Sociology Mind
2013. Vol.3, No.3, 205-209
Published Online July 2013 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 205
Examination of Entrepreneurship from Humanistic Values
Ercan Yilmaz1,2
1Educational Sciences Department, Necmettin Erbakan Universitiy, Konya, Turkey
2Educational Sciences Department, Education Faculty, N. E. University, Konya, Turkey
Received April 10th, 2013; revised May 14th, 2013; accepted May 29th, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Ercan Yilmaz. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attri-
bution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the
original work is properly cited.
This study attempts to examine the influence of humanistic values people prefer on their entrepreneurship.
The study is a qualitative study and the data were collected and analyzed using this method. Besides, rela-
tional screening model was used. The study group is composed of 482 students who were selected with
random sampling method among students who attended various faculties at Selçuk University in 2012. In
the study, Schwartz List of Values was used to measure individuals’ value preferences in their lives. En-
trepreneurship Scale, which was developed by Yılmaz and Sünbül (2009), was used to measure their en-
trepreneurship tendency. In the study, it was revealed that there is a significant relation between humanis-
tic values people prefer and entrepreneurship and, humanistic values explain entrepreneurship tendency.
Keywords: Component; Entrepreneurship; Humanistic Values; Schwartz List of Values
The most fundamental asset of societies is their human re-
source and the most important human quality is entrepreneur-
ship. The word entrepreneur, made up of the words “entre” (to
enter) and “prendre” (take over), means “building something”
ğüt, 2006: p. 431). Entrepreneurship can be defined as the
general name given to innovation, risk taking, seeing opportu-
nities and carrying them into practice. Entrepreneurship was de-
fined in many different ways. Some of them are as follows:
Entrepreneurship is a process by which people pursue op-
portunities, fulfilling needs and wants through innovations
and active handling of risks and uncertainties, without re-
gard to the resources they currently control (Robbins &
Coulter, 1999).
Entrepreneurship is the name given to all the processes of
risk taking, pursuing opportunities, actualization and inno-
vation (Çetindamar, 2002: p. 34).
It is seen that three components are of significance in entre-
preneurship. First, taking initiative; second, the effective use of
resources by organizing economic and social conditions; and
the third is the acceptance of failure and risk (Karahan & Ulu-
soy, 2010). It is stated that entrepreneurs have three fundamen-
tal characteristics: “vision”, “mission” and “ambitiousness”
(Smilor-Sexton, l996: pp. 7-9). Besides, being innovative, hav-
ing a vision, craving for success, being able to do internal au-
diting, being able to bear uncertainties, creating values and
directing transformation are among the characteristics of entre-
preneurship (Turan & Nacimudinova, 2006: p. 352). In addition
to these characteristics, the outstanding personality characteris-
tics that psychodynamic and socio-psychological approaches
emphasize are “pro-activity”, “dynamism”, “purposefulness”,
“positivity” and “taking initiative”. Besides, “innovativeness”,
“imaginativeness”, “creativeness”, “flexibleness” and so on are
underscored as qualities that define entrepreneur identity. In
addition, “being agreeable”, “having a feeling of trust”, “taking
reasonable risks”, “being decisive” “being willful”, “having
result-driven intellectual capacity and high self-confidence” are
among the characteristics mentioned (Bridge et al, l998: p. 43).
The competencies entrepreneurs have are examined under
three main categories: technical, organizational and personal.
The interpersonal relation, which is one of the technical compe-
tencies, draws attention as a concept which has gained promi-
nence recently. While organizational competencies include cha-
racteristics an administrator needs to have, among personal
competencies risk taking, making innovation and managing
change are the outstanding basic determiners (Hisrich & Mi-
chael, 1998). In addition to them, entrepreneurship competen-
cies are composed of self-confidence, being willing to take re-
sponsibility, generate innovative and creative ideas to deal with
problems, addressing uncertainties and taking risks. These com-
petencies and attitudes influence individual’s success in social
life as much as his/her success in business life (Ofsted-Better
Education and Care, 2005). Iredale and Motsa (2002) list entre-
preneurship competencies as follows: problem solving, crea-
tiveness, persuasiveness, planning, making right decisions, hav-
ing self-confidence, being autonomous and self-sufficient, gra-
vitating success, being versatile and dynamic. Entrepreneurs
can be defined as individuals who make a positive difference in
the procession of an existing condition in any environment or in
any role they take over.
