Entrepreneurial Self-Identity: Predictors and Effects Within the Theory of Planned Behavior Framework
To combine the identity and the theory of planned behavior (TPB) approaches to entrepreneurship, we investigated unique main effects as well as moderating effects of an entrepreneurial self-identity in the TPB-entrepreneurship framework. We also investigated predictors of an entrepreneurial self-identity.
Considering a process model of entrepreneurship, we analyzed two cross-sectional T1 samples of German scientists with regard to two central tasks along the entrepreneurial process (business idea development and business founding) via path model analyses as well as data from follow-up surveys collected at T2 and T3 via regression analyses.
Self-identity predicted founding intentions, above and beyond the effect of the TPB variables. Moreover, self-identity showed a characteristic moderating effect with TPB-intention predictors. Their effect was weaker or even zero at low levels of self-identity. In addition, self-identity forecasted behavior, but had no unique main or moderating effect on behavior in the TPB framework. Self-identity was predictable by past behavior, personality structure, recalled adolescent competencies, and early parental role models. Moreover, an engagement in entrepreneurial activity led to an increase in self-identity over time.
The results suggest that self-identity operates as a motivational factor in entrepreneurial transitions that interacts with TPB variables in a characteristic way. An entrepreneurial self-identity develops from an early developmental stage on, but also during the working life.
This study is unique because it integrates the occupational self-concept/self-identity construct into the TPB–entrepreneurship approach, and also delivers new implications concerning how to foster entrepreneurial motivations more effectively by taking the developing occupational self-concept into account.
KeywordsEntrepreneurship Entrepreneurial motivation Identity Intentions Personality Academic entrepreneurship
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