Contributors to an Enterprising Gender: Examining the Influence of Creativity on Entrepreneurial Intentions and the Moderating Role of Political Skill Controlling for Gender

Article excerpt


Previous research indicates a positive relationship between creativity and entrepreneurship. Research also indicates a tendency for successful entrepreneurs to possess certain skills and abilities and to engage in activities that reflect their political astuteness. In addition, numerous studies have supported the importance of behavioral intentions as they relate to actions. Thus, this research endeavor focused on intentions, as it investigated the relationship between creativity and entrepreneurial intentions among female and male undergraduate students, and attempted to determine whether political skill moderated the relationship. The results revealed that there was a statistically significant positive relationship between creativity and entrepreneurial intentions among both female and male undergraduate students. The results also revealed that although political skill did have a positive correlation with entrepreneurial intentions, it did not moderate the relationship between creativity and entrepreneurial intentions.

Keywords: Creativity, Political Skill, Entrepreneurial Intentions


The field of entrepreneurship has garnered significant research interest, and the volume of entrepreneurship research continues to grow (Chandler & Lyon, 2001). One of the reasons for continued interest in entrepreneurship is the realization that entrepreneurial activity plays a role in economic progress. According to Zacharakis, Bygrave and Shepherd (2000), entrepreneurship is strongly associated with economic growth, and entrepreneurial companies account for between one-third and one-half of the variance in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between countries. Another reason for the continued interest in entrepreneurship is its social impact, as many entrepreneurs go beyond the quest for commerce and economic gain, and contribute to "worthy causes," using their resources as a vehicle for social change. Steyaert and Katz (2004) mention entrepreneurship becoming a visible process in multiple sites and spaces, and diverse areas including the health sector, ecology (e.g., ecopreneurs), non-governmental development organizations, education, and art and culture.

Despite the "glass ceiling" barrier being a mechanism to persuade women to leave larger businesses and start their own operations (Orhan & Scott, 2001), and although there is widespread agreement concerning the economic and social benefits of entrepreneurship, statistics show that women are less likely to engage in entrepreneurial activity than their male counterparts. The Center for Women's Business Research (2009) reports that only 28.2% of all businesses in the United States (US) are owned by women, and only 4.2% of all revenues are generated by women-owned businesses in the US.

This seeming under-representation of women in entrepreneurship provides sound rationale to study women's entrepreneurial intentions separately from those of their male counterparts. Results from research may then be used to address the dearth of entrepreneurial activity among women (compared to men). Entrepreneurial intentions form the initial strategic template for new organizations and are important underpinnings of new venture development (Bird, 1988). Therefore, in the quest to understand entrepreneurial behavior among women, it is logical to first investigate entrepreneurial intentions, and to discover the influencing factors that affect entrepreneurial intentions among women.

Personal characteristics are often investigated to aid in the explanation of phenomena pertaining to entrepreneurial activity. Support from the literature regarding the relevance of personal characteristics, particularly creativity and political skill, when studying entrepreneurship constructs, leads this researcher to examine these variables' influence on entrepreneurial intentions, which precede entrepreneurial behavior (Bird, 1988; Katz & Gartner, 1988; Krueger & Carsrud, 1993). …