PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to test a theoretical model examining the potential impact of abstract thinking on entrepreneurial intentions (EI). The impact of perceived desirability of entrepreneurship on the relationship between abstraction and intentions was also examined.Design/methodology/approachA total of 155 participants completed measures of abstraction, self-efficacy, desirability and EI. Hierarchical regression was used. A bootstrapping approach was utilized to test for mediation.FindingsHigh levels of abstraction were positively related to EI, while also interacting with self-efficacy. High levels of abstraction counteracted otherwise low levels of self-efficacy, resulting in subsequently higher intentions. The perceived desirability of entrepreneurship mediated the relationship between abstraction and EI.Research limitations/implicationsThe scope of analysis and student population sample may limit generalizability.Practical implicationsThe results identify a cognitive process that may help individuals overcome feasibility concerns. Entrepreneurial training programs might choose to instruct individuals that, when encountering a roadblock, they should focus on their ideals and the bigger picture rather than being discouraged by the challenges of the process.Originality/valueThe results provide insight into the psychological processes that lead individuals to become entrepreneurs. The study helps in explaining the mechanism by which a tendency toward abstract thinking leads to stronger EI and identifies an additional antecedent to individuals’ perceptions of desirability toward entrepreneurship.
International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 21, 2019
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