1.1 Background of the Study
Entrepreneurship practices exist in most
countries of the world, including Nigeria. In Nigeria the development
of entrepreneurship has gone a long way to achieve industrialization and
economic development. Management scholars agree that although
management theory and practices have universal applications, the
individual and groups with which it must interact, and the external
environment differs in some way. It is acknowledged by management
scholars also that there are many deviations in management theory all
over the world.
The attempt to discover the determinants
of managerial success of entrepreneurs has always been a heart-throb
among researchers of various fields of studies. Biographies of
successful entrepreneurs and business men for instance reflected the
tendency of the subject of such studies to explain their success in
terms of virtue of hand work, thrift and clean living (Baridam 1995:15).
As an alternative to biographical models are these studies that, turn
the man who manipulates the omnipotent touch (Gases 1983: 20). Culture
is dynamic in nature but cannot be change mechanically rather could be
modified to suit a given environment. Almost every perception and
behavior is guided by the human invention we call culture. Each culture
shapes perception and behaviors by paving relative attention to some
details of reality and ignoring others or by permitting some actions and
Culture which forms parts of the complex
education-sociological-cultural-political-legal-economic that interact
and affect that performance of productive entrepreneurs is often the
less treated and less emphasized amongst these foregoing factors by
business people (terpstra et al 1991: 40); this notwithstanding the fact
that it forms the bedrock on which the other factors operate.
Speculations dealing with the supposed effects of cultural factors of an
environment on the performance of productive enterprises in that
environment are on the rife. However, empirical studies and a careful
analysis of this situation in the context of entrepreneurship operating
in developing countries remains to be exhaustively and satisfactorily
treated. Though it can clearly be said that cultural factors have a
substantial impact on managerial or entrepreneurial effectiveness and
productivity measured in a given instance owing to the fact that
sociological and cultural constraints are difficult to measure in
quality. This is always a problem when one wishes to deal with human
attitudes and values, it is often hard to distinguish popular
misconceptions and myths from the realities of the situation (farmer et
al 1965: 60) so, it therefore becomes patient to test a number of
significant and operational hypotheses in order to explain and predict
production efficiency with a high degree of accuracy and confidence in
any given case.
The issue of culture as it affects the
performance of cultural factors affecting the performances of
entrepreneurs should take into consideration firstly, the salient
cultural constrain that impinge upon the operations of entrepreneurs or
enterprises in the understudied and secondly, it should be established
how these salient cultural constraints meet in one way or the other in
the performance of firms. In addition socio-cultural variables also have
impact on planning and control as well as the various production
functions of these firms’ enterprises. Such as; research development,
production, marketing and finance. This study, will attempt to identify
the various cultural factors that affect entrepreneurial operations in
the understudied environment and also determine how these cultural
factors affect the performance of entrepreneurs in the said environment.
1.2 Statement of Problem
The fact that entrepreneurs contribute
to the development of less developed countries is irrefutable (freeman
1981: 50). The issue that a nation culture and primary socializations
produce several constraint which impinge upon the operation of
productive entrepreneurs operating in developing countries like Nigeria
ought to carryout in depth analysis on the socio-cultural factors
inherent in the environment before they proceed with that venture. The
firm once it’s established is constrained by various factors inherent in
the environment. Although all constraint areas (educational,
socio-culture, political, legal, economic etc.) are common major
difficulty that lie in the social-cultural sector (farmeret al 1967:
This case is very true, since the aspect
of dealing with people oriented with strange custom and values usually
present a problem. The above issue is reflective of the Nigeria
situation, experts have posited that cultural constraint are the bottom
line when considering the issue of in efficiency and poor performance of
enterprises in Nigeria. This may not completely be true because
whenever one is dealing with human attitudes and values, it is often
hard to distinguish popular misconception from the realities of the
situation. There arises therefore, a need to determine (empirically)
whether the cultural constraint in Port Harcourt is significant enough
to affect the performance of entrepreneurs operating therein.
1.3 Purpose of Study
The general objectives of this study is
to identify the impact of cultural factors on entrepreneurs performance.
However, the specific objective of the study includes;
- To identify various cultural factors that imitate against the performance of entrepreneurs and to what extent they affect them.
- To identify the present effect of cultural factors on entrepreneurial performance.
- To examine entrepreneurs reactions towards cultural changes and their coping strategies.
- To examine other non-cultural factors and the extent to which they affect entrepreneurs.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions with the study;
- To what extent does Norms relate with entrepreneurs performance of some selected private firms in Port Harcourt?
- To what extent does belief system relate withentrepreneurs performance of some selected private firms in Port Harcourt?
- To what extent does attitude relate with entrepreneurs performance of some selected private firms in Port Harcourt.
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The following research hypothesis will guide the study;
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between Norms and the productivity of some selected private firms in Port Harcourt
Ho2: There is no
significant relationship between belief system and the productivity of
some selected private firms in Port Harcourt.
Ho3: There is no significant relationship between attitude and the productivity of some selected private firms in Port Harcourt.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This research study will be of great
importance to the entrepreneurs interactiveness with the market and its
customers. It will also be useful to the entrepreneur’s internal
decision marketing process and will also influence the decisions to
create new business. This finding of the research will improve or add to
existing world of knowledge and will also create awareness of the
Norms, belief system and attitude of Nigerians to foreigners who desire
to create business in Nigeria.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study was conducted and limited to
target population, geographical boundary study variable and units of
analysis. From the above statement, the target population will focus on
selected private firms in Port Harcourt. The geographical boundary is
Port Harcourt, the study variable will be divided into two: the
independent variable represented as culture (having dimensions as; Norms
belief system and attitude) and the dependent variable represented as
entrepreneurial performance (having measures as; productivity). The unit
of analysis is at the organizational level.
1.8 Definition of Terms
According to Cosuala, 1985: 80),
definition of terms is the most important facet of the research report,
since without a common understanding of essential terms; the value of
the research very be lost through misinterpretation. These level been
defined however to back up this work.
Entrepreneurs: Schumpeter (1934),
entrepreneur, are innovators who use a process of shattering the status
quo of the existing products and service to set up a new product and
according to Meredith et al (1991), entrepreneurship is the process of
organizational and coordinating the factors of production and taking
necessary decision to establish a business enterprise and keep it in
with the pattern of demand and market values.
Business: business is
regarded as the process of creating, procuring or providing goods and
services to customers or those who need them in proper quantities and
qualities at suitable times and places at satisfactory process Nwaeke
Culture: Hofsted (1991)
defined culture as the software of the mind and collective phenomena,
shared with people who live in the same social environment.
Values: as a board tendency to prefer certain states of affairs over others.
Business Environment: according to Jones et al (2002), they are those factors or forces that have potential effect on the way business operate.