2016 Vol 8, No 6 (2016):INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING EDUCATION (IJEE) -December

Paper :THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION IN DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL INTENTIONS AMONG MALAYSIAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS: (A RESEARCH FINDINGS ON THE STRUCTURAL EQUATION MODELING)

Author 1: Dr. Parimala Rengiah

Abstract :

T he current rate of unemployment among graduates in Malaysia has initiated the Malaysian government to look into entrepreneurship as a possible solution and this has led to the introduction of entrepreneurship education in most of the higher educational institutions. The research topic is, ‘Effectiveness of entrepreneurship education in developing entrepreneurial intentions among the Malaysian university students’. A theoretical framework has been proposed to identify the research issues and gaps. The research design is purely quantitative using a structured questionnaire which was tested among 4 entrepreneurial-focused universities. The study investigates entrepreneurship education variables of curricula, teaching methodologies, universities roles against entrepreneurial intentions using attitude and stakeholder support systems as mediating variables. Data was collected from 396 respondents and analysed using the SPSS 22.0 and AMOS 22.0. The structural model was tested using a two-stage process. The model was tested using a CFA for goodness-of-fit indices and the direct and indirect effect of the mediating variables on the exogenous variables towards the endogenous through the application of a path analysis technique. Data analysis has been discussed, together with the implications and theory and practice. The paper discusses the conclusion and findings of the study and theoretical, methodological and practical contributions.

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THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION IN DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL INTENTIONS AMONG MALAYSIAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS:  (A RESEARCH FINDINGS ON THE STRUCTURAL EQUATION MODELING)

Dr. Parimala Rengiah

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ilham Sentosa

(School of Business - University Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.)

ABSTRACT

T

 

he current rate of unemployment among graduates in Malaysia has initiated the Malaysian government to look into entrepreneurship as a possible solution and this has led to the introduction of entrepreneurship education in most of the higher educational institutions. The research topic is, ‘Effectiveness of entrepreneurship education in developing entrepreneurial intentions among the Malaysian university students’. A theoretical framework has been proposed to identify the research issues and gaps. The research design is purely quantitative using a structured questionnaire which was tested among 4 entrepreneurial-focused universities. The study investigates entrepreneurship education variables of curricula, teaching methodologies, universities roles against entrepreneurial intentions using attitude and stakeholder support systems as mediating variables. Data was collected from 396 respondents and analysed using the SPSS 22.0 and AMOS 22.0. The structural model was tested using a two-stage process. The model was tested using a CFA for goodness-of-fit indices and the direct and indirect effect of the mediating variables on the exogenous variables towards the endogenous through the application of a path analysis technique. Data analysis has been discussed, together with the implications and theory and practice. The paper discusses the conclusion and findings of the study and theoretical, methodological and practical contributions.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship curricula, teaching methodologies, Universities roles, Attitude towards goals, Family roles, Entrepreneurial intentions, Structural Equation Modeling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   1.0 Introduction

 

        Employability is the major issue for Malaysians, especially for the graduates. Numerous efforts are taken to solve the issues and one of them was by promoting entrepreneurship education (Rahim & Mohd Lajin, 2015). The preference of seeking job employment over self-employment among graduates and the lack of promoting capabilities and skills are some of the contribution factors (Singh & Singh, 2008; Fong, 2005). Realising the current problems and the significance of entrepreneurship in the development of a knowledge-based economy, efforts have been taken by the Malaysian government to nurture entrepreneurship in all ways (Cheng et. al., 2009). The higher educational institution started offering formal entrepreneurship education with the new approaches in the instruction and delivery of entrepreneurship courses that help in incorporating entrepreneurial thinking to all levels of education in Malaysia (Sipon et. al., 2015). The research issues and gaps were identified and a theoretical framework was developed for the study. The research methodology employed was on a quantitative research approach using survey questionnaires distributed to business and information technology students in four entrepreneurship-focused universities. Data was collected from 396 students and analysed through SPSS 22.0 and AMOS 22.0. Structural equation modelling technique was used to analyse the data using a confirmatory factor analysis approach. The study investigates the variables of entrepreneurship curricula, teaching methodologies, universities roles, attitude and stakeholder support systems against entrepreneurial intentions (Rengiah & Sentosa, 2014). The hypothesised model developed for the study was tested for goodness-of-fit indices and the direct and indirect effect of the exogenous variables with the endogenous variables through the mediating variables. The re-specified model was tested and as a rule of thumb in SEM, the variable of attitude was re-named as ‘attitude towards goals’ and stakeholder support systems was re-named as ‘family roles’. The paper discusses data analysis, contributions, and conclusions and findings relating to the study.  

