Title: Cultural characteristics of small business entrepreneurs in India: examining the adequacy of Hofstede's framework

Authors: P. Prasannavadanan Thampi; Amalendu Jyotishi; Ram Bishu

Addresses: Amrita School of Business, Amrita University, Amritanagar (PO), Ettimadai, Coimbatore-641112, Tamil Nadu, India ' Amrita School of Business, Kasavanahalli, (Off. Sarjapur Road), Carmelram (PO), Bangalore – 560 035, India ' Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1400 R St, Lincoln, NE 68588, USA

Abstract: The functioning of small business or the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India has been closely associated with factors unique to the respective regions of the country. Entrepreneurial capability is often associated, among other factors, with the region's cultural environment. Although many theories have come up on the relationship between human behaviours and culture the one promulgated by Geert Hofstede merits maximum attention; it proposes that people differ to the extent to which they endorse six dimensions of cultural values. Since Hofstede used a neutral, global and scientific (Etic) approach in his study, it became necessary to consider an insider's (Emic) perspective in the Indian context. A qualitative survey of experts was undertaken to validate the relevance and adequacy of Hofstede's framework for India which while reviewing the applicability of Hofstede's cultural framework for India came up with yet another cultural dimension as well.

Keywords: small business; India; micro enterprises; small and medium-sized enterprises; MSMEs; SMEs; cultural values; culture; power distance; collectivism; individualism; reciprocity; uncertainty avoidance; restraint; indulgence; masculinity; femininity; etic; emic; Vaish; ethnic orientation; entrepreneurship; Geert Hofstede; entrepreneurial capability.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBG.2015.072534

International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 2015 Vol.15 No.4, pp.475 - 495

Received: 19 May 2015
Accepted: 02 Jun 2015

Published online: 16 Oct 2015 *

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