From Social Enterprise Start-up Intention to Behaviour: Analysing the Intention-behaviour Relationship and the Moderating Effects of Environmental and Personal Factors

Irene J. Seebacher-Tomas & Hanna Taya

Student thesis: Master thesis


To date, researchers have investigated social enterprise start-up intentions based on the assumption of the ‘Theory of Planned Behaviour’ that intentions lead to subsequent behaviour. However, research from other fields has shown that although the intention-behaviour relationship may be strong, it is not perfect. Fishbein’s ‘Integrative Model for Behavioural Prediction’ proposes to investigate environmental and personal moderators to better explain the translation of intention into behaviour. Hence, this study aims to analyse the research question: Do social enterprise start-up intentions lead to subsequent behaviour, and how do environmental and personal factors moderate this relationship?
This research tests the environmental factor of ‘Institutional Support’, and the personal factors of ‘Self-Control’ and ‘Time Planning’. We hypothesise that these these factors positively moderate, and, thus, strengthen the intention-behaviour relationship. We draw on longitudinal data collected from international students who took a ‘Massive Open Online Couse’ on social entrepreneurship. Social enterprise start-up intentions were measured at the start of this course and subsequent behaviour four years later. In total, we obtained 211 complete responses, and analysed them using ‘Structural Equation Modelling’.
The findings indicate that ‘Self-Control’ positively moderates the intention-behaviour relationship, while neither ‘Institutional Support’ nor ‘Time Planning’ have a statistically significant effect. We conduct a post-hoc analysis by inputting Thomson Reuters’ ‘Country Social Enterprise Supportiveness’ as an alternative environmental factor into our model, yet it neither moderates the intention-behaviour relationship. In conclusion, our sample suggests that intention can lead to behaviour and the personal factor ‘Self-Control’ can strengthen this relationship.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture - Business and Development Studies, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages165
SupervisorsKai Hockerts