This paper aims to explore, and is the first in a series, whether it is possible to use risk-taking activities as way of identifying potential entrepreneurs. The research examines the motivations of individuals to engage in deviant consumer behaviour, in this case illegal downloading and the link between this behaviour and possible entrepreneurial characteristics.
The methodology approach was of a quantitative nature using a 32-item questionnaire disseminated to 215 undergraduate students at a UK university.
Although there was strong evidence of entrepreneurial traits existing across the participants, including risk-taking propensity, no relationship could be found between risk-taking propensity and illegal downloading. Reasons put forward for these findings were that the level of risk involved was too low to be identified as such by the downloaders, even though the non-downloaders were worried about being caught and, therefore, were not participating in it. Attitudes towards this misbehaviour change when it is not for their own consumption and very few students participated in that activity.
This study is limited to a cohort of undergraduate students at only one university. This study begins to understand the potential link between misbehaviour and entrepreneurial traits.
This paper examines the possible link between consumer misbehaviour, in this case illegal downloading and the display of entrepreneurial risk-taking characteristics. The implication of “consumer misbehaviour” through illegal downloading being “entrepreneurial” has, to our knowledge, not been previously tested and could be a useful and inexpensive way of identifying future entrepreneurs and consequently directing relevant support and training to the right people.
Pascoe, K. and Mortimer, K. (2014), "Identifying entrepreneurs through risk taking behaviour: illegal downloading", Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 183-199. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRME-06-2013-0017
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