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I meant to do that! Manipulating entrepreneurial intentions through the power of simple plans

Craig E. Armstrong (University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Publication date: 11 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

Intentions capture the motivational factors that influence a given behavior and indicate how hard a person is willing to try in order to perform the behavior. An individual's entrepreneurial intentions are a function of the perceived feasibility and desirability of engaging in a particular entrepreneurial behavior. Because they are perceptual factors, the processes of assessing feasibility and desirability of entrepreneurial behaviors tends to be limited to the cognitive abilities of the specific individual. The purpose of this paper is to use an experimental manipulation to illustrate to students how the simple act of planning can dramatically influence entrepreneurial intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws from two sections of undergraduate study-abroad students who developed a severe craving for American foods they missed. Both sections assessed the desirability and feasibility of a particular entrepreneurial behavior (organizing an event to get the missed food), but one section was provided with a half-hour of classroom time to plan for the event.

Findings

The group of students who engaged in planning activities was significantly more likely to view the behavior as feasible and, in turn, had significantly higher intentions to engage in the behavior. This experiment provided a simple but powerful demonstration to students of how important a role planning plays in shaping entrepreneurial intentions.

Originality/value

This study offers a pedagogy that uses students both as participants and the primary audience of a manipulation of perceived feasibility and entrepreneurial intentions. Conducting this simple experiment and sharing the results with students provides dramatic evidence of the power of simple planning.

Keywords

Citation

E. Armstrong, C. (2014), "I meant to do that! Manipulating entrepreneurial intentions through the power of simple plans", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 638-652. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSBED-10-2011-0016

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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