Get access

The Role of Perceived University Support in the Formation of Students' Entrepreneurial Intention

Authors

  • Saadat Saeed,

    Corresponding author
    • Address correspondence to: Saadat Saeed, Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padua, via Venezia 1, 35131, Padova, Italy. E-mail: saeed.saadat@hotmail.com.

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Saadat Saeed is lecturer in the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan and a PhD student at the Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padua, Italy.
  • Shumaila Y. Yousafzai,

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Shumaila Y. Yousafzai is lecturer in the Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University.
  • Mirella Yani-De-Soriano,

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Mirella Yani-De-Soriano is senior lecturer in the Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University.
  • Moreno Muffatto

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Moreno Muffatto is professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padua.

Abstract

Entrepreneurship education is central to student entrepreneurship. Previous research has attempted to understand the role of entrepreneurship education in the formation of students' entrepreneurial intention and behavior, albeit in an isolated manner. Universities can support entrepreneurship in many ways, but it is important to measure students' perception of the support that they receive in order to understand the extent of such support and its impact on students. The current study proposed and tested an integrative, multiperspective framework. We have hypothesized that the three dimensions of university support, that is, perceived educational support, concept development support, and business development support, together with institutional support, shape students' entrepreneurial self-efficacy. In turn, entrepreneurial self-efficacy and individual motivations constitute the fundamental elements of the intention to start a business. A sample of 805 university students took part in the study and data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Our findings showed that perceived educational support exerted the highest influence on entrepreneurial self-efficacy, followed by concept development support, business development support, and institutional support. Self-efficacy in turn had a significant effect on entrepreneurial intention. Individual motivations such as self-realization, recognition, and role had an additional impact on intention. However, intention was not related to financial success, innovation, and independence. The findings suggest that a holistic perspective provides a more meaningful understanding of the role of perceived university support in the formation of students' entrepreneurial intention. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Ancillary