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Success

Measuring the effects of motivation upon venture success is somewhat problematic due to a lack of consensus as to what constitutes entrepreneurial success (A more thorough discussion of this can be found in Murphy, Trailer and Hill, 1996).  While eight performance dimensions have been suggested, success has generally been operationalized in one of three unidimensional manners:  by income (e.g. Duchesneau and Gartner, 1990), employment that is either steady or growing (e.g. Alpander et al, 1990), or, more frequently, remaining in business (e.g. Reid, 1991; Ibrahim, 1986; Duchesneau and Gartner, 1990).  While each of these provides valuable insight, by themselves they only present a single facet of success, and fail to tap the subjective aspect of the entrepreneur?s expectations.  Therefore, in addition to assessing measures of employment trends and income, the principal?s opinion as to his/her personal and material satisfaction from the venture was surveyed.

Unlike the exploratory study (Solymossy, 1996), in which income  reflected a reasonably normal distribution, this sampling displays a split distribution.  36% of the respondents report income below the average annual income in Hungary  (approximately 400,000 HuF, according to the Central Statistical Office of Hungary). 29% of the respondents indicated income in excess of 1,000,000 HuF, the benchmark frequently used in Hungary for being considered wealthy.

Satisfaction was measured from both a material satisfaction perspective (whether the business provided an acceptable standard of living), and a subjective assessment of the principal?s general satisfaction. 11% of the respondents indicated being completely unsatisfied with the standard of living provided by the business, 34% reported unsatisfactory, 25% as neither satisfied nor unsatisfied, and 17% indicated they were somewhat satisfied. In a marked deviation from the exploratory study, (in which none of the respondents indicated complete satisfaction with the standard of living provided), the larger sample exhibited 13% being materially completely satisfied. General satisfaction also exhibited a split distribution, with 9% being completely unsatisfied, 41% generally unsatisfied, 17% being neither satisfied nor unsatisfied, 32% being generally satisfied.  In contrast to material satisfaction, only 1% of the respondents indicated complete general satisfaction.

Employment results demonstrate reasonably normal distribution.  268 Respondents provided sufficient data indicating the number of employees in successive years, from which a variable of employment trend was created.  Relatively larger employers (employing 25 or more employees their first year) performed poorer than the total sample.  77% experienced employment declines, 6% remained steady, and only 17% experienced growth.  This might be due to the majority of these firms having been initiated as the result of privatization efforts, and consequently inheriting historic inefficiencies.  Survival has required restructuring, resulting in employment declines.  In general, similar to the exploratory study,  employment patterns demonstrate a regression to the mean; the largest firms declined and the smallest firms grew.

Initial tests (exploring the possibility of a linear relationship) were performed with SPSS in successive iterations, using each of the four success measures as a dependent variable, and dummy variables for each of the indicated motivational influences listed as the primary motivational influence (Table 4, section #1).   Additional testing was conducted by creating dummy variables for the aggregation of the motivational influences, whether chosen as the primary, second or third motivating influence (Table 4, section #2).  As demonstrated by Table 4, in spite of significant Anovas, explanatory power is not acceptable.  While there are isolated indications of weak univariate statistical significance, none of the motivators exhibit a pattern across success indicators and the R2s are unacceptably low.  In general, a linear relationship between motivation and any of the four measures of venture performance is not supportable.

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