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August 30, 2016
Canadian Excellence


Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Dissertation Examination for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Management

Oct 3/14

Date: Oct 3/14
Time: 9:00 - 12:00
Location: Waterloo Campus Schlegel Centre Ernst and Young Boardroom (SBE 3220)
Cost: Free

Michael Kay
PhD in Management

The Relationship between Personality Traits, Goal Orientation, and Preferred Paths to Value Creation: The Case of Latent Entrepreneurs

This study examined the relationship between personality and the preferences expressed by latent entrepreneurs amongst 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.

Dr. Ghislain Thibault

Dr. Simon Taggar

Dr. Gene Deszca
Dr. Greg Irving
Dr. Judy Eaton


Dr. Dirk De Clercq (Brock University)

Contact: Meghan Delaney
Phone: 4182

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