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Predicting entrepreneurial behaviour: a test of the theory of planned behaviour


  • Teemu Kautonen
  • Marco van Gelderen
  • Erno T. Tornikoski


This article contributes to the occupational choice literature pertaining to entrepreneurship by applying the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) to predict entrepreneurial behaviour. Originating from social psychology, the TPB posits that intention, a function of behavioural beliefs, is a significant predictor of subsequent behaviour. In spite of an established stream of scholarship explaining the formation of entrepreneurial intentions, empirical research has not yet employed longitudinal data to examine whether the intention to start a business measured at one point of time translates into subsequent entrepreneurial behaviour. This article provides a full test of the TPB in the prediction of business start-up intentions and subsequent behaviour based on two-wave survey data (2006 and 2009) from the working-age population in Finland. The econometric results support the predictions outlined in the TPB: attitude, perceived behavioural control and subjective norms are significant predictors of entrepreneurial intention; and intention and perceived behavioural control are significant predictors of subsequent behaviour. This research thus provides support to the application of the TPB and the concept of behavioural intention to understand the emergence of complex economic behaviour such as entrepreneurship prior to the onset of any observable action.

Suggested Citation

  • Teemu Kautonen & Marco van Gelderen & Erno T. Tornikoski, 2013. "Predicting entrepreneurial behaviour: a test of the theory of planned behaviour," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(6), pages 697-707, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:45:y:2013:i:6:p:697-707
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2011.610750

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jeff Borland & Joseph Hirschberg & Jenny Lye, 2004. "Computer knowledge and earnings: evidence for Australia," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(17), pages 1979-1993.
    2. Bartel, Ann P & Sicherman, Nachum, 1993. "Technological Change and Retirement Decisions of Older Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 162-183, January.
    3. Leora Friedberg, 2003. "The Impact of Technological Change on Older Workers: Evidence from Data on Computer Use," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 511-529, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fayolle, Alain & Liñán, Francisco, 2014. "The future of research on entrepreneurial intentions," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(5), pages 663-666.
    2. repec:wsi:jdexxx:v:22:y:2017:i:03:n:s1084946717500182 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Menozzi, Davide & Fioravanzi, Martina & Donati, Michele, 2015. "Farmer’s motivation to adopt sustainable agricultural practices," Bio-based and Applied Economics Journal, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA), issue 2, August.
    4. Francesc Miralles & Ferran Giones & Carla Riverola, 2016. "Evaluating the impact of prior experience in entrepreneurial intention," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 791-813, September.
    5. James .M. Gathungu & Pauline W. Mwangi, 2014. "Entrepreneurial Intention, Culture, Gender And New Venture Creation: Critical Review," International Journal of Business and Social Research, MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, vol. 4(2), pages 112-132, February.
    6. repec:spr:intemj:v:13:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11365-016-0430-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:rom:rmcimn:v:18:y:2017:i:1:p:31-43 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:spr:intemj:v:13:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11365-017-0449-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Richter, Nicole Franziska & Hauff, Sven & Schlaegel, Christopher & Gudergan, Siegfried & Ringle, Christian M. & Gunkel, Marjaana, 2016. "Using Cultural Archetypes in Cross-cultural Management Studies," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 63-83.
    10. repec:spr:eurasi:v:7:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40821-016-0068-y is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Renata Dana Nitu-Antonie & Emoke-Szidónia Feder, 2015. "The Role of Economic Academic Education on Entrepreneurial Behaviour," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 17(38), pages 261-261, February.
    12. Jacob Hörisch & Jana Kollat & Steven A. Brieger, 2017. "What influences environmental entrepreneurship? A multilevel analysis of the determinants of entrepreneurs’ environmental orientation," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 47-69, January.
    13. Perko, Igor, 2017. "Behaviour-based short-term invoice probability of default evaluation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 257(3), pages 1045-1054.
    14. Francesc Miralles & Ferran Giones & Brian Gozun, 0. "Does direct experience matter? Examining the consequences of current entrepreneurial behavior on entrepreneurial intention," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-23.
    15. Harms, Rainer & Luck, Florian & Kraus, Sascha & Walsh, Steven, 2014. "On the motivational drivers of gray entrepreneurship: An exploratory study," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 358-365.
    16. Bogatyreva, K. & Shirokova, G. & Osiyevskyy, O., 2016. "Intention-behavior translation in student entrepreneurship: An institutional perspective," Working Papers 6455, Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg State University.
    17. Greiner, Romy, 2015. "Motivations and attitudes influence farmers' willingness to participate in biodiversity conservation contracts," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 154-165.
    18. Zapkau, Florian B. & Schwens, Christian & Steinmetz, Holger & Kabst, Rüdiger, 2015. "Disentangling the effect of prior entrepreneurial exposure on entrepreneurial intention," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 639-653.

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