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Revisiting entrepreneurial intentions: a social cognitive career theory approach


This manuscript expands upon the extant knowledge of self-efficacy by applying social cognitive career theory (SCCT) to entrepreneurship, positing that it is a robust theoretical framework to study individual entrepreneurial activity. Additionally, self-efficacy is an important entrepreneurial construct, central to our understanding of entrepreneurial phenomena, so we explore how self-efficacy shapes entrepreneurial intentions, and provide arguments regarding the roles of both domain-specific and generalized self-efficacy. More specifically, we posit several SCCT-informed propositions: person inputs (generalized self-efficacy, gender, minority status) and environmental / background inputs (prior work experience, prior entrepreneurship experience, and prior family business exposure) significantly impacted entrepreneurial self-efficacy and entrepreneurial outcome expectations; entrepreneurial self-efficacy mediates the person input – entrepreneurial outcome expectations and person input – entrepreneurial intentions relationships, and entrepreneurial outcome expectations mediates the person inputs – entrepreneurial intentions relationship. In sum, this manuscript affirms the importance of SCCT in predicting EI, thus introducing a new perspective to the entrepreneurship literature that may provide unique insights in other areas as well.

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Correspondence to Eric W. Liguori.

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Liguori, E.W., Bendickson, J.S. & McDowell, W.C. Revisiting entrepreneurial intentions: a social cognitive career theory approach. Int Entrep Manag J 14, 67–78 (2018).

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  • Social cognitive career theory
  • Self-efficacy
  • Entrepreneurial intentions