Reference : Venture Creation Intentions and the Seasons of Adult Development
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference
Business & economic sciences : Strategy & innovation
Venture Creation Intentions and the Seasons of Adult Development
Heuer, Annamaria mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'ULg > HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'ULg >]
Surlemont, Bernard mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > HEC - Ecole de gestion de l'ULg > Gestion internationale - Entrepreneuriat >]
31st Institute for Small Business & Entrepreneurship Conference
5-7 November 2008
Institute for Small Business &Entrepreneurship
United Kingdom
[en] Entrepreneurial Intentions ; Theory of Planned Behaviour ; Aging
[en] Objectives:

The objective of the paper is to identify the potential impact of different forms of aging (e.g. biological, psychological and psychosocial aging) on entrepreneurial intention. Thus, the key focus will be on aging-related changes of attitudes, subjective norms and feasibility perceptions and their influence on intention.

Prior work:
Numerous studies have applied cognition research-based models to understand the factors that impact entrepreneurial intentions (e.g. Davidsson, 1995; Kolvereid, 1996; Krueger, Reilly and Carsrud, 2000; Autio et al., 2001; Douglas and Shepherd, 2002; Kristiansen and Indarti, 2004). Most scholars, however, have conducted their studies on university students (e.g. Van Gelderen et al., 2006). This choice is mostly motivated by an easier access to data. As a consequence, this may have introduced a bias that underestimates the potential influence of life-stage-related differences on entrepreneurial intention.


The paper will present a literature review of the theories that look at the impact of aging on career intentions (for instance, Lévesque and Minniti, 2006; Ornstein et al., 1989).

The approach is to start on the structure of the intentions model (Ajzens’ Theory of Planned Behaviour) as a framework to integrate these pieces of research.

This paper is conceptual in nature, transferring important ideas of adult-development to the domain of entrepreneurship. The argumentation will show the differences in perceived desirability and feasibility are related to aging, such as high plasticity of attitude in early adulthood (e.g. Visser et al., 1998), higher change susceptibility in mid-age (Levinson, 1986; Lévesque and Minniti, 2006), and dominant self-limiting roles and decreasing willingness to bear uncertainty in the later eras (Greller, 1995; Shane, 2003). Ultimately, the paper will contribute to formulate hypotheses relating aging stages and possible drivers of entrepreneurial intention.

If the drivers of entrepreneurial intention change according to age, then programmes to stimulate entrepreneurship may have to be adapted according to the target audience. If potential entrepreneurs at later stages such as the “thirties transition” are more susceptible to change, and considering that due to population aging and increasing retirement age in the western world the economic importance of “older” entrepreneur’s is likely to increase, why not stimulate them more?

Value: To date, there have only been sporadic, short argumentations for aging-related changes of intentional antecedents. We fill this gap and provide a more rigorous review of this problematic.
Researchers ; Professionals

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