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The impact of higher education on entrepreneurial intention and human capital

Renato Passaro (Department of Engineering, Parthenope University of Naples, Naples, Italy)
Ivana Quinto (Online University Pegaso, Naples, Italy)
Antonio Thomas (Department of Engineering, Parthenope University of Naples, Naples, Italy)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 8 January 2018

2763

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of higher education on the emergence of entrepreneurial intention (EI) and human capital (HC) as a component of intellectual capital (IC) that strongly influences the entrepreneurial process.

Design/methodology/approach

On the basis of a literature review, a theoretical model that is focused on the theory of planned behaviour was defined to verify the impact of higher education on the development of EI and HC. To this end, the structural equation modelling methodology was applied to two samples of students and academics, which differ each other in terms of both education level and specific characteristics of entrepreneurship education activities.

Findings

The main results show that there are significant differences between the two considered samples. In particular, the level and specific characteristics of entrepreneurial education are the key factors for the development of EI and HC.

Practical implications

The research may be of relevance for universities and policy makers. Universities must devote more attention to training and practice-oriented entrepreneurial courses and collateral activities (projects, initiatives, actions), both for students (first mission) and academic aspiring entrepreneurs (third mission) to encourage the emergence of EI and HC formation. For policy makers, this study suggests the need to define policy guidelines and frameworks to support universities’ educational programmes and activities to strengthen the entrepreneurial process, so that they can be consistent with the EU and national entrepreneurship policies.

Originality/value

This explorative research intends to contribute to the scientific debate by filling the knowledge gap that is due to the very limited number of studies that analyse whether and how EI can mediate the relationship between higher education and HC as an IC component.

Keywords

Citation

Passaro, R., Quinto, I. and Thomas, A. (2018), "The impact of higher education on entrepreneurial intention and human capital", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 135-156. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIC-04-2017-0056

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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