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Are all small business owners longing for business growth?

Psychologist Bramesada Prasastyoga discovered that small business owners who engaged in entrepreneurship mostly for the pursuit of rewards and opportunities tended to be more willing to grow their businesses than those who engaged in entrepreneurship mostly due to the need for security and necessity, e.g. avoiding unemployment. PhD defence on 18 February.

Social an organisational psychologist Bramesada Prasastyoga continues: ‘This could be explained by the fact that those who were reward-oriented tended to hold positive beliefs regarding business growth, and also evaluate the worthiness of their entrepreneurial role and businesses positively. They tended to be strongly future-oriented in their entrepreneurial activities. That means a strong tendency to foresee and consider the future of the businesses when running their businesses.' 

Field studies an online surveys 

The dissertation of  Prasastyoga consists of eight studies. Most of them employed online survey method. He also conducted field studies in the Greater Jakarta Area, Indonesia where the data was collected offline. The studies were conducted among various samples, such as Indonesian students, Western small business owners and Indonesian small business owners.

Few differences

Most of the online surveys involved mostly Western small business owners, whereas the field studies were conducted among Indonesian small business owners. There are a few differences in the outcomes. For instance, in two online studies conducted among mostly Western small business owners, necessity-based entrepreneurship was not found to be significantly related to future time perspective. However, the negative relationship between this security-oriented motivation of entrepreneurship and future time perspective was found to be significant in a field study conducted among Indonesian small business owners.

Psychological mechanisms underlying motivation 

Prasastyoga enjoyed the fact that he examined whether or not the results that he obtained from online studies that were conducted among Western small-business owners could, to a certain degree, be generalised to a different cultural and socio-economic context. Prasastyoga: 'It provides valuable insights into the role of contexts in influencing the complexity of the psychological mechanisms underlying small business owners’ motivation to pursue business growth. It also raises interesting questions, such as: Is it fair to expect all small-business owners to grow their businesses? How about those who engage in entrepreneurship primarily because this is only employment option that they have?’

For policy makers & practitioners and small business owners too

Prasastyoga can imagine how informative his research outcomes can be. Policy makers and practitioners can consider information provided by this research in the process of designing policies or programs aimed to help small business owners who want to grow their businesses. The information can also help small business owners themselves in their evaluations of the quality of their decision to pursue or not to pursue business growth. 'For instance, they can take into account this information when identifying and assessing reasons underlying their decision to pursue or not pursue business growth, or when attempting to improve the quality of such decision.' 

Scientific career perspective

Currently Prasastyoga is part-time teacher at the University of Groningen and working as a behavior and marketing analysis consultant for World Resources Institute, Jakarta Office. ‘So, I am going to focus on these two jobs first. Perhaps, doing a post-doc will be the next step in my career.'

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