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The influence of personality traits and persuasive messages on entrepreneurial intention: A cross‐cultural comparison

Emmeline de Pillis (College of Business and Economics, University of Hawaii at Hilo,Hilo, Hawaii, USA)
Kathleen K. Reardon (University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 10 July 2007




The purpose of this paper is to examine persuasion and personality variables as predictors of entrepreneurial intention in a cross‐cultural sample.


Undergraduates in the USA and the Republic of Ireland completed measures of personal efficacy, achievement motivation, ambiguity tolerance, attitudes toward entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurial intention.


The results suggest that the decision to become an entrepreneur comes about differently in different cultures. US participants appear to perceive entrepreneurship as a societally sanctioned and appropriate outlet for their achievement motivation. While achievement motivation correlated with entrepreneurial intention for the US participants, this result did not obtain for the Irish subjects. In both cultures, those who have come to believe that being an entrepreneur is consistent with their self‐image showed strong entrepreneurial intention independent of their other beliefs about entrepreneurship. This study suggests that recollections of positive interpersonal and mass media messages about entrepreneurship encourage entrepreneurial intention – but only for US participants. Other factors discussed in this report appear to mitigate the effect of such recollections for the Irish.

Research limitations/implications

This study is part of a larger research program that includes following up on these participants at a later date. With longitudinal data, we will be able to track the relationship between stated entrepreneurial intention and later business startup.


This investigation compares factors influencing entrepreneurial intention in the USA and Ireland.



de Pillis, E. and Reardon, K.K. (2007), "The influence of personality traits and persuasive messages on entrepreneurial intention: A cross‐cultural comparison", Career Development International, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 382-396.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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