Entrepreneurial Psychological Capital – The Factor Structure

Peter Pease, James Cunningham, Clare Cook

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This working paper describes an ongoing study and reports some preliminary findings about the development and measurement of a model of entrepreneurial psychological capital (EPsyCap) using an international sample of early stage entrepreneurs. E-PsyCap is conceived as the positive psychological strengths or resources which entrepreneurs can acquire, maintain and marshal and which help them to be successful. Literature The paper reviews the entrepreneurship psychology literature and shows how there is a need to study the dynamic psychological resources of entrepreneurs, and a need to develop a robust, composite measure of psychological resources based on the study of entrepreneurs, in preference to using measures developed in other areas of study, such as organisation behaviour. Policy and practice context The practice and policy context builds on the development of evidence based entrepreneurship (Frese et al., 2012). The model being developed will inform policy makers and educators about which psychological strengths are open to development which are important for success. Method The paper gives a brief overview of the initial contextualisation study which was undertaken, before describing the current study, sampling, analysis and results of an initial exploratory factor analysis and further analyses used to determine the best factor structure for E-PsyCap. Results The results show that an 11 factor structure fits both the existing theory and the data. It describes the next steps in this ongoing study. Contribution and implications for policy and practice The paper contributes to the understanding of the dynamic psychological resources of entrepreneurs, and of the individual constructs of optimism, self-efficacy and resilience within entrepreneurship. From a methodological perspective it supports the use of exploratory techniques when contextualising theory and contributes to practice a policy by creating a measure which can be used to determine which psychological resources predict success. Conference Theme Although outside the scope of this preliminary report, the ongoing study, which this paper feeds into, is using progressive self-assessment measures of entrepreneurial success (Wach et al., 2015) which measure, amongst other things, perceptions of the impact that entrepreneurs have on their communities which ties in with the conference agenda of collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
Event41st Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference: Research, policy and practice: Collaboration in a disparate world - Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Nov 20188 Nov 2018


Conference41st Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference
Abbreviated titleISBE 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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