The theory of planned behavior in entrepreneurship research: what we know and future directions

  • Jason LortieEmail author
  • Gary Castogiovanni


The entrepreneurship literature utilizing the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) has grown considerably over the last 20 years. Therefore, it is time to take stock of the TPB’s contributions to our understanding of entrepreneurship thus far. In this paper, we review the relevant literature and present research suggestions that will guide scholars in the future. First, we organize the literature according to the part of the TPB utilized along four main themes found in the literature. We also outline the many additions and alterations that entrepreneurship scholars have implemented to the TPB. We then suggest future research based on the review. Taken together, our contributions highlight important contexts that have been understudied, and highlight important theoretical relationships that have received only a small amount of attention but have the potential for large future findings. Our contributions also speak to entrepreneurial behaviors and entrepreneurial intentions, the two main dependent variables of research that uses the TPB.


Entrepreneurial behaviors Entrepreneurial intentions Entrepreneurship Theory of planned behavior 


  1. Ajzen, I. (1988). Attitudes, personality, and behavior. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50(2), 179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding attitudes and predicting social behavior. Engle-wood Cliffs: Prentice.Google Scholar
  4. Arenius, P., & Kovalainen, A. (2006). Similarities and differences across the factors associated with women’s self-employment preference in the nordic countries. International Small Business Journal, 24(1), 31–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Armitage, C. J., & Conner, M. (2001). Efficacy of the theory of planned behaviour: a meta-analytic review. British Journal of Social Psychology, 40(4), 471.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Austin, J., & Vancouver, J. (1996). Goal constructs in psychology: structure, process, and content. Psychological Bulletin, 120(3), 338–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Boyd, N. G., & Vozikis, G. S. (1994). The influence of self-efficacy on the development of entrepreneurial intentions and actions. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, (Summer), 63–77.Google Scholar
  8. Brigham, K. H., De Castro, J. O., & Shepherd, D. A. (2007). A person-organization fit model of owner-managers’ cognitive style and organizational demands. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 31(1), 29–51.Google Scholar
  9. Carr, J. C., & Sequeira, J. M. (2007). Prior family business exposure as intergenerational influence and entrepreneurial intent: a theory of planned behavior approach. Journal of Business Research, 60(10), 1090–1098.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carsrud, A., & Braennback, M. (2011). Entrepreneurial motivations: what do we still need to know? Journal of Small Business Management, 49(1), 9–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cassar, G. (2006). Entrepreneur opportunity costs and intended venture growth. Journal of Business Venturing, 21(5), 610–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Castrogiovanni, G. J. (1991). Environmental munificence: a theoretical assessment. Academy of Management Review, 16(3), 542–565.Google Scholar
  13. Castrogiovanni, G. J. (1996). Pre-startup planning and the survival of new small businesses: theoretical linkages. Journal of Management, 22(6), 801–822.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chen, C. C., Greene, P. G., & Crick, A. (1998). Does entrepreneurial self-efficacy distinguish. Journal of Business Venturing, 13(4), 295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chrisman, J. J. (1999). The influence of outsider-generated knowledge resources on venture creation. Journal of Small Business Management, 37(4), 42–58.Google Scholar
  16. Cox, L.W., Mueller, S.L., & Moss, S.E. (2002). The impact of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial self-efficacy. International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, 1(2), 229-245.Google Scholar
  17. Crant, J.M. (1996). The proactive personality scale as a predictor of entrepreneurial intentions. Journal of Small Business Management, 34, 42–49.Google Scholar
  18. Davidsson, P. (1989). Entrepreneurship – and after? A study of growth willingness in small businesses. Journal of Business Venturing, 4, 211–226.Google Scholar
  19. Delmar, F., & Shane, S. (2003). Does business planning facilitate the development of new ventures? Strategic Management Journal, 24(12), 1165–1185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Delmar, F., & Wiklund, J. (2008). The effect of small business managers’ growth motivation on firm growth: a longitudinal study. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 32(3), 437–457.Google Scholar
