Work values in a changing economic environment: the role of entrepreneurial capital

Jaén Inmaculada (Applied Economics I, University of Seville, Seville, Spain)
Liñán Francisco (Applied Economics I, University of Seville, Seville, Spain)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Publication date: 11 November 2013



The need for more flexible, dynamic and innovative firms is widely recognised nowadays. Entrepreneurial capital may contribute to a more entrepreneurial labour force with work values aligned to those needs, thus becoming one of the firm's strategic resources. But entrepreneurial capital is not evenly distributed between countries and regions. The purpose of this paper is to measure the importance of a region's cultural values in determining its level of entrepreneurial capital, and considers how this may affect the characteristics of the workforce.


Schwartz's (2004) approach to measuring cultural values will be followed. Entrepreneurial intentions will be used as a proxy for entrepreneurship capital, following Ajzen's (1991) theory of planned behaviour. A representative sample of 2,974 adults with higher education was used in the empirical analysis.


Results show that the region's culture indirectly influences the entrepreneurial capital of its members. People in some regions are more pro-entrepreneurial, showing higher start-up intentions, due to their cultural characteristics.

Research limitations/implications

Results help explain why a larger share of the workforce in some regions presents work values facilitating flexibility, creativity and innovation. Similarly, they explain some of the difficulties faced when transferring human-resource practices that have been successful in one branch, to new branches in regions with lower entrepreneurial capital.


The paper is novel in that it contributes to explaining why the majority of firms in some regions enjoy a more flexible and innovative labour force than those in less entrepreneurial regions.



A previous version of this paper was presented at the IJM track at the Second International Conference of The International Network of Business and Management journals (INBAM), Valencia March 2012. The authors are grateful to the guest editors and other participants for their comments and suggestions, which have greatly improved the paper. This study is part of a wider research project financed by the Regional Government of Andalusia (Department of Innovation, Science and Enterprise, Project No. P08-SEJ-03542). For more information, please visit:


Jaén, I. and Liñán, F. (2013), "Work values in a changing economic environment: the role of entrepreneurial capital", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 34 No. 8, pp. 939-960.

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