William Kirkley

Doctor of Philosophy, (Management)
Study Completed: 2010
Massey Business School


Thesis Title
Self-determination and entrepreneurship: Personal values as intrinsic motivators of entrepreneurial expression

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Mr Kirkley examined Entrepreneurship in New Zealand and specifically sought to discover the factors that motivate individuals to engage in entrepreneurial behaviour. He conducted in-depth interviews with thirty New Zealand entrepreneurs and identified four fundamental values or beliefs that were critical to the expression of entrepreneurial behaviour, namely, a strong need for independence, an equally strong desire for creative expression, an ambitious disposition and a need to be daring or adventurous. Mr Kirkley also found that shifts in the importance placed on these values, specifically creativity and daring, to a position of lesser importance in the value-set hierarchy lead to diminished entrepreneurial behaviour. This finding provides one possible explanation for the episodic occurrence of entrepreneurial behaviour amongst New Zealand business people which has resulted in the label ‘Lifestyle Entrepreneur’.

Dr Andrew Cardow
Associate Professor John Monin
Associate Professor M Van Gelderen