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Effects of role models and gender on students’ entrepreneurial intentions

Saeid Karimi (Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Faculty of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran)
Harm J.A. Biemans (Education and Competence Studies, School of Social Sciences, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
Thomas Lans (Education and Competence Studies, School of Social Sciences, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
Mohammad Chizari (Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Agricultural College, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran)
Martin Mulder (Education and Competence Studies, School of Social Sciences, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands)

European Journal of Training and Development

ISSN: 2046-9012

Article publication date: 27 August 2014

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to, drawing on the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), explore the effects of entrepreneurial role models on entrepreneurial intention (EI) and its antecedents and examines the question of whether the effects vary by gender.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from a sample of 331 students at seven universities in Iran. Structural equation modelling and bootstrap procedure were used to analyse the data.

Findings

Consistent with the TPB, our results show entrepreneurial role models to indirectly influence EIs via the antecedents of intention. No gender differences in the relationship between perceived behaviour control and EIs were found, but gender did moderate the other relationships within the TPB. Attitude towards entrepreneurship was a weaker predictor and subjective norms a stronger predictor of EIs for female students than for their male counterparts. Furthermore, perceived behaviour control and attitudes towards entrepreneurship were more strongly influenced by role models for females as opposed to male students.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies should go beyond examining the mere fact of knowing entrepreneurial role models to examine the mechanisms underlying the relationship between role models and EIs.

Practical implications

The results of this study have clear implications for both educators and policymakers.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the entrepreneurship literature by incorporating entrepreneurial role models and gender into the TPB and investigating their mediating and moderating effects within the model.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

©Saeid Karimi, Harm J.A. Biemans, Thomas Lans, Mohammad Chizari, & Martin Mulder

A short version of this paper was published in the proceedings of the 3rd World Conference on Learning, Teaching and Educational Leadership, 2013 (Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 93, pp. 204-214).

Citation

Karimi, S., J.A. Biemans, H., Lans, T., Chizari, M. and Mulder, M. (2014), "Effects of role models and gender on students’ entrepreneurial intentions", European Journal of Training and Development, Vol. 38 No. 8, pp. 694-727. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJTD-03-2013-0036

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Authors