chapter  1
Is there an entrepreneurial culture? A review of empirical research
ByJames C. Hayton, Gabriella Cacciotti
Pages 2

Hofstede (2001, 9) described culture as a ‘collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another.’ We therefore define culture as the values, beliefs and expected behaviours that are sufficiently common across people within (or from) a given geographic region as to be considered as shared (e.g. Herbig 1994; Hofstede 1980). To the extent that cultural values lead to an acceptance of uncertainty and risk taking, they are expected to be supportive of the creativity and innovation underlying entrepreneurial action. Entrepreneurial actions are facilitated both by formal institutions (e.g. property rights, enforceable contracts) and by socially shared beliefs and values that reward or inhibit the necessary behaviours (e.g. innovation, creativity, risk taking; Hayton, George, and Zahra 2002; Herbig and Miller 1992; Herbig 1994; Hofstede 1980). It is because of this subtle but widespread influence of culture that it is necessary to seek a deeper understanding of the phenomenon. For the purposes of this review, we assume a broad definition of entrepreneurship that includes growth oriented new-venture creation, but also extends to small and micro-enterprises that do not typically lead to employment growth beyond self-employment (Bhide 2000).