The purpose of this paper is to test a theoretical model examining the potential impact of abstract thinking on entrepreneurial intentions (EI). The impact of perceived desirability of entrepreneurship on the relationship between abstraction and intentions was also examined.
A total of 155 participants completed measures of abstraction, self-efficacy, desirability and EI. Hierarchical regression was used. A bootstrapping approach was utilized to test for mediation.
High levels of abstraction were positively related to EI, while also interacting with self-efficacy. High levels of abstraction counteracted otherwise low levels of self-efficacy, resulting in subsequently higher intentions. The perceived desirability of entrepreneurship mediated the relationship between abstraction and EI.
The scope of analysis and student population sample may limit generalizability.
The results identify a cognitive process that may help individuals overcome feasibility concerns. Entrepreneurial training programs might choose to instruct individuals that, when encountering a roadblock, they should focus on their ideals and the bigger picture rather than being discouraged by the challenges of the process.
The results provide insight into the psychological processes that lead individuals to become entrepreneurs. The study helps in explaining the mechanism by which a tendency toward abstract thinking leads to stronger EI and identifies an additional antecedent to individuals’ perceptions of desirability toward entrepreneurship.
Bazzy, J.D., Smith, A.R. and Harrison, T. (2019), "The impact of abstract thinking on entrepreneurial intentions", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 323-337. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-03-2018-0128Download as .RIS
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