  21. Dimov, D. (2007). From opportunity insight to opportunity intention: the importance of person-situation learning match. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 31(4), 561–583.MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  22. Dimov, D. (2010). Nascent entrepreneurs and venture emergence: opportunity confidence, human capital, and early planning. Journal of Management Studies, 47(6), 1123–1153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Doern, R. (2009). Investigating barriers to SME growth and development in transition environments A critique and suggestions for developing the methodology. International Small Business Journal, 27(3), 275–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Douglas, E. J., & Shepherd, D. A. (2000). Entrepreneurship as a utility maximizing response. Journal of Business Venturing, 15(3), 231–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fishbein, M., & Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, attitude, intention and behavior: An introduction to theory and research. Reading: Addison-Wesly.Google Scholar
  26. Fitzsimmons, J. R., & Douglas, E. J. (2011). Interaction between feasibility and desirability in the formation of entrepreneurial intentions. Journal of Business Venturing, 26(4), 431–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Godin, G., & Kok, G. (1996). The theory of planned behavior: a review of its applications to health-related behaviors. American Journal of Health Promotion, 11(2), 87–98.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gundry, L., & Welsch, H. (2001). The ambitions entrepreneur: High growth strategies of women-owned enterprises. Journal of Business Venturing, 16(5), 453–470.Google Scholar
  29. Hagger, M., Chatzisarantis, N., Culverhouse, T., & Biddle, S. (2003). The processes by which perceived autonomy support in physical education promotes leisure-time physical activity intentions and behavior: a trans-contextual model. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(4), 784–795.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Henley, A. (2007). Entrepreneurial aspiration and transition into self-employment: evidence from british longitudinal data. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 19(3), 253–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. House, R. J., Rousseau, D. M., & Thomas-Hunt, M. (1995). The meso paradigm: a framework for the integration of micro and macro organizational behavior. Research in Organizational Behavior, 17, 71–114.Google Scholar
  32. Hunt, S. D. (2002). Foundations of marketing theory: Toward a general theory of marketing. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe.Google Scholar
  33. Hunt, S. D. (2010). Marketing theory: Foundations, controversy, strategy, resource-advantage theory. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe.Google Scholar
  34. Kaufmann, P. J. (1999). Franchising and the choice of self employment. Journal of Business Venturing, 14(4), 345–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kautonen, T., Luoto, S., & Tornikoski, E. T. (2010). Influence of work history on entrepreneurial intentions in ‘prime age’ and ‘third age’: a preliminary study. International Small Business Journal, 28(6), 583–601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kickul, J., Gundry, L. K., Barbosa, S. D., & Whitcanack, L. (2009). Intuition versus analysis? testing differential models of cognitive style on entrepreneurial self-efficacy and the new venture creation process. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 33(2), 439–453.Google Scholar
  37. Kirzner, I. M. (1997). Entrepreneurial discovery and the competitive market process: an austrian approach. Journal of Economic Literature, 35(1), 60–85.Google Scholar
  38. Kolvereid, L. (1996). Prediction of employment status choice intentions. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 21(1), 47–57.Google Scholar
  39. Kolvereid, L., & Isaksen, E. (2006). New business start-up and subsequent entry into self-employment. Journal of Business Venturing, 21(6), 866–885.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Krueger, N. F. (1993). The impact of prior entrepreneurial exposure on perceptions of new venture feasibility and desirability. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, (Fall), 5–21.Google Scholar
  41. Krueger, N. F., & Brazeal, D. V. (1994). Entrepreneurial potential and potential entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, (Spring), 91–104.Google Scholar
  42. Krueger, N. F., & Reilly, M. D. (2000). Competing models of entrepreneurial intentions. Journal of Business Venturing, 15(5), 411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Krueger, N. F., Reilly, M. D., & Carsrud, A. L. (2000). Competing models of entrepreneurial intentions. Journal of Business Venturing, 15(5–6), 411–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. LeBrasseur, R., Zanibbi, L., & Zinger, T. J. (2003). Growth momentum in the early stages of small business start-ups. International Small Business Journal, 21(3), 315–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lee, L., Wong, P. K., Foo, M. D., & Leung, A. (2011). Entrepreneurial intentions: the influence of organizational and individual factors. Journal of Business Venturing, 26(1), 124–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lim, D. S. K., Morse, E. A., Mitchell, R. K., & Seawright, K. K. (2010). Institutional environment and entrepreneurial cognitions: a comparative business systems perspective. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 34(3), 491–516.Google Scholar
  47. Linan, F., & Chen, Y. (2009). Development and cross-cultural application of a specific instrument to measure entrepreneurial intentions. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 33(3), 593–617.Google Scholar
