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Work values as predictors of entrepreneurial career intentions

Andreas Hirschi (Institute of Psychology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland)
Sebastian Fischer (Department of Management, Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Lueneburg, Germany)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 14 June 2013




Work values are an important characteristic to understand gender differences in career intentions, but how gender affects the relationship between values and career intentions is not well established. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether gender moderates the effects of work values on level and change of entrepreneurial intentions (EI).


In total, 218 German university students were sampled regarding work values and with EI assessed three times over the course of 12 months. Data were analysed with latent growth modelling.


Self‐enhancement and openness to change values predicted higher levels and conservation values lower levels of EI. Gender moderated the effects of enhancement and conservation values on change in EI.

Research limitations/implications

The authors relied on self‐reported measures and the sample was restricted to university students. Future research needs to verify to what extent these results generalize to other samples and different career fields, such as science or nursing.

Practical implications

The results imply that men and women are interested in an entrepreneurial career based on the same work values but that values have different effects for men and women regarding individual changes in EI. The results suggest that the prototypical work values of a career domain seem important regarding increasing the career intent for the gender that is underrepresented in that domain.


The results enhance understanding of how gender affects the relation of work values and a specific career intention, such as entrepreneurship.



Hirschi, A. and Fischer, S. (2013), "Work values as predictors of entrepreneurial career intentions", Career Development International, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 216-231.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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