Industry Research


Author:            Burton, Jonathon, P.

Title:          Micro-business Owner Personality as a Predictor of Business Success

The accompanying research report is submitted to the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Graduate School in partial completion of the requirements for the

Graduate Degree/ Major:        MS Applied Psychology

Research Advisor:     Renee Surdick, Ed.D.

Submission Term/Year:          Spring, 2013  

Number of Pages:       48

Style Manual Used:  American Psychological Association, 6th edition

X   I understand that this research report must be officially approved by the Graduate School and that an electronic copy of the approved version will be made available through the University Library website

X   I attest that the research report is my original work (that any copyrightable materials have been used with the permission of the original authors), and as such, it is automatically protected by the laws, rules, and regulations of the U.S. Copyright Office.

X   My research advisor has approved the content and quality of this paper.


STUDENT:        NAME Jonathon Burton    DATE:  4/24/13 

ADVISOR:  (Committee Chair if MS Plan A or EdS Thesis or Field Project/Problem):

                        NAME Renee Surdick      DATE:  4/24/13  


This section for MS Plan A Thesis or EdS Thesis/Field Project papers only

Committee members (other than your advisor who is listed in the section above)

1. CMTE MEMBER’S NAME: Susan Staggs     DATE:  4/24/13 

2. CMTE MEMBER’S NAME:  Sarah Wood      DATE:  4/24/13 

3. CMTE MEMBER’S NAME:            DATE:        


This section to be completed by the Graduate School

This final research report has been approved by the Graduate School.


Director, Office of Graduate Studies:             

Burton, Jonathon P. Micro-business Owner Personality as a Predictor of Business Success


This study deployed Lussier’s (1995) S/F prediction model investigating factors that predict micro-business (firms with less than 10 employees) success and failure to 2,219 micro-business owners in WI, MN, and IA. The original model was tested and then modified to include a measurement of personality using the Five-Factor model to determine whether micro-business owner personality was a predictive factor of success. Thirty-four owners answered the survey. Discriminant function analysis was used to test whether the models could significantly distinguish between failed and successful micro-business owners. Neither the original model (λ = .55, χ2 = 15.70, p > .05) nor the personality model (λ = .46, χ2 = 18.44, p > .05) significantly distinguished between the groups. A reduced model was also tested and was not significant (λ = .73, χ2 = 8.68, p > .05). Limitations and possible avenues for future sampling and research are discussed.


The author would like to thank the UW-Stout Discovery Center and the Northwest Wisconsin Manufacturing Outreach Center (NWMOC) for their support of this research endeavor. Specifically, the author would like to thank Renee Surdick, Project Manager for the Discovery Center, and Kristy Brinkley, Reporting/DB Specialist for NWMOC, for their support in procuring the sample for this project.