Creative go-getters: Antecedents of entrepreneurial activities in engineering undergraduates

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine characteristics of incoming engineering students as possible predictors of later participation in entrepreneurial activities. Four characteristics were examined: 1) locomotion, 2) self-evaluation, 3) creative self-efficacy and 4) having a close relative who is an entrepreneur. In September of 2013, a survey was sent to first-year engineering students at a large mid-Atlantic university as part of a larger longitudinal study. A total of 817 students completed the survey with a response rate of 29.1%. The students completed a battery of scales including the creative self-efficacy scale,1 the locomotion scale, and the assessment scale.2 At the end of the survey, students were asked whether or not they had yet considered pursing a minor in the engineering entrepreneurship minor located at the university. At the end of the survey, students were also asked whether or not they had a close family member who was an entrepreneur and a series of questions concerning their perceptions of entrepreneurship as a career path. This study examined the following hypotheses: 1) Engineering students who intend to minor in entrepreneurship have higher scores on locomotion and creative-self efficacy and lower scores on assessment. These students will also have more positive perceptions of entrepreneurship as a possible career path. 2) More positive views of entrepreneurship as a career will be positively associated with higher scores on locomotion and creative self-efficacy and lower scores on assessment. 3) Students with a close family member who is an entrepreneur will be more likely to intend to minor in engineering entrepreneurship and have more positive perceptions of entrepreneurship as a career. The results suggest that students who are considered "go-getters" and see themselves as being creative individuals are both likely to know about the entrepreneurship minor early in their academic careers and to aspire to pursue the minor. Students with high locomotion high creative self-efficacy scores also had more positive views of entrepreneurship as a career. Having a close family member who is an entrepreneur was also a positive predictor of a positive view of entrepreneurship as a career.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014
Event121st ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: 360 Degrees of Engineering Education - Indianapolis, IN, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2014Jun 18 2014

Other

Other121st ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: 360 Degrees of Engineering Education
CountryUnited States
CityIndianapolis, IN
Period6/15/146/18/14

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Zappe, S. E. (2014). Creative go-getters: Antecedents of entrepreneurial activities in engineering undergraduates. Paper presented at 121st ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: 360 Degrees of Engineering Education, Indianapolis, IN, United States.