University of Granada (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 3288-3296
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Entrepreneurship is an increasing relevant career option in the present labour market, which is complex and ever less rigidly structured. Traditional approaches to jobs and careers have evolved toward a broader vision of the concept, with more flexibility and dynamism, greater self-direction of the process by the individual, stronger autonomy and the acquisition of competencies that are transferrable to different working environments [1].

In this context, individuals need to develop a range of competencies, and one of major importance is resilience, defined as the ability to cope with difficult situations and to adapt to adverse environments. Taking into account the theory of planned behaviour, the aim of this empirical paper is to determine the relationship of personal attitudes toward entrepreneurship, social norm and self-efficacy in opportunity recognition with entrepreneurial intention. Also, the direct relationship between resilience and entrepreneurial intention and the mediating role played by the factors underlying entrepreneurial intention have been studied. Finally, given that problem-solving capability is often cited as a basic protection factor for resilience, the study tests the relationship of problem-solving skills with resilience.

Using structural equation modelling, we studied a sample of 1,251 business students at a Spanish university. The results obtained show that personal attitudes toward entrepreneurship, social norm and self-efficacy in opportunity recognition are directly and positively related with entrepreneurial intention. Resilience is directly and positively related to entrepreneurial intention, and also indirectly, mainly through the mediation of self-efficacy in recognising opportunities and of attitudes toward entrepreneurship. Finally, problem-solving skills are directly and positively related to resilience.

Since resilience is a competency that can be learned, the findings of this study may have important implications for entrepreneurship education because we would expect a positive impact to be achieved on students’ entrepreneurial intentions from enhancing such competencies [2]. Education helps provide entrepreneurs with the qualities required to undertake new business ventures [3]. Also, this paper contributes to the design of more comprehensive models of entrepreneurial intention, by incorporating the impact of diverse competencies and taking into account the mediating role played by the fundamental determinants of entrepreneurial intention.

[1] Baruch, Y. (2004). Transforming careers: from linear to multidirectional career paths. Organizational and individual perspectives. Career Development International 9(1), pp.58-73.
[2] Bullough, A., Renko, M., and Myatt, T. (2014). Danger zone entrepreneurs: the importance of resilience and self-efficacy for entrepreneurial intentions. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice 38(3), pp. 473-499.
[3] Jayawarna, D., Oswald, J. and Macpherson, A. (2014). Entrepreneurial potential: The role of human and cultural capitals. International Small Business Journal 32(8), pp. 918–943.
Entrepreneurship, Competencies, Resilience, Problem-solving skills, Behaviour.