 

2.0 Conceptual Development

        In this study five hypotheses have been developed with the review of the literature and past empirical studies as shown below.

i) Entrepreneurship curricula

 

Entrepreneurship curricula in the universities have been demonstrated as a critical factor in providing not only knowledge, but skills, training and best learning models for the university students. (Oyugi, 2014; Sheta, 2012; Roudaki, 2009; Solomon, 2007; Menzies & Tatroff, 2006; Veciana, Aponte & Urbano, 2005).

H1: Entrepreneurship curricula is positively related to entrepreneurial intentions.

 

ii) Teaching methodologies

 

Entrepreneurship are being taught and many global institutions are teaching entrepreneurship programs. The programs raise some attitudes and the overall entrepreneurial intentions and inspirations. Even though individuals are born with entrepreneurial characteristics, but the level of entrepreneurial activity have been seen to be higher if they have the skills and knowledge (Laguador, 2013; Zahra et al., 2012; Fayolle, 2008; Krueger, 2007; Souitaris et. al. 2007, Kuratko, 2005; Bechard & Gregoire, 2005b; Morse & Mitchell 2005).

H2: Teaching methodology is positively related to entrepreneurial intentions.

iii) University roles

 

The universities play important roles in developing the students’ entrepreneurial careers and inclination. The teaching environment in the universities is most influential for the university students in their perceptions for entrepreneurial career development and they are most likely to venture into their own businesses (Zhang et al., 2014; Liṅan et al., 2011;Yar Hamidi et al., 2008; Nurmi & Paasio 2007; Kuratko, 2005; Rothaermel & Thursby, 2005).

H3: University role is positively related to entrepreneurial intentions.

 

iv) Attitudes 

Attitudes are seen as an important variable in the prediction of starting businesses or enterprises among university students. The attitudes in this study are classified as attitudes towards money, attitudes towards change and attitude towards entrepreneurship (Kautonen Teemu et al.., 2013; Schwarz et al., 2009; Franke & Luthje 2004; Lim & Teo 2003; Shane et al., 2003; Douglas 1999; Autio et al., 1997).

H4: Attitude is positively related to entrepreneurial intentions.

 

v) Stakeholder Support System

 

The stakeholder suppost system have been seen to be important predictors for entrepreneurial development and intentions among university student and its componensts are government support, financial support and parents support (Laspita et. al., 2012; Romani et al., 2009; Matlay, 2009; Fehr & Hishigsuren 2006;

Stevenson and Lundstro¨m 2005; Storey, 2005; Tan & Peng 2003) 

H5: Stakeholder support system is positively related to entrepreneurial intention.

 

3.0 Research Methodology

        The present study used descriptive statistics and Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) as the methodology. The dependent variable in the study is ‘entrepreneurial intentions’, and it is a ‘latent’ or ‘unobservable’ variable as it cannot be observed. Since latent variable are not observed directly they cannot be measured directly, as such they are linked to the one tht is observable making its measurement possible. There are four geometrical symbols configured in the Structural Equation Model that are being schematically portrayed. The circles or ellipse represent unobserved latent variable, rectangles represent observed variables, single headed arrows represent the impact of one variable to another, and double headed arrows represent co-variances or correlations between pairs of variables. The error terms are unique factors to a variable that represent residual variabce within variances not accounted for path ways in the hypothesised model. Measurement error is associated with an observed variable and residual error predicting an unobserved variable (Byrne 2013). Descriptive statistics used SPSS version 22.0 to  test the demographic variables. The hypothesised model is tested through AMOS version 22.0. Statistically, in the analysis of the entire system of variables, the aim is to determine the extent to which it is consistent with the data. If the model fits adequately, it s found to be plausible of postulated relations among the variables, if rejected a new model is generated (Rengiah & Sentosa 2014). The hypothesised model and the generated model did not achieve a goodness fit of the indices and a re-specified model was generated. As a rule of thumb in SEM, the variable of attitude was re-named as ‘attitude towards goals’ and stakeholder support systems was re-named as ‘family roles’.

