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Individual entrepreneurial orientation: development of a measurement instrument

Dawn Langkamp Bolton (Department of Management, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA)
Michelle D. Lane (Department of Management, Humboldt State University, Arcata, California, USA)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 13 April 2012




The purpose of this paper is to develop a measurement instrument for individual entrepreneurial orientation to be used to measure the entrepreneurial orientation of students and other individuals.


A measure of Individual Entrepreneurial Orientation (IEO) was generated, validated, and then tested on 1,100 university students. The items for the scale were based on the definitions of the five entrepreneurial orientation dimensions presented by Lumpkin and Dess. Final analysis of the IEO items using exploratory factor analysis resulted in reliable and valid measures for three of the dimensions.


The scale development process for IEO resulted in three distinct factors that demonstrated reliability and validity: innovativeness, risk‐taking, and proactiveness, which statistically correlated with measures of entrepreneurial intention.

Research limitations/implications

The study comprised students at one university in the central southern USA and should be extended to other regions of the country and world, as well as to non‐students, for greater generalisability.

Practical implications

An individual‐level entrepreneurial orientation measurement instrument can be used to assist in entrepreneurship education and in student team and project assignments. It has value as a factor of influence in determining educational training for various decisions such as career choices and business endeavours. IEO also could be used by venture capitalists who are considering supporting business proposals and by individuals who want to assess the strength of their orientation towards entrepreneurship.


The paper contributes to the measurement of entrepreneurial orientation of individuals and can be used to help with student education and business training.



Langkamp Bolton, D. and Lane, M.D. (2012), "Individual entrepreneurial orientation: development of a measurement instrument", Education + Training, Vol. 54 No. 2/3, pp. 219-233.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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