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University Departments and Self-Employment Intentions of Business Students: A Cross-Level Analysis


Sascha G. Walter, tel.: (49) 431-880-4378; e-mail:, to K. Praveen Parboteeah at, and to Achim Walter at


This study examines how characteristics of university departments impact students' self-employment intentions. We argue that four organizational-level factors (entrepreneurship education, entrepreneurship support programs, industry ties, and research orientation) increase such intentions. Using a data set of 1530 business students and 132 professors at 25 university departments, this study shows that entrepreneurship education and industry ties are related to self-employment intentions only for the males in our sample. A negative effect of the department's research orientation was found. Our study suggests that the organizational context plays an important but gender-specific role in shaping future entrepreneurs. Implications of our findings are discussed.