Entrepreneurship has gained an increasingly popularity and importance among policy-makers, academicians, researchers and students as well. Over the last thirty years, entrepreneurship has become recognized as a legitimate field of research and managerial practice (Hoskisson, Covin, Volberda, & Johnson, 2011). However, in his just recent article in the Academy of Management Review, Shane (2012), believes that the domain of entrepreneurship still needs a lot of work to identify its distinctiveness as a field of research. Given the ample research on this phenomenon, entrepreneurship is much debated and researchers have no agreement on its definition as they see it from different perspectives and thus define it differently (Kobia & Sikalieh, 2010). It seems that defining entrepreneurship lack consensus as it is a difficult and intractable task to define it or define entrepreneur (Sandhu, Sidique, & Riaz, 2011; Zhao, 2005). Researchers in the field of entrepreneurship strongly believe that defining entrepreneurship is a challenge and, in the main time problematic, in entrepreneurship research and thus remains unresolved issue (Shane & Venkataraman, 2000; Shane, 2012; Williams & Nadin, 2010).
In fact, entrepreneurship has been explored and researched from different approaches. That is why many definitions have been advocated. Cunningham & Lischeron, (1991) have presented six schools of thoughts that have viewed entrepreneurship from distinctive viewpoints namely: The Great Person School, The Psychological School, The Classical School, The Management School, The Leadership School, and The Intrapreneurship School.
The Great Person School assumes that entrepreneurs are likely to possess intuitive ability or a sixth sense they are born with. In this school, it is believed that entrepreneurs are born with some qualities that are not found on others and thus they cannot be made. Without the inborn qualities, entrepreneurs cannot be differentiated from others.
The Psychological School believes that entrepreneurs are driven by distinctive psychological characteristics, values, attitudes, and needs such as personal values, need for achievement and risk-taking. This school claims that people try to satisfy these needs in accordance with their values.
The Classical School of entrepreneurship views entrepreneurs as innovators. In this school point of view, innovating new things are the critical feature of entrepreneurs rather than controlling or owning any resources. What distinguish them from others are these central features including: innovation, creativity, and discovery.
The Management School sees entrepreneurs as organizers of their economic ventures. They have tendency to take risk, basically, organize, own, and manage resources. This kind of people need and can be trained and developed in the technical functions of management such as planning, organizing, budgeting, and people management and so on.
The Leadership School of entrepreneurship posits that entrepreneurs are leaders who can achieve their goals through others (followers) by directing, motivating and leading. According to this view, entrepreneurs can tailor their leadership styles to match people's needs.
The last school of thought presented in Cunningham & Lischeron, (1991) study is The Intrapreneurship approach. This approach proposes complex organizations can use entrepreneurial skills to assist them in creating and developing new independent units for the purpose of expansion. According to this view, adapting entrepreneurial behaviors within these organizations helps them survive in such very rapid changing environments and conditions.
Similarly, (Kobia & Sikalieh (2010) mentioned that, to better understand entrepreneurship, researchers tried to define entrepreneurship from the traits, behavioral and opportunity identification approaches.
The traits approach is basically within the psychological or personality stream of research. It posits that people behave entrepreneurially because of the certain qualities they have so they see things different from other people (Shane, 2007). Accordingly, a lot of research has tried to answer questions regarding the traits of entrepreneurs and how they think and behave entrepreneurially while other people with similar conditions do not. Some traits and personality characters have been identified and attached to entrepreneurs and have been given ample research attention. Among these traits are: the need for achievement, internal locus of control, risk-taking propensity.
The behavioral approach, on the other hand, focuses on what entrepreneurs do, not on who they are. This approach looks at entrepreneurship from the business venture creation with giving little emphasis on the personality traits.
The opportunity identification approach views entrepreneurship as an activity that involve the nexus of two phenomena: the presence of opportunities and the presence of enterprising individuals (Shane & Venkataraman, 2000; Shane, 2012). They define entrepreneurship as a process by which new business opportunities are identified, evaluated, and exploited by people, often through the creation of new business ventures. This definition is suggested to have consensus among researchers (Aldrich & Cliff, 2003). Also, entrepreneurship can be thought of as a new entry to market, recognizing opportunities, initiating ideas and so on. According to Shane (2003), entrepreneurship examines activities involved in the conception (various modes of opportunity recognition), a launch, development, and operation of new ventures (resource formation process). Entrepreneurship involves capturing ideas, transforming them to a product or service, and building a venture to take the product to market. Another way of looking at entrepreneurship is by mentioning its attributes. In entrepreneurship, there are three elements involved in the process: risk-taking, innovativeness and pro-activeness (Sandhu et al., 2011).
However, many entrepreneurship definitions have been theorized since this term was used almost three centuries ago. These definitions have been compiled by Fortner (2006) and are presented in the following table. As such, entrepreneurship has no universal definition and it is defined in many ways according to the one who is to define it and from what angle he is looking at it.
Entrepreneurship is defined as self-employment of any sort.
Entrepreneurship is the bringing together of factors for production.
Entrepreneurship is the carrying out of new combinations. It disrupts the market equilibrium, and its essence is innovation. Schumpeter is credited with reviving the concept.
Entrepreneurship is the purposeful activity to initiate, maintain, and develop a profit-oriented business.
Entrepreneurship involves activities necessary to create or carry on an enterprise where not all markets are well-established or clearly defined and/or in which relevant parts of the production function are not completely known.
Entrepreneurship is the exploration of opportunities with the ability to correctly anticipate where the next market imperfections and imbalances will be.
Entrepreneurship is the dynamic process of creating incremental wealth.
Entrepreneurship is the process of creating something different with value by devoting the necessary time and effort, assuming the accompanying financial, psychological, and social risks, and receiving the resulting rewards of monetary and personal satisfaction.
Entrepreneurship is new venture creation.
Stevenson, Roberts, and Gousbeck (1985)
Entrepreneurship is a process by which individuals, either on their own or inside an organization, pursue opportunities without regard for the resources they currently control.
