CE research has identified several organizational factors that create a positive environment for CE (e.g., Hornsby, Kuratko & Zahra 2002). However, the critical question of how they influence employees to engage in CE remains largely unanswered. Especially in the early phases of innovation, employees have to drive ideas and opportunities entrepreneurially without clear guidance or structure (Kim & Wilemon 2002). We therefore argue that deeper understanding of an environment’s effects on CE can be achieved by applying an intention-based perspective.

We apply the theory of mixed control (Monsen & Urbig 2009; Urbig & Monsen 2009) to explain how an individual’s self-efficacy and the external efficacy provided by the environment foster employee’s intention to develop an innovation idea (Ajzen 1991). The theory predicts that the effect of both sources of efficacy will depend on the level of control the individual has over the situation: Control should positively moderate the effect of self-efficacy, while negatively moderating the effect of external efficacy.