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Belief in the "Prosperity Gospel"—that God financially blesses faithful followers—does not turn individuals into successful entrepreneurs. But prosperity beliefs can fuel values linked to entrepreneurial thinking, such as power and achievement, according to a Baylor University study.
However, researchers found no direct relationship between prosperity beliefs and willingness to take risks, and little connection to recognizing opportunities. Risk-taking and identifying opportunities are typical traits of entrepreneurs, according to the national study.
Findings - Belief - God - Benefit - Faithful
"As revealed in our findings, a belief that God will provide financial benefit to the faithful is not enough to push someone to launch a business," said lead author Kevin D. Dougherty, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences. "The relationship between prosperity beliefs and starting a business is indirect and inconsistent."
The study—"Prosperity Beliefs and Value Orientations: Fueling or Suppressing Entrepreneurial Activity"—is published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.
Study - Researchers - Data - Survey - Adults
For the study, researchers analyzed data from a nationally representative survey of 1,066 working adults. Their goal was to connect prosperity beliefs, human values, entrepreneurial attitudes and entrepreneurial action. They found that values—both by themselves and in conjunction with religious beliefs—are important predictors of how and whether individuals might launch a business.
Participants responded to a three-item scale to measure beliefs that faith and faithful behavior lead to success at work and in business. The items included: "God promises that those who live out their faith will receive financial success;" "Believers who succeed in business are evidence of God's promised blessing;" and "I believe faithful believers in God receive real financial benefits in this life."
Participants - Questions - Theory - Basic - Human
Participants also responded to questions relating to The Theory of Basic Human Values, which...
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