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The contribution of emotional intelligence and spirituality in understanding creativity and entrepreneurial intention of higher education students

Ana Paula Rodrigues (Department of Economics, Sociology and Management, Centre for Transdisciplinary Development Studies, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal)
Filipa Eira Jorge (Department of Economics, Sociology and Management, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal)
Carlos André Pires (University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal)
Patrícia António (Department of Economics, Sociology and Management, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 25 February 2019

Issue publication date: 13 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the role of spirituality and emotional intelligence in understanding creativity, attitudes towards entrepreneurship, perceived behavioural control (PBC) and entrepreneurial intention of students of a Portuguese higher education institution. A conceptual model is proposed representing direct and indirect relationships among these constructs.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative approach was adopted in the form of a survey questionnaire applied to a sample of 345 university students. To test the hypothesised relationships between the constructs, the authors used the path analysis technique.

Findings

Results show that personal attitudes towards entrepreneurship and PBC have a positive effect on entrepreneurial intention, and mediate the effect of emotional intelligence on entrepreneurial intention. Emotional intelligence has a direct positive effect on creativity. The results reveal no or a tenuous influence of spirituality in the various concepts studied.

Practical implications

It is expected that the model can serve as a support for facilitating and promoting entrepreneurship in higher education environments. It could be of valuable use to furthering our understanding of the role of individual/psychological characteristics, motivational and attitudinal factors in fostering entrepreneurial intention of university students.

Originality/value

Some studies suggest that psychological factors play an essential role in developing alternative models to the entrepreneurial process. However, the studies that directly explore how individual differences in emotional intelligence, spirituality and creativity relate to entrepreneurial intention are relatively few.

Keywords

Citation

Rodrigues, A.P., Jorge, F.E., Pires, C.A. and António, P. (2019), "The contribution of emotional intelligence and spirituality in understanding creativity and entrepreneurial intention of higher education students", Education + Training, Vol. 61 No. 7/8, pp. 870-894. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-01-2018-0026

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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