Should I Stay, or Should I Go?Job Satisfaction as a Moderating Factor between Outcome Expectations and Entrepreneurial Intention among Academics
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Both psychological and entrepreneurship research emphasize the pivotal role of job satisfaction in the process of entrepreneurial career decisions. In fact, a co-relationship between entrepreneurial intention, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment was demonstrated recently. Prior research operationalized entrepreneurial careers as an escape from poor work environments; thus, there is a lack of understanding regarding how job-satisfaction and outcome expectations can motivate and trigger academic entrepreneurship within and related to the environment of universities (e.g., spin-off activities). In this study, drawing on Social Cognitive Career Theory delineated by Lent and colleagues and the concept of entrepreneurial intention, we addressed the role of job satisfaction as a moderating factor between outcome expectations and entrepreneurial intention. Furthermore, we examined to what extent (a) entrepreneurial intention and (b) spin-off intention are determined by certain outcome expectations and perceived behavioral control. This paper purports to study academic researchers in specialized and non-technical fields and builds on a survey of 593 academic researchers at Swiss Universities of Applied Science (UAS). Supporting our hypothesis, we showed that outcome expectations are a significant predictor for entrepreneurial intentions, in general, and spin-off intentions, in particular. Finally, a multi-group analysis corroborated that job dissatisfaction partly operates as a motivational factor in entrepreneurial transition and interactions with entrepreneurial outcome expectations. In conclusion, the concept of job satisfaction and the theoretical approach of Social Cognitive Career Theory seems to be relevant to study and to encourage academic entrepreneurship as career decisions of the academic researchers.
International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal