Burst Bubbles or Build Steam? Entrepreneurship Education, Entrepreneurial Self-Efficacy, and Entrepreneurial Intentions



This paper contextualizes the relationship between student's self-efficacy beliefs and entrepreneurial intentions in the content and pedagogy of the entrepreneurship course. Using the logic of regulatory focus theory, we argue that the nature of the entrepreneurship course—whether theoretically or practically oriented—creates a distinct motivational frame for entrepreneurship in promotion or prevention terms. When coupled with students' self-efficacy beliefs, this frame can strengthen or weaken their intentions for future entrepreneurial efforts. We test this hypothesis through a survey of 114 students enrolled in different entrepreneurship courses at a major British university. Our results show that higher self-efficacy is associated with lower entrepreneurial intentions in the theoretically oriented courses and higher entrepreneurial intentions in the practically oriented courses. We draw a number of implications for the theory and practice of entrepreneurship education.