Inderscience Publishers

Contextual factors and their effects on future entrepreneurs in China: a comparative study of entrepreneurial intentions

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This research article seeks to extend previous findings concerning the impact of various contextual factors on entrepreneurial intentions and their antecedents. The focus was on national background and entrepreneurship education as the contextual factors and innovation and locus of control orientation as the personal traits. The effects were investigated comparing a sample of Chinese students to a sample of students from developed countries. Results indicate that both context factors are relevant and affect personal traits in different ways: entrepreneurial intentions and innovation orientations of Chinese students can be related to the country's transitional stage from a manufacturing–driven to an innovation–driven base, whereas the level of internal locus of control can be explained by the cultural background. Education has similar impacts on both samples and seems to reduce cultural differences. Furthermore, China's next generation of entrepreneurs is expected to have great innovative potential; however, there is a time lag to realisation, compared to that of developed countries.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, future entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial intentions, innovation orientation, locus of control, entrepreneurship education, China, cross–cultural, developing countries, personal traits, context factors, transition, cultural differences, culture

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