4.0 Findings and Discussions

         The first objective of the study is to investigate the interaction of attitude towards goals mediates the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. Secondly, the objective is to investigate the interaction of family roles mediates the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. Lastly the objective is to investigate the interaction effect of attitude towards goals and family roles in the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. In order to test the direct relationship between entrepreneurship education variables and entrepreneurial intentions, the researcher used the measurement model recommended by previous researchers (Anderson & Gerbing, 1988; Bentler, 1978) to test the relationships between the observed measures and their underlying constructs and perform a confirmatory assessment of construct validity. In addition, the present study used a comprehensive two-stage a comprehensive two-stage analysis in which the measurement model was first confirmed using confirmatory factor analysis on each dimension of entrepreneurship education and then structural equation modelling was performed based on the measurement model to estimate the fit of the hypothesised model to the data. Through the 2nd order analysis on entrepreneurship education, the measurement model was tested through the mediating variables of attitude towards goals and family roles to confirm the five dimensions are significant constructs.

Table 1. Squared Multiple Correlations (SMC)

Squared Multiple Correlations

Estimates

Percentage

Attitude towards goals

0.694

69.4%

Family roles

0.390

39.0%

Entrepreneurial Intentions

0.059

5.9%

                                                               

4.1 Hypothesised The mediating effect of attitude towards goals in the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions.

       The first objective is to investigate whether attitude towards goals mediate the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. The model confirmed the mediating effect of attitude towards goals in the relationship between the constructs of entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions as evidenced by the interaction effect of loading factor in the path of the hypothesised model. Square multiple correlations (SMC) contribute 0.694 % variance of attitude towards goals in the model (refer Table 1). In such a situation, according to Cohen & Cohen (1983), attitude towards goals is moderately significant to the model. The indirect effect analysis of the model confirmed the mediating effect of attitude towards goals in the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. The result of the path analysis indicates the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. The direct positive relationship between universities roles was supported by the mediating effects of attitude towards goals to entrepreneurial intentions (p<0.05), and the other two components of curricula and teaching methodologies was supported with a negative relationship by the mediating effects of attitude towards goals (P>0.05). The variable of attitude towards goals contributes 64.9% to entrepreneurial intentions (refer Table 1).

        

The findings of the study on universities roles relationship to entrepreneurial intentions are similar to Autio’s model of entrepreneurial intentions, which shows a positive relationship between the university environment and entrepreneurial intentions where the attitudes of university students act as the mediator between university roles and entrepreneurial intentions (Autio et al., 1997; Veciana et al., 2005). Similarly in a study by Zhang et. al., (2014) and Lińan et. al., (2011), the importance of contextual factors in the university environment played a role in facilitating the occurrence and intensity of entrepreneurial behaviours among students and was found to be positive. In the Malaysian context, it has been stated in the literature that the universities roles through its programs and activities are in line with the government policies as the New Economic Policy, National Development Policy, New Vision Policy and the New Economic Model that emphasise the importance of entrepreneurship towards achieving the objectives of the national development (Singh & Singh, 2008; Zainal Abidin & Bakar, 2004).

          The findings of the study on curricula and teaching methodologies is similar to the theory of Fayolle and Gailly (2008), which states that a typical university setting was unlikely to include entrepreneurial elements. The theory explains that entrepreneurship education unlike education in general, involved human beings including their feeling and interests for thinking, new skills development and behaviour. There are important positive links between entrepreneurship education and a variety of entrepreneurship-related human capital assets and entrepreneurship outcomes (Martin et. al., 2013). It further argues that entrepreneurs possess unique values and attributes and they cannot be developed or trained in classroom settings (Laguador 2013; Zahra et. al., 2012; Fayolle & Gailly, 2008). The findings of the study for teaching methodologies do not support the learning process theories of Social Cognition Theory of Bandura (Bandura, 1986) and the Social Learning Theory by (Wenger 1991) and Shapero’s Model (Shapero, 1972; Shapero & Sokol, 1982). The variable ‘attitude towards goals’ is similar to the variable of ‘attitude’ in the ‘Theory of Planned Behavior’ by Azjen and Fishbein, (1980, 1991). The theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980, Ajzen, 1991) which is an extension of the ‘Theory of Reasoned Action’ (TRA) (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980) and the ‘Theory of Acceptance Model’ suggest that a person’s behavior is determined by his or her intention to perform the behaviour and this intention is a function of his or her attitude towards the behaviour (Kolvereid & Isaken 2006), his or her subjective norm and perceived behavioural control (Lee et. al., 2011,). Autio et al., (1997)’s study examined the influence of attitude in entrepreneurial career choice and confirmed a positive input of individual’s general attitude towards entrepreneurial conviction. Another study by Franke and Luthje, (2004) and Schwarz et. al., (2009) also found a strong positive relationship between attitude towards self-employment and entrepreneurial intentions.

