Misfit theory

The misfit theory suggests that individuals who do not share the dominant cultural values of their society are more likely to attempt entrepreneurial careers as an alternative to traditional employment. 
 
Hofstede et al. (2004) propose that individuals who feel like they do not fit in with the dominant culture may be dissatisfied with their job prospects and may be more inclined to start their own ventures.

This theory has been used to explain why immigrants are often more entrepreneurial than native-born populations. Immigrants may face challenges in finding lucrative employment due to a variety of factors, including language and cultural barriers, differences in educational and professional credentials, and discrimination (Kahn et al., 2017). As a result, they may be more likely to pursue entrepreneurship as a means of creating their own economic opportunities and achieving financial success.

In addition to the challenges faced by immigrants, the misfit theory of entrepreneurship can also be applied to individuals from marginalized or stigmatized groups. For example, women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities may face discrimination or biases in traditional employment settings, leading them to pursue entrepreneurship as a way to overcome these barriers and achieve greater economic success.

While the misfit theory of entrepreneurship has been criticized for oversimplifying the complex factors that drive entrepreneurial behaviours, it provides valuable insights into the motivations and experiences of entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds. By recognizing the unique challenges faced by misfit individuals and understanding how these challenges can drive entrepreneurial behaviours, we can better support and promote entrepreneurship as a means of economic empowerment and success.

In sum, imperfect information from foreign experience and education coupled with lingual and cultural differences make it more difficult to enter the workforce as salaried employees. This necessitates an alternative occupation like entrepreneurship. Where immigrants find it difficult to find employment in their areas of expertise, they may pursue entrepreneurial ventures as an alternative to working in low paying jobs outside their fields.

Others have argued that pirates, hackers and gangsters also represent a type of misfit entrepreneurship (Clay and Phillips, 2016) though at times a potentially unproductive or destructive type. Overall, it is interesting to think of entrepreneurs as rule breakers. Perhaps there exists some potential for cross-overs with informal entrepreneurship and institutional theory.
 

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