Abstract

The aim of this research is to identify potential differences in the psychological processes leading to entrepreneurial intentions and actions between students with and without entrepreneurial education experience. In order to do so, we study the diverse psychological factors that determine students’ motivation to engage in entrepreneurial activities inside and outside the University. Following the main tenets of the Theory of Planned Behaviour, Self Determination Theory, Vallerand’s Hierarchical Model of Motivation, structural equation modelling analysis indicates that students’ entrepreneurial intentions lead to entrepreneurial behaviours over time (six months) and that entrepreneurial intentions are influenced by norms, attitudes and control, while the last two are affected by students’ autonomous motivation to create a new venture. Contrary, multi-group analysis shows that autonomous motivation to create a new venture determines entrepreneurial intentions only for students who have participated in entrepreneurial courses. Most importantly, findings provide evidence regarding the applicability of the Trans-Contextual Model in the entrepreneurial domain by indicating that autonomous motivation in the University entrepreneurial education context is transferred in the venture creation context. Particularly, entrepreneurial education in the form of students’ perceived autonomy support from educators positively affects the formation of entrepreneurial intentions via first, autonomous motivation to participate in entrepreneurial courses within the University, next autonomous motivation in the venture creation, and finally via personal attitudes and perceived behavioural control.

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