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METHODOLOGY

A questionnaire utilizing a combination of dichotomous, scalar, and open-ended questions was constructed from previous research (Alpander, Carter & Forsgren, 1990; Hisrich, 1988; Hisrich and Vecs'nyi, 1990; Gatewood, Shaver & Gartner, 1995; Greenberger & Sexton, 1988; Olofsson, Petersson & Wahlbin, 1986).  Following double translation - back translation (to assure accuracy of conceptual meaning), and testing with several Hungarian entrepreneurs, it was mailed to 1500 small business principals within the southcentral region of Hungary. 76 were returned due to invalid addresses, 15 were returned either due to a refusal to participate or the cessation of the venture.  341 completed responses were received, yielding a 24% response rate, an acceptable representation for this type of survey (Alreck and Settle 1985).

Prior to coding of responses, nine independent judges were provided the conceptual definitions of pull and push motivations and requested to classify the motivational influences utilized in previous studies as being either pull or push.  Reliability is assessed by calculating proportional interjudge agreement and  calculation of  proportional reduction in loss (PRL) values, which are comparable to Cronbach's alpha in terms of classifying qualitative data (Rust and Cooil, 1994; p. 6) (See Table 1).  Of the nine motivations utilized in previous research, four motivational forces (Achievement, Independence Job Satisfaction and Economic Necessity) demonstrated PRL values of 100.   Two,  (Power and Career Security) demonstrated PRL values of .8, while social status, wealth, and opportunity failed to exhibit acceptable levels of reliability. The influences cited by the majority of entrepreneurs can therefore, be reliably classified within the push / pull taxonomy.

FINDINGS

The mean age of the respondents is 44 years, (21 min., 84 max., std. dev 9.05).  While the range is comparable to earlier studies in Hungary (Solymossy, 1996; Hisrich and Vecs'nyi, 1990), the average Hungarian entrepreneur is older than indicated in U.S. studies (Brockhaus and Horowitz, 1986). This could be due to a combination of cultural factors and barriers to private enterprise previously limiting entrepreneurial opportunity.

Motivation

What motivated the entrepreneurs to initiate their ventures?  Respondents were provided with nine motivational influences garnered from previous research and permitted to add any additional influences that were appropriate (notably, only family influence was cited).  They were asked to select up to three, and to rank them in order of their importance.  As in the exploratory study (Solymossy, 1996) A majority (51% overall) chose economic necessity as one of their three motivations, with 40% overall listing it as the primary motivator. No other single motivator was as pronounced a primary influence.  Achievement and independence, traditionally supported entrepreneurial motivations, were identified as the primary motivating influence only 16% and 14% respectively.  They were, however, listed as one of the three motives 54% and 46% of time, frequently coupled with economic necessity, indicating the simultaneous presence of both push and pull motivations. Tabulating the motivational influence combinations (see Table 2) confirms the simultaneous presence of both pull and push-motivations.

TABLE 1
Validity of Push / Pull Classification of Previously Utilized Motivational Influences
(Entrepreneur?s identification of influences is a total of first, second and third priorities listings.)  
 
 

Motivational Influence Coded as Pull  Coded as Push Judged to be either / both    Proportional Interjudge Agreement  PRL Reliability  Cited by Entrep.
Job Satisfaction 8 1 0 .7778 100 96
Social Status   4 2 3 .2778 34 9
Economic Necessity 0 9 0 1 100 173
Power 7 1 1 .5833 80 4
Wealth 6 2 1 .4444 34 60
Achievement 9 0 0 1 100 157
Independence 9 0 0 1 100 182
Opportunity 6 2 1 .4444 34 128
Career Security 1 7 1 .583 80 61

 

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