This paper aims to develop and validate measures of four constructs that have often been identified as antecedents of social entrepreneurial behavior: empathy with marginalized people, a feeling of moral obligation to help these, a high level of self-efficacy concerning the ability to effect social change and perceived availability of social support. Nomological validity is demonstrated by showing that, as specified by Mair and Noboa (2006), empathy and moral obligation are positively associated with perceived desirability and self-efficacy and social support with perceived feasibility of starting a social venture. The Social Entrepreneurial Antecedents Scale (SEAS) provides a basis for future research into the effectiveness of social entrepreneurship education, allowing us to study how different educational interventions impact the four SEAS constructs.
The paper draws on data from two surveys of business school students. Data analysis used both exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis for this study. Exploratory factor analysis was used on a first sample to establish the number of factors best representing the data, as well as to identify possibly issues with cross-loadings. Next confirmatory factor analysis was used on the second sample to verify the goodness of fit for the model. Finally, nomological validity was confirmed.
First, this article develops and refines measures of empathy, moral obligation, self-efficacy and perceived social support within the context of social entrepreneurship. Second, the article tests the dimensionality of the constructs and shows that they are distinctive.
The resulting SEAS instrument adapts constructs such as empathy, moral obligation, self-efficacy and perceived social support to the context of social entrepreneurship and thus provides the basis for future research into the effectiveness of social entrepreneurship education.
The author sincerely thanks his colleague Wencke Gwozdz, who has been essential in introducing to structural equation modeling.
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