In studies on this issue, it was pointed out that entrepreneur-
ship intention was influenced by the obstacles and support fac-
tors people perceive in their environment (Lüthje & Franke,
2003). The innate qualifications entrepreneurs have can be de-
veloped, supported or hampered in the process of life (Tim-
mons & Spinelli, 2003). The factors that affect individuals’
choice of entrepreneurship are: its financial rewards, freedom,
self-confidence and feeling of success as a result of self-em-
ployment, freedom to make innovation and respect of the soci-
ety for entrepreneurs (Wickham, 2006). Entrepreneurship is af-
fected more from psychosocial reasons than economic reasons
(Erdoğmuş, 2000). Concordantly, psychological factors like
need for success, control focus, tendency to take risk, under-
taking uncertainty, self confidence and innovativeness come to
the fore as determinants of entrepreneurship (Aytaç, 2006).
Entrepreneurship can be explained with the values people
have and prefer. It is rather difficult to define the concept of
value with a standard expression. Values are generalized prin-
ciples that are accepted by the members of the society for the
operation and maintenance of the society (Avşaroğlu, 2012).
Value are generalized moral principles or beliefs that are ac-
cepted to be correct and necessary by the members of the soci-
ety or the group for the operation and maintenance of the soci-
ety and that reflect their feelings, ideas, objectives and interests
(Kızılçelik & Erjem, 1992). Values are social representatives of
objectives that are regarded to be principles that direct people’s
lives and motivate them for life (Rohan, 2000). Researchers
like Levy and Guttman emphasize that values are a subset of
behaviors (Elizur, 1996: p. 25). Many researchers define value
as the basic belief behind the idea that motives people. There-
fore, values guide people’s acts and behaviors. In other words,
what an individual does and how s/he does it are shaped by the
values s/he has (Kenny, 1994: p. 17).
Individuals vary in terms of the importance or priority they
attach to values and the value priorities of the individual are
mostly influenced by the dominant values of the culture s/he
lives in. Individual’s values are accepted as the product of the
culture s/he lives in. Therefore, values and beliefs play a deter-
mining role in human behavior and individual’s performance at
individual level, and at organizational levels they determine the
performance of the organization (Ergün, 2003). Meanwhile, hu-
manistic values make individuals’ psychological needs more
understandable. This also contributes to the realization of their
potentials and success (Stallard & Pankau, 2008).
Individuals seek to lead their lives in an environment built
around his/own and society’s values (Turan & Aktan, 2008).
Individuals can change the values they have in the interaction
process. In this process, school life of the individual is of great
When entrepreneurship tendency is examined in terms of val-
ues, it is pointed out that entrepreneurs attach importance to in-
dependence, loyalty, success and goal directedness (Naktiyok
& Timuroğlu, 2009). Values which are regarded to be princi-
ples that guide people’s lives and means for expressing human
needs shape current and means that motivate standard and ideal
behavior patterns, learned rules, behavioral sanction, functions
as a plan for decision making and conflict resolution (Russell,
2001: pp. 76-77; Kenny, 1994: p. 17). The need for success,
which is a new value, is one of the motivational factors that
affect entrepreneurship intention (Douglas & Fitzsimmons,
2005: p. 2). In his/her studies on entrepreneurship Schumpeter
emphasized dynamic and static behavior types in parallel with
hedonistic motives and stated that these motives affected be-
haviors (Ebner, 2006: p. 504). Universal thinking proposes the
protection of the wealth of humanity and nature, and points out
the need to accept and understand it. The values in this dimen-
sion are equality, a peaceful and beautiful world, nature friend-
liness, social justice, freedom of thought, protection of envi-
ronment and internal harmony (Schwartz & Boehnke, 2004: p.
