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