Entrepreneurial perception: A survey of graduates of a global management MBA program

by Stewart, Aaron R., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2009, 147 pages; 3368766


The entrepreneurial process grows jobs, promotes innovation, and improves economic conditions around the world. In 1999, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) began researching worldwide entrepreneurship. This study utilized, with permission, the GEM’s 2005 Country Expert Interview Questionnaire, to collect data from graduates from Thunderbird School of Global Management alumni (Autio, 2005a). Results were then compared to the GEM’s data to determine if a graduate level business education has an influence on entrepreneurial perception. 702 alumni completed the survey. Research Question one compared Thunderbird graduates’ responses with the 2005 average scores reported by international participants with varying educational backgrounds. The results of the MANOVA testing Hypothesis one were statistically significant indicating formal business education does have an influence. Further analysis revealed only two topics, one analyzing the historical cultural bias, and the other analyzing the opinion of others toward entrepreneurship, were statistically different. However the results were widely different they caused a statistical significance difference in the MANOVA results, which analyzed all 15 topics simultaneously. Research Question two attempted to find differences in the average scores of 2005 GEM Country Expert Interview participants, and Thunderbird graduates from countries grouped by the same national GDP (middle versus high). The results showed the Thunderbird high GDP group was higher than Thunderbird middle GDP group, which is similar to the results in the GEM study. No other statistical significant differences were discovered using MANOVA. Further tests consisting of four independent sample t tests were conducted to examine significant interactions between group, (GEM and Thunderbird) and GDP. The Thunderbird middle and low GDP groups proved to be significantly higher than the GEM middle and low GDP groups. This indicates formal business education has most influence on graduates from low and middle GDP countries in increasing their perceptions of entrepreneurial opportunities within their own countries.

AdviserJudith L. Forbes
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Economic history; Business education
Publication Number3368766

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