THE IMPACT OF INDIVIDUAL, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL FACTORS ON THE SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURIAL INTENTIONS OF BUSINESS STUDENTSIrena Kedmenec
, 2015, doctoral dissertation
Abstract: Social entrepreneurship is a rather new concept in the scientific literature, with many definitions, due to numerous approaches to the phenomenon and its numerous manifestations. This thesis wants to contribute to the field by exploring the creation of social entrepreneurial intention. Building on the theory of entrepreneurial event, it was proposed that social entrepreneurial intention had three main antecedents: perceived desirability of social entrepreneurship, propensity to act and perceived feasibility of social entrepreneurship. Based on the literature, three sets of factors that facilitate the formation of social entrepreneurial intention were proposed: individual, social and cultural factors.
A questionnaire was created in order to collect the data. The questionnaire was completed by business students in five countries: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, and Slovenia.
Firstly, the regression model confirmed that the perceived desirability of social entrepreneurship and perceived feasibility of social entrepreneurship had a positive impact on social entrepreneurial intention. However, propensity to act was not a significant antecedent of social entrepreneurial intention.
Secondly, the impact of different factors on the perceived desirability and perceived feasibility of social entrepreneurship was explored. Three individual factors were proven to have a statistically significant positive impact on social entrepreneurship desirability: social entrepreneurship education, experience in prosocial behaviour, and empathy. None of the investigated social factors in the model had any statistically significant impact on social entrepreneurship desirability. Out of the analysed cultural factors, three of them had statistically significant impacts. These are power distance, masculinity and individualism.
In the next phase, it was examined which individual, social and cultural factors influence the perceived feasibility of social entrepreneurship. Of the analysed individual factors, experience in prosocial behaviour again proved to have statistically significant positive impact. Hardship in life and creativity also increase the perceived feasibility of social entrepreneurship. Having a social entrepreneur among family and/or friends made social entrepreneurship look more feasible to the respondents. Knowing the entrepreneurial environment also increased the confidence in one’s ability to pursue a career in social entrepreneurship. Out of our cultural dimensions, only the power distance had a small positive influence.
The research clearly establishes that an experience in prosocial behaviour strengthens social entrepreneurial intentions. Therefore, social entrepreneurship education should include gaining some experience in volunteering, activism and making donations. One of the factors that influence social entrepreneurship feasibility is creativity. Educators should give their students various assignments that develop creative thinking. These assignments should include an analysis of social problems in the local community and the development of possible solutions by using the resources at hand. This research confirms that investing in entrepreneurship infrastructure is justifiable, since the students with greater understanding of its main components scored higher in social entrepreneurship feasibility. The impact would probably be even stronger if special funding schemes and incubators designed specifically for social entrepreneurs were developed. Students should also receive the message that social entrepreneurs’ efforts are appreciated in their society.
In future research, the model of social entrepreneurial intention should be upgraded with other possible factors of influence. Future studies should also explore the relationship between social entrepreneurial intention and behaviour by applying a longitudinal design.
Keywords: social entrepreneurial intention, social entrepreneurship, individual differences, social capital, culture
Published: 16.06.2015; Views: 1692; Downloads: 249
Full text (12,62 MB)