Entrepreneurship is the creation of new organizations.
Low & MacMillan (1988)
Entrepreneurship is the creation of new enterprise.
Stevenson and Sahlman (1989)
Entrepreneurship is the relentless pursuit of opportunity without regard for resources currently controlled.
Stoner and Freeman
Entrepreneurship is the seemingly discontinuous process of combining resources to produce goods or services that fosters economic growth, increases productivity, and creates new technologies, products, and services.
Bygrave and Timmons (1992)
Entrepreneurship is the process of creating or seizing an opportunity and pursuing it regardless of the resources currently controlled.
Innovation is the effort to create purposeful, focused change in an enterprise's economic or social potential.
Harvard Business School
Entrepreneurship is a way of managing opportunities over time. It is an approach to management that entails the continuous identification and pursuit of opportunity, the marshalling and organization of resources to address evolving opportunities, and the ongoing reassessment of needs as context changes over time.
Who is an Entrepreneur?
As there is no agreeable definition of entrepreneurship, the same is applicable to entrepreneurs. The word "entrepreneur" roots came from the French Language that means to undertake. Theoretically, entrepreneur goes back into history to the eighteenth century in the writings of Richard Cantillon, an Irish-French entrepreneur and economist (Davis, 2006). Cantillon has defined entrepreneur as "as an agent who buys factors of production at certain prices in order to combine them into a product with a view to selling it at uncertain prices in the future" (cited in Baycan-Levent & Kundak, 2009, pp. 286). Schumpeter (1950) viewed an entrepreneur as an individual who has the willingness and ability to convert new ideas into successful innovative innovation. He argued that entrepreneurship enforces what he called "creative destruction" in different the market and industries that result in simultaneously creation of new products and business models. In his view, the entrepreneurs' creative destruction will influence the dynamism of industries and long-run economic growth (Baycan-Levent & Kundak, 2009).
Entrepreneur is a person who is self-employed and is an employer in the same time. Because he does like to be the manager of himself, he thinks of an idea, initiates, launches, and develops it. Some will say entrepreneur is inventor and creator of new idea, others describe him a locator and implementer of ideas, others will say he is alert about the market and acts upon that to fill a gap in the market and a like (Carsrud & Brannback, 2011). Being an entrepreneur, it means this is a person who acts with self-confidence, and finds opportunities and turns them into realities. Entrepreneur refers to a person who is the owner of a business and is the guardian for managing that business from. Furthermore, entrepreneur is a person who takes initiatives, accepts risks or failures, manage resources, materials, and personnel to create value for customers (Hisrich and Peters, as cited in Omar, 2011). Casson & Wadeson (2007) suggests four approaches to define an "entrepreneur". These include the function he/she plays (e.g., innovation, risk taking), the role he/she performs (e.g., ownership of a firm, management, and the self-employment and the employment of labor), the characteristics he/she carries (attitude, optimism self-confidence, culture, and life history) and behavior (e.g., taking the initiative, improvising critical decisions, and demonstrating commitment and leadership).
In a similar vein, Mitchell et al., (2002) argued that researchers in entrepreneurship field attempted to understand entrepreneurs and their venture formation from different approaches including economy, personality traits and strategy. Although contributed to understanding this phenomenon, these approaches have their own drawbacks, Mitchell et. al., argued.
While a number of very successful entrepreneurs either dropped out from universities or even not ever enrolled, there are many more whose education has a substantial influence on their entrepreneurial life. It is crucial to understand that acquiring knowledge and developing and sharpening skills and competencies, without which many ideas would not have seen light and not have been transformed into successful projects and enterprises. It could be true that certain qualities should exist within the entrepreneurs' context, just like the context of managers and leaders, these qualities and traits can be uncovered and unleashed through educating people. Universities and similar higher learning institutions could provide a good avenue for students to get the necessary knowledge and skills from the early stage of ideation to the implementation of the idea.
As entrepreneurship has been looked at from different angles, entrepreneurship education is seen that way as well. Neck & Greene, (2011), has outlined the three world views used in teaching entrepreneurship and suggested the fourth view. The three 'world views' used today in teaching entrepreneurship, either used separately or even combined by educators, are the entrepreneur world, the process world, and the cognition world.
The entrepreneur world view considers entrepreneurs as individuals with superhero characteristics. The traits approach started with need for achievement by McClelland. A numbers of traits have been associated with entrepreneurs including: need for achievement, internal locus of control, high risk-taking propensity, and tolerance for ambiguity Brockhaus and Horwitz (1986). These traits are important and still valid and researched but not as means of identifying entrepreneurs(Neck & Greene, 2011). In the lens of this view, entrepreneurship education tends to contrast students with entrepreneurs for the purpose that students may take these entrepreneurs as role models and act accordingly (O'Connor, 2012). Entrepreneurial assessments and self-examinations are commonly used in this approach and it involves a description about the entrepreneurs and whether students can fit this category or not.
The second world view of entrepreneurship education is the 'process view'. The process world view refers to viewing entrepreneurship as a process starts from the opportunity recognition to its implementation and evaluation. This world view adopts the analytical approach of "teaching opportunity evaluation, feasibility analysis, business planning, and financial forecasting" (Neck & Greene, 2011). This view assumes that undertaking certain process tasks like writing business plans or case study methods make entrepreneurial outcome more predictable (Neck & Greene, 2011; O'Connor, 2012).
The third world view of entrepreneurship education is the cognition model, which focuses on the entrepreneur or the entrepreneurial team. The focus on entrepreneur here is deferent from that in the entrepreneur world view in a sense that the potential for learning how to think in an entrepreneurial manner is recognized. This approach stress on the thinking and decision making that can be considered as essential ingredient for successful entrepreneurs. Students are taught by using case studies and simulations as tools to understand the mental process of the entrepreneurs and how these entrepreneurs think and on what basis they made a decision and took action. Discovering and understanding are considered as the foundations of the decisions that may lead students to be entrepreneurs.
