The Design Entrepreneur: How Adaptive Cognition and Formal Design Training Create Entrepreneurial Self-efficacy and Entrepreneurial Intention

Bo Christensen, Kasper Merling Arendt, Paul McElheron, Linden J. Ball

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Why are design students more likely than other students to become entrepreneurs? The cognitive mechanisms underpinning design- and entrepreneurial thinking have been argued to be similar, suggesting relevance to business venturing. On the other hand, differential formal training in design vs business education suggests distinct types of “entrepreneurial self-efficacy”. We report a survey (N = 296) of design versus business students that assessed how adaptive cognition and formal training drive distinct types of entrepreneurial self-efficacy and entrepreneurial intention. The study finds that design versus business students possess different types of entrepreneurial self-efficacy that are positively predicted by adaptive cognition, but differentially affected by type of education. Both types of entrepreneurial self-efficacy positively predict entrepreneurial intention to start up a business.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101181
JournalDesign Studies
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • Deisgn traning
  • Adaptive cognition
  • Entrepreneurial self-efficacy
  • Entrepreneurial intention

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