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J Appl Psychol. 2004 Feb;89(1):3-13.

Risk propensity differences between managers and entrepreneurs and between low- and high-growth entrepreneurs: a reply in a more conservative vein.

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A recent article (W. H. Stewart & P. L. Roth, 2001) in the Journal of Applied Psychology presented the conclusion from meta-analysis that entrepreneurs have a higher risk propensity than managers and that this propensity is particularly pronounced among the growth-oriented. A previously unresolved question was said to be laid to rest and a "vital component" of a theory of entrepreneurship established. The present article disagrees and cites data from 14 studies not included in the Stewart and Roth (2001) analysis, adding up to a conclusion (supported by new meta-analyses) that entrepreneurs (and those with a growth orientation) are more risk avoidant. Thus, a conservative view, retaining the position that the role of risk propensity in entrepreneurship remains unresolved, is upheld. Potential explanations for the conflicting results are explored.

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