Title: Religion in entrepreneurship: how international and indigenous Indian entrepreneurs differ

Authors: Carol A. Christopher

Addresses: Fuller Theological Seminary, School of Intercultural Studies, P.O. Box 254, Pasadena, California, 91102, USA

Abstract: Historically, generating empirical data to understand the effects of religion in entrepreneurship has been challenging. The challenges are exacerbated in a culture such as India, which is both high-context and infused with spirituality. Using a context-dependent framework, such as that for international versus indigenous entrepreneurship, controls for context and reveals entrepreneurial motivations and end-goals that appear to be influenced by personal religious values. Qualitative data was generated using semi-structured interviews to explore the cognitions – namely, personal motivations and end-goals – of Hindu and Christian Indian entrepreneurs in India. The data was analysed using the framework for international versus indigenous entrepreneurs, which differentiates individuals based on the context and scope of their business. The findings corroborate that Indian entrepreneurs are very adaptable in their cognitions, with their motivations and end-goals being context-dependent. Personal religious values appear to take priority over cultural and business norms in influencing the end-goals of Indian entrepreneurs, particularly in the international business context.

Keywords: entrepreneurship; religion; indigenous entrepreneurs; international entrepreneurs; Indian entrepreneurs; entrepreneurial cognition; India; entrepreneurial motivation; personal religious values; Hindu religion; Christian religion.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2011.041836

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2011 Vol.13 No.4, pp.411 - 428

Published online: 07 Aug 2011 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article