The Development of Entrepreneurial Intention: The Role of Individual and Contextual Assets.
Abstract: Entrepreneurship has the potential to lead to economic growth and
personal fulfillment. Although many adolescents appear to have an interest in becoming
entrepreneurs, few adults actually become entrepreneurs. The gap between adolescents'
intentions and adults' behaviors is worrisome given the potential for entrepreneurship to
lead to positive outcomes for individuals and their conte... read morexts. To date, little is known
about how entrepreneurial intent develops and the specific patterns of development of
entrepreneurial intent. Accordingly, the goal of this dissertation is to propose a
developmental model of entrepreneurship and to examine how this model applies to the
development of participants' entrepreneurial intentions. I used quantitative data from
three waves of the Young Entrepreneurs Study to identify the trajectories of three
instances of entrepreneurial intent (i.e., traditional, social, and intrapreneurial) and to
explore the relation of several demographic and predictor variables to each trajectory
class across each intention. Findings provided support for the existence of six trajectory
classes that best described the development of traditional entrepreneurial intent, six
trajectory classes that best described the development of social entrepreneurial intent,
and seven trajectory classes that best described the development of intrapreneurial intent.
In addition, subscales of the Entrepreneurial Intentional Self Regulation questionnaire,
whether participants had identified a career goal, and the presence of an entrepreneurial
parent differentiated among the trajectory classes for each instance of entrepreneurial
intent. I discuss the implications of these findings for future research and point to ways
to promote the development of entrepreneurship across the life span.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2015.
Submitted to the Dept. of Child Development.
Advisor: Richard Lerner.
Committee: Tama Leventhal, Sara Johnson, and Kendall Bronk.
Keywords: Developmental psychology, and Vocational education.read less