There have been few investigations regarding the relationship of gender and role models with students’ entrepreneurial intention (EI). The purpose of this study is to apply a conceptual framework to explain the relationship of gender and role models with the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) constructs: attitudes towards behaviour (ATB), subjective norms (SN), perceived behaviour control (PBC) and intentions.
The study is based on data collected from a questionnaire survey completed by 1,496 freshman Saudi students enrolled during the 2016-2017 academic year in business, finance and economics undergraduate programmes. To analyse the data and test the proposed hypotheses, a confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling (SEM) are applied.
The results show that the TPB constructs are validated in the specific Saudi context. In fact, these constructs were significantly related to EI. Only the SN and PBC constructs mediate the relationship between role models and EI. Furthermore, gender moderates the relationships of role models with EI, PBC with EI and role models with the SN. More precisely, this study reveals that gender differences in SN and PBC, and women’s EI are more likely to be influenced by the SN and PBC than men’s EI. However, PBC is a relevant determinant for both male and female students. These results differ from those of previous studies on gender influences. These results could be explained by two main reasons, such as women’s socialization and institutional processes.
The main limitation is that it was not possible to claim generalization of findings. Theoretical and managerial implications are proposed to add new evidence in the field. These results could help all stakeholders engaged in promoting entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia and stimulate appropriate and customized entrepreneurial initiatives, curriculum and policies for both men and women.
This study is one of the first to conduct such investigations in Saudi Arabia and in institutions of higher education. This study removes the stereotypes about the entrepreneurial potential of women.
Choukir, J., Aloulou, W., Ayadi, F. and Mseddi, S. (2019), "Influences of role models and gender on Saudi Arabian freshman students’ entrepreneurial intention", International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 186-206. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJGE-08-2018-0083Download as .RIS
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