Success and Failure of Microbusiness Owners in Africa: A Psychological Approach

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Michael Frese
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000 - Business & Economics - 203 pages
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Only if they do the right thing at the right time will owners of small businesses succeed. Simple enough, but what are the factors in their psychological makeup that enable them to do it? Frese and his contributors have studied small businesses in four African countries from a psychological perspective--the first time this has been done--and report that it's the psychological aspects of their strategies, not just the strategies themselves, that contribute significantly to their success. They also prove that many of the stereotypes that seem to characterize the owners of microbusinesses are clearly incorrect. Executives, analysts, bankers, international entrepreneurs, and their academic colleagues will discover that many of the conclusions they have drawn from previous studies can not be generalized. Only by separating those that can be generalized from those that can not, can we get a true understanding of the small business entrepreneurial dynamic.

Frese and his colleagues focus on South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Zambia to produce a clear overview of the research on microbusiness and entrepreneurship in developing countries. They find that psychological strategies are closely related to entrepreneurial success, but because conditions in these countries differ widely, the particulars of certain strategies and their effectiveness may also differ. They show that a number of ideas prevalent among professionals and entrepreneurship researchers in developing countries need to be challenged. Among them, that microenterprise owners who started their companies because they were unemployed do worse than those who started for other, more positive reasons. Also, that human capital (education) represents the most important set of variables to be considered for success (it isn't), or that employing family members decreases success (it doesn't). Well written and impeccably researched, the book is an essential contribution to corporate and academic libraries, as well as to the knowledge of individuals in business, psychology, entrepreneurial and regional studies, and related fields.


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2 The Psychological Strategy Process and Sociodemographic Variables as Predictors of Success for Micro and SmallScale Business Owners in Zambia
3 Sociodemographic Factors Entrepreneurial Orientation Personal Initiative and Environmental Problems in Uganda
4 Problems and Coping Strategies and Initiative in Microbusiness Owners in South Africa
The Function of Sociodemographic Factors Psychological Strategies Personal Initiative and Goal Setting for Entrepreneurial Success
A Practical View
The Major Criterion of Success in Developing Countries
Methodological Issues of the Studies in Zambia Uganda South Africa and Zimbabwe
9 Executive Summary Conclusions and Policy Implications
Author Index
Subject Index
About the Editor and Contributors

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Page 192 - Finnegan. 1998, Value for Money: Impact of Small Enterprise Development. London: Intermediate Technology Publications.

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Klaus Moser
No preview available - 2007

About the author (2000)

MICHAEL FRESE is a Visiting Professor of the London Business School, holds a Chair for Work and Organizational Psychology at the University of Giessen, Germany, and holds a similar position part-time at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. President-elect of the International Association of Applied Psychology, he serves on the editorial boards of 11 international publications based variously in the U.S., England, Netherlands, Germany, and elsewhere. Frese is author and coauthor of about 200 articles and author or editor of fifteen books.

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