Journal of Adolescence 2002, 25, 65–78 doi:10.1006/jado.2001.0449, available online at http://www.idealibrary.

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Occupational dreams, choices and aspirations: adolescents’ entrepreneurial prospects and orientations
EVA SCHMITT-RODERMUND
AND

FRED W. VONDRACEK

The present study examined possible early antecedents of entrepreneurship of 14–17year-old 10th grade students (n=320). We hypothesized that Entrepreneurial Orientation (interest and self-efficacy), together with Willingness to Expend Effort, would be an important predictor of an adolescent’s Entrepreneurial Prospects, i.e. prospects of becoming self-employed in the future. Furthermore, personality and the model of self-employed family were expected to predict the level of Entrepreneurial Orientation. The same relationships were investigated separately for students who were more or less willing to expend effort. Among students more willing to expend effort, levels of Entrepreneurial Orientation were higher for those who were conscientious, self-efficient, open to new experiences, and low in agreeableness. Among students less willing to expend effort, a high need for social recognition predicted higher levels of Entrepreneurial Orientation. In addition, parents’ model for them was connected with lower levels of Entrepreneurial Orientation. A moderating effect of Willingness to Expend Effort was supported by the results for parents’ model and need for social recognition.
r 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd on behalf of The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents

Introduction
One consequence of German unification has been an unprecedented increase in unemployment and worker dislocation, particularly in the formerly Communist eastern part of the country. In an effort to address this problem, German media, institutions, and the government have focused on promoting entrepreneurship1. A major impetus for the present focus on business start-ups has been the U.S. experience, where research finds that 80 per cent of all new jobs are the product of entrepreneurial ventures (Shane, 1996). This finding, coupled with the realization that entrepreneurship in Germany is not nearly as pervasive as it is in other countries, particularly in the U.S. has contributed to an agenda to promote new business ventures. In 1994, only 6?7 per cent of the work force in Germany was self-employed. Since 1994, this number has risen to 9?3 per cent. Current projections demonstrate an increasing trend, but the current percentage of self-employment is still considered to be too low (Deutsches ¨r Wirtschaftsforschung, 2000). Although many other countries report somewhat Institut fu lower rates than the U.S. the evidence is clear: The creation of start-up companies through entrepreneurship is one of the best ways to produce new jobs and reduce unemployment. This link between unemployment and entrepreneurial activity has been impressively
1 In this study, the term entrepreneurship is used as a category for all kinds of self-employment, including small business ownership. Apart from the fact that most programs do not differentiate between training that is designed to promote small business ownership or true entrepreneurship, in the case of the present study, which deals with adolescents, it does not make sense to discuss entrepreneurial and small business start-ups separately. Furthermore, many variables relevant for entrepreneurship also have been defined as important for the success of small businesses and vice versa (Stewart, 1996).

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# 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd on behalf of The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents

Previous research suggested that personality factors play a role in entrepreneurship. one has to consider an adolescent’s Willingness to Expend Effort in any attempt to predict an Entrepreneurial Prospect. Thus. Brockhaus and Horwitz. 1998. although it is difficult to ascertain their effectiveness (TLZ. This is particularly true in Germany. entrepreneurial skills (e. between the rate of unemployment and the rate of entrepreneurship (Bo 1990). Chell. 1986.g. Adolescents who are seriously interested in a career as an entrepreneur are likely to share both. Entrepreneurial Prospects we deem likely to be predicted by a combination of characteristics including entrepreneurial interests (e. 1995). positive relationship ¨genhold and Staber. interests. Two factors may represent the starting point of such a process. having skills related to an entrepreneur’s work. and ideas about future occupation to prospects for later entrepreneurial pursuits. Begley and Boyd. Adolescents who are willing to work hard and who are curious about the world of work. 1999). 1999). namely that entrepreneurs must be willing to devote themselves to their entrepreneurial activities to the virtual exclusion of almost everything else. This combination of entrepreneurial interests. and entrepreneurial traits (e. Schmitt-Rodermund and F. School-based programs designed to stimulate entrepreneurial pursuits have generated a great deal of interest. conscientiousness and low agreeableness .W. skills. for adolescents who are moving from school to work we hypothesize (1): that having an Entrepreneurial Orientation and Willingness to Expend Effort will predict the extent of one’s Entrepreneurial Prospects.66 E. Our research was aimed therefore. Deutsche Ausgleichsbank and Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Schule Wirtschaft. skills.g. and traits may be conceptualized as an Entrepreneurial Orientation. independent of general intelligence or achievement in any given area. For example. biographical reports from company founders in the businesses community demonstrate that ¨umler. 1966. 1987.g. Anecdotal accounts of numerous successful entrepreneurs underscore an additional point. and the provision of training and financial support for future entrepreneurs.and small-sized businesses (New York Times. Achievement orientation (McClelland. 1991). Along with having an Entrepreneurial Orientation. Vondracek documented in a multinational study that demonstrated a direct. such as salesmanship). Haworth and Brearley. plans for future self employment and career choices that allow for self-employment. where bankers and investors view training and formal education as a critical factor in their decision to invest in an entrepreneur’s products and business plan. One likely reason for the variable outcomes reported for school-based training programs for entrepreneurs may be that there is relatively little research that has examined the relationship of adolescent personality. One is that the potential entrepreneur needs to have a general idea that he or she wants to become self-employed later in life. Business start-ups usually require a great deal of planning and preparation. interest in activities related to an entrepreneur’s work such as reading business journals). Efforts to stimulate entrepreneurship have included the provision of tax reductions for existing middle. being a leader). the development of programs designed to increase general entrepreneurial motivation. may be more likely to pursue an occupation that requires self-direction and independent learning. This combination we refer to as Entrepreneurial Prospects. at exploring which adolescents would have the greatest entrepreneurship potential. adolescence was a time when their entrepreneurial aspirations took shape (Ba The second factor relevant as a starting point for self-employment is the right type of occupational training.

