Bringing science to the art

of human judgment.

Explanation of Research

You are invited to participate in a research study on Measuring Entrepreneurial Judgment

This study is being conducted by Clifford G. (Cliff) Hurst, PhD, Assistant Professor of Management at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. 

Nature of the research

Your judgment is perhaps the greatest asset that your startup has. As important as it is, it is a difficult matter for others to discern and to measure. 

The purpose of this research project is to bring greater insight and clarity to the process by which entrepreneurs assess their options when making judgment calls in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity during this critical stage of the founding of their companies. 

This project applies the theory of formal axiology as a lens for studying entrepreneurial judgment and it uses an assessment instrument based on this theory--an instrument known as the Hartman Value Profile (HVP)--as a means for measuring entrepreneurial judgment.

What is involved

I will ask you to respond to a brief questionnaire to determine your eligibility and so that I can gather the same demographic data from all participants. I will ask you to electronically sign an Informed Consent Form, which will be your way of acknowledging that you understand the nature of this research, the amount of time that will be required of you to participate, and any benefits to you and/or risks that may be associated with your participation.

You can complete the brief questionnaire and consent form in less than 5 minutes. Once I have received your consent form, I will send you a log-in ID to respond online to the Hartman Value Profile. Completing this will require approximately 20 minutes.

I will send you via email two summary reports of your results. One is a summary of your leadership qualities; the oher is a summary of 17 judgment skills that I previously have determined as being important to entrepreneurship. I call this your startup quotient. 

If you would like to know more about all of this, I will gladly arrange to spend an hour with you by phone and to provide you by email more in-depth reports that can be derived from your input. The goal of my research is to gather input from as many as 300 entrepreneurs. 


I will respect the confidentiality of your results. Any reporting or publication of results will be anonymous or it will refer only to aggregated scores. The risk to confidentiality is minimal and stems primarily from the sending of log-in instructions and the sending of your results to you via email. You are free to withdraw from your participation in this study at any time. 


There is no physical risk and only minimal psychological risk associated with responding to the HVP. The insights about your habitual evaluative thought patterns, on the other hand, can be very helpful to any entrepreneur who seeks to maximize his or her chances of startup success. The greatest psychological risk would be the "bruising" of your ego if your thought patterns as revealed by the HVP are not what you thought they would be. My previous experience with participants (n=300) during my career as a consultant and in my dissertation research is that respondents generally welcome this sort of insight. 

Next Steps

If, after reading this description of this research project, you are willing to participate, please send me an email to my college address, which is: I will send you a brief questionnaire to fill out and an Informed Consent Form to sign electronically. Email both of those back to me and I will send you log-in instructions for responding to the HVP. If you have any questions, please feel free to phone me at: 801-652-7334. 

Yours truly,

Cliff Hurst