A Causal Model of the Entrepreneurial Intentions of College Students
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The growth of entrepreneurship is essential to the health of the US economy small companies have generated 70% of net new jobs over the past decade
Discovering the factors that influence an individuals choice to pursue entrepreneurship might positively influence economic growth and societal well-being
Colleges and universities have increasingly embraced the fostering of entrepreneurship among their students as part of their mission (Green, 2009)
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the college environment and the development of students entrepreneurial intentions
The strongest predictor of entrepreneurial behavior is entrepreneurial intentions --- a construct studied empirically (but without a consistent measure) since the 1990s (Chen, Greene, & Crick, 1998; Erikson, 1999; Krueger et al., 2000)
Previous studies have examined the relationship between person-specific and environmental factors and entrepreneurial intentions (Lent et al., 2000; Luthje & Franke, 2003)
Previous studies have also examined the relationship between student-specific characteristics and college environmental factors (including involvement) and relevant outcomes such as career choice and work values (Astin, 1993; Kuh et al., 1991; Pace, 1979; Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991, 2005; Tinto, 1993; Weidman, 1989)
However, no studies to date have examined the relationship between the college environment and students entrepreneurial intentions directly (previous studies have been limited to the impact of entrepreneurship-specific courses)
There is a gap in both the college impact and entrepreneurial intentions literature no studies have examined the relationship between the college environment and students entrepreneurial intentions
College students are generally pre-occupied with career choices an opportune time for the development of entrepreneurial intentions (Shapero & Sokol, 1982) Colleges seek to develop entrepreneurs, but struggle to identify appropriate, evidence-based interventions (Green, 2009)
This study can assist institutions to focus resources and attention on those elements of the college environment that actually encourage students to develop entrepreneurial intentions
Conceptual Framework: Astins (1991) Input-Environment-Outcome Model of Student Change
Inputs = Students pre-college experiences and characteristics
Environment = Institutional characteristics + students various college experiences
Outcomes = Dependent variables examined for student changes during the college years
Conceptual Framework: Astins (1991) I-E-O Model
Rationale:Entrepreneurial intentions (O) are influenced by environmental factors (E) (Gartner, 1988; Kolvereid, 1996; Krueger et al., 2000)
The college environment (E) has an influence on students career choices and work values (~O) (Astin 1993, Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991, 2005)
Differences among students upon their entry to college (I) influence student outcomes (O) (Feldman & Newcomb, 1994)
Theoretical Frameworks: grounding the research questions and selection of independent variables
1) Hollands (1997) Person-Environment Theory of Vocational and Educational Behavior
2) Astins (1984) Theory of Student Involvement
1) Hollands (1997) Person-Environment Theory of Vocational and Educational Behavior
Individuals and Environments can be classified using one or more of six basic types (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional)
Majors can be grouped by Holland types, characterizing six different academic sub-environments that have been found to: attract different types of faculty and peer groups, reinforce different values and attitudes, employ different instructional methods, and emphasize different student outcomes (Pike et al., 2012; Smart et al., 2000)
Hollands (1973, 1985) Six Model Environments
The realistic (R) environment is characterized by technical competencies and achievement . It encourages people to emphasize mechanical ability and to downplay ability in human relations. Being persistent, frank, masculine, stable, and practical are stressed in this environment. It rewards valuing money, power, and possessions .
The investigative (I) environment encourages mathematical and scientific competencies and achievements. It encourages people to see themselves as scholarly, analytical and rational, to become authorities in their subjects, to be recognized among peers, rather than to be seen as executives. It promotes viewing the world in complex, abstract, independent, and original ways. It rewards displays of scientific values.
The artistic (A) environment fosters artistic competencies and achievement. It encourages people to see themselves as expressive, introspective, original, unconventional, and idealistic and to be recognized as such by peers. It rewards displays of esthetic values.
The social (S) environment stimulates people to engage in social activities. It encourages people to see themselves as liking to help and understand others and as being cooperative, flexible, and sociable. It rewards displays of social values.
The enterprising (E) environment is characterized by enterprising competencies and achievements such as selling or leading others. It encourages people to see themselves as aggressive, popular, self-confident and as possessing leadership and speaking ability. lt encourages viewing the world in terms of power, money, status, and responsibility.
The conventional (C) environment fosters conventional competencies, such as recording and organizing data or records. It encourages people to see themselves as conforming, orderly, non-artistic, and as having clerical competencies. It rewards valuing money, dependability, and conformity.
Classification of Major Fields by Holland-type (Holland, 1966; Smart, 1975, 1982)
Realistic: civil engineering, mechanical engineering, other engineering, agriculture, forestry
Investigative: biological science (biology, biochemistry, botany, marine science, microbiology, zoology, others), engineering (aeronautical, chemical, electrical, industrial), physical sciences (astronomy. atmospheric science, chemistry. earth science. marine science, math, physics. statistics), health technology, pharmacy, premed, anthropology, geography, computer science
Artistic: fine arts, English, journalism, language or literature, music, philosophy, speech, theater, other arts and humanities, architecture, library science, communication
Social: history, theology, education (elementary, physical, secondary, special, others), home economics, nursing, therapy, ethnic studies, political science, psychology, social work, sociology, women 's studies
Enterprising: business (business administration, marketing, management), law, economics
Conventional: accounting, finance, secretarial studies, business education
2) Astins (1984) Theory of Student Engagement
Students active involvement in academic and other activities is related to student development and has an influence on a number of student outcomes.
The amount of time and physical and psychological energy that students invest influences outcomes (Astin, 1996)
the types and intensity of involvement matter
The two complementary theoretical frameworks facilitate the examination of:
The influence of specific academic environments on the outcome variable (Hollands Theory)
The influence of specific types and degrees of involvement in those environments on the same outcome variable (Astins Theory)
What factors, if any, influence college students entrepreneurial intentions?
What influence, if any, do characteristics of incoming college students (input variables) have on students entrepreneurial intentions?
What influence, if any, do institutional characteristics (between-college variables) have on students entrepreneurial intentions?
What influence, if any, do academic sub-environments (major fields of study grouped by Holland-type) have on students entrepreneurial intentions?
4. What influence, if any, do academic involvement variables have on students entrepreneurial intentions?
5. What influence, if any, do student-faculty involvement variables have on students entrepreneurial intentions?
6. What influence, if any, do student-student involvement variables have on students entrepreneurial intentions?
7. What influence, if any, do non-academic involvement variables have on students entrepreneurial intentions?
Causal-analytic methodology based on Astins (1991) I-E-O data analysis framework using stepwise, blocked multiple regression analysis
Secondary analysis of a major existing national data set (the results of College Institutional Research Program surveys administered by HERI at UCLA)
Longitudinal study with a pretest posttest design
Dependent variable Students entrepreneurial intentions as measured in senior year of college (the posttest)
Operationalized as self-rating of the importance of the goal, becoming successful in a business of my own (responses on a four-point scale: 1=not important, 2=somewhat important, 3=very important, or 4=essential)
Independent variables will be organized into eight blocks:
Block 1- the pretest of entrepreneurial intentions
Block 2- student input variables (gender, age, ethnicity, SES, parental entrepreneurship, drive to achieve, risk-taking)
Block 3- institutional characteristics (size, type, control, selectivity)