Mu ¨ller. Gottfredson. 1992). Jones and Holland. are expected to show high levels of an entrepreneurial orientation when they are characterized by personalities similar to those of active entrepreneurs. McCrae and Holland. the ‘‘Big Five’’ (Costa and McCrae. Even if students who are more willing to expend effort. Callaghan and Jansen. 2000). 1993. 1987. choices and aspirations 67 (De Fruyt and Mervielde. more internally controlled. students’ expression of interest in entrepreneurship may often be merely a reflection of what they believe to be ‘‘cool’’. Cromie. we expect the relationship between Entrepreneurial Orientation and personality. Vondracek and Crouter. 1997. 1984. and the relationship between Entrepreneurial Orientation and parental modeling. Adolescents. or entrepreneurs (Barrick and Mount. Entrepreneurs have also been shown to be more risk taking.e. 1992).Occupational dreams. but less agreeable and neurotic than others. We hypothesize that (2): adolescents who are more willing to expend effort will have greater Entrepreneurial Orientation if they are members of a self-employed family and present a personality profile similar to that of active entrepreneurs. . managers. Parents have been found to act as career models that influence their children’s vocational interests and occupational choices (Schulenberg. as well as students who are less willing to expend effort related to their work were to show similar levels of entrepreneurial potential. 1996). must be tempered by willingness to expend considerable effort. to be moderated by a willingness to expend effort. respectively. conscientiousness. Other research has demonstrated that personality characteristics (e. Thus. parental models may provide the backdrop for an entrepreneurial orientation in adolescence. Thus. Bonnett and Furnham (1991) even showed that adolescents who chose to attend a seminar on entrepreneurship to be more achievement oriented and more internally controlled than their counterparts who did not attend the seminar. high achievement orientation. individuals with a family background of selfemployment and entrepreneurship were much more likely to start their own businesses than were others (Ronstadt. who are less willing to put serious effort into their activities but still indicate an entrepreneurial orientation. 1999) were more extraverted and more conscientious. Various studies have shown that persons who are identified as entrepreneurial within the Holland system are likely to be salespersons. 1993). 1997. De Fruyt and Mervielde (1997) showed that subjects identified as predominantly the entrepreneurial type (‘‘E’’-type) in terms of their vocational interests and personality (Holland.g. 1986. Callaghan and Jansen. and low levels of harm avoidance (McClelland. 1997). we believe that this would be for different reasons. 1966) predict entrepreneurial activity and success. Tokar and Swanson. in contrast. in turn. In addition to personality factors. are likely to do this because they perceive it to be socially desirable. 1985)) can directly predict entrepreneurial potential. Hisrich and Brush. Such relationships were not only found for active entrepreneurs but also for individuals who planned for a business start-up ¨tter. Stewart. Chell. The expectation that personality characteristics and parents’ model promote entrepreneurial interest and potential which. Many other studies have corroborated these findings (Costa. They were more creative and had a higher need for (Brandsta autonomy than others (Cromie. Schmitt-Rodermund. and possessing higher levels of self-efficacy (Brockhaus and Horwitz. 1991. Adolescents who are more willing to put serious effort into their actions. Haworth and Brearley. 1984. may contribute to the emergence of an entrepreneurial career. This should not be surprising because in recent years there has been widespread discussion in the Germany news media and in various school curricula about the desirability of founding new businesses in order to lower unemployment rates. For example. 1984). 1995). Silbereisen. i. Begley and Boyd. 1986.

