Academic journal article International Journal of Management

The Direct and Indirect Influences of National Culture on Entrepreneurial Intentions: A Fourteen Nation Study

Academic journal article International Journal of Management

The Direct and Indirect Influences of National Culture on Entrepreneurial Intentions: A Fourteen Nation Study

Article excerpt

While the entrepreneurship literature theoretically and empirically finds that national culture influences different components of the entrepreneurial process, there remains considerable debate as to whether national culture influences individuals' intent to start an own business. Drawing on the theory of planned behavior, this study examines the influence of national cultural dimensions on entrepreneurial intent. Combining primary survey data of 2,063 university business students from 14 countries with secondary cultural dimension scores our structural equation analysis shows that national culture directly and indirectly affects entrepreneurial intent. The determinants of entrepreneurial intent partially mediate the relationship between entrepreneurial intent and the cultural dimensions. Our results indicate that individuals in countries characterized by low individualism, high uncertainty avoidance, low masculinity, and low power distance tend to have higher entrepreneurial intent. The findings support the view that entrepreneurship is a process that is influenced by individual dissatisfaction with existing conditions in organizations and society. The results as well as their implications are discussed and further research directions are outlined.

Introduction

The economic decisions of individuals are influenced not only by cognitive processes, but also by the national institutional environment. Following North (1990) the institutional framework consists of a country's cultural beliefs, norms, and values (informal institutions), which are shared by most individuals in a society, and a country's set of laws, rules, and regulations (formal institutions) within which individuals operate. The rate of entrepreneurship at the societal level depends upon the opportunities provided by the environment and as well as the capabilities and preferences of the individuals, which are influenced by the informal and formal environment (Hofstede et al., 2004). Research on the influences of the informal and formal institutional environment on entrepreneurial activity and behavior has examined a wide array of potential determinants which foster or hinder entrepreneurship. While much attention has been given to intent models to examine the individual antecedents of entrepreneurial intent in single-country studies only a limited number of studies systematically compare entrepreneurial intent and its determinants across several countries (e.g., Griffiths, Kickul, and Carsrud, 2009; Moriano et al. 201 1 ; Iakovleva, Kolvereid, and Stephan, 201 1). Therefore, it remains unclear at which stage of the entrepreneurial process cultural norms and values are effective. Toward a better understanding of the way in which national culture influences entrepreneurship, it is necessary to examine which stages of the entrepreneurial process are affected by informal institutional conditions. The objective of this study is to investigate the role of the informal institutional environment in the development of entrepreneurial intent. Thereby, we examine the influence of national cultural dimensions on entrepreneurial intent and the social-cognitive intentional determinants proposed by the theory of planned behavior.

Theoretical Framework and Hypotheses

Entrepreneurial intent refers to the intention of an individual to start a new business. Several studies (e.g., Krueger and Carsrud, 1993) have recognized the important role played by entrepreneurial intent. Previous research has proven that Ajzen's (1 99 1) theory of planned behavior (hereafter TPB) successfully predicts entrepreneurial intent in a variety of countries (e.g., Krueger, Reilly, and Carsrud, 2000). Ajzen (1991) identified three conceptually independent determinants of intention, namely attitude toward the behavior, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control. Attitude towards the behavior is defined as the evaluative affect of the individual towards performing the behavior. …

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