In addition to the three world views of entrepreneurship education, 'entrepreneurial method' world view was suggested by (Neck & Greene, 2011). The process view is regarded the closest to this view among other views, where it involves recognizing opportunity, evaluation and acquiring resources, planning and implementing. This means that the inputs, processes and outputs are known in advance, which is not applicable to entrepreneurship as Neck & Greene, (2011) argues. Rather, entrepreneurial method "represents a body of skills or techniques; therefore, teaching entrepreneurship as a method simply implies that we are helping students understand, develop, and practice the skills and techniques need for productive entrepreneurship" (Neck & Greene, 2011, p. 61). That is, students are placed in entrepreneurs roles and learn through that experience. Teaching entrepreneurship in this view involves many techniques including starting a business, learning the principles for new venture practice, engaging in serious games and simulations and encouraging reflective practice (Neck & Greene, 2011; O'Connor, 2012). The table below highlights the four world views of entrepreneurship education.
Table : Entrepreneurship education world-views (Neck & Greene, 2011; O'Connor, 2012)
The world of
Level of Analysis
Entrepreneur and team
Entrepreneur, team, and firm
Traits; nature versus nurture
New venture creation
Decision-making to engage in entrepreneurial
Portfolio of techniques
Cases, business plans,
co curricular, design
To learn 'About' entrepreneurship
To learn 'For' entrepreneurship
To learn 'For' entrepreneurship
To learn 'Through' entrepreneurship
Objective outcome for students
Emulate role models
Replicate entrepreneurial process
Decide whether to become an entrepreneur
Adopt entrepreneurial behaviors
The role of universities and entrepreneurship education
Indeed, universities education plays a vital role in shaping and fostering students' attitudes and perceptions towards entrepreneurship. Many studies have found that education positively reinforce students' attitudes towards entrepreneurial activity. For instance, in study conducted in Egypt that focused on the motivations of Egyptian students, and the role of national educational initiatives in Egypt, it was indicated that support/encouragement tends to be highly valued by entrepreneurially aspiring students, particularly training and mentoring in their universities (Kirby & Ibrahim, 2011).
In Turkey, the moderating effect of higher education between personality and entrepreneurial intentions was investigated. Results showed that students with a higher level of education tend to have a higher entrepreneurial intention. Another key finding is that students' risk-taking propensity interacts with education, so that for higher risk-taking students, university education tends to increase entrepreneurial intentions even more (Ertuna & Gurel, 2011).
Another study has been conducted in Malaysia to investigate the relationship between entrepreneurship education and university students' inclination towards entrepreneurship among Malaysian university students. As hypothesized, findings showed empirical supports for the position played by the university in promoting entrepreneurship where it was positively related to entrepreneurial inclination. While studying, it is important for universities, (ideally considered the place of shaping entrepreneurial cultures among students), to provide entrepreneurially-friendly environment for students so that a entrepreneurial culture is encouraged and fostered (Keat, Selvarajah, & Meyer, 2011)
Further, a qualitative study aimed at exploring the intentions, attitudes and motivation of Polish students towards an entrepreneurship education course (Jones, Jones, Packham, & Miller, 2008). They reported that "entrepreneurial education can positively reinforce student attitudes towards an entrepreneurial career choice within a developing country such as Poland".
Developing competence and increasing levels of confidence can be fostered by targeted education like entrepreneurship education (Wilson, Kickul, & Marlino, 2007). This study used two different students' samples. The first sample comprised middle and high school students where as the other set of sample was among MBA students from different American schools and universities. More than five thousand students participated in this study. The findings suggest that entrepreneurship education plays a crucial role in fostering the perception of self-efficacy and entrepreneurial aspirations especially among females.
To empirically test the impact of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial intention mediated by self-efficacy, Yun, (2010) conducted a study using management undergraduate students. According to this study, there are three benefits of entrepreneurship education to students that include: learning, inspiration and incubation resources. Findings suggest that learning and inspiration have significant influence on the intention to become an entrepreneur mediated by self-efficacy, whereas incubation resources impacted intentions directly.
Just recently, Elmuti, Khoury, & Omran, (2012) conducted study to investigate the role of entrepreneurship education on developing and enhancing the necessary skills that are needed for business ventures effectiveness. This study utilized a hundred and seventy respondents who represent two groups: entrepreneurs and prospective entrepreneurs in the United States. The findings strongly support the role of entrepreneurship education and training in the success of business ventures.
Entrepreneurial Career Intention
Apparently, motivation for entrepreneurship is complex and involves a number of factors that interact dynamically (Nabi, Holden, & Walmsley, 2006). The personality traits of entrepreneurs have been the focus of entrepreneurship motivation researchers who assumed the possibility of identifying unique traits that can distinguish entrepreneurs from others. This stream of research has been abandoned due to its inability to reliably differentiate entrepreneurs and thus research has shifted to entrepreneurial intention to better understand the link between idea and action (Carsrud & Brannback, 2011). Entrepreneurial intention growing body of literature argues that intention play a viable role in the decision to start a business (Liñán & Chen, 2009). As entrepreneurship may be viewed as a process that occurs over time, entrepreneurial intention seems to be the first step to be taken when deciding on becoming an entrepreneur. This decision may be considered as a conscious and voluntary in the evolving and long process of entrepreneurship Gartner, Shaver, Gatewood, & Katz, 1994.
Understanding the formation of entrepreneurial intentions is essential for better understanding of the entrepreneurial behavior (Shane & Venkataraman, 2000). Intention to start up is regarded as a necessary precursor to act entrepreneurially (Fayolle et al., 2006; Kolvereid, 1996b) and is considered the single best predictor of behavior (Ajzen, 1991).
Entrepreneurial intentions is defined "as a self-acknowledged conviction by a person that they will set up a new business venture and consciously plan to do so at some point in the future" (Thompson, 2009. p.687). In the area of university graduates entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial intention research has been widely used due to its predictive power of entrepreneurial behavior (Krueger, Reilly, & Carsrud, 2000). Many studies have been conducted on university settings to better understand intentionality of students to start their own business (e.g. Davey, Plewa, & Struwig, 2011; Iakovleva, Kolvereid, & Stephan, 2011; Krueger et al., 2000; Liñán & Chen, 2009; Liñán, Urbano, & Guerrero, 2011; Tkachev & Kolvereid, 1999). A number of models have been developed to explain entrepreneurial intention and what influence it (Fitzsimmons & Douglas, 2011; Paço, Ferreira, Raposo, Rodrigues, & Dinis, 2011).
Guerrero et al. (2008) presented six models that have been developed to explain entrepreneurial intention. They are as follow:
Entrepreneurial event model (Shapero 1982), that considers creating business ventures as an event resulting from the interaction between initiatives, abilities, management, relative autonomy and risk. This model suggests that intending to start a business is dependent on three factors namely: the perception of the desirability, the propensity to act, and the perception of feasibility;
Theory of planned behavior (Ajzen 1991) which considers intention as the best predicted or of a behavior and intention is predicted by three elements: attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control;
Entrepreneurial attitude orientation (Robinson et al. 1991) states that four different sub-scales (achievement, self-esteem, personal control, and innovation) and three types of reactions (affective, cognitive or conative) explain attitude prediction;
Intentional basic model (Krueger and Carsrud 1993) that examines the relationship between attitudes and entrepreneurial intentions using a scale which permits greater flexibility in the analysis of exogenous influences, attitudes and intentions;
Entrepreneurial potential model (Krueger and Brazeal 1994), based on the previous models of Shapero and Ajzen, supporting their evidence from the corporate venture and enterprise development perspectives;
Davidsson model (Davidsson 1995) that states that intention can be influenced by the conviction defined by general attitudes, domain attitudes and the current situation.
The above mentioned models of intentions have been particularly based on two prominent models that dominate the literature namely: the Theory of Planned Behavior and the Entrepreneurial Event Model (Davey et al., 2011; Fitzsimmons & Douglas, 2011; Gelderen et al., 2008). Krueger et al. (2000) compared these two models and regarded them as the two competing models that explain intention and behavior. He asserted that intention is the best predictor of any behavior including entrepreneurial. This comparison of the two models indicated that both models predicted entrepreneurial intention satisfactorily, where the adjusted R2 of theory of planned behavior is s 0.350 and 0.408 for Entrepreneurial Event Model. Further, among the intention antecedents, the perceived behavioral control/feasibility components were stronger than attitude/desirability ones. These two models could be considered similar to a large degree where attitude corresponds to desirability and feasibility is regarded as perceived behavioral control (Gelderen et al., 2008). Both models have received empirical support in various studies and thus they will be used in this study to better comprehend the entrepreneurial intention among Yemeni students. Theory of planned behavior and entrepreneurial event model will be further explored in the following section followed be intention literature review.
Theory of Planned Behavior
Since it was introduced by Ajzen 1991, Theory of planned Behavior (TPB) has attracted a considerable amount of attention among researchers (Armitage & Conner, 2001). It has been applied in various research domains and it is considered as one of the most applicable theories of human intentions to perform actions. Based on social cognitive approach, TPB postulates that intentions influence behavior. That is, when deciding on engaging or not engaging in performing an action, people tend to have prior planning and intention (Ajzen, 2002). As explaining and predicting human behavior was the central purpose of developing TPB and its predecessor, the theory of reasoned action, both have been applied to a great variety of settings (e.g. the prediction of weight loss, job searching behavior, participation and voting in elections, consumer behavior, attending class, cheating and lying, employment choice intentions and etc., (Ajzen, 1991).
Theory of planned behavior has been developed to address the limitation of its predecessor, theory of reasoned action. The theory of reasoned action (TRA) (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975) posited that human behavior is influenced by intention alone; viewed as immediate determinant of action, and its two antecedents, attitude towards behavior and subjective norms. Intention is a motivational factor that has a predictive power of whether a behavior will be preformed. The two major determinants of intention, as stated by TRA, represent the positive or negative evaluation of a behavior (attitude) and reflect the perceived social pressures to perform that behavior (subjective norms). As posited by this theory, when people evaluate a behavior positively and perceive that other important people (family, peers, role models etc.) think it should or should not be performed, it is more likely that they perform it (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980). Nevertheless, TRA is limited to volitional behaviors, without regards to the external factors that may be perceived by individuals as beyond their control and thus they have incomplete volitional control (Ajzen, 2002). Therefore, perceived behavioral control was included in the model to become later the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991). Perceived behavioral control refers to the beliefs of the presence of enabler and unabler factors and to what degree they have control over these factors to perform a behavior, which have a direct effect on intention as well as behaviors (Kwan, Bray, & Ginis, 2009).
Central to the theory of planned behavior, as it is to TRA, is the behavioral intention. According to TPB, behavioral intention is determined by three conceptually independent antecedents namely: attitudes towards behavior, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control.
Attitude toward behavior is about people overall evaluation (positive or negative) of a behavior in question(Ajzen, 1991). Prior to forming intention, people seem to make assessment in favor or not favor of that behavior. TPB posits that attitudes are determined by a set of behavioral beliefs linking the behavior to various outcomes and other attributes.
The second determinant is subjective norms which refer to the individuals' perception about how important other people in their lives think about whether or not to engage in that behavior. Last predictor of behavioral intention is the perceived behavioral control. It is about people perception of how easy or difficult is that behavior, volitional control (Ajzen, 1991).
In turn, as TPB suggests, the three behavioral intention antecedents are themselves preceded by three beliefs that guide human behavior: behavioral beliefs (lead to attitudes towards behavior), normative beliefs (lead to subjective norms), and control beliefs (lead to perceived behavioral control) (Ajzen, 1991, 2002).
