IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Hunting the Heffalump: Can Trait and Cognitive Characteristics Predict Entrepreneurial Orientation?


  • E. COOLS



The aim of this study was to get more insight into what typifies Flemish entrepreneurs. We compared entrepreneurs with non-entrepreneurs for five traits (tolerance for ambiguity, selfefficacy, proactive personality, locus of control, need for achievement) and for cognitive styles. Additionally, we used these trait and cognitive characteristics to predict variances in entrepreneurial orientation (EO). Whereas the link between EO and organizational performance has been studied intensively, the examination of possible antecedents of EO remains a white space. We found that entrepreneurs (N = 177) score significantly higher on all traits than nonentrepreneurs (N = 60). For the cognitive styles (measured with the Cognitive Style Indicator), we found that non-entrepreneurs score higher on the knowing and planning style. No differences were found for the creating style. With regard to the link between the entrepreneur’s profile and EO, we found a significant contribution of tolerance for ambiguity and proactive personality to EO.

Suggested Citation

  • E. Cools & H. Van Den Broeck, 2006. "Hunting the Heffalump: Can Trait and Cognitive Characteristics Predict Entrepreneurial Orientation?," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 06/427, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  • Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:06/427

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ciaran Connolly & Noel Hyndman, 2006. "The actual implementation of accruals accounting: Caveats from a case within the UK public sector," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(2), pages 272-290, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    traits; cognitive styles; entrepreneurial orientation; entrepreneurs versus nonentrepreneurs;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:06/427. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nathalie Verhaeghe). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.