the_mediating_role_of_self-efficacy_in_the_development_of_entrepreneurial_intentions

The_mediating_role_of_self-efficacy_in_the_development_of_entrepreneurial_intentions

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The Mediating Role of Self-Efficacy in the Development of Entrepreneurial Intentions Hao Zhao University of Illinois at Chicago Scott E. Seibert Melbourne Business School Gerald E. Hills University of Illinois at Chicago The purpose of this study was to investigate the mediating role of self-efficacy in the development of students’ intentions to become entrepreneurs. The authors used structural equation modeling with a sample of 265 master of business administration students across 5 universities to test their hypotheses. The results showed that the effects of perceived learning from entrepreneurship-related courses, previous entrepreneurial experience, and risk propensity on entrepreneurial intentions were fully mediated by entrepreneurial self-efficacy. Contrary to expectations, gender was not mediated by self-efficacy but had a direct effect such that women reported lower entrepreneurial career intentions. The authors discuss practical implications and directions for future research. Keywords: entrepreneurship, self-efficacy, career intentions Entrepreneurship is important because it leads to increased economic efficiencies, brings innovation to market, creates new jobs, and sustains employment levels (Shane & Venkataraman, 2000). However, despite decades of research, scholars currently have only a limited understanding of the factors and decision processes that lead an individual to become an entrepreneur (Markman, Balkin, & Baron, 2002). Previous research in this area has tended to lack a strong theoretical orientation; variables have been examined in isolation and have sometimes been included with no clear theoretical rationale. This approach has resulted in an extensive list of possible antecedents but few consistent findings, leading some scholars to doubt that individual-level antecedents of entrepreneurship can ever be found (Gartner, 1989b). The purpose of this study is to develop and test a set of hypotheses in which entrepreneurial self-efficacy mediates the relationship between individual-level antecedent factors and entre- preneurial intentions. In previous work, Boyd and Vozikis (1994) developed a theoretical model in which self-efficacy was proposed as a critical antecedent of entrepreneurial intentions and behavior. C. C. Chen, Greene, and Crick (1998) provided empirical evidence that entrepreneurial self-efficacy, defined as an individual’s con- fidence in his or her ability to successfully perform entrepreneurial roles and tasks, was positively related to students’ intentions to start their own business. To date, however, researchers have not examined the central theoretical role self-efficacy might play in explaining the relationship between the previously identified an- tecedents and entrepreneurial behavior.
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