Spot the differences in traditional and social entrepreneurial intention : highlighting the role of human and social capital

D'Orazio, Pina, Monaco, Eleonora, & Tonelli, Marcello (2012) Spot the differences in traditional and social entrepreneurial intention : highlighting the role of human and social capital. In 4th International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC), 12 – 14 September, 2012, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.

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There is general agreement in the scientific community that entrepreneurship plays a central role in the growth and development of an economy in rapidly changing environments (Acs & Virgill 2010). In particular, when business activities are regarded as a vehicle for sustainable growth at large, that goes beyond mere economic returns of singular entities, encompassing also social problems and heavily relying on collaborative actions, then we more precisely fall into the domain of ‘social entrepreneurship’(Robinson et al. 2009). In the entrepreneurship literature, prior studies demonstrated the role of intentionality as the best predictor of planned behavior (Ajzen 1991), and assumed that the intention to start a business derives from the perception of desirability and feasibility and from a propensity to act upon an opportunity (Fishbein & Ajzen 1975). Recognizing that starting a business is an intentional act (Krueger et al. 2000) and entrepreneurship is a planned behaviour (Katz & Gartner 1988), models of entrepreneurial intentions have substantial implications for intentionality research in entrepreneurship. The purpose of this paper is to explore the emerging practice of social entrepreneurship by comparing the determinants of entrepreneurial intention in general versus those leading to startups with a social mission. Social entrepreneurial intentions clearly merit to be investigated given that the opportunity identification process is an intentional process not only typical of for profit start-ups, and yet there is a lack of research examining opportunity recognition in social entrepreneurship (Haugh 2005). The key argument is that intentionality in both traditional and social entrepreneurs during the decision-making process of new venture creation is influenced by an individual's perceptions toward opportunities (Fishbein & Ajzen 1975). Besides opportunity recognition, at least two other aspects can substantially influence intentionality: human and social capital (Davidsson, 2003). This paper is set to establish if and to what extent the social intentions of potential entrepreneurs, at the cognitive level, are influenced by opportunities recognition, human capital, and social capital. By applying established theoretical constructs, the paper draws comparisons between ‘for-profit’ and ‘social’ intentionality using two samples of students enrolled in Economy and Business Administration at the University G. d’Annunzio in Pescara, Italy. A questionnaire was submitted to 310 potential entrepreneurs to test the robustness of the model. The collected data were used to measure the theoretical constructs of the paper. Reliability of the multi-item scale for each dimension was measured using Cronbach alpha, and for all the dimensions measures of reliability are above 0.70. We empirically tested the model using structural equation modeling with AMOS. The results allow us to empirically contribute to the argument regarding the influence of human and social cognitive capital on social and non-social entrepreneurial intentions. Moreover, we highlight the importance for further researchers to look deeper into the determinants of traditional and social entrepreneurial intention so that governments can one day define better polices and regulations that promote sustainable businesses with a social imprint, rather than inhibit their formation and growth.

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ID Code: 54192
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional Information: Selected papers will be fast-tracked for publication in: The Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise Journal.
Keywords: Traditional and Social Entrepreneurial Intention, Human and Social Capital, Entrepreneurship
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Entrepreneurship (150304)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 please consult the authors
Deposited On: 16 Oct 2012 23:46
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2012 01:43

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