Intentionally Effects on the Outcomes of Nascent Venturing Processes

Delanoë, Servane Marie (2011). Intentionally Effects on the Outcomes of Nascent Venturing Processes. PhD thesis The Open University.



This research focuses on the nascent entrepreneurship phase, also known as the gestation or preparation phase of start-up projects. With the general objective of providing a better understanding of what happens during this phase at both the project and the nascent entrepreneur levels, it draws on a number of different entrepreneurial research approaches to generate its findings. The primary source of inspiration is intention-based research, but human and social capital measures are brought into the analysis to provide a more resource-oriented perspective. In addition, gestation behaviours are included in the study in order to reflect the process nature of nascent entrepreneurship.

The longitudinal design adopted here of surveying nascent entrepreneurs at two points in time (pre- and post-potential start), separated by one year, led to findings that are new for nascent entrepreneurship research.

First, at the project level the results presented provide strong support for the intention model in an entrepreneurial context, including the intention-behaviour link, which has hitherto been under-researched. The number of gestation activities undertaken appears to have a strong positive impact on entrepreneurial self-efficacy, intention and the subsequent actual start-up. In addition, a positive relationship between the use of professional support and the likelihood of the venture being started is apparent here.

Second, at the individual level the results suggest that being involved in a nascent venture does change people by bringing them to reassess their perceptions towards entrepreneurship. Overall, individuals seem to experience something of a reality check. Those who entered the process with highly positive perceptions revise them downwards (for example, displaying lower - or more realistic - attitude towards self-employment) and those who had less favourable initial perceptions adjust them to more positive levels.

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