Performance-based vs socially supportive culture: a cross-national study of descriptive norms and entrepreneurship

Ute Stephan, Lorraine M. Uhlaner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper is a cross-national study testing a framework relating cultural descriptive norms to entrepreneurship in a sample of 40 nations. Based on data from the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness project, we identify two higher-order dimensions of culture – socially supportive culture (SSC) and performance-based culture (PBC) – and relate them to entrepreneurship rates and associated supply-side and demand-side variables available from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Findings provide strong support for a social capital/SSC and supply-side variable explanation of entrepreneurship rate. PBC predicts demand-side variables, such as opportunity existence and the quality of formal institutions to support entrepreneurship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1347-1364
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of international business studies. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Stephan, U., & Uhlaner, L. M. (2010). Performance-based vs socially supportive culture: A cross-national study of descriptive norms and entrepreneurship. Journal of international business studies, 41(8), 1347-1364 is available online at:


  • comparative entrepreneurship
  • national culture
  • descriptive norms
  • institutional theory
  • social capital


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