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Psychographic Segmentation of the Self-employed: An Exploratory Study Matthew G. Kenney Art Weinstein lthough it is well established in the academic...
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Attached is the article and below are the questions that follow:            

    1. Think about your own entrepreneurial ambitions and talents. Do you see yourself as an Exemplar, General,  Mom & Dad, or Altruist. Please explain your choice.    
  1. Please provide an example, other than those identified in the paper, of an Exemplar. Briefly tell this entrepreneur’s story. What is the secret to his/her success.
  2. What category do you believe most business owners fall into? (Note: This will research small business ownership statistics from the Small Business Administration or other reputable sources).
  3. Think about the subject of your Entrepreneur Interview. What category do you believe he/she falls into? Please explain your rationale.

A lthough it is well established in the academic litera- ture that entrepreneurs share common traits, there has been limited research dedicated to evaluating psychographic profiles of the self-employed. Using the Nominal Group Technique, the authors gleaned insight from a panel of experts in an effort to segment the self- employed based on personality traits and the benefits they receive from an entrepreneurial career. The findings show that self-employed individuals can be classified into four distinct segments: Exemplars, Generals, Moms and Dads, and Altruists. Each group derives different benefits from self-employment. Understanding these benefits can greatly assist entrepreneurship educators and marketers of small business oriented products and services. Keywords: psychographics, segmentation, entrepreneurial characteristics, nominal group technique The academic literature is replete with research discussing the character traits entrepreneurs seem to possess.However, there is a gap in the literature relative to psychographic pro- files of the self-employed. For example, while it is generally accepted that entrepreneurs have a high locus of control, comfort with ambiguity, and various other traits (MacPhee, 1987;Erkkila,2000),less research has been done into the psy- chology behind why some entrepreneurs are driven to change industry and societal paradigms while others, who presumably share the same traits, toil in relative obscurity content to earn less than similarly qualified professionals (Hamilton, 2000). This study examines existing literature insofar as how entrepreneur differences extend beyond demographics and unobservable characteristics (e.g., corporate strategy). Psychographic segmentation is an emerging area of research. Strategic types (defenders, prospectors, analyzers, and reac- tors) and strategic orientation (customer orientation, finan- cial orientation,internal orientation,human relations orienta- tion, and research and development orientation) were found to be useful organizational psychographics in a study of car phone purchases by Dutch firms (a new-buy purchase deci- sion). In contrast, the two firmographic variables, firm size and industry, had little explanatory value with respect to the adoption or nonadoption of the proposed technology (Verhallen, Frambach, and Prabhu, 1998). Business market analysis means understanding people, relationships, and psychological drivers. By analyzing pur- chase motives, marketers can better understand why buyers act the way they do in the marketplace.As an example,small and medium-sized family business clients of professional service providers (accounting, insurance, and law firms) were researched using organizational psychographics. Market segments were identified based on CEO motivations for operating the business.In descending order,the eight psy- chographic segments of family business owners, which ranged from more than a third of the sample to less than 5 percent, were as follows: loving parents, autocrats, empire builders, fortune hunters, recruits, rebels, status seekers, and social benefactors. These grouping motivations impacted purchasing attitudes and behavior (File and Prince, 1996). Literature Review Core Segmentation Research Psychographic segmentation is the process of grouping indi- viduals based on attitudes,opinions,personality traits,beliefs, and lifestyles (Piirto, 1991). Although there have been con- flicts within the academic community as to the reliability and validity of psychographic measures (Wells, 1975), this seg- mentation approach has become an important tool used by companies to identify trends within market segments and help crystallize causal relationships between consumer deci- sions and purchase intentions (Piirto, 1991). A testament to the widespread acceptance of psycho- graphic research is the success of SRI’s VALS program and the Yankelovich Monitor, which was cofounded in 1958 by mar- ket research pioneer Daniel Yankelovich.Today they sell psy- chographic information to many of the world’s largest com- panies (Yankelovich Partners, 2005). According to Yankelovich (1964): Demography is not the only or the best way to segment markets.Even more crucial to marketing objectives are differ- ences in buyer attitudes, motivations, values, patterns of usage, aesthetic preferences, and degree of susceptibility (p. 83). Smith’s (1956) pioneering work in the field was heavily P SYCHOGRAPHIC S EGMENTATION OF THE S ELF - EMPLOYED : A N E XPLORATORY S TUDY 47 Matthew G. Kenney Art Weinstein Psychographic Segmentation of the Self-employed: An Exploratory Study