239). Lee and Peterson argue that universal thinking contributes
to entrepreneurship (Elam, 2006: p. 6). In contrast to those who
advocate that entrepreneurship is motivated by economic and
socio-biological factors, it is also argued that it is motivated by
benevolence and altruism (Montanye, 2006: p. 552). It is noted
that entrepreneurship efforts that do not have cultural values
that reveal and support social existence and safety are bound to
lead to failure (Ceylan & Demircan, 2002: p. 3). As it can be
understood from these explanations, the values individuals have
can explain their entrepreneurship.
The determination of the factors that cause people start a new
business by taking social, psychological and financial risks is
important for understanding entrepreneurship, which underlies
economic development. Entrepreneurship tendency can be ex-
plained with humanistic values people prefer because values
provide guidelines for people to choose and realize their social
roles. Thus, people determine the requirements and expecta-
tions of various roles with certain values (Fichter, 1990).
The aim of this study is to examine individuals’ entrepre-
neurship tendency in terms of humanistic values they prefer.
With this aim in mind, answers for the following questions
were sought:
Is there a significant relation between the entrepreneurship
tendencies of people and humanistic values?
Do the humanistic values people prefer explain entrepre-
neurship tendencies significantly?
The model of the study, the universe and sample, means of
data collection and statistical methods used for the analysis of
data were reported in this section.
The Model of the Study
This study was carried out with the relational screening mo-
del. The study model includes two basic variables: dependent
and independent variable. The humanistic values the individu-
als in the study group prefer are the independent variables in
the study model. The entrepreneurship tendencies of the indi-
viduals in the study group are the dependent variables in the
study model. The relation between humanistic values of the
individuals in the study group and the level humanistic values
explain entrepreneurship was examined.
The Study Group
The study group of the study is composed of 482 students
who were selected with random sampling method among uni-
versity students attending various faculties at Selçuk University
in 2012. While 248 of the students were male, 234 were female.
Meanwhile, 44% of the individuals studied at quantitative de-
partments, 42% studied at verbal departments and 16% studied
at sports and arts related departments.
Means of Data Collection
In the study, personal information form was used to obtain
personal information about the participants. To measure value
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
preferences of the individuals in life, Schwartz List of Values
was used. The Entrepreneurship Scale, which was developed by
Yılmaz and Sünbül (2009), was used to measure their entre-
preneurship tendencies.
Entrepreneurship Scale
In order to measure individuals’ entrepreneurship tendencies,
the entrepreneurship scale developed by Yılmaz and Sünbül
(2009) was used. The scale is composed of 36 items. The scale
is a one-dimensional and likert type scale. The Cronbach Alfa
reliability coefficient is 0.90. The reliability coefficient of the
scale for the study sample was calculated to be 0.92.
Schwartz List of Values (SLV)
Schwartz List of Values (SDL) is composed of 57 values. A
total of fifty-seven values were grouped under 10 sub-dimen-
sions. These sub-dimensions are listed as follows: power, suc-
cess, hedonism, stimulation, self-auditing, universality, benevo-
lence, conventionalism, harmony and safety. In a study by Ba-
canlı (1999), Kuşdil and Kağııbaşı (2000), the reliability co-
efficients for value dimensions were determined to be 0.66 for
success, 0.54 for hedonism, 0.70 for stimulation, 0.77 for uni-
versality, 0.76 for benevolence, 0.63 for conventionalism, 0.51
for harmony, 0.59 for safety, 0.75 for power and 0.69 for self-
Data Analysis
The relation between the dimensions of humanistic values
and entrepreneurship was tested using Pearson product-moment
correlation technique. Multiple regression technique was admi-
nistrated to determine the level humanistic values explain en-
trepreneurship. The significance level is accepted to be 0.05 in
the analysis of data (Balcı, 2004). Therefore, significance level
accepted for this study was 0.05.
Results and Discussion
In this section, the results of the statistical analyses adminis-
trated in line with the objectives of the study and their discus-
sions are presented.
The relation between humanistic values and entrepreneurship
tendencies was tested with Pearson product moment correlation
technique and the results are given in Table 1.
When Table 2 is examined, it is understood that there is a
significant relation between entrepreneurship and the following
sub-dimensions of humanistic values people prefer: power, suc-
cess, hedonism, stimulation, self-auditing, universality, benevo-
lence, conventionalism, harmony and safety.
