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Title: Factors that influence entrepreneurial intentions among undergraduates of South-south and Southeast Nigeria
Author: John, Ita J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 8067
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2015
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Research shows intentions as the best predictor of behaviour or action, more so if the behaviour requires some unknown time lags to get it realised. This mixed methods research is conducted to explain what factors encourage or discourage entrepreneurship among undergraduates in South-south and Southeast Nigeria and to know whether the factors are the same across the two regions. It surveys 1,129 indigenous final-year undergraduates from 11 states, in 15 universities across 12 faculties and 68 departments in the two regions studied plus four focus groups of 42 participants. It uses a partial least squares structural equation modelling technique (PLS-SEM) to analyse the survey data. It finds the personal attitude construct as the strongest influence on the entrepreneurial intentions variable, followed by the perceived behavioural control construct. The next influence is the perceived barriers construct; it acts as a discouraging factor. The focus group interview results find that the undergraduates explained the factors that influence them as being transformational, affective, push, personal fulfilment motives and personality traits. Moreover, the results indicate that the undergraduates would more likely embrace entrepreneurship if courses were taught in a more practical or application-oriented approach than theory-oriented. Also, if relevant internships were introduced in their courses, entrepreneurship lecturers were experienced entrepreneurs, and universities had a strong collaboration with relevant industries too. The partial least squares multi-group analysis detected no significant differences in any of the 18 relationships hypothesised, based on the model paths. This result suggests that, conceptually or theoretically, the factors modelled as influencing the South-south and Southeast students toward entrepreneurship are fundamentally the same. Nevertheless, in practice as well as in the wider society, the pattern between the two regions might somewhat differ. The reason is that the participants in the focus group interviews consistently demonstrated that they observe and, therefore, perceive the people of Southeast Nigeria as exhibiting a more peculiar flair for entrepreneurial activities in practice. The participants offered various explanations for their position to include: apprenticeship, serial mentorship, crave for independence, early childhood introduction to business by family, and profit motives as the factors that they believe, are more likely to distinguish the Southeast people from their South-south counterparts in entrepreneurship pursuits. They believe, also, that graduates from the two regions would probably follow the same observed patterns of entrepreneurial behaviours. Thus, a major implication would be that in undertaking undergraduate entrepreneurship research, accommodating multi-logical approaches that also encourage views of the students could offer more useful solutions for policy on what students perceive would attract them toward entrepreneurship.
Supervisor: Singh, Pritam ; Adesola, Sola Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral