Entrepreneurial intentions of business students: a matter of masculinity and femininity

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the entrepreneurial intention of business students, with an emphasis on their masculine and feminine characteristics, instead of the usual classification male / female. While recent studies have increased the understanding of the implications of being a man or woman (sex differences) on entrepreneurial intention, papers which examine whether masculinity and/or femininity (gender differences) impact entrepreneurial intention are rare. The Theory of Planned Behavior is used as underlying framework, with entrepreneurial intention as dependent variable and its three antecedents (‘attitude towards behavior’, ‘subjective norms’, and ‘perceived behavior control’). Masculinity and femininity are measured by the Bem Sex Role Inventory Model. The results are analyzed by structural equation modeling. Students with high masculinity have significant higher entrepreneurial intentions than students with low masculinity. There is a significant association between masculinity and entrepreneurial intentions through the mediating role of attitude towards behavior and subjective norms. Furthermore femininity has a positive impact on entrepreneurial intentions with subjective norms as mediator. This study contributes to the debate which personality traits influence entrepreneurial intention and further deepens the discussion how educators could approach different types of students in order to stimulate their interest in entrepreneurship. Previously conflicting results about the impact of sex on entrepreneurial intention can perhaps be solved if studies are in the future enriched with socially constructed gender variables.

Davy Vercruysse, Stephanie Birkner, Entrepreneurial Intentions of Business Students: A Matter of Masculinity and Femininity, European Business & Management. Vol. 7, No. 3, 2021, pp. 72-84. doi: 10.11648/j.ebm.20210703.13

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