The explanation level of the humanistic values individuals
prefer for entrepreneurship tendency was tested with multiple
regression analysis technique. The results are given in Table 2.
When Table 2 is examined, it is seen that the humanistic val-
ues individuals in the study group prefer significantly affect
their entrepreneurship tendencies (F = 15, 27; p < 0.01). It was
seen that ten dimensions of the humanistic values individuals
prefer explain 24% of the variety in their entrepreneurship ten-
dencies. When the levels of the effect of humanistic values are
examined, power, hedonism, stimulation, self-auditing, univer-
sality, conventionalism and trustworthiness values had signifi-
cant effect on entrepreneurship. The humanistic value dimen-
Table 1.
The correlation between humanistic values and entrepreneurship.
Dimension of Humanistic Value
Power 0.267**
Success 0.299**
Hedonism 0.105*
Stimulation 0.367**
Self-auditing 0.328**
Universality 0.265**
Benevolence 0.235**
Conventionalism 0.119*
Harmony 0.181**
Safety 0.128**
Note: **p < 0.01; *p < 0.05.
Table 2.
Effects of humanistic values on entrepreneurship.
Variable R2F p
Dimension of
t p
Power 3.424 0.001
Success 0.930 0.353
Hedonism 2.642 0.009
Stimulation 5.531 0.000
Self-Auditing 3.026 0.003
Universality 2.873 0.004
Benevolence 1.757 0.080
Conventionalism 2.255 0.025
Harmony 1.346 0.179
Values 0.23615.2710.000
Safety 4.295 0.000
Dependent Variable: Entrepreneurship
Note: **p < 0.01; *p < 0.05.
sions which did not have a significant effect on entrepreneur-
ship are success, benevolence and harmony.
When the results of the study were examined, it was seen that
there is a significant relation between individuals’ entrepre-
neurship tendency and humanistic values they preferred. Ac-
cording to the results of the study, it can be considered that
entrepreneurship tendencies of individuals who prefer humanis-
tic values are dominant. The question of whether personality or
social environment is more influential on the emergence of
entrepreneurship has been discussed for a long period of time.
Those who emphasize personality give weight to psychological
characteristics. Personality characteristics linked with entre-
preneurship are risk taking, need for success and control focus
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 207
(Aytaç, 2006: p. 142; Gürol & Atsan, 2006). It can be argued
that personality characteristics are related with humanistic val-
ues. Especially, success, stimulation and self-auditing sub-
dimensions of humanistic values are related with being compe-
tent, being ambitious, being influential, being brave, leading a
flexible and exciting life, being free, being able to choose his/
her objectives, being independent and having self-esteem. The
aforementioned personality characteristics risk taking, need for
success and control focus which are related with entrepreneur-
ship are accepted to be related with success, stimulation and
self-auditing, which are among humanistic values. In a study by
McCabe (2012), it was determined that the values people pre-
ferred support social entrepreneurship. This result tallies with
the results of this study. In some studies, it was found that val-
ues and beliefs of individuals affect their entrepreneurship
(Llano, 2006: p. 22; Kellermanns & Eddleston, 2006; Tan et al.,
2003: p. 2; Davidsson & Wiklund, 1997: p. 188). It can be
thought that the results of these studies support the study results.
As a result of a study by Bhandari on students in India, no rela-
tion was found between social status and prestige and entrepre-
neurship (Bhandari, 2006: p. 177). This result does not comply
with the result of the current study.
When the results of the current study are examined again, the
humanistic values people prefer explain 24% of variability in
entrepreneurship tendency. This is a rather high rate. When the
results are examined in terms of the sub-dimensions of human-
istic values, it is seen that while power, hedonism, stimulation,
self-auditing universality, conventionalism and safety explain
entrepreneurship significantly, the sub-dimensions of success
benevolence and harmony do not explain it at significant level.