Behavioral intention refers to the readiness that people show to engage in a given behavior. It is considered as an immediate determinant of behavior. Ajzen (1991) argued it is most likely a given behavior will be performed if a strong intention to engage in that behavior exists. For an individual to achieve a behavior, motivation (intention) and ability (behavioral control) should be combined together as intention alone is not enough. That is why perceived behavioral control was included into the model of TPB. Thus, intention to engage in an activity is determined by attitudes subjective norms and perceived behavioral control. To strengthen the behavioral intention to perform an action, people should have a positive evaluation of it, should believe that important others want them to do it and perceive it as easy to be performed.
Figure : Theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991)
Theory of Entrepreneurial Event (SEE)
It was developed by Shapero and Sokol in 1982 as one of the early intention model implicitly tailored to entrepreneurship. They focus was on what factors could make entrepreneurial event, starting up, happen. That is, the entrepreneurial event was the main them in this model and not the person (entrepreneur). They conclude that entrepreneurship as an event that results from interaction of several factors such as social and cultural ones. The cultural and social inheritance and previous experience of individuals determine their perception and values. Thus, any entrepreneurial event that may occur is a result of a dynamic process providing situational momentum that has an impact upon individuals (Elfving et.al., 2011). This model suggests that human behavior is guided by inertia until it is displaces or interrupted by something else. The displacement, (critical life changes) precipitates a change in entrepreneurial intention and subsequent behavior where an individual can choose the best path or opportunity from many other alternatives. Displacement can be negative such as job loss, divorce, or it can be positive such as financial support, inheritance etc. (Krueger et al., 2000).
The intention to become an entrepreneur and form a new venture (entrepreneurial event) relies on how desirable and feasible this event is perceived by the individual. According to this theory, an individual should have a propensity to act in addition to the perception of desirability and feasibility of a behavior. It is argued that without a propensity to act, an entrepreneurial event may not occur (Krueger et al., 2000). As in TPB, intention to start a business, in SEE model, is influenced by three direct antecedents namely: perceived desirability, perceived feasibility, and propensity to act.
Perceived Desirability of Entrepreneurship
According to SEE, perceived desirability is conceptualized as the personal attractiveness to start a business. Individuals' perceived desirability of entrepreneurship is influenced by their own personal attitudes, values and feelings which are a result of their interaction of social and cultural environments as they are part of his environment (family, peers, educational and professional experiences) and alike (Shapero & Sokol, 1982) . That is to say, intention may be formed by an individual when it looks desirable and attractive.
Perceived Feasibility of Entrepreneurship
Perception of feasibility refers to how capable is an individual to start a new business. Among the factors that may affect the feasibility perception are the provision of financial support and availability of mentors, and would-be partners and etc (Shapero & Sokol, 1982). It is very true that even though engaging in an entrepreneurial event is desirable but the means to do it are not available, then it is most likely or it is very hard to intend to pursue that desirable act. As mentioned above, financial support is one of the most needed ingredients to start a business, without which starting a business will no longer be feasible and thus tendency to engage is hindered. Furthermore, the existence of role models, mentors and partners who may provide guidance and motivation seems to enhance the feasibility of entrepreneurial activity.
Propensity to act
Propensity to act concerns the personal readiness and disposition to act on a decision which reflects the "volitional aspects of intention" (Krueger et al., 2000). Thus, propensity to act is regarded as a persistent personal character that is linked to internal locus of control (Shapero & Sokol, 1982).
Table Entrepreneurial event formation (Shapero, 1982)
Entrepreneurial intention review
Entrepreneurs' personality traits research has been researched intensively but it could not capture the whole picture of what really motivate entrepreneurs. Lately, research focus has shifted to entrepreneurship process and intention. This does not mean that traits research is not valid anymore. It could be further explored to understand the entrepreneurial behavior (Carsrud & Brannback, 2011). Just recently, study of personality traits has been conducted among students majoring in hospitality and tourism in the UK (Altinay, Madanoglu, Daniele, & Lashley, 2012). This study aimed at investigating the relationship between some selected personality traits of students (locus of control, tolerance of ambiguity, innovativeness, need for achievement and propensity to take risks) and entrepreneurial intention. Also, it has tested the family background effect on the intention. Using 205 British students pursuing tourism and hospitality management degree at a major British university, findings suggest that only innovativeness trait has an influence on intention to start a business besides the influence of family tradition. The findings of this study imply that entrepreneurs are made, not born and also entrepreneurship can be taught. It should be noticed that this study measured intention by only one binary categorical "yes or no" question "based on the question whether the individual intends to engage in entrepreneurial activity or not". This could be one of the reasons that other traits did not have an influence on intention. Intentions should be measures using scale items that could capture a bigger picture of entrepreneurial intention.
Shinnar, Giacomin, & Janssen, (2012) conducted a study to examine how intention to become an entrepreneur are shaped and how barriers to entrepreneurship are perceived by cultural and gender difference. The authors employed the Hofstede's cultural dimensions that include individualism (IDV), uncertainty avoidance (UA), power distance (PD), and masculinity (MAS) in three culturally distinct countries; the United States, China and Belgium. The tried to find out if there is any difference among male and female students in their perception of the three barriers to entrepreneurship included in the study namely: lack of support, fear of failure, and lack of competency and to what degree these barriers influence students' intention to become entrepreneurs within and across cultures. The lack of support can include the difficulties face by aspiring entrepreneurs in gaining support for governmental institutions such as related ministries and chambers of commerce, family support, getting finance and etc. The fear of failure could be another barrier that limit or hinder the aspiring entrepreneurs' intention to embark into creating their businesses. The lack of competence could be another additional barrier so those individuals who perceive themselves as unable to do it may not intend to be entrepreneurs. The study sample consisted of 761 university students from three countries. Findings showed that female students from the three nations gave high importance to the lack of support variable and no difference was found among them, which indicates that lack of support represent a barrier to females regardless of culture. Another finding is showed that females from the United States and Belgium perceive lack of competency and fear of failure is barriers to start business than males but not in China. The study also found out that the lack of support is negatively related to intentions in the three countries but is stronger among the Chinese females. Further, gender did not moderate the relationship between the fear of failure and intentions implying that it is a personal characteristic. Additional finding is that females from the U.S. perceived lack of competence has a stronger negative influence on intention than males. That is, the higher the perceived lack of competence among American women, the less likely they intend to start a business. Similar to Altinay et al., (2012), intention was measured using one item only "Have you ever thought of starting a business?".
