The motivational determinants of entrepreneurial and (self-) employment intentions

  • Adriana Martin (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This study explores the effect of different motivations on the formation of entrepreneurial intention by applying and extending Ajzen’s (1991) theory of planned behavior. Using a sample of 171 university students, a survey research was chosen, to investigate the importance of six motivations for participants’ entrepreneurial intentions: self-realization, innovation, independence, financial motivation, recognition, and prosocial motivation. Respondents were asked about their overall entrepreneurial intention as well as their (self-) employment intentions within the next five years. The results show that motivations in the context of entrepreneurship should be treated individually instead of one general entrepreneurial motivation. The findings suggest that only independence and innovation motivations directly affect entrepreneurial intention. I also find an indirect effect between four motivations (independence, innovation, financial, and self-realization motivation) and entrepreneurial intention through two antecedents, entrepreneurial attitude, and perceived behavioral control, which act as mediators of the impact of motivation on entrepreneurial intention. The third antecedent, social norm, was not significant. In comparing the motivations between participants’ self-employment and employment intentions, the study finds that independence and self-realization predict self employment intention within the next five years, while innovation is a better determinant for employment intention. Overall, intrinsic motivations seem to be more important than extrinsic motivations. Lastly, the study finds no significant interaction between motivations in predicting entrepreneurial intention.
Date of Award30 Jun 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorCristina Mendonça (Supervisor)


  • Entrepreneurship
  • Self-employment
  • Motivations
  • Career intentions
  • Theory of planned behavior


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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