Small Business Owners' Success Criteria, a Values Approach to Personal Differences
Journal of Small Business Management , Volume 49 - Issue 2 p. 207- 232
This study of 150 Dutch small business owners, identified through business/network directories, investigated relationships between owners' understanding of success and their personal values. Business owners ranked 10 success criteria. Personal satisfaction, profitability, and satisfied stakeholders ranked highest. Multidimensional scaling techniques revealed two dimensions underlying the rank order of success criteria: person-oriented (personal satisfaction versus business growth) and business-oriented (profitability versus contributing back to society). Furthermore, business growth, profitability, and innovativeness were guided by self-enhancing value orientations (power and achievement). Softer success criteria, such as having satisfied stakeholders and a good work-life balance, were guided by self-transcendent value orientations (benevolence and universalism).