        In this study, curricula and teaching methodologies did not support entrepreneurship intentions through the mediating factor of attitude towards goals. Universities roles support entrepreneurial intentions through the mediating factor of attitude towards goals. Thus H3 (i) is accepted and H1 (i) and H2 (i) are rejected.

             

4.2 Hypothesised The mediating effect of family roles in the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions.

       The second objective of this study is to investigate whether family roles mediate the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. Square multiple correlations (SMC) contribute 0.39 % variance of family roles in the model (refer Table 1). In such a situation, according to Cohen & Cohen (1985), family roles contribute significantly to the model. The result of the path analysis indicates the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. The direct positive relationship between universities roles and curricula were supported by the mediating effects of family roles to entrepreneurial intentions (p<0.05), and the component of teaching methodologies was supported with a negative relationship by the mediating effects of family roles (P>0.05).      

         The variable of family roles contributes 39% to entrepreneurial intentions (refer Table 1). The findings support the ‘strategic management theory’ by Freeman (1984) for universities roles towards entrepreneurial intentions. The roles of the universities as stakeholders are to create and disseminate knowledge through research and education (Pereira & De Silva 2003). The universities have an important role in the development of entrepreneurial education relevant for local and regional development and to determine how to best meet their needs for entrepreneurial development (Jayawarna et. al., 2011; Vollmers et. al., 2001). The findings support the ‘Entrepreneurial Career theory’ by Kolvereid (1996) for curricula towards entrepreneurial intentions. The theory highlighted the importance of perceiving entrepreneurship as an attractive career path for a person to engage in entrepreneurial activities and this was attained through the entrepreneurship educational programs. (Greene & Saridakis, 2008; Kolvereid, 1996). Students with a family history of entrepreneurship have been found to be involved more in entrepreneurship activities (Laspita et. al., 2012)

        The findings of teaching methodologies which has a negative effect on entrepreneurial intentions support ‘The Personality Traits Model’. Characteristics such as achievement, tolerance of ambiguity and locus of control are attributed to an entrepreneur. Individuals with these characteristics are inborn and not taught in classroom settings (Kuratko, 2005; Babb & Babb, 1992). The ‘Theory of achievement’ by McClelland (1976) also supports the findings as individuals with strong need for achievement demonstrated higher performance in challenging tasks and look for ways to improve their performance and these traits are inborn characteristics.

        The findings support the ‘Social Factor Model’, for family roles towards entrepreneurial intentions. The ‘Social Factor Model’ states that personal background and family background are early life experiences and growth environment for entrepreneurship (Alstete, 2002; Greene et al., 1996) Another theory that supports the findings is the ‘Career Socialisation Theory’, which suggests that children of entrepreneurs were likely seen to have entrepreneurial careers than working for others (Delmar & Davidsson, 2000; Dyer, 1994). Further to this, the ‘Theory of Planned Behaviour’ by Ajzen and Fishbein 1991 supports the finding. It has the component of ‘social norms’ which states that the beliefs of relevant groups such as family, close relatives, friends, colleagues and customers were found to have an effect on entrepreneurial intentions (Davidsson 1995). Similarly in the Malaysian setting, some studies were found to have a significant relationship between family background and entrepreneurial intentions (Mohd Zain et. al., 2010; Mohd. Yusop, 2002; Crant, 1996; Matthews & Moser, 1996). 

       

  In this research curricula and universities roles support entrepreneurial intentions through the mediating factor of family roles, while teaching methodologies did not support entrepreneurial intentions through the mediating factor of family roles. Thus H1 (ii) and H3 (ii) are accepted and H2 (ii) is rejected.

 

4.3 Hypothesised The interaction effect of Attitude towards goals and Family roles in the relationship between Entrepreneurship education and Entrepreneurial Intentions 

        The third objective of this study is to empirically explore the interaction effect of the variables of attitude towards goals and family roles in the relationship between entrepreneurial education and entrepreneurial intentions. Direct and indirect effects were employed to determine the effects of the combination of attitude towards goals and family roles in the model. All loadings confirmed significant levels. The contribution of attitude towards goals and family roles act as mediating variables in the relationship between curricula, teaching methodologies, universities roles and entrepreneurial intentions. The total effect estimation (H5) and (H6) also confirmed the mediating effect of attitude towards goals and family roles in the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. Attitude towards goals has a significant standardised regression weight (P<0.05) which confirmed the full mediating effect in the relationship. Family roles also shows the significant (P<0.05) influence in the model. The indirect effect estimates for both hypotheses is higher than the direct relationship. The total effects of attitude towards goals and family roles variables in the relationship between entrepreneurship education entrepreneurial intentions were used to evaluate the overall interaction in the model.

