Abstract: Does Culture Matter? Entrepreneurial Attitudes in the Autobiographies of Twentieth-Century Business Leaders in Finland and the United States

Heli Valtonen


How do business leaders express entrepreneurial attitudes? Are there cultural differences among entrepreneurial attitudes in different countries? A comparative cross-cultural approach enables a focus on cultural differences and their influence on business. Because research studies frequently emphasize the value of "entrepreneurial" qualities for business leaders, I have chosen to discuss entrepreneurial attitudes in this essay, focusing on whether entrepreneurial qualities are defined in the same ways in different cultures. My answer is no. There are differences among countries, genders, and generations. The source material for this study consists of twentieth-century autobiographical texts of business leaders from Finland and the United States. I deconstruct the entrepreneurial attitudes of these leaders by interpreting their autobiographies using narrative and discourse analysis.

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