Entrepreneurship and Maori Cultural Values: Using ‘Whanaungatanga’ to Understanding Maori Business

Jarrod Haar, The University of Waikato
Benjamin Delaney, The University of Waikato

Abstract: The integration of entrepreneurship literature with indigenous populations and business is important for considering non-Western elements to this field of study. This paper outlines the nature of entrepreneurship including establishment and opportunity recognition and raising questions relating to Maori entrepreneurs around the adoption of cultural values. The concept of ‘whanaungatanga’ is introduced and applied as a way to analyse its potential entrepreneurial contribution to Maori business and how this might influence firm performance. The paper finds that while Maori cultural values may be important for Maori entrepreneurs, there are difficulties in applying such aspects on an economic basis. Implications for future research, including how Maori cultural values might be operationalised towards testing firm performance, are offered. Overall, we suggest cultural values have the potential to influence firm performance, and further research is warranted given the inherent nature such values and beliefs have for Maori.