Abstract

Entrepreneurial self-efficacy and entrepreneurial intentions are documented predictors of an entrepreneurial career (Souitaris et al., 2007). Career choice theories tell us that an individual’s identity factors into his/her career choice. However, because of the limited inroads made in entrepreneurial identity research, as Fauchart & Gruber (2011) observe, much remains to be explored on the role of entrepreneurial identity on entrepreneurship process. We do not know how an individual’s identity, self-efficacy, and intentions play out for the consequential event of realized entrepreneurship. In this research, I develop a theory and empirically test the insights of the theory. I theorize that an individual’s entrepreneurial identity constitutes two dimensions, intrinsically prospected entrepreneurial identity and socially constructed entrepreneurial identity. Intrinsically prospected entrepreneurial identity answers the “who do I want to be” question and the socially constructed entrepreneurial identity answers the “who am I” question for an active or prospective entrepreneur. I develop arguments to make this case: Not only does entrepreneurial identity have an affirmative bearing on entrepreneurial intentions and entrepreneurial self-efficacy but the dimensions have differential impact on entrepreneurial self-efficacy and entrepreneurial intentions as well.

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