DISCUSSION

Taken together, the results of this research support two fundamental conclusions. First, it is clearly possible to obtain reliable measures of psychological characteristics without having to employ complete scales. Psychometrically speaking, of course, a full scale for which substantial reliability and validity data exist is always preferable to an abbreviation. On the other hand, in an applied setting where research participants are under severe time constraints, complete scales are simply not an option. When this is true, it is useful to know which scales can be approximated by shortened versions. Our factor analyses indicate that the Kirton creativity scale can be reduced to the 12 most heavily loaded items and still produce essentially the same factor structure as the original. The significant difference across the three scales that was obtained in the analysis of variance further substantiates the view that these three abbreviated scales capture different views held by our respondents. Turning to locus of control, our two-factor structure was clearly not identical to the three-factor structure of the full Paulhus scale, but our two dimensions nevertheless appear useful in an entrepreneurial context. The facts that (a) only one of these dimensions correlates with other scales, and (b) the significant within-subjects effect on the analysis of variance for locus of control indicate that our abbreviated version is reflecting differences our respondents consider important. Finally, it is not surprising that our abbreviated set of items from the EAO scale produced a factor structure quite different from the two subscales from which we selected items. We chose from fewer of the subscales, and used a smaller percentage of the total items, for the EAO than for any other scale. Despite these difficulties, our factor structure for the EAO items still reproduced a "pure" achievement behavior factor and a "pure" innovation behavior factor (our Time Management factor also consisted entirely of innovation behavior items). Moreover, the analysis of variance for the EAO items also produced a significant within-subjects main effect difference between achievement behavior, business activities, and innovation behavior.

Second, there was a surprising lack of differences based on demographic characteristics. Across the three analyses of variance (involving a total of eight separate scales) there was only one significant difference based either on participant sex or participant race. This was the Sex x Scale interaction showing that the difference between innovation scores and achievement/activity scores was greater among male respondents than among female respondents. There is, of course, a substantial body of entrepreneurship research that shows sex differences in the behavior involved in creating new ventures (e.g., see Brush, 1992). Furthermore, our own previous attributional work (Gatewood, Shaver, & Gartner, 1995) obtained sex differences in the relationship between attributions and successful start-up. But the absence of such differences in our present data suggest that divergence may arise as the organizational process continues rather than being present at the beginning. It will be interesting to follow our current set of respondents, to determine whether sex-based or race-based differences in founding activities occur as time passes. At this point, however, there is remarkable similarity in questionnaire responses and attributions across both sex and race.

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Last Updated 4/5/97 by Cheryl Ann Lopez

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