How university context (UC) enhances students’ entrepreneurial intentions and opportunity recognition is an emerging topic. It is known that students learn, not only from educational programmes, but also from the context in which they are embedded. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of such context on student’s entrepreneurial intentions and opportunity recognition.
The authors use a three-dimensional institutional framework to describe UC including regulative, normative and cognitive structures. Regulative structures refer to rules and regulations, support initiatives in relation to entrepreneurship; normative structures include shared values and norms; while cognitive structures apply to knowledge among students and faculty. A heterogeneous sample of 196 respondents from five countries was used to create reliable measures of UC and to test the hypotheses with the help of regression analysis.
The findings indicate that two dimensions of UC in particular (regulative and normative) were shown to be of great importance in increasing entrepreneurial intentions and opportunity recognition among students.
The study contributes to this further by suggesting a reliable and theory-grounded scale of UC. Furthermore, this study adds to the discussion on entrepreneurship education by proving evidence of the importance of UC on entrepreneurial intentions. The important contribution is acknowledgement of the fact that social systems both constrain and enable entrepreneurs in their discovery, evaluation and exploitation of opportunities. The authors have established that “would-be student entrepreneurs” do not exist separately from their structural context. Attempts to understand them outside of this context cannot, therefore, fully capture their nature.
Oftedal, E.M., Iakovleva, T.A. and Foss, L. (2018), "University context matter: An institutional perspective on entrepreneurial intentions of students", Education + Training, Vol. 60 No. 7/8, pp. 873-890. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-06-2016-0098
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