Abstract

This research seeks to empirically support the premise that entrepreneurial commitment, the amount of effort and length of time a person is willing to persist if they choose to take entrepreneurial action, can be measured a priori through the cognitive mechanisms of self-efficacy (Bandura, 1986) and entity-schema (Dweck, 1999, 2000). Entrepreneurial commitment represents a key component in our ability to predict entrepreneurial outcome, which, according to Gartner (1989), is a crucial component to any cognitive view of the entrepreneur.

Using data collected from a representative sample of the general business population, a sample of individuals who have recently graduated from one of the largest undergraduate business programs focused on entrepreneurship in the country, this study establishes the validity of the entrepreneurial commitment concept. While predictive ability of the model can not be established without longitudinal data, inference of predictability is established through the use of multi-group analysis to support differentiation between individuals who have an entrepreneurship major or minor and those who do not.

This study represents a substantial contribution to the field of entrepreneurship, suggesting the ability to predict a key component of the entrepreneurial process—entrepreneurial commitment. It is expected that the ability to predict entrepreneurial commitment a priori will not only increase our knowledge of the emergence process, but yield valuable information on how to assist entrepreneurs in their preparations to start a business.

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