The commonly agreed upon personality characteristics deter-
mined by psychologist to be related with entrepreneurship ten-
dency are openness, responsibility, extraversion, harmony and
emotional balance (Aytaç, 2006: p. 142; Gürol & Atsan, 2006:
p. 28). Extraversion and openness, the personality characteris-
tics accepted to be related with entrepreneurship, can be argued
to be related with universality, power, and safety values among
humanistic values. Extraversion and openness are explained
with sensation, adventure, extraordinary ideas, imagination, be-
having responsibly and being determined for success and acting
in a planned way rather than instinctively. The universality
dimension of humanistic values is related with social justice,
living in a peaceful and beautiful world, being virtuous, pro-
tecting environment, being open minded, equality, integration
with nature and inner peace tendencies. The individuals who
prefer this value can be considered to be more extravert and
open. Again, power is explained with having social power and
authority, being rich and saving his image in the society. The
value of power can increase these features, individuals’ extra-
version and openness. The responsibility characteristic which
explains entrepreneurship can be assumed to be safety and con-
ventionalism dimensions of humanistic values because safety
value is related with individuals’ feeling of national safety and
loyalty, returning the favor, caring for social order and family
safety, being healthy and clean. The individuals who prefer
conventionalism also prefer accepting life as it comes, being
moderate, faithful and modest, respect for customs, privacy and
personal rights. As it can be seen, conventionalism and safety
can affect responsibility acts positively. The last personality
character which is regarded to be related with entrepreneurship
is emotional balance. Emotional balance can be considered to
be related with hedonism and self-auditing dimensions of hu-
manistic values. Individuals who prefer hedonism seek to get
pleasure out of life and fond of their wants. The value of self-
auditing is explained with being creative, free and independent,
being able to choose one’s own goals and having self-esteem.
Individuals with stimulation value are brave, lead a flexible and
exciting life. When the aforementioned characteristics are con-
sidered with regard to individuals who prefer hedonism, stimu-
lation and self-auditing values, it can be argued that these peo-
ple can preserve their emotional balance. When sub-dimensions
of humanistic values are considered based on the explanations
above, it can be concluded that power, hedonism, stimulation,
self-auditing universality, conventionalism and safety sub-di-
mensions are supposed to explain entrepreneurship tendency. In
a study by Ersoy (2010), it was revealed that entrepreneurship
tendency is related with religious belief and religious faiths
contributed to entrepreneurship tendencies. This result supports
the results of the current study that conventionalism value con-
tributed to entrepreneurship. In a study by Kuvan (2007), a rela-
tion was found between life values and entrepreneurship ten-
dencies of people, which also supports the results of this study.
In their study Peay and Dyer pointed out that entrepreneurs are
motivated by both social and individual power needs (Peay &
Dyer, 1989: p. 52). A significant and positive relation between
richness, which is included in the value of power, and entre-
preneurship was found (Hurst & Lusardi, 2004: p. 320). These
results can be considered to comply with the results of the cur-
rent study.
When the results of the study are examined with regard to the
explanatory power of humanistic values for entrepreneurship
tendencies, it was determined that success, benevolence and
harmony humanistic value dimension did not explain entrepre-
neurship tendency significantly. The value of success can be
considered to be a result of entrepreneurship activities because
it is more related with being a competent and influential person.
This tendency can be considered to come into being as a result
of success in certain activities. The individuals who prefer the
value of benevolence are inclined to be merciful, gracious and
loyal, which can be argued to positively influence initiation and
competitiveness that are characteristics related with entrepre-
neurship. The value of harmony is related with being obedient.
So, it can be considered to not to comply with such characteris-
tics of entrepreneurship tendency like innovative thinking skill,
openness to change or accepting change (Yurtseven, 2007: p.
67; Tekin, 2005: p. 47; Kaya, 2007: pp. 46-47; Öznur, 2007).
As it can be understood from these explanations, success, be-
nevolence and harmony humanistic values are not expected to
explain entrepreneurship tendency.
As a result of the study, it was revealed that there is a signifi-
cant relation between the humanistic values people prefer and
entrepreneurship and those humanistic values explain entrepre-
neurship tendency. Based on these results, the following sug-
gestions can be made. Considering that values are gained
through education, the attainments required for the courses in
higher education can be related with values. In further studies,
researchers can examine the relation between entrepreneurship
and other personality characteristics by using humanistic values
as a mediating variable.
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