of siblings Parental education* Gender (female) Non-college bound track Not german bornw Single parent household Already decided on a future career Self-employed family M 15Á56 1Á25 3Á16 % 52Á80 47Á80 1Á30 27Á00 64Á10 36Á30 (0Á65) (1Á00) (0Á77) N (84) (76) (2) (43) (106) (57) M 15Á45 1Á20 3Á23 % 55Á30 40Á40 2Á50 27Á30 66Á00 43Á10 S. The inter-correlations of the three constructs ranged from r=0Á65 to 0Á85. The item responses were fashioned into a Likert format (1=not true at all to 5=exactly true). Conversely. Variables Entrepreneurial orientation. non-college bound) in a mid-sized university town (population of 100. Method Sample In the summer of 1998. extraversion.000).D. They were z-standardized and then combined into one single scale of entrepreneurial orientation) M = 0. data was collected from 320 14–17-year-old students. Max = Table 1 Characteristics of the sample Willingness to expend effort Below median (n=159) Above median (n=161) S. with their teachers present. For these individuals. 4=college degree or higher. Vondracek openness. The students completed the questionnaires in their classrooms. Age No. None of the variables were significantly different for the two groups. during a 60-minute period set aside for this purpose. *Average parental education.W.D. = 2Á70. Schmitt-Rodermund and F. and they collected the questionnaires after they were completed. 1=10 years of schooling.68 E. Entrepreneurial Skills. and Entrepreneurial Behavioral Traits were combined to create a measure of Entrepreneurial Orientation. we expect that adolescents who are less willing to expend significant effort will report higher levels of Entrepreneurial Orientation if they have high levels of general self-efficacy and show a strong need for social acknowledgment. (0Á70) (0Á75) (0Á75) N (89) (65) (4) (44) (105) (69) Note. wThis percentage equals the percentage of foreigners in the local population. and low agreeableness and harm avoidance. Min = À6Á63. University students were available to answer questions and provide assistance when necessary. . Characteristics of the sample are shown separately for the two groups according to their level of willingness to expend effort (see Table 1). They attended two different school tracks (college bound. Three self-assessed behavioral variables: Entrepreneurial Interest. having a self-employed family background is expected to relate with lower levels of Entrepreneurial Orientation. S. who were all in the 10th grade.D.

Max=25. nor did they expect to be entrepreneurs by the age of 40. 16Á2%. .=0Á84. M=12Á66. 58Á4%). to 1=no. indicating that they had strong ‘‘Entrepreneurial Prospects. All three indicators. M=2Á89.=8Á72).=0Á83. Two groups were generated using the median split. n=184..Occupational dreams. and expected job status by age of 40 were used to place them into one of three categories reflecting the presence or absence of ‘‘Entrepreneurial Prospects’’. In addition. choices and aspirations 69 6Á72. Answers ranged from 3=yes. whether they would take the opportunity to learn new things if they had the chance. S.=3Á42. harm avoidance. Max=4Á85). S. the idea of future self-employment. Entrepreneurial Behavioral Traits. e. ‘‘I am a good leader’’. resulting in one group whose members were more willing to expend effort and one group whose members were less willing to expend effort.D.D. a=0Á83). not sure. Second. they did not choose a career that typically permits selfemployment (e.D.g. First. Answers ranged between 20 and 90 hours (M=45Á36. thus indicating that the three variables tapped into quite different aspects of willingness to expend effort (r=0Á31 to r=0Á09). (a=0Á90. Min=7. 25Á4%). ranging from photography to the stock exchange. The three component indices were: Entrepreneurial Interest. Eleven items similar to Holland’s E-type questions (Holland. adolescents answered 16 yes/no questions. or to check a box if they had not yet decided on a specific career. S. nurse.D. Min=1Á08. The first category of the indicator was comprised of adolescents without ‘‘Entrepreneurial Prospects’’ (coded as 0. 1=false. Seven different classes were offered. a=0Á71). The second group was comprised of adolescents who responded in ‘‘mixed’’ fashion to the three items (coded as 1. M=15Á96.D. S. need for social recognition.=2Á60). Max = 4Á82). Willingness to expend effort. Second.=0Á78. The students were asked to rate their curiosity on a five-point scale (5=true. n=80. a=0Á89. . the adolescents were asked whether they were interested in taking optional classes in addition to their school schedules. Entrepreneurial Skills. Min=1Á09.=0Á64) contained adolescents who responded positively to all three items. 233 (72Á8%) said that they could. They were asked how many hours they expected to work weekly by the age of 40. Max=4Á91). In the group of 320. Entrepreneurial prospects. I will not take this class (Max=19.’’’ a=0Á85. The three vales were z-standardized and summed. The third indicator was related to the adolescents’ future perspective. and need for social recognition. or bank employee). such as selling something. M=0Á91. 2=I might take this class.’’ Achievement orientation. 1985) aimed at likes and dislikes of different entrepreneurial activities. they were asked to indicate their expected occupational status by the age of 40. Cronbach’s a for the three indicators was 0Á41 and the correlations were moderate to low. M=2Á96. 1985) was used to assess achievement orientation. adolescents were asked whether they cold imagine themselves ever being self-employed in the future. harm avoidance. Min=5. current career choice. reading a journal on business issues or learning about successful entrepreneurial strategies (‘‘I would like to. Another 11 items measured the self-reported performance in the same entrepreneurial activities (‘‘I am good at selling something’’. The last 13 items measured more general. with answers indicating the . First.D. S. Three different indicators were chosen to measure willingness to expend effort. They could not imagine themselves being self-employed. five items were used to measure a participant’s curiosity for new topics.. trait-related entrepreneurial self-efficacy. although they were all significant. Stumpf et al. The third group (coded as 2 n=51. M=2Á90. Min=1. I will take this class.g. the adolescents were asked to write down their present career choice. In all three cases. The German version of the Jackson Personality Research Form (PRF.g. S. administrative assistant.D. S. e.

