Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Program Name/Specialization

Management and Organizational Behaviour


Lazaridis School of Business and Economics

First Advisor

Simon Taggar

Advisor Role


Second Advisor

Greg Irving

Advisor Role

Committee Member

Third Advisor

Amy Christie

Advisor Role

Committee Member


This study examined the relationship between personality and the preferences expressed by latent entrepreneurs among different ways of creating value. Latent entrepreneurs are individuals who would prefer to be an entrepreneur rather than a salaried employee. Latent entrepreneurs take all the first time decisions on entering entrepreneurship and their entry choices have been linked in the literature to their expressed preferences. The study addressed the personality-value creation relationship through two goals. The first addressed the personality-value creation preference relationship directly. Value creation was operationalized using the Competing Values Model (Quinn & Rohrbaugh, 1983). Each approach to value creation was regressed on hypothesized personality traits. It was found that a different, hypothesized, personality trait was associated primarily with each of the personality-value creation relationships. The second goal, based on theoretical insights by Schneider et al. (1995) and Schein (2004) tested the role of goal orientation as a possible mediator of the personality-value creation relationship. Three of the four goal orientations of contemporary goal orientation theory (Elliot & McGregor, 2001) were found to mediate the different personality-value creation relationships. The study represents a break with traditional personality research in entrepreneurship, which focuses on the entrepreneur rather than on the venture the entrepreneur creates. The theoretical and practical implications of this different approach are discussed.


This study marks a break with traditional personality research in entrepreneurship. It shifts the focus from the personality of the entrepreneur per se to the relationship between personality and the type of venture the entrepreneur may start.

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