table 2.
The results show that entrepreneurs have no prot maximization motive
in business, even in risky business ventures under uncertainty. The mean
of their assessment scores is 2.250–3.625, whereas, the motive of earning
ethical or reasonable prot is dominant with a mean score of assessment
of 4.250–4.875. Entrepreneurs’ commitment to the community and their
motive to serve society’s need are the most dominant business motives with
a score of 4.750–5.000. The entrepreneurs derive pleasure and fullment by
serving society’s needs and earning ethical prot. Therefore, the ndings
conrm the hypothesis that entrepreneurs are not motivated by prot
maximization alone. They are guided by a mix of motivations, primarily
by the motivation and commitment to serve the needs of the community
and earn reasonable or ethical prot for themselves. Thus, the assumption
of prot maximization of conventional theory of rms does not hold and
is considered a misunderstood and distorted assumption.
96
malaysian accounting review, volume 14 no. 2, 2015
Conclusions and Recommendations
This pilot study suggests that most business entrepreneurs in Bangladesh
are guided by a mix of motivations on community well-being and earning
reasonable prots for themselves. Their community-centric motivation is
stronger than their motivations of self-interest. They have high potential to
be transformed into social entrepreneurs with a high degree of commitment
for community well-being. They should be inspired accordingly. However,
this approach requires the right kind of social engineering strategies, such as
setting up necessary institutions for motivating, educating, and enlightening;
regulatory provisions to award and reward them with social recognitions
based on the achievements of social well-being.
The primary strategies in this process is to disabuse the minds of business
leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, planners, and society that business
entrepreneurs and business operations are motivated by prot-seeking and
wealth accumulation. The mindset of these people should be freed from
the distorted and misunderstood assumption of the assumption that prot
maximization is the sole objective of rms. They should be introduced
as business entrepreneurs who are friends of society. They are society’s
scarce assets who primarily aim to enhance society’s well -being. The
business community must act accordingly and command the highest social
respect and support. They must not turn into behind-the-scene nanciers of
politicians and senior government ofcials to facilitate their survival and
gain undue business benets. They should engage themselves in social
work, gain the respect of society and the strength to protect themselves,
and guide politicians to lead in economic development.
Appropriate changes must be made in our textbooks and academic curricula
at all levels of education and professional training programs to incorporate
this true vision of business entrepreneurship. Regulatory support for revising
and rewriting textbooks on economics business management and sociology
at all levels of studies must be promoted to reect the “whole truth” about
the human motives of economic behavior and actions.
Restructuring of the organization and management of the business sector
should be implemented to identify, classify, and grade business entrepreneurs
according to their level of orientation and commitments to strategies and
97
MOTIVATIONAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS
actions centered on social well-being. Provisions must be made for annual
social awards and rewards for different grades of social entrepreneurs to
enable them to contribute to society. For example, regulatory provisions
should be implemented for an accreditation institution in assessing,
rewarding, or punishing entrepreneurs through the following categories:
1. Assigning socially respected trademarks, such as social enterprise S-E,
social business S-B, cooperatives Coop., Islamic business enterprises
I-B)
2. Awarding social titles as recognition to successful enterprises and
entrepreneurs such as Shebok (dedicated social worker). Special
nancial and other support from the government and other national
and international organizations should also be offered in the event of
temporary nancial crisis or genuine business failure
3. Punishing entrepreneurs through the withdrawal of awarded trademarks
and social and economic privileges in case of willful negligence to
their commitments and promises.
Business associations, chambers of commerce, and other social organizations
must develop appropriate social environments and social engineering
strategies for this purpose.
Acknowledgements
This study is an outcome of the Centre for Research and Publications’ (CRP)
research project on “Motivations of business entrepreneurs and structural
development for mainstreaming social enterprise economics,” which was
funded by International Islamic University Chittagong, Bangladesh.
98
malaysian accounting review, volume 14 no. 2, 2015
References
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Drexler, M. & Noble, A., (2013). From the margins to the mainstream
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mainstream investors. A report by the World Economic Forum Investors
Industries prepared in collaboration with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.
Brussels: World Economic Forum, REF060913.
European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, 2014.
Philosophy: guiding principles for the study of cooperative and social
enterprises. Available at: http://www.euricse.eu/sites/euricse.eu/les/
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