Date of Award

Summer 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration-Management

Committee Director

Anil Nair

Committee Member

Edward Markowski

Committee Member

Jing Zhang

Committee Member

Amir Pezeshkan


Entrepreneurship has long been viewed as an engine of innovation and economic growth; however, there is limited understanding of cross-national differences in rates and types of entrepreneurship. This dissertation mainly uses an institutional theory framework to investigate whether shared social knowledge, value systems, and regulations influence differences in rates and types of entrepreneurial activities among countries.

This dissertation’s central research question is addressed in two essays. In Essay 1, I examine what factors explain the recovery of entrepreneurial activities in countries after the 2008 global financial crisis (GFC). Nearly all countries experienced a sharp drop in entrepreneurial activities during the GFC; however, entrepreneurial activities rebounded to pre-crisis level in some countries, and not others. I test my propositions using Fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analyses (FSQCA) and identify the distinct configurations of institutional arrangements that explained recovery of entrepreneurial activities after the GCF. The findings broadly indicate that there is an equifinality in countries’ recovery in which either formal institutions (regulatory) or informal institutions (normative and cognitive) are sufficient conditions for entrepreneurial recovery indicating multiple paths for countries to pursue after an entrepreneurial crisis, and thesimultaneous presence of all three institutional structures (cognitive, normative and regulative) was not necessary for the recovery.

Essay 2 investigates the relationship between countries’ institutional profile (cognitive, normative and regulatory) coupled with national innovation system and individuals, entrepreneurial choice: necessity driven entrepreneurship and opportunity driven entrepreneurship. Recent research has identified that opportunity driven entrepreneurship has more significant impact on economic growth than necessity driven entrepreneurship. I examine how national innovation system factors such as entrepreneurship training and education, university–industry collaboration, technology and availability of venture capital impact the type of entrepreneurship. Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling, the findings shows that while either institutional profile or national innovation system factors cannot solely encourage people to choose OME over NME, if supportive institutional arrangements (cognitive, normative and regulatory) get coupled with national innovation system factors, it can be expected to see more potential entrepreneurs to get engaged in opportunity driven entrepreneurship rather than necessity driven entrepreneurship.


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