=0Á78. talkative 1-2-3-4-5-6 quiet). Min=1Á80. and standard deviations were: Agreeableness: a=0Á58.g. and parental education served as control variables and were entered in the analyses first. Max=16. we expected that certain personality and family factors would significantly predict. M=4Á05.g.=0Á56. Harm avoidance: ‘‘Whenever I have the opportunity.D.=0Á78. 1991). The control variables did not significantly predict Entrepreneurial Prospects. Max=16.D. openness. Conscientiousness: a=0Á75. ‘‘If something turns out to be too difficult. Extroversion.=0Á52. to 5=exactly true (negative items recorded.=0Á58. M=4Á24. Max=15. findings were significant. M=6Á57.W. M=8Á68 (S. ‘‘I do not change my behavior. S. The internal consistencies. S. S.D. Extroversion: a=0Á56. Achievement orientation: ‘‘I often set myself goals which are hard to achieve’’ (+). Willingness and Orientation. school track. Max=4Á95. Gender.70 E. we computed a regression analysis for the entire group with Entrepreneurial Orientation. S. This questionnaire consists of 45 bipolar adjective pairs. The control . Min=1. Results Adolescents who were more willing to expend effort and at the same time demonstrated more of an Entrepreneurial Orientation (i. Schmitt-Rodermund and F. I’m sure that I will find a way to cope with the situation’’ (+). M=4Á10. Answers could be given on a 5-point scale from 1=not true at all. ‘‘I would rather be paid according to my output than the hours I spend working’’ (+). Entrepreneurial Orientation differentially for those who were more or less willing to expend effort.=3Á19. e.D.e. which was placed between the adjective pair so that the adolescents would check a box closer to one or the other end of the scale (e. means. The interaction term of Willingness and Orientation was not significant. Vondracek respective orientation counted to a sum score. Willingness to expend effort.=2Á71). S. Need for social recognition: ‘‘When I do something.=3Á03.D. M=3Á79. even if others do not appreciate what I do’’ (À). Borkenau and Ostendorf. S. a=0Á59. Four of the so-called ‘‘big-five’’ personality traits were measured using a German version (Ostendorf. A 20-item scale (Schwarzer. agreeableness. Even though two of the Cronbach’s a indicated a low internal consistency of the items. ‘‘I do not engage in some kinds of sports and hobbies because they are too dangerous’’ (+). M=3Á37. I like to take risks’’ (À).D. independent of control factors. thus indicating that both. Min=0. S. but this was mainly due to the effects of Willingness to Expend Effort and Entrepreneurial Orientation. high interest and entrepreneurial self-efficacy skills and traits) were expected to show better Entrepreneurial Prospects. ‘‘Whatever happens.D. Responses were cast into a six-point Likert scale. conscientiousness. 9 for each personality trait (neuroticism was not used for the purpose of the present study). I often wonder what others think about it’’ (+). had an independent contribution in the prediction of entrepreneurial career prospects. Table 2 shows the results. a=0Á88). Linear regression models were run separately for those above and below the median split on the Willingness to Expend Effort construct. Openness: a=0Á75. General self-efficacy. M=9Á64. age. Min=0. a=0Á68. 1986) was used to assess general selfefficacy. Next. To test for this expectation.D. we chose to stick with the original scales to achieve comparability with other studies. 1990) of the NEO-PI questionnaire (Costa and McCrae. and the interaction between the two predicting Entrepreneurial Prospects (all three variables entered as continuous variables). a=0Á73. I usually give up’’ (À). In all. 1985.

