Abstract

Promoting entrepreneurship may be vital for the success of today’s societies, which face enormous economic and social challenges (Audretsch, 2007). Referring to this, both researchers in the field of social sciences (i.e., Schmitt-Rodermund & Vondracek, 2002) and politicians (i.e., European Commission, 2006) have suggested to consider early entrepreneurial competencies in childhood and adolescence. Indeed, according to a life-span perspective of human development in general (Baltes, Lindenberger, & Staudinger, 2006) and of vocational development (Vondracek, Lerner, & Schulenberg, 1986), an entrepreneurial career might be understood as a developmental outcome. However, such a life-span perspective has been broadly neglected in empirical entrepreneurship research. Furthermore, although the role of personality is a traditional topic in entrepreneurship research, there is a research need regarding possible mediators between the personality-entrepreneurship-relation (Rauch & Frese, 2007). The objective of the present study was, therefore, to investigate the relation between early entrepreneurial competence in adolescence and personality, and entrepreneurial outcomes in adulthood (entrepreneurial intentions, Krueger & Carsrud, 1993). We focussed on academic entrepreneurship (Shane, 2004), i.e., the commercialization of new research knowledge through a firm founding.

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