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Creative personality, opportunity recognition and the tendency to start businesses: A study of their genetic predispositions


  • Shane, Scott
  • Nicolaou, Nicos


We explored the effect of having a creative personality on the identification of business opportunities and the tendency to start businesses. Examining a sample of 3242 twins from the United Kingdom, which we surveyed in 2011, we confirmed that people with creative personalities are more likely than others to identify business opportunities and start businesses. We investigated how much of these associations are accounted for by a shared genetic etiology and found that common genetic influences account for a significant fraction of them. We discuss the implications of our findings for research on creative personality, opportunity recognition and entrepreneurship.

Suggested Citation

  • Shane, Scott & Nicolaou, Nicos, 2015. "Creative personality, opportunity recognition and the tendency to start businesses: A study of their genetic predispositions," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 407-419.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:30:y:2015:i:3:p:407-419
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2014.04.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Quaye Lydia & Nicolaou Nicos & Shane Scott & Harris Juliette, 2012. "A Study of Gene-Environment Interactions In Entrepreneurship," Entrepreneurship Research Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-20, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lingyu Hu & Jianlin Wu & Jibao Gu, 2019. "The Impacts of Task- and Relationship-oriented Personal Initiative on Entrepreneurial Intention," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(19), pages 1-14, October.
    2. Spanjer, Anne, 2017. "The impact of experience on the behavior and performance of self-employed and entrepreneurs. Three empirical studies," Other publications TiSEM 6684507a-1de9-47b5-9da7-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    3. Lougui, Monia & Broström, Anders, 2020. "The Labor Market Value of Experience from Temporary Self-employment," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 484, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    4. Dongmin Kong & Maobin Wang & Xiyu Zhang, 2018. "The effects of entrepreneurial long-term commitment on post-IPO performance: Chinese evidence," Frontiers of Business Research in China, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 1-18, December.
    5. Jinyi Zhou & Xingzi Xu & Yawen Li & Chengcheng Liu, 2020. "Creative Enough to Become an Entrepreneur: A Multi-Wave Study of Creative Personality, Education, Entrepreneurial Identity, and Innovation," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(10), pages 1-16, May.
    6. Tommaso Minola & Giuseppe Criaco & Martin Obschonka, 2016. "Age, culture, and self-employment motivation," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 187-213, February.
    7. Shu, Rui & Ren, Shenggang & Zheng, Yi, 2018. "Building networks into discovery: The link between entrepreneur network capability and entrepreneurial opportunity discovery," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 197-208.
    8. Graciela Kuechle, 2019. "The contribution of behavior genetics to entrepreneurship: An evolutionary perspective," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 1263-1284, September.
    9. Youwei Wang & Yuxin Chen & Yi Qian, 2018. "The Causal Link between Relative Age Effect and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from 17 Million Users across 49 Years on Taobao," NBER Working Papers 25318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Viinikainen, Jutta & Heineck, Guido & Böckerman, Petri & Hintsanen, Mirka & Raitakari, Olli & Pehkonen, Jaakko, 2017. "Born entrepreneurs? Adolescents’ personality characteristics and entrepreneurship in adulthood," Journal of Business Venturing Insights, Elsevier, vol. 8(C), pages 9-12.
    11. Mooradian, Todd & Matzler, Kurt & Uzelac, Borislav & Bauer, Florian, 2016. "Perspiration and inspiration: Grit and innovativeness as antecedents of entrepreneurial success," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 232-243.
    12. Packard, Mark D., 2017. "Where did interpretivism go in the theory of entrepreneurship?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 536-549.

    More about this item


    Creative personality; Entrepreneurship; Opportunity recognition;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship


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