Turning to those who were more willing to expend effort.e. One interaction term was significant (po0Á5) and another demonstrated a trend (po0Á10). students who took their work seriously (i. Only two common effects emerged across the effort groups. openness). harm avoidance. the need for social recognition turned out to have a significant effect on Entrepreneurial Orientation in this group. Willingness to Expend Effort (continuous variable) and the interaction terms (willingness  all independent variables) were included in order to test separately for interactions with Willingness to Expend Effort. who were creative and open to new experiences (i. however. and openness) and family self-employment. Table 5 contains the results. we confirmed out main expectations concerning the different pattern of relationships between the predictors and the outcome for the high and low effort groups. thus indicating that Willingness to Expend Effort tends to moderate the . Achievement orientation. In both effort groups.e. agreeableness). Table 3 shows the intercorrelations between all variables and Table 4 the results of the multiple regression analyses. males and those who exhibited more general self-efficacy reported a stronger Entrepreneurial Orientation.e. As expected. and school track were included in each regression model. and parental modeling. conscientiousness). general self-efficacy. need for social recognition. gender. Predictor variables were personality traits (achievement orientation.Occupational dreams. did not contribute significantly to the prediction of Entrepreneurial Orientation in this group In sum. For adolescents less willing to expend effort. Among the personality characteristics. parents’ education. harm avoidance. conscientiousness. To statistically test for the conclusion that Willingness to Expend Effort is a true moderating variable. being a member of a self-employed family had the expected effect: they demonstrated a weaker Entrepreneurial Orientation. adolescents who were less willing to expend effort but at the same time had a high need for social affirmation. who were not very friendly with others (i. and who exhibited more selfefficacy.e. exhibited a stronger entrepreneurial orientation. we modeled a multiple linear regression analysis for the entire group (i. choices and aspirations 71 Table 2 Prediction of entrepreneurial prospects: multiple regression analysis Step b À0Á076 0Á023 0Á049 À0Á020 0Á126 0Á016 0Á050 0Á066 0Á002 0Á376 0Á141 b À0Á078 0Á018 0Á038 À0Á024 p Age Male Higher School Track Parental Education R R2 Entrepreneurial orientation Willingness to expend effort* Orientation  willingness R R2 I II 0Á210 0Á207 0Á016 0Á001 0Á001 0Á000 *Continuous variable based on the standardized scores of the three indicator scales. In addition to the independent variables from the previous analyses. had a stronger Entrepreneurial Orientation. variables age. The pattern of significant predictors differed by a participant’s willingness to expend effort. agreeableness. combining the effort groups). extroversion. The same was true for boys and girls attending the lower school track (a school track that terminates with 10th grade).

Vondracek 0Á069 À0Á189 0Á001 – 0Á100 0Á361 0Á200 – Note: The upper half of the table contains the correlations for the group less willing to expend effort. Schmitt-Rodermund and F.72 Table 3 Intercorrelations between independent and dependent variables 1 2 0Á004 – À0Á035 À0Á176 À0Á58 À0Á126 À0Á322 À0Á187 0Á018 À0Á025 À0Á108 0Á083 À0Á115 0Á133 3 0Á046 0Á040 – 0Á051 À0Á129 0Á132 À0Á026 À0Á064 À0Á006 À0Á222 0Á007 À0Á112 0Á032 À0Á073 4 À0Á102 À0Á130 À0Á122 – 0Á278 À0Á051 0Á058 0Á223 0Á049 0Á191 À0Á103 0Á067 À0Á026 0Á085 5 À0Á039 À0Á006 À0Á025 0Á221 – À0Á015 0Á054 0Á137 0Á049 0Á212 À0Á145 0Á215 0Á000 0Á186 6 À0Á009 À0Á246 0Á016 0Á126 0Á089 – À0Á028 0Á130 0Á267 À0Á065 0Á195 À0Á101 0Á007 À0Á140 7 À0Á005 À0Á087 À0Á007 0Á108 0Á009 0Á061 – 0Á454 0Á064 0Á067 À0Á297 0Á247 0Á084 0Á110 8 0Á063 À0Á084 0Á012 0Á102 0Á108 0Á089 0Á429 – 0Á128 0Á074 À0Á213 0Á234 À0Á041 0Á196 9 0Á185 À0Á108 0Á054 À0Á68 À0Á127 0Á201 0Á162 0Á020 – 0Á349 0Á106 0Á226 0Á148 0Á224 10 0Á222 0Á095 À0Á005 À0Á109 À0Á082 0Á113 0Á077 0Á130 0Á388 – À0Á161 0Á349 0Á135 0Á311 11 À0Á122 À0Á228 0Á140 À0Á055 À0Á066 0Á206 À0Á243 À0Á242 0Á022 À0Á209 – À0Á143 0Á034 À0Á166 12 0Á171 0Á200 À0Á017 À0Á137 À0Á018 À0Á109 0Á342 0Á281 0Á180 0Á355 À0Á309 – 0Á072 0Á409 13 14 0Á069 0Á135 À0Á195 0Á146 0Á062 À0Á177 0Á011 0Á010 0Á062 0Á062 0Á079 0Á166 0Á044 0Á122 0Á126 À0Á100 0Á249 0Á249 0Á028 0Á200 1 Age – 2 Male 0Á122 3 Self-employed À0Á35 family 4 Higher school À0Á290 track 5 Parental 0Á017 Education 6 Agreeableness 0Á011 7 Extroversion 0Á076 8 Openness 0Á012 9 Conscien0Á051 tiousness 10 Achievement 0Á115 orientation 11 Harm 0Á050 Avoidance 12 Self-efficacy 0Á157 13 Social À0Á023 Recognition 14 Entrepreneurial 0Á135 Orientation E. Significant coefficients ( p=0Á05 and lower) appear in bold print. The lower half contains correlation coefficients for the group more willing to expend effort. .W.