Recently, a study has been conducted in the Middle East context and more specifically, Saudi Arabia, to examine the entrepreneurial intention among university students (Almobaireek & Manolova, 2012). This is one of the few studies conducted in the region that focuses on youth intention to be entrepreneurs. The sample consisted of 921 undergraduate students studying at King Saud University in the Capital of Riyadh. This theory employed theory of planned behavior as a theoretical model. Intention was measure using one binary item asking respondent whether or not they wanted to start their own businesses. Findings showed a strong support to the theory of planned behavior in predicting Saudi youth intention to start business. Findings further indicated that perceived desirability and behavioral control predicted the intention where as subjective norms was not significant. Gender also showed a moderating effect between perceived desirability and entrepreneurial intention where males demonstrated higher desirability and attractiveness to entrepreneurship.
One interesting study tried to further explore the role of family background on entrepreneurial intention. This article main focus was to better understand whether entrepreneurial intentions are transmitted within families and across culture (Laspita, Breugst, Heblich, & Patzelt, 2012). They argued that entrepreneurial intent can be transmitted from parent to their offspring through genetic inheritance, provision of resources, and education/socialization. A large sample size of 43,764 students from 15 countries (Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France, Ireland, Finland, Hungary, New Zealand, Australia, Republic of South Africa, Singapore, Mexico, Greece, Portugal, and Indonesia) was utilized. Data used in this study was from the "Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students Survey" (GUESSS) which was initiated by a German and a Swiss university in 2003. To explore the transmission of intention across generations, parent entrepreneurs and grandparent entrepreneurs were included as independent variables. The study has found that entrepreneurial intention can be transmitted from parents to children and even weak transmission from grandparents to their grandchildren. Further, parents mediated the transmission of intention from grandparents to grandchildren.
Culture can play a positive or negative role in formation of career intention. That is, different cultures may differ in giving importance to entrepreneurship. Some culture will encourage entrepreneurial activities as they perceive them valuable and some will not. To investigate this issue, Moriano, Gorgievski, Laguna, Stephan, & Zarafshani, (2012) conducted a study in six different countries employing Ajzen model of theory of planned behavior, a well-established and robust model of intention. This study aimed at investigating the intention to start a business in six countries including Germany, India, Iran, Poland, Spain, and Netherlands and how the three antecedents of intention in TBP model influence the intention in these different countries. Put it differently, the is to explore how the meaning of intention and its antecedents (attitude, social norms and perceived behavioral control) are perceived in different contexts and whether this model can be applied universally and what antecedent of the TBP model can be universally applicable. The authors argued that previous research on entrepreneurial intention across culture applying TPB has been limited. The stated reasons for that are: first, pervious research using TPB has mostly measured EI within one country. Second, many studies using TPB have used different instruments to measure EI and those used the same instruments are very few and mostly compared two countries. This study utilized a sample of more than a thousand students from the six countries. Findings of this research showed support to the notion that TPB is regarded as a cultural-universal model that predicts entrepreneurial intention regardless of culture. This study found that attitudes and perceived behavioral control are strong predictors of intention in the six countries. However, subjective norm showed a weaker relationship with intention implying that taking a decision to be an entrepreneur is more individual decision and social pressure on intention may be minimal.
BarNir, Watson, & Hutchins, (2011) conducted a study to test the effect of the exposure to a role model on entrepreneurial intention and entrepreneurial self-efficacy. This study also sought to explore whether there is a difference of these effect o n men and women and the mediating role of self-efficacy. A sample of 393 undergraduate students in an American public university has been employed. Results suggest that exposure to a role model has a positive influence on entrepreneurial intention. Exposure to a role model may enhance students' motivation to start a business by providing support and guidance so that entrepreneurship may be deemed valuable to them. Further, this study found that entrepreneurial self-efficacy has been directly influenced by such exposure to a role model. This means that exposure to role model has directly and indirectly (via self-efficacy) positively influenced EI. Moreover, results showed that role models have a stronger effect on women's ESE than on men's ESE and that the effect on overall intention is more strongly mediated for women.
Intentions to start a business is influenced by many factors including traits and cognitive, to name a few. But the factors that have strong influential on determining entrepreneurial intention and behavior remain debatable. Entrepreneurship education is regarded as one of the essential factors that foster students' attitudes toward entrepreneurship. Liñán, Rodríguez-Cohard, & Rueda-Cantuche, (2011) conducted a study to address this issue. They developed a questionnaire that contains different set of variables that have been used to determine intention in previous studies. They used a sample of 354 final-year undergraduate students from business and economic sciences studying in a university in Spain and utilized factor analysis and regression procedures to analyze the data. To better understand the EI among students, this study has integrated the two superior models of EI, theory of planned behavior and Shapiro event model. Results support the superiority of TPB and SEE where perceived desirability, attitudes, perceived control and feasibility were strongly and positively significant in predicting intention to start a business among the Spanish university students. However, a subjective norm was the weakest among them and it could not find support in the finding of this study, and thus this is pretty much in line with previous research.
