Cultural and Economic Determinants of Entrepreneurial Propensity: A Study of Multi-Ethnic Society in Malaysia

by Prof. Dr. Siri Roland Xavier, Dr. Ahmad Zaki Ismail, Prof. Syed Zamberi Ahmad

Asia entrepreneurship Journal, (2010), Vol. VI, Issue 2

Abstract

This study examined the extent to which cultural and economic factors determine the entrepreneurial propensity of multi-ethnic and developing society namely, Malaysia. Findings from the study disclosed that, for the Malays ethnic, there was a correlation in entrepreneurial propensity for economic factors, but no significant correlation for cultural factors. The outcome for the Chinese ethnic showed that there are no correlation between economic factors and entrepreneurial propensity.

However, there are significant correlations to cultural factors. The result for the Indians ethnic was insignificant for both economic and cultural factors. The finding also revealed that an analysis of levels of entrepreneurial propensity by race demonstrate the Malays ethnic had the highest entrepreneurial propensity than the Chinese and the Indians.

This study indicates that inherent ethnicity does impact propensity for entrepreneurship. Cultural and economic factors are determinants of entrepreneurial propensity in so far as ‘econ-political’ considerations allow and suggest that as much as entrepreneurial propensity may be nurtured, it can also be suppressed. This study helps to reaffirm Malaysia’s direction for national policies for entrepreneurship.

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