Occupational dreams. . choices and aspirations 73 Table 4 Predictors of entrepreneurial orientation separately for two groups of students Less willing to expend effort B b 0Á097 0Á201 À0Á161 0Á194 0Á097 À0Á105 0Á109 0Á110 À0Á029 0Á139 0Á062 0Á209 0Á246 p 0Á012 0Á030 0?012 More willing to expend effort B 0Á285 0Á663 0Á166 0Á009 0Á275 À0Á639 0Á043 0Á753 0Á503 0Á098 À0Á029 0Á782 0Á076 0Á513 0Á263 b 0Á084 0Á141 0Á035 0Á002 0Á088 À0Á158 0Á013 0Á176 0Á169 0Á099 À0Á038 0Á166 0Á098 p 0Á092 Age Male Self-employed family Higher school track Parental education Agreeableness Extroversion Openness Conscientiousness Achievement orientation Harm avoidance Self-efficacy Need for social recognition R R2 0Á360 0Á974 À0Á808 0Á937 0Á302 À0Á458 0Á334 0Á461 À0Á106 0Á130 0Á050 1?095 0Á178 0Á567 0Á321 0Á053 0Á044 0Á052 0Á057 0?017 0?001 0?000 0Á000 Table 5 The moderating effect of willingness to expend effort: multiple regression analysis with interaction terms predicting entrepreneurial orientation B Age Male Self-employed family Higher school track Parental education Agreeableness Extroversion Openness Conscientiousness Achievement orientation Harm avoidance Self-efficacy Need for social recognition Willingness to expend effort* Willingness  agreeableness Willingness  extraversion Willingness  openness Willingness  conscientiousness Willingness  achievement Willingness  harm avoidance Willingness  self efficacy Willingness  social recognition Willingness  self-empl. family R R2 0Á257 0Á846 À0Á250 0Á462 0Á264 À0Á499 0Á317 0Á451 0Á135 0Á099 0Á027 0Á884 0Á114 À0Á440 0Á004 0Á156 0Á060 À0Á010 0Á020 0Á002 À0Á109 À0Á033 0Á303 0Á662 0Á439 b 0Á065 0Á159 À0Á046 0Á087 0Á076 À0Á107 0Á093 0Á098 0Á039 0Á102 0Á031 0Á171 0Á138 À0Á335 0Á013 0Á495 0Á196 À0Á035 0Á144 0Á011 À0Á289 À0Á247 0Á371 p 0Á002 0Á080 0Á034 0Á097 0Á077 0Á086 0Á003 0Á004 0Á078 0Á022 0Á000 *Continuous variable based on the standardized scores of the three indicator scales.