        The structural model indicated the significance full mediation effect of attitude towards goals and family roles variables in the relationship between entrepreneurship education to entrepreneurial intention (SMS = 0.059%). Square multiple correlation (SMC) shows that 5.9% of could be explained through the mediating effect of attitude towards goals and family roles in the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. The interactions effect among variables in the structural equation model confirmed the significant relationship between entrepreneurship education constructs, attitude towards goals and family roles as mediating variables and entrepreneurial intentions. The findings show that there is interaction effect of attitude towards goals and family roles in the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. The interaction effect contributes 5.9% to predict entrepreneurial intentions. Thus H4 and H5 are accepted.

         The findings of the present study show that attitude towards goals and family roles serve as a mediator in the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. The structural equation modelling also indicated that the three hypothesised paths in the theoretical model are at the significant level (P<0.05), and one hypothesised path in the theoretical model is at the significant (P>0.05) and one hypothesised path in the theoretical model is partially supported (0.05<P<0.05). In other words, three hypothesised relationship were supported (H3, 4 and 5), one hypothesised relationship was not supported (H2) and another hypothesised relationship partially supported (H1) based on the structural equation modelling results and the path estimates for the hypothesised testing in the model. 

         On the context of the present study, it can be summed up that entrepreneurship education variable of universities roles, attitude towards goals and family roles fully support entrepreneurial intentions whilst teaching methodologies does not support entrepreneurial intentions and curricula partially supports entrepreneurial intentions through family roles according the Malaysian settings in the study.

5.0 Implications for Theory and Practices

        This section discusses the implications for the enhancement of body of knowledge and practice based on the findings of the study. The practical application of the research findings will be discussed in detail in the recommendations section.

5.1 The mediating effect of attitude towards goals in the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions

 

          The findings support the mediating effect of attitude towards goals in the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. Theories such as the ‘theory of planned behaviour’, ‘theory of reasoned action’, ‘theory of acceptance’, studies by Autio et al., (1997) and Franke Luthje, (2004),  reveal that attitude is related to self-employment and entrepreneurial intentions. The universities also play a strategic role in cultivating and disseminating entrepreneurial knowledge and facilitating the occurrence of positive entrepreneurial behaviours among students (Autio et al., 1997; Luthje & Franke, 2003). The findings of the present study show that attitude towards goals mediates the relationship between entrepreneurship education through the universities roles, university environment  and entrepreneurial intentions (Zhang et. al., 2014; Lińan et. al., 2011). To reduce any negative effects, the universities should take extra efforts to make the curricula and teaching methodologies more interesting, creative and innovative.

 

5.2 The mediating effect of family roles in the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions

 

          The findings support the mediating effect of family roles in the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. Theories such as ‘career socialisation theory’, ‘social factor model’, ‘theory of planned behaviour’ with the component of ‘social norms’ state that the beliefs of relevant groups such as family, close relatives, friends, colleagues and customer which were found to have an effect on entrepreneurial intentions (Davidsson, 1995). The findings of the ‘strategic management theory’ by Freeman, (1984) support the university roles towards entrepreneurial intentions and the ‘entrepreneurial career theory’ by Kolvereid, (1996), and supports curricula towards entrepreneurial intentions through the mediating effect of family roles (Greene  & Saridakis, 2008; Kolvereid, 1996). The findings of the present study show that family roles mediate the relationship between entrepreneurship education through the universities roles and entrepreneurial intentions. To reduce any negative effects, the universities should take extra efforts to improve the teaching methodologies by including business plans, increasing entrepreneurial activities with student participation, internship and partnership activities with small and medium industries etc.

