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INTRODUCTION

 Interviews with numerous Hungarian entrepreneurs revealed differing patterns of entrepreneurial activity than is suggested by previous research and this author's personal experiences.  References to not having any other choice but starting some-form of business for survival by itself might be discounted (economic survival motivation is discussed in Acs, Evans, and Audretsch (1990) however, of the 10 entrepreneurs interviewed, six voiced this as their primary motive, adding that they had not really wanted to be entrepreneurs; and yet they appeared to be reasonably successful.  An empirical investigation was, therefore,  initiated to explore the relationship between entrepreneurial motivation; the forces leading to initiating the venture, and the subsequent success of the venture.  Entrepreneurial motivation underlies the characteristics studies that have dominated entrepreneurship research (Aldrich, 1992).   Two composite motivational orientations (push and pull) have been developed (e.g. Gilad, 1986, Olofsson et al., 1986) and accorded paradigmatic acceptance. This paper submits evidence that the classification scheme is reliable, and proceeds to fill a gap in extant research by assessing the impact that motivational orientation has upon the venture?s performance and characteristics. The relationship between pull and / or push-motivations to venture performance  has not been adequately  tested or demonstrated.  Previous research implies that pull-motivated entrepreneurs will exhibit higher levels of venture success, and that this relationship may be reasonably linear. An exploratory study (Solymossy, 1996) contradicted these assumptions.  The apparent, counter-intuitive absence of any meaningful  relationship between  motivational orientation  and  venture success suggested a more
comprehensive examination.

While there are many differing definitions of entrepreneurship, the essential act of entrepreneurship is new entry (Lumpkin and Dess, 1996).  For this reason, and to permit comparison to previous work, entrepreneurship is defined in this study as a new venture (whether by creating a new venture or acquiring a former enterprise through the privatization process, thereby initiating a new firm), while entrepreneur is the individual that is the actively involved principal of the firm, even if not maintaining a 100% ownership position.

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