Proactive Personality and Entrepreneurial Intent: Is Entrepreneurial Self-efficacy a Mediator or Moderator?


Purpose – Purpose – The purpose of the present study, which is part of a larger cross-cultural study, was to examine two potential antecedents of intent (EI): proactive (PP) and entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE). Specifically, we were interested in empirically testing the mechanism (mediation/moderation) by which ESE affected the relationship between PP/EI.

Design/methodology/approach – Design/methodology/approach – For testing the mediation and moderation hypotheses we used Structural Equation Modeling and moderated regression analysis respectively.

Findings – Findings – We found that PP has a robust relationship with the three different manifestations of EI—general, high growth, and lifestyle. Furthermore, ESE not only mediated the relationship between PP and all the three forms of EI but also moderated the relationship between PP and high growth EI as well as PP and lifestyle EI.

Research limitations/implications – Research limitations/implications –We studied intent, not behavior, with the understanding that cognitive intent is a powerful predictor of later behavior. Future research can replicate this study using entrepreneurial behavior instead of intent. Implications for education and future research are discussed.
Practical implications – Practical implications – The results of the study can be used and applied to both pedagogic and business settings in the field of entrepreneurship.
Originality/value – Originality/value – The present study not only provides evidence for the robust relationship between EI and PP but provides insight into the mechanism by which ESE affects EI/PP relationship.
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