we postulated that the Willingness to Expend Effort. agreeableness. parental modeling) and Entrepreneurial Orientation.. to be curious. and to work hard in order to achieve one’s goals would be equally important. as they fitted the expectations nicely.W. i. need for social recognition and family self-employment. Vondracek relationship between social recognition and Entrepreneurial Orientation and significantly moderates the relationship between family’s self-employment (i. Adolescents. high levels of Entrepreneurial Orientation were associated with high levels of conscientiousness. In the present study. achievement orientation turned out not to be significant. family self-employment. were most likely to perceive significant Entrepreneurial Prospects. social recognition was the most important predictor of Entrepreneurial Orientation among the personality variables. has not been studied extensively in entrepreneurs. Indeed.e. We chose to interpret the pattern of the other variables. for example.74 E. Subjects high on the E-type (i. who were also more willing to expend effort. In the group less willing to expend effort. The last characteristic. Stewart. with the aim of encouraging more young people to start their own businesses. 1996) and more successful entrepreneurs (Schmitt-Rodermund and Silbereisen. openness to new experiences. i. the willingness to learn new things. 1986. with a few exceptions. was. Deutsche Ausgleichsbank and Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Schule Wirtschaft. Discussion Programs to enhance entrepreneurial orientation. and that they had made preliminary career choices consistent with future self-employment. they confidently saw self-employment as an option for their future career. they reported that they expected to be self-employed by the age of 40. The moderating role of willingness was supported in the case of two of the independent variables. Specifically. i. although a close correlate. stressed openness and creativity as the most prominent markers of the entrepreneurial personality. Thus. This personality profile is similar to that found for adult entrepreneurs. with entrepreneurial interests and behavioral traits. Chell. Brockhaus and Horwitz. and low agreeableness. High achievement orientation has been associated with entrepreneurs in numerous studies (e. Our second expectation was related to the prediction of Entrepreneurial Orientation. conscientiousness. reported significant interest in entrepreneurial activities only if they had a high concern about what others would think or expect of them. Haworth and Brearley. 1991.e. Schumpeter (1934). These two factors were deemed important for both. 1987. Begley and Boyd. Among those who were above the median in the Willingness to Expend Effort variable.e. the success of programs to foster entrepreneurship and future entrepreneurial activities. Schmitt-Rodermund and F. 1998. 1999). we found that those adolescents with a higher level of Entrepreneurial Orientation. 1997) were found to be less agreeable. who were not very energetic about what they wanted to do. have received increasing attention (TLZ. being a member of a self-employed family turned out to predict .e. We started out with the assumption that mere Entrepreneurial Orientation would be insufficient for the actualization of Entrepreneurial Prospects. We assumed Willingness to Expend Effort to act as a moderator for the relationship between personality variables. too.g. De Fruyt and Melvielde. and Entrepreneurial Orientation. In addition.e. 1996). it may not be a big surprise to find that less socially oriented students feel attracted by entrepreneurship. Our study aimed at exploring and assessing the processes and factors that impact Entrepreneurial Prospects and Orientation in adolescence.

A second caveat is that we do not know whether the personality characteristics that are salient for entrepreneurship are stable. and thus could not definitively establish whether the boys and girls would be self-employed as adults or not.Occupational dreams. when they may predict entrepreneurial activity rather than just Entrepreneurial Orientation. Having self-employment in the family seems to set a ‘‘bad example’’ for those not willing to expend effort. Before discussing some of the results in more detail. First. the low alphas of some of the scales need to be kept in mind.S. we can reasonably assume that the personality characteristics we identified as being relevant for entrepreneurship may also be found in the same people ten years later. underscores this point. The underlying assumption was that parental modeling and personality both play a role in the development of Entrepreneurial Orientation. We decided. Entrepreneurial Orientation and the Willingness to expend significant effort contribute individually to the actualization of . It may be that the young age of the respondents (15 years of age on average) in the present study caused them to experience some problems in comprehending the questions. First. 1984. 2000) rather entrepreneurial activities and interests (Bonnett and Furnham. 1992. which would hold that entrepreneurial activities are the key to forming certain personality structures. mainly through social desirability factors and a general tendency to brag about one’s abilities. This finding is contrary to what has been found in the U. that people’s traits remain relatively stable over time (Alwin. which these students obviously were not willing to put forth. Hisrich and Brush. choices and aspirations 75 lower levels of Entrepreneurial Orientation in this group. family self-employment did not make a difference for the level of Entrepreneurial Orientation. and in other English-speaking countries. however. Their personality profile. For the group of students who wanted to work hard and to expend the requisite level of effort. that dreams and aspirations for future self-employment are likely precursors for becoming self-employed in adulthood. for the view that personality traits are the driving force behind ¨ller. it makes sense to expect a higher share of those who have them to be found among future entrepreneurs. to stick with the original selection of items in order to achieve comparability with other studies. however. There is evidence. however. it turned out that Entrepreneurial Orientation alone is only part of the information needed for the prediction of Entrepreneurial Prospects. and Entrepreneurial Orientation. 1991. Clearly. nevertheless. where parental self-employment seems to facilitate offspring selfemployment (Ronstadt. Thus. the present study was unable to include the eventual career choices of the adolescents. a few caveats are in order. Adolescents who are more willing to expend serious effort in their activities seem to be more intrinsically motivated when they report higher levels of Entrepreneurial Orientation. Thus. personality. Costa and McCrae. 1995). Cromie. 1996). There is support in the research literature. In interpreting the results. it may be concluded that adolescents who are less willing to expend effort are more extrinsically motivated to display an Entrepreneurial Orientation. The scales have been reported to have quite acceptable alphas in numerous other studies in which samples were comprised of older participants. however. If we assume. which is similar to that of adult entrepreneurs. Mu than the other way around. Callaghan and Jansen. A final caveat that needs to be mentioned is the relatively low alphas for some of the scales used in the present study. To watch one’s hard-working parents in their grocery store makes it perfectly clear that being self-employed requires great effort and investment. A third caveat concerns the causal quality of the relationship between parental modeling. There are two findings of the present research that warrant some further elaboration. this cannot be confirmed with the cross-sectional data employed in the present study. 1994.

