The mediating effect of entrepreneurial self-efficacy in entrepreneurial intention – a study in Saudi Arabian context


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The purpose of the present study is to test how do the four important psychological antecedents, namely need for achievement (nAch), propensity to risk (PtR), self-confidence (SeC), internal locus of control (IlC) are mediated by the entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE) to predict the entrepreneurial intention (EI) in a traditionally oil-based Saudi economy striving for economic diversification. Hypotheses are tested by applying the partial least square (PLS) structural equation modeling (SEM) to a sample of 282 undergraduate business students (male and female) collected from a public university of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The results suggest that psychological variables and self-efficacy play a fundamental role in enhancing entrepreneurial intention (EI) of Saudi students. Personality-related variables have direct influence over EI in other context, but in Saudi context, psychological variables are necessary but not sufficient to develop entrepreneurial intention unless combined with self-efficacy. Self-efficacy has a strong mediating effect between psychological variables and entrepreneurial intentions in Saudi context.

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    • Figure 1. Entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE) hypothesized model
    • Figure 2. Final model results
    • Table 1. Data characteristics
    • Table 2. Descriptive statistics
    • Table 3. Pattern matrix
    • Table 4. Summary reliability and validity statistics
    • Table 5. Final mediation results