Personality Traits of Entrepreneurs: A Review of Recent Literature
We review the extensive literature since 2000 on the personality traits of entrepreneurs. We first consider baseline personality traits like the Big-5 model, self-efficacy and innovativeness, locus of control, and the need for achievement. We then consider risk attitudes and goals and aspirations of entrepreneurs. Within each area, we separate studies by the type of entrepreneurial behavior considered: entry into entrepreneurship, performance outcomes, and exit from entrepreneurship. This literature shows common results and many points of disagreement, reflective of the heterogeneous nature of entrepreneurship. We label studies by the type of entrepreneurial population studied (e.g., Main Street vs. those backed by venture capital) to identify interesting and irreducible parts of this heterogeneity, while also identifying places where we anticipate future large-scale research and the growing depth of the field are likely to clarify matters. There are many areas, like how firm performance connects to entrepreneurial personality, that are woefully understudied and ripe for major advances if the appropriate cross-disciplinary ingredients are assembled.
Comments are appreciated and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. This research is generously supported by the Kauffman Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and Harvard Business School. William Kerr is a Research Associate of the Bank of Finland and thanks the Bank for hosting him during a portion of this project. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr & Tina Xu, 2018. "Personality Traits of Entrepreneurs: A Review of Recent Literature," Foundations and Trends® in Entrepreneurship, vol 14(3), pages 279-356.