“It is rather optimistic to think that a few psychological and socio-demographic characteristics of the founder would explain much of the action patterns and outcomes of venture creation processes when there are so many factors pertaining to the venture itself as well as industry, regional, and macroeconomic environments (not to mention a lot of idiosyncratic, situational happenstance) that may also be influential.”

Source: Per Davidsson (2016) Researching Entrepreneurship

In entrepreneurship theory, we must be clear on the ‘unit of analysis.’ Are we studying the founder? the founding team? the venture? the industry? the economy? Entrepreneurship theory can apply to each of these units, and tell us different things in each analysis.

If our goal is to understand the factors that facilitate the emergence, growth and development of high-potential firms, then the socio-demographic and psychological characteristics of the founder (of the firm) might play a very small part in contributing to that goal.

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