Siu & Lo, (2011) has investigated the influence of individualism and collectivism orientation on the entrepreneurial intention model in a collectivist nation of China using TPB. Specifically, this study has sought to satisfy two main objectives: first, determining the role that a collectivistic cultural context such as China may play in affecting the perceptual factors including attitudes toward entrepreneurship, perceived social norms toward entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial self-efficacy on EI; and second, to examine the moderating effect of the independent and interdependent self-construals on the relationship between self-perceptual constructs and EI. Regarded as individualist and collectivist values, interdependent self-construal is defined as a self that is flexible and stresses on individuals' connectedness with others, while independent self-construal is defined as "bounded, unitary, stable" that feels detached from its social context (Singelis, 1994, as cited in Siu & Lo, 2011). "People with higher independent self-construal tend to focus more on their own abilities, characteristics, and goals than on the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others; in contrast, people with higher interdependent self-construal are more likely to act in accordance with the anticipated expectations of others and social norms" (Singelis). The sample of this study consisted of 204 MBA students from China and Hong Kong and structural equation modeling was employed to test the relationships among constructs. Attitude toward entrepreneurship was modeled as a mediating variable between positiveness entrepreneurial experience and EI. Also, entrepreneurial self-efficacy was modeled as mediating factor between perceived formal learning of entrepreneurship and previous entrepreneurial experience and EI. Perceived social norm was included as an antecedent of intention and independent self-construal and interdependent self-construal were included as moderating factors. This study finding did not yield any support for personal attitude toward entrepreneurship factor in the collectivist society of China, which is contradicting several other studies. Perceived social norms; however is contradicting other studies as well, significantly predicted entrepreneurial intention when moderated by interdependent self-construal. Social pressure is contingent on the level of interdependent self-construal. When people feel more connected to others, their intention to start their own business is very much influenced by their perception of what influential others such as family, friend, partners and colleagues think about it. The opposite is true when people feel less connected to these others. Again, this is a unique finding and contradicts similar studies. Further, this study yielded a strong support for Entrepreneurial self-efficacy is in collectivist context in line which is in line with other individualistic studies. Entrepreneurial self-efficacy also played a mediating role on the relationship of perceived formal learning of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial experience and entrepreneurial intention.
In another study of Chinese context, entrepreneurial intention was influenced by social networks such as strong ties (Chen & He, 2011). This study was conducted using 327 undergraduate students of economics and management students in China. The aim of this study was to explore how strong ties influence EI through the mediating effect of entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE). According to this article, social ties refer to the set of ties, either strong or weak, that connect individuals. Strong ties are the ties are laden of affect and frequent. They contain great emotional investment with family, friends, and colleagues and etc. In this study, entrepreneurial self-efficacy has been treated as multidimensional and thus broken down into four factors that include: opportunity-identification self-efficacy (OISE), relationship self-efficacy (RSE), managerial self-efficacy (MSE), and tolerance self-efficacy (TSE). OISE refers the perceived ability of identifying new product and market opportunities. RSE refers to perceived ability in building relationship with investors and customers. MSE refers to the perceived managerial capabilities in leading one's business. TSE refers to the perceived ability to work productively under circumstances of stress and conflict and change. The study findings demonstrate that entrepreneurial intention was influenced by the strong ties mediated by three out of four ESE types (OISE, RSE, and MSE), with OISE having the largest mediating effect.
Iakovleva, Kolvereid, & Stephan, (2011) conducted a study to compare entrepreneurial intention using theory of planned behavior in some developing and developed countries, hence most of the previous research has mostly focused on developed countries and this is one of the first study to study intention by country development status. In an attempt to examine the similarities and difference in intention and its three perceptual antecedents, this study has utilized a university students sample consisting of 2,073 students from 13 different countries. Developing countries include Brazil, Mexico, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine, whereas developed countries include Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Norway, Spain, and The Netherlands. Findings of this study found strong support for the TPB in both developed and developing countries. The model could explain 62 and 59 per cent of variance in the intention in the developing and developed countries respectively. Combing both sets of data yielded 65 per cent of variance. From these findings, it can be observed that people from developing countries have higher intention to start business that those from developed countries. Further, findings showed that students in developing countries have score higher in the three antecedents of intention. All the antecedents were significant in predicting intention in both categories of countries. In many researches, subjective norm was weak and non significant. However, these finding suggests that it can significantly predict intention if it is measured by following Ajzen's recommendation to combine a belief and motivation to comply.
Wu & Wu, (2008) study focused on investigating how intention to start a business is influenced by the higher educational background of Chinese students. They employed TPB model for better prediction of entrepreneurial intention in a sample of 150 students of Tongji University in Shanghai, China and utilized structural equation modeling for analyzing their data. They also investigated how the TPB four constructs were associated with different educational backgrounds (engineering, entrepreneurship related major and non- entrepreneurship related major). Resulted showed that attitudes it the most influential factor on intention followed by perceived behavioral control. Subject norm was not significant. Findings also suggest that intention was influenced by educational level through attitudes, where postgraduate students seemed less attracted to entrepreneurship. Further this study found that engineering students have more tendencies to start their own business followed by entrepreneurship related major. These findings highlight the importance of education and more specifically, entrepreneurship education.
In the same vein, Gelderen et al. (2008) conducted a study in the Netherlands to investigate determinants of entrepreneurial intention using the TPB as a theoretical framework. As a replication among samples, a total of 1235 undergraduate students in four different universities with major in business in Netherlands have participated in the study. In this study, attitude comprised five variables to explain intention that include: importance of autonomy, importance of wealth, challenge, financial security and work load avoidance. Also, PBC comprised four variables to explain intention (entrepreneurial alertness, creativity, perseverance and entrepreneurial self-efficacy. Findings showed support to the TPB model as successful model to predict entrepreneurial intention. Also, findings suggest that entrepreneurial alertness and financial security showed significance in explaining EI. The model was able to explain 35 per cent of variance in the intention.
