Value Preferences among Enterpreneurs in Europe

The paper examines the relevant value sets of individual entrepreneurs on a European scale. As both approaches – i. e. the perspective of Economics, which is interested in ideal entrepreneur mentalities, and of Sociology that takes entrepreneurs’ ethically-morally significant roles into its main focus – are addressing epistemological and praxis-related aspects, this paper highlights the importance of values as ontological foundations to these features. From the various value-theories Shalom H. Schwartz’s concept about Basic Human Values is applied as a framework. Schwartz distinguishes ten types of values, which are interrelated based on a twofold axes. The empirical part starts from the point of differentiating entrepreneur groups according to the individualistic values by cluster analysis. Then the collectivist values are invoked in order to draw up more comprehensive profiles about the primarily identified groups. Finally, additional variables contribute to the clarification of these profiles. As a main finding it should be stressed that there are two different entrepreneur groups according to their relevant value sets in Western and Northern Europe, and also in the Southern and Central-Eastern regions of the continent. In the former case one of these groups is motivated by innovations and it also supports social inclusion and progression, while the other rather prefers stability, respects the existing cultural references, and appreciates collective welfare. In the Southern and Central-Eastern regions, instead, both entrepreneur groups are more individualistic, while one of them moderately, the other even less inspired by innovations.

Released: Replika 111, 23–42.