Small Business Economics

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 717–728 | Cite as

Entrepreneurial intention and career choices: the role of volition

  • S. Nyock Ilouga
  • A. C. Nyock Mouloungni
  • J. M. Sahut


Developing entrepreneurship among students and helping them to build their career plans and improving their employability is the core of public policy in many countries in Europe (Branchet et al. in J Small Bus Enterp Dev 18(2):384–402, 2011). Following some empirical researches (Boissin et al. in J Small Bus Entrep 22(2):101–122, 2009), we know some predictive factors for the emergence of an entrepreneurial project. But another question remains largely unexplored: What are the psychological mechanisms that may interplay in entrepreneurial intention and career choices? Our research aims to demonstrate that entrepreneurship is an objective which relies entirely on willingness, and, therefore, is much more dependent on interpersonal features than on economic and environmental constraints. In particular, we wish to highlight the personal dynamics in shaping, maturing, and implementing a choice of entrepreneurial career in order to extract volitional characteristics of this career choice. The hypotheses are tested using data from interviews conducted with French students in business schools, engineering schools, and universities. Our dynamic approach to study the psychosocial processes involved in the definition of an entrepreneurial career helps to understand the interest of young people in the entrepreneurial process. This research has demonstrated that volition has a key role in binding an individual commitment to an ambitious career objective.


Entrepreneurship Career Volition Entrepreneurial intention Entrepreneurial project Theory of planned behavior 

JEL Classifications

L26 M53 J24 H52 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Nyock Ilouga
    • 1
  • A. C. Nyock Mouloungni
    • 2
  • J. M. Sahut
    • 3
  1. 1.France Business School and UPO - Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)Amiens Cedex 1France
  2. 2.CREP - University of Libreville & University of Lille 3Villeneuve d’Ascq cedexFrance
  3. 3.IPAG Business School Paris and CEREGE EA1722University of Poitiers IPAGParisFrance

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