The social status of entrepreneurs: contrasting German perspectives.
Kalden, Jan Niklas
Anderson, Alistair R.
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KALDEN, J.N., CUNNINGHAM, J. and ANDERSON, A.R. 2017. The social status of entrepreneurs: contrasting German perspectives. The international journal of entrepreneurship and innovation [online], 18(2), pages 91-104. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1177/1465750317706439
The German economy is praised for its stability, creating a seemingly strong economic environment in which entrepreneurship should thrive. Our research problem is that, in spite of the strong economy, new venture creation rates are substantially lower than in other comparable economies. We employ a social constructivist approach and find that the way entrepreneurs are valued offers an explanation for this apparent inconsistency. We found strong evidence that, far from the heroic figure often attributed to entrepreneurs, German entrepreneurial identity is characterized as reckless and not sufficiently serious. Our findings have implications for understanding entrepreneurship as a career choice in Germany. More broadly, they show nuanced national differences in meaning and applications of enterprise cultures.