Direct and indirect effects of individual and environmental factors on motivation for self-employment

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Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship


The objective of this paper is to study the direct and mediating effects on the motivation to become self-employed of a set of two individual factors (entrepreneurial self-efficacy and risk-taking) and five environmental factors (family self-employment background, social networks, social norms, legal system support and governmental support). Based on 535 cases from the United States, results show that legal system support, social networks, social norms, entrepreneurial self-efficacy and risk-taking had a strong impact on motivation for self-employment. Family self-employment history only had a direct effect and social networks and social norms only had an indirect effect on motivation for self-employment. Our study contributes to the literature by studying motivation for self-employment, at the "middle level" of complexity by providing a summary evaluation of a model involving 17 relationships among eight constructs. In so doing, we have also given substantial attention to context. Our results suggest the need to take into account individual and environmental factors systemically and contextually. Limitations and future research are discussed. © 2010 World Scientific Publishing Company.

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