In a study conducted in Turkey by Naktiyok, Nur Karabey, & Caglar Gulluce (2010), the relationship between entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE) and entrepreneurial intention was examined. Entrepreneurial self-efficacy has shown an association with EI in previous studies in other contexts other than Turkish context. Self-efficacy is defined here as the individuals' perception of their capabilities to mobilize resources, activity and motivation that are required to control the events in their lives. Individuals have tendency to choose events where high personal control is anticipated and avoid situations in which they anticipate low control. The study tries to shed light on how Turkish culture impacts the perception of ESE and intention as it can be characterized as a collectivist culture, characterized by feminine values, high power distance and high uncertainty avoidance. In this study, ESE was categorized in sub-dimensions based on a factor analysis that namely: developing new opportunities, unexpected challenges, critical human resources, defining core purpose, innovative environment, and investor relationship. A total sample of 245 undergraduate business students from Ataturk University in Turkey participated in the study. Results indicate that students showed high intention to become entrepreneurs and ESE strongly influenced intentions but with varying degree influence by the sub-dimensions. Out of the six sub-dimensions, four of them have positively and significantly influenced intention (developing new opportunities, unexpected challenges, defining core purpose, building an innovative environment). The overall model explained 34 per cent of the variance in entrepreneurial intention. As for the cultural influence on the relationship between ESE and intention, two previous studies from United States as individualist country and Korea as collectivist were used for comparison purposes. Findings show perception of ESE and intention is higher in the U.S. followed by Turkey and Korea. This may imply that high individualistic culture too much rely on rely abilities.
Entrepreneurial self-efficacy has been found strong evidence in the literature that it is a critical antecedent of intention. However, Zhao, Seibert, & Hills, (2005) argued that ESE should be playing a mediating role on intention. They conducted study to investigate the mediating role of ESE on the relationship between individual-level antecedents and intention. They three individual-level factors beside gender that include: perceptions of formal entrepreneurship learning, previous entrepreneurial experience, risk propensity. They hypothesized that these three factors will have an impact on ESE and intention. Data was collected from MBA students sample from five U.S. universities in two points of time, when students joined the program in 1998 and when they are graduating in 2000. In the first time, 778 students participated in the study while 265 graduating student. Finding indicated that ESE has fully mediated the relationship between the individual-level factors namely: entrepreneurship-related courses, previous entrepreneurial experience, and risk propensity and intent to start a business. ESE did not mediate gender but gender had a direct effect on intention with low intention among females.
Liñán & Chen (2009) pointed out that cross cultural studies are need to better understand how cultural values affect entrepreneurial intention as this issue has not been fully researched. Also, they stressed on the issue of using standardized instruments if we to fully comprehend the effect of cultures on intentions as most of previous cognitive research have developed their own measurements that make comparison among them very difficult. To address these limitations, they conducted study to address these limitations by first developing standardized instruments and then conducting the study across cultures. Theory of planned behavior was used to build an entrepreneurial intention questionnaire (EIQ) and a sample of 519 university students from two countries; Spain individualist country and Taiwan as collectivist country. A study finding has yielded satisfactory support for the newly developed questionnaire. Also, a strong support for TPB model was found where subjective norms had an influence on personal attitude and perceived behavioral control but not directly on intention. Including demographic factors such as gender, role model, work experience and self-employment experience, the model has explained 55.5 per cent of variance in the intention. The finding suggests that the entrepreneurial model can be applicable regardless of country as the cognitive process from perception to intention seems to be similar in different countries. However, some differences in the two samples exist (e.g. subjective norms have stronger influence on attitude and PBC in Taiwan, a collectivist nation). Another difference that exists in the two cultures is that personal attitude had a stronger effect on intention in Spain (.677) than Taiwan (.169) and perceived behavioral control is a strong predictor of intention in the Taiwanese sample (.57 vs. .30 for attitude).
Farrington, Venter, & Louw (2012) have conducted a study to examine the effect of demographic factors on entrepreneurial intention. The factors that included in the study are gender, ethnicity, study level, university attended and self-employment status of parents. The findings for the study, which has utilized 477 undergraduate business students from three South African Universities, suggest that intention to start business is really influenced by some of the demographic factors such as university attended, level of study and ethnicity. This indicates that universities within a country differ in promoting an entrepreneurial culture and developing entrepreneurial mindsets.
Entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship are believed to be distinct and vary in terms of their motivation and outcome. Douglas & Fitzsimmons (2012) study examined the factor that may influence individuals' intention to behave entrepreneurially, either as self-employed entrepreneurship or as corporately employed intrapreneurship. A total 414 MBA students starting their program in Australia, China, India, and Thailand participated in this study. Findings revealed that both entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial intentions were influenced by entrepreneurial self-efficacy. However, entrepreneurship intention was related only to attitudes to income, ownership, and autonomy, whereas intrapreneurial intention was only related to attitude to risk.
Fitzsimmons & Douglas (2011) investigated the interaction between perceived desirability and perceived feasibility and their effects on formation of entrepreneurial intention, in an expectancy framework, where it is suggested that an individual will behave in a certain manner with the expectation of getting outcome in return (expectancy) and will evaluate the attractiveness of that outcome (value or valence). This study first provided evidence that perceived desirability and perceived feasibility positively influence students' intention to start their own ventures. Further, it found support to the hypothesis of the negative interaction n individual's perceived desirability and their perceived feasibility in determining the strength of students' intention to be self-employed. That is, when an individual has a low motivation or attractiveness to start a business but has high perception of feasibility or self-efficacy, their intention may be still high and vice versa.
To examine the role of entrepreneurship education in fostering students entrepreneurial intention and motivation in Spain, Lanero, Vázquez, Gutiérrez, & García (2011) conducted 800 university students studying in two Spanish Universities based on the Shapero Event Model. Findings showed that education had a significant effect on feasibility and low effect on desirability and intention.
Most of entrepreneurial intention and motivation studies have used students as subjects for these studies and there was always a call to examine these models in different context like employees. Lee, Wong, Foo, & Leung, (2011) responded to this call by studying IT professionals motivation to start a business. The main focus of this study was to examine the job satisfaction effect on their intentions to start a business moderated by self-efficacy and how the organizational factors such as innovative climate and technical excellence incentives moderated by individual factor such as innovation orientation affect job satisfaction. A sample of 4192 IT pr