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rooted in the quantitative aspects of market segmentation. Psychographic theory,by contrast is an outgrowth of motiva- tion research (Wells and Tigert,1971),which posits an exten- sion of Haley’s (1968) benefit segmentation theory that states descriptive segmentation techniques such as demographics, geography, and usage are beneficial but provide limited insight into consumer intention. Haley’s hypothesis was that perceived benefits drive pur- chase intention, which has largely been empirically support- ed by subsequent scholarly research (Haley, 1999). Psychographics goes one step further by exploring the gene- sis of how consumers cognitively determine these benefits. Entrepreneurial Segmentation: Theories and Insights Psychological constructs affecting entrepreneurial cognition include learning style (Johnson, Danis, and Dollinger, 2004), parental support and influence (Matthews and Human, 2004), maturity and life experiences (Reynolds, 2004), satis- faction (Johnson,Arthaud-Day,Rode,and Near,2004),and self- confidence (Cooper,Woo, and Dukelberg, 1988). While there are myriad resources in the scholarly litera- ture, such as the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics, in empirically examining entrepreneurship as social and eco- nomic phenomena (Gartner, Shaver, Carter, and Reynolds, 2004), there is a gap in the literature relative to the psycho- analytic study of entrepreneurs (Kets de Vries, 1996). According to Jones-Evans (1995) “research has demonstrated considerable inconsistency in identifying a set of characteris- tics by which those individuals can be termed entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial”(p. 27). This may be due to that fact that since Cantillon first used the word entrepreneur in an academic context,scholars have been unable to reach consensus as to a proper definition (Dana, 2001). Thus, an agreed upon conceptual framework for entrepreneurial development does not exist (Shane and Venkataramen, 2000; Outcalt, 2000). Ward (2005) attributes this phenomenon to the fact that entrepreneurship has historically been viewed from three unique perspectives:economic,sociological,and idiosyncrat- ic. Shane (2000) explains that three philosophical schools of thought have emerged relative to entrepreneurship: neoclas- sical equilibrium theory, psychological theory, and Austrian theory. Neoclassical equilibrium theories posit that attributes of the individual, rather than information about an opportunity determines who becomes an entrepreneur. Essentially, entre- preneurs are born not made, and possess certain skills that lead to their avocation. Psychological theories suggest that the ability to recognize opportunity stems from intrinsic motivation. For example, McClelland (1961) theorized cer- tain traits, such as the need for achievement, influence one’s output. Austrian theories espouse the opposite of the neo- classical equilibrium view school, stating that information about an opportunity, rather than an individual’s attributes, determine who will become an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship-related academic literature justifiably focuses heavily on trait theory of entrepreneurial leadership. Scholarly journal articles frequently discuss an entrepre- neur’s willingness to take risks,high locus of control,and rel- ative comfort with ambiguity, etc. (see Figure 1). However, does knowing these qualities and traits truly help marketers of business-to-business (B2B) products or services define the entrepreneurial market? It is likely that the aforementioned traits are shared by paradigm changing entrepreneurs (e.g., H.Wayne Huizenga,Michael Dell,Martha Stewart etc.),as well as sole proprietors working from a home office.What are the key psychographic variables that separate radical and vision- ary entrepreneurs (Wawro, 2000) from the small business owner who chooses self-employment even though he or she is statistically more likely to earn less money (Hamilton, 2000) than comparably qualified corporate employees? Since entrepreneurs have the ultimate decision-making authority in their ventures,understanding how and why they choose this career path (and the benefits they receive from it) will greatly assist B2B marketers in defining their market and crafting appropriate product and promotional strategies. Research Methodology The Nominal Group Technique (NGT) was utilized to collect data for this study as it has been proven to be an effective qualitative research method.Using small judgment samples,it collects penetrating insights from subject matter experts (Streibel, 2003). This technique allows the group to reach consensus quickly while assuring that each participant is afforded equal opportunity to express his or her opinions. The origins of NGT can be traced back to Delbecq and Van De Ven’s (1971) Program Planning Model (PPM). NGT was established to mitigate the inherent limitations of the brain- storming technique. By the early 1970s it was clearly estab- 48 N EW E NGLAND J OURNAL OF E NTREPRENEURSHIP Persuasive Moderate Risk Taker Flexible Creative Autonomous Problem Solver Need to Achieve Imaginative High Locus of Control Leadership Ability Diligent Displays Initiative Figure 1. Entrepreneur Qualities and Traits Source: Adapted from Erkkila, 2000.
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