Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by Robert Blackburn, Ulla Hytti and Friederike Welter
Chapter 5: The effect of university and social environments on graduates’ start-up intentions: an exploratory study in Iberoamerica
Differences in entrepreneurial activity among countries and regions can be explained not only by economic variables (Davidsson and Wiklund 1997) but also by socio-cultural characteristics (Davisson 1995; Thornton et al. 2012), manifested in various forms at national, regional, and organizational levels (George and Zahra 2002; Gnyawali and Fogel 1994). According to Busenitz et al. (2014), fruitful avenues for future entrepreneurship research occur at the interface between opportunities and a new organizational mode, as well as with the environmental changes being brought about through new technologies, regulatory adjustments, organizational shifts, climate or disasters and so forth, which can influence the need for new opportunities to emerge. For example, economic patterns can compel universities to become entrepreneurial organizations, lead their members to become potential entrepreneurs, and ensure that their interactions with diverse environments follow an entrepreneurial pattern (Guerrero and Urbano 2012). Taking into account the basis of social cognitive perspective, individuals’ decisions are the result of the interaction of behavioral, cognitive, and environmental factors (Bandura 1991). Individuals’ entrepreneurial intentions (behaviors) are influenced by cognitive factors—such as the attitudes required to explore/exploit entrepreneurial initiatives and their self-efficacy— and by environmental factors, including both the university context and social norms.
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