Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration

First Advisor

Dai, Ye

Second Advisor

Mykytyn, Peter


Entrepreneurship is a major economic force and a salient personal behavior through which individuals achieve personal goals. A better understanding of entrepreneurial intention is crucial to fostering entrepreneurial behavior since intention precedes behavior. Considering the importance of the concepts of social and commercial entrepreneurs, the study examined whether social and commercial entrepreneurial intentions are motivated by a similar set of attitudes and personal values. It provided an answer to why and how an individual intends to become either a social or a commercial entrepreneur.To understand motivational similarities and differences between social and commercial entrepreneurial intention, the conceptual framework relying on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and Basic Human Values Theory was proposed. In the developed model, the value set of entrepreneurial intentions is differentiated and categorized through Schwartz’s personal values and materialism. And perceived behavioral control and attitude towards entrepreneurship, two constructs capturing attitudinal differences, were used as two main explanatory variables with subjective norms (SN) as a moderator to represent its motivating power on attitudes, values, and intentions. Analyses of survey data collected from 1029 participants demonstrated a significant direct effect of attitude towards entrepreneurship, perceived behavioral control, self-enhancement values, and materialism on both entrepreneurial intentions. Self-transcendence affects social entrepreneurial intention significantly. Further, in the presence of positive subjective norms, a positive change in perceived behavioral control led to the development of both entrepreneurial intentions. And in the presence of openness to change values, a positive change in attitude toward commercial entrepreneurship motivated the development of commercial entrepreneurial intention. The remaining personal values negatively moderated the relationship between attitudinal components and entrepreneurial intentions. In the presence of materialism, a positive change in attitudinal components led to a negative intention to pursue entrepreneurship as a career. The corroborating evidence of the effect of materialism on social entrepreneurial intention development supported the underlying economic motive of social entrepreneurs. SPSS hierarchical regression technique tested proposed hypotheses using data collected from student subjects and the MTurk sample.




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