University of Twente Student Theses


The influence of percieved social norms on entrepreneurial intentions

Ridder, A. (2008) The influence of percieved social norms on entrepreneurial intentions.

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Abstract:The central theme in this study is the influence of Social Norm Perception on Entrepreneurial Intentions. This choice was motivated by two facts. One is that the University of Twente systematically worked on the creation of an entrepreneurial climate and promoted entrepreneurship as a professional career for the past 25 years and the other were the varying findings on the importance of perceived social norms in leading research on the explanation of entrepreneurial intentions. Entrepreneurial intentions are often explained by research models that combine personal factors and perceptions of situational factors. In many studies the explanatory power of personal factors on entrepreneurial intentions has been proved. This study therefore concentrates on perceptions of Social Norm, as a proxy for situational factors. Sources of social norm are found in people’s private environments, family and friends. Studies on social norm and its communication suggested that sources from broader environments and effects of group influence might be added to these, to have a multidimensional operationalisation of social norm. Also a distinction should be made between descriptive social norm – inspiring role models and career examples, and prescriptive social norm – prevailing opinions on entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship.The results of this study show a significant difference between males and females where entrepreneurial intentions are concerned. In general, perceptions of social norm have little explanatory power for entrepreneurial intentions, considering this, descriptive norms more than prescriptive norms. Also the bachelor major programs students read, in terms of it having a male, female or neutral image, seem to play a role. Three additional findings are worth mentioning here. The first is that there is much diversity among students as to the sources they perceive social norms from. Second is that the university is not significant as a source of inspirational role models for entrepreneurship, with the exception of fellow students. From this, the conclusion could be drawn that the slogan “the entrepreneurial university” does little to recruit new students. Finally, at the moment students appear to choose study programs that are deemed correct for their sex
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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