Does direct experience matter? Examining the consequences of current entrepreneurial behavior on entrepreneurial intention
Entrepreneurial behavior research has used intention models to explain how an individual’s beliefs shape the attitudes and motivations that influence entrepreneurial intention. Nevertheless, as entrepreneurship promotion initiatives become global, it becomes relevant to explore the consequences of being engaged in entrepreneurial behavior on entrepreneurial intention. We aim to shed light on whether the direct experience reinforces an individual’s entrepreneurial intention or reduces it. Building on an extended version of the planned behavior theory, we use the behavioral reasoning theory to propose a research design to study the influence of being currently engaged in entrepreneurial behavior on entrepreneurial intention. We introduce individual’s age as an additional moderator of the effects of directly experiencing entrepreneurial behavior. We use PLS-MGA to complete a multi-group SEM analysis for different groups of individuals (from a sample of 430), comparing groups based on their entrepreneurial activity and age group. Results of this research work evidence that current engagement in entrepreneurship activities produces significant differences in the intention to start a new venture between older and younger participants. The results suggest that engagement in entrepreneurial activity modifies entrepreneurial intention and that these effects are contingent to the individual’s age. This research work contributes to the extant call to explore reverse causality between actual behavior and an individual’s intention by introducing behavioral reasoning theory. These results provide support to initiatives to adapt entrepreneurship promotion efforts to the specific characteristics of the participants.
KeywordsEntrepreneurial Intention Behavioral reasoning Theory of planned behavior Senior entrepreneurship
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