Mediation and Moderated Mediation in the Relationship Among Role Models, Self-Efficacy, Entrepreneurial Career Intention, and Gender


Anat BarNir or Warren E. Watson, Department of Management, COB, University of North Texas, 1155 Union Circle, #305429, Denton, TX 76203-5017. E-mail: or


This paper addresses the effects of role models and self-efficacy on forming career intentions, and whether the effects vary by gender and process. Focusing on entrepreneurship as a career choice, we explored (a) the effect of exposure to entrepreneurial role models on entrepreneurial career intention; (b) the difference in effects between men and women; and (c) the mediating functionality of self-efficacy. Results indicate that role models have a significant and positive impact on intention, that gender moderated the effects, and that self-efficacy mediated it. A moderated mediation relationship was observed such that, for women, role models had stronger influence on self-efficacy, which, in turn, influenced entrepreneurial career intention. Results are discussed in terms of implications for theory and practice.