i. Der Weg an die Spitze. Featherman. and Boyd. (1995). Adolescents not sharing any Entrepreneurial Orientation and Willingness were the least likely to report Entrepreneurial prospects. 79–93. Autonomy as a moderator of the relationships between the Big Five personality dimensions and job performance. and social change: the stability of individual differences over the adult life. and adolescents with both factors present were most likely to report Entrepreneurial prospects i. international study]. it could be worthwhile to offer more basic programs which aim at the enhancement of knowledge about one’s own interests and one’s personality. (1993).e. 135–185. P . 111–118. To some extent this might be due to the somewhat anti-entrepreneurial spirit in Germany. and at the improvement of a general entrepreneurial spirit on the other. D. If the goal is to produce more entrepreneurs. Diagnostica. D. F.e. C. (1987). we might have to think about a new type of training program. F. Students with an entrepreneurial personality profile. 265–279. Career interests are formed at a very early point in adolescence. [Self-employment as a reflex on ¨lner unemployment? Macro-sociological findings from a comparative. R. A. is seen as a lesser choice. M. The second set of findings very nicely underscores this point. (1991). Lerner and M. especially for youth less willing to expend effort. where engagement. (1990). 29–41. on the one hand. and Furnham. Hillsdale: NJ. in Germany a family model seems to have an adverse effect. and Ostendorf. especially among those who know self-employed people first-hand from their family experience. Erlbaum. L. 12 Karrieren in der Wirtschaft [The way to the top. Journal of Business Venturing. (1991). Selbsta ¨ndigkeit als ein Reflex auf Arbeitslosigkeit? MakroBo soziologische Befunde einer international-komparativen Studie. 12. a careful selection of participants for training programs for entrepreneurship may boost the effects of such programs.. ¨umler. vol. and greater Willingness to Expend Effort may be the best candidates to increase the number of future business start-ups. .. D. ¨nlichkeits¨nf robuster Perso Borkenau. Journal of Economic Psychology. 78. Ko ¨r Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie. 465–478. especially in a small or middle-sized business. help adolescents to find out about themselves and about entrepreneurship as a career option. such a spirit may contribute to the negative views toward entrepreneurship expressed by some of the adolescents of this sample. Other than in the U. for them. D. where a parental model clearly helps to develop a person’s ideas about self-employment. Schmitt-Rodermund and F. (1994). Journal of Applied Psychology. and in a second step provide special training for those who bring in the right combination of personality and Entrepreneurial Orientation. and Mount.S. Thus. 12 careers Ba ¨nchen: Piper. Perlmutter (Eds). those who had a personality profile similar to that of adult entrepreneurs were especially likely to report high levels of Entrepreneurial Orientation. pp. 2.76 E. U. in economy]. Aging. Instead of giving mere information about how to get started with one’s own business. References Alwin. Ein Fragebogen zur Erfassung fu faktoren [A questionnaire for the assessment of five robust personality traits]. Another interesting finding is the effect of family self-employment. Vondracek Entrepreneurial prospects. Taken together. 37. Among adolescents who were willing to expend effort.W. Entrepreneurial Orientation. M. ¨genhold. T. Consequently. 42. Mu Barrick. personality. K. E. R. a future business start-up becomes a serious possibility. Begley. M. Who wants to be an entrepreneur? A study of adolescents interested in a Young Enterprise scheme. In Life Span Development and Behavior. Psychological characteristics associated with performance in entrepreneurial firms and smaller businesses. Zeitschrift fu Bonnett. it may be necessary to take a more proactive course of action. and Staber. 12.

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