 

5.3 The interaction of attitude towards goals and family roles in the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions

 

          Theories on entrepreneurial intentions such as the ‘theory of planned behaviour’, ‘theory of reasoned action’, ‘theory of acceptance model’, and ‘Autio’s model’ suggest ‘entrepreneurial intentionality’ as an indicator of the effectiveness of entrepreneurship education programs on students’ intentions (Botha, Nieman & Vuuren, 2006; Fayolle, Gailly & Lassas-Clerc, 2006; Peterman & Kennedy, 2003; Robertson et al., 2003; Cox, Mueller & Moss, 2002; Autio et al., 1997; Boyd & Vozikis, 1994; Krueger & Carsrud, 1993; Shapero & Sokol, 1982). The ‘social factor model’, ‘career socialisation theory’, and ‘entrepreneurial career theory’ indicate that students with a family history of entrepreneurship have been found to be more involved in entrepreneurial activities (Greene & Saridakis, 2008; Alstete, 2002; Delmar & Davidsson, 2000; Greene et al., 1996; Kolvereid, 1996; Dyer, 1992).

         According to the Malaysian settings, research conducted in some public and private universities found a significant positive relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions (Yusof et al., 2008; Kamariah, Yaacob & Wan Jamaliah, 2004; Nor Aishah & Yufiza, 2004; Jumaat, Ishak & Salehuddin, 2001). On the contrary, some studies and surveys found that majority of students preferred to take up job employment rather than self-employment and it was also stated that only a small percentage of students turned out to be entrepreneurs after their graduation (MECD statistical report, 2004; Norasmah et al., 2006). Some studies were found have a significant relationship between family background and entrepreneurial intentions, (Mohd Zain, 2010; Mohd Yusop, 2002; Crant, 1996; Matthews & Moser, 1996). The findings in the present study revealed that the Malaysian government’s expectation of providing entrepreneurship education to develop entrepreneurial intentions among the university students is still low (5.9%), with a moderate level of attitude towards goals (64.9%) and a moderate level of family roles (39%) acting as mediating variables. The results of the findings have led to the contributions for the study.

6.0 Contributions of the Study and Conclussions

          From the theoretical perspective, this study has contributed significantly to the study on entrepreneurship education by providing a clearer theoretical perspective on entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. Specifically, this study gives a better understanding of the mediating effect of attitude towards goals and family roles in the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. The study has focused on the ‘Theory of Planned Behaviour’, ‘Theory of Reasoned Action’, ‘Theory of Acceptance Model’, ‘Strategic Management Theory’, ‘Autio’s Model’, ‘Career Socialisation Theory’, ‘Social Factor Model’, ‘Personality Traits Model’, ‘Theory of Achievement’, ‘Entrepreneurial Career Theory’ as the underlying theories for this research. The findings of this study validate the respective theories. From the methodical perspective, the entrepreneurial intention (ENTINT) instrument was developed and used in the US, UK and in other settings. The present study contributed significantly to the study on entrepreneurship education by assessing and validating entrepreneurship education variables of curricula, teaching methodologies and universities roles with the mediating effects of attitude and stakeholder support systems in a different setting that is in the context of university students in Malaysia. 

         From the practical perspective, the findings in the study are important to the Malaysian government and the Malaysian universities in improving its policies and practices in the selection and management of entrepreneurship curricula, teaching methodologies and pedagogies of entrepreneurship education. The present study will contribute significantly to the operational elements of the educational systems of entrepreneurship education with regard to the quality of programs, human resources, roles of the universities, aid from the government, financial institutions and lastly the parents and extended family members of the university students. The study could assist both the internal and external stakeholders in understanding the unemployment situation of the country and how entrepreneurship education could be motivated with a world-class education system as desired by the Malaysian university students to gain entrepreneurial intentions.

         The study has discussed the three research objectives developed for the study in the context of the Malaysian universities. The first objective is to investigate the interaction of attitude towards goals as a mediator between the relationship of entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. The second objective is to investigate the interaction of family roles as a mediator between the relationship of entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. The third objective is to investigate the interaction effect of attitude towards goals and family roles in the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. The findings present that 64.9% contribute to attitude towards goals; 39% contribute to family roles and 5.9% contribute to entrepreneurial intentions. Both attitude towards goals and family roles have acquired a moderate level but entrepreneurial intentions have a low level in the present study. The findings contributed to some of the theories related to both the mediating variables attitude towards goals, family roles and entrepreneurial intentions. The implications of the theory with regard to theoretical, methodological and practical contributions were discussed.

 

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Zhang, Y., Duysters, G. & Cloodt, M. (2014). The role of entrepreneurship education as a predictor of university Students’ entrepreneurial intention, 10(3), 623-641

Keywords: Entrepreneurship curricula teaching methodologies Universities roles Attitude towards goals Family roles Entrepreneurial intentions Structural Equation Modeling. DOI

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