Personal agency and entrepreneurial intentions among business students


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Entrepreneurship literature refers to entrepreneurial activity as an agency and has established intention as the most critical antecedent of entrepreneurial behavior. The study investigates the relationship between personal agency and entrepreneurial intention using a sample of students considering their entry into employment. The study draws on an agency theory that incorporates actors’ temporal orientations. Since intention can be regarded as a possible manifestation of one’s agentic perceptions, introducing the notion of time in the study of intention would provide additional insight into the entrepreneurial intention process. A moderated mediation model was applied, and survey data of 537 business students attending a Greek public university were used. The findings indicated that students’ perceptions of agentic capacities stimulate their entrepreneurial intention. Specifically, emancipation, defined as one’s present judgment of having the capacity to construct courses of action in relation to career matters, explains further the development of self-reported intentions by affecting perceived behavioral control and individual attitudes; this variable has a more significant influence. The findings also indicated that future orientation, defined as one’s perceptions of having the capacity for long-term planning, influences the effect of emancipation on entrepreneurial intention by making positive attitudes toward entrepreneurship more salient.

This paper was financially supported by the Special Account for Research Grants, University of West Attica.

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    • Figure 1. Relationship between personal attitude and entrepreneurial intentions for different levels of future orientation
    • Figure 2. Final validated model
    • Table 1. Distribution of student population by department
    • Table 2. Means, standard deviations, and intercorrelations among variables
    • Table 3. Regression results for the mediation effects
    • Table 4. Indirect effect of emancipation on entrepreneurial intention
    • Table 5. Regression results for the moderation effects
    • Table 6. Moderation effect of future orientation in the emancipation- entrepreneurial intention relationship (via attitude)
    • Conceptualization
      Evangelia Koutsogianni
    • Formal Analysis
      Evangelia Koutsogianni, Dimitrios Stavroulakis, Miltiadis Chalikias, Alexandros Sahinidis
    • Investigation
      Evangelia Koutsogianni, Dimitrios Stavroulakis
    • Methodology
      Evangelia Koutsogianni, Miltiadis Chalikias
    • Project administration
      Evangelia Koutsogianni, Dimitrios Stavroulakis
    • Writing – original draft
      Evangelia Koutsogianni
    • Writing – review & editing
      Evangelia Koutsogianni, Dimitrios Stavroulakis, Alexandros Sahinidis
    • Supervision
      Dimitrios Stavroulakis, Alexandros Sahinidis
    • Validation
      Dimitrios Stavroulakis, Miltiadis Chalikias, Alexandros Sahinidis
    • Data curation
      Miltiadis Chalikias
    • Resources
      Miltiadis Chalikias