  48. Linan, F., Urbano, D., & Guerrero, M. (2011). Regional variations in entrepreneurial cognitions: start-up intentions of university students in spain. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 23(3–4), 187–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Lucas, W. A., Cooper, S. Y., Ward, T., & Cave, F. (2009). Industry placement, authentic experience and the development of venturing and technology self-efficacy. Technovation, 29(11), 738–752.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Maula, M., Autio, E., & Arenius, P. (2005). What drives micro-angel investments? Small Business Economics, 25(5), 459–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. McGee, J. E., Peterson, M., Mueller, S. L., & Sequeira, J. M. (2009). Entrepreneurial self-efficacy: refining the measure. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 33(4), 965–988.Google Scholar
  52. Mintzberg, H., & Waters, J. A. (1982). Tracking strategy in an entrepreneurial firm. Academy of Management Journal, 25(3), 465–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Mintzberg, H., & Waters, J. A. (1985). Of strategies, deliberate and emergent. Strategic Management Journal, 6(3), 257–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Montalvo, C. (2006). What triggers change and innovation? Technovation, 26(3), 312–323.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Obschonka, M., Silbereisen, R. K., & Schmitt-Rodermund, E. (2010). Entrepreneurial intention as developmental outcome. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 77(1), 63–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. O'Reilly III, C. A., Chatman, J., & Caldwell, D. F. (1991). People and organizational culture: a profile comparison approach to assessing person-organization fit. Academy of Management Journal, 34(3), 487–516.Google Scholar
  57. Pavlou, P., & Fygenson, M. (2006). Understanding and predicting electronic commerce adoption: an extension of the theory of planned behavior. MIS Quarterly, 30(1), 115–143.Google Scholar
  58. Peterman, N. E., & Kennedy, J. (2003). Enterprise education: influencing students’ perceptions of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 28(2), 129–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Prodan, I., & Drnovsek, M. (2010). Conceptualizing academic-entrepreneurial intentions: an empirical test. Technovation, 30(5–6), 332–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Radu, M., & Redien-Collot, R. (2008). The social representation of entrepreneurs in the french press - desirable and feasible models? International Small Business Journal, 26(3), 259–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Ramos-Rodriguez, A., Medina-Garrido, J., Lorenzo-Gomez, J., & Ruiz-Navarro, J. (2010). What you know or who you know? The role of intellectual and social capital in opportunity recognition. International Small Business Journal, 28(6), 566–582.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Schlaegel, C., & Koenig, M. (2014). Determinants of entrepreneurial intent: a meta-analytic test and integration of competing models. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 38(2), 291–332.Google Scholar
  63. Shook, C. L., Priem, R. L., & McGee, J. E. (2003). Venture creation and the enterprising individual: a review and synthesis. Journal of Management, 29(3), 379–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Short, J. C., Ketchen, J., David, J., Shook, C. L., & Ireland, R. D. (2010). The concept of “opportunity” in entrepreneurship research: past accomplishments and future challenges. Journal of Management, 36(1), 40–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Souitaris, V., Zerbinati, S., & Al-Laham, A. (2007). Do entrepreneurship programmes raise entrepreneurial intention of science and engineering students? The effect of learning, inspiration and resources. Journal of Business Venturing, 22(4), 566–591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Stenholm, P. (2011). Innovative behavior as a moderator of growth intentions. Journal of Small Business Management, 49(2), 233–251.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Thompson, E. R. (2009). Individual entrepreneurial intent: construct clarification and development of an internationally reliable metric. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 33(3), 669–694.Google Scholar
  68. Tkachev, A., & Kolvereid, L. (1999). Self-employment intentions among Russian students. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 11, 269–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Vissa, B. (2011). A matching theory of entrepreneurs’ tie formation intentions and initiation of economic exchange. Academy of Management Journal, 54(1), 137–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Wiklund, J., & Shepherd, D. (2003). Aspiring for, and achieving growth: the moderating role of resources and opportunities. Journal of Management Studies, 40(8), 1919–1941.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Zhao, H., Seibert, S. E., & Hills, G. E. (2005). The mediating role of self-efficacy in the development of entrepreneurial intentions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90(6), 1265–1272.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of BusinessFlorida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA

Personalised recommendations