Development and Cross-Cultural Application of a Specific Instrument to Measure Entrepreneurial Intentions

By Linan, Francisco; Chen, Yi-Wen | Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, May 2009 | Go to article overview

Development and Cross-Cultural Application of a Specific Instrument to Measure Entrepreneurial Intentions


Linan, Francisco, Chen, Yi-Wen, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice


This article uses Ajzen's theory of planned behavior to build an entrepreneurial intention questionnaire (EIQ) and analyzes its psychometric properties. The entrepreneurial intention model is then tested on a 519-individual sample from two rather diverse countries: Spain and Taiwan. EIQ and structural equation techniques have been used to try to overcome previous research limitations. The role of culture in explaining motivational perceptions has been specifically considered. Results indicate EIQ properties are satisfactory and strong support for the model is found. Relevant insights are derived about how cultural values modify the way individuals in each society perceive entrepreneurship.

Introduction

There is a growing body of literature arguing that intentions playa very relevant role in the decision to start a new firm. The importance of cognitive variables in understanding this personal decision has been highlighted by Baron (2004) and Shaver and Scott (1991), among other researchers. In their view, this cognitive focus provides additional insights into the complex process of entrepreneurship. "Given the impressive success of a cognitive approach in other fields (e.g., psychology, education), there ate grounds for predicting that it may also yield positive results when applied to the field of entrepreneurship" (Baron, p. 237).

This study follows the cognitive approach through the application of an entrepreneurial intention model. A number of works have been published lately about this issue. However, a lot of research is still needed to better comprehend what the factors affecting entrepreneurial perceptions are. In particular, our knowledge is specially limited in two specific areas. First, cross-cultural studies are needed for the effect of different cultures and values on the entrepreneurial intention to be better understood. Nevertheless, for different research to be comparable, measurement instruments have to be standardized. Therefore, there is also a need to develop more adequate reliable and valid instruments to analyze entrepreneurial perceptions and intentions.

The main purpose of this article is clearly in line with these needs. The present study is divided into two parts. First, the construction and psychometric properties of a newly developed instrument--the entrepreneurial intention questionnaire (EIQ)--will be described. Reliability and validity analyses will be performed to assess the adequacy of this instrument. Second, the applicability of the entrepreneurial intention model to different cultural settings will also be tested.

Empirical analyses of entrepreneurial intentions are increasingly common (Autio, Keeley, Klofsten, Parker, & Hay, 2001; Chen, Greene, & Crick, 1998; Erikson, 1999; Fayolle, Gailly, & Lassas-Clerc, 2006; Kickul & Zaper, 2000; Kolvereid, 1996b; Kolvereid & Isaksen, 2006; Krueger, 1993; Krueger & Brazeal, 1994; Krueger, Reilly, & Carsrud, 2000; Lee & Wong, 2004; Peterman & Kennedy, 2003; Reitan, 1998; Tkachev & Kolvereid, 1999; Veciana, Aponte, & Urbano, 2005; Zhao, Hills, & Siebert, 2005). Most of them have developed their own ad hoc research instruments (Chandler & Lyon, 2001). Comparisons between these works become quite problematic since differences among construct measures are sometimes substantial. Therefore, this article undertakes the task of building a measure that may be statistically robust and theoretically sound.

This instrument will then be used on samples from two quite different countries (Spain and Taiwan). Data thus obtained will be used to test the entrepreneurial intention model using structural equation techniques, following Ajzen's (1991) formulation of the theory of planned behavior (TPB). This implies the existence of structural relationships. In the past, most research on entrepreneurial intentions has used linear regression models (Chandler & Lyon, 2001) despite the risk of biased results. …

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