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CONCLUSIONS

This study was designed to explore the relationship between motivational orientation and venture success.  While the assumption of venture-initiating motivation's being related to subse-quent performance is tacitly implied by previous research and intuitively reasonable, the data from this exploratory study suggests otherwise.  This data fails to provide support for a linear relationship between push / pull-motivation and four measures of venture success.  Further analysis confirms the absence of a significant difference in traditionally used measures of venture success based upon motivational orientation.  While this may appear surprising, practical experience and common suggests that a venture's success is less affected by what prompted the initiation than by a combination of external factors and the persistence and abilities of the entrepreneur (or management).

Significant differences were discovered, however, when success is operationalized as a multi-dimensional construct incorporating not only financial and employment indicators, but also subjective assessments of the entrepreneur's satisfaction.  In addition to demonstrating the advantages of using a multidimensional construct for success, this study calls attention to effects due to environmental and firm specific factors.  The environment, specifically economic stability, is seen to affect motivational influences, while the existence of business plans are strongly related to three of the four success measures. These findings, coupled with statistically significant differences in the utilization of networks and levels of technology offer strong support to researchers arguing for the expansion of the entrepreneurial concept to include enterprise and environmental factors.  While theoretically posited over the past decade (e.g. Gartner, 1984; Van de Ven, Hudson and Schroeder, 1984; Greenberger & Sexton, 1988; Boyd & Vozikis, 1994; Lumpkin & Dess, 1996),  empirical work has been hindered by the complexity of the proposed theoretical models, the difficulties of operationalizing the variables,  and the absence of valid and previously tested measures (Greenberger and Sexton, 1988). This has further imposed limits on the ability to compare and contrast previous research findings.  This study presents a parsimoneous operationalization of success, and offers differentiable variables from both the individual entrepreneur and the entrepreneurial firm perspective.   Future research should continue to explore the effect of various dimensions of entrepreneurship.  Is performance affected by the utilization of networks?  Is the utilization of networks associated with the firm's level of technology?  The findings of differential levels of technology based upon negative situa-tional factors pushing one into entrepreneurship requires further testing for confirmation, both to measure levels of technology and to explore to what extent being pushed into entrepreneurship will result in a deviation from previous experience.   Interviews revealed occurrences of entre-preneurs initiating ventures in a functional area that differs from their area of education and ex-perience.  While interpreted as a function of the economic environment, this interpretation is ten-tative, and requires further research.  Do entrepreneurs deviate from a prior experience and train-ing due to the perception of greater opportunities, or is it as a result of having limited choices?

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