Testing Students’ Entrepreneurial Self-Efficacy as an Early Predictor of Entrepreneurial Activities. Evidence From the SEAS Project
Over the last forty years, since Bandura (1977) introduced the concept of self-efficacy, there have been a constantly growing number of research publications using this concept. Its early development resulted in the creation of a new construct of entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE) proposed for the first time by (Chen et al. 1998). Since then, many different groups of research concerning ESE have emerged - one of them is the study of ESE of students. With regard to this particular group, a recent tendency to study ESE in a pre-post setting can be noticed i.a. Karlsson, Moberg (2013), Shinnar, Hsu, Powell (2014), Ismail, Zain, Zulihar (2015). Due to the increasing interest in entrepreneurial self-efficacy research and the need to fill the gap in the literature with regard to European post-communist countries (and particularly – Poland) (Drnovsek, Wincent, Cardon, 2010), in this paper we present a brief overview of ESE research and pose the question whether ESE of Polish students can serve as an early predictor of their subsequent entrepreneurial activities, potentially leading them to nascent entrepreneurship. The research material was collected from the SEAS (Survey on Entrepreneurial Attitudes of Students) Project carried out at the Faculty of Management and Economics, Gdańsk University of Technology. The research sample was composed of 72 students - ESE was measured in a pre-post setting using a single item based on a five-point Likert scale. One of the research conclusions is that ESE manifested by student-beginners seems to influence their later entrepreneurial behavior in a statistically significant way - potentially making ESE a valuable early predictor of future entrepreneurial activities. In the concluding part of the study, limitations are discussed and future study developments are indicated.
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