Three PhD dissertation projects. Part 1

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Within the framework of La Salle – URL Doctoral Week, PhD candidates presented the advances in their dissertation projects. We will share in this blog three articles about the dissertation projects of the following PhD candidates that were presented last week:

Omar Maluk: “Beyond the entrepreneurial intentions. Does decision help for university graduates?”

Marcela Garza: “An analysis of sport event sponsorship activation in the digital environment: a case study approach”.

And Josep M. Piqué: “How do Ecosystems of Innovation evolve?

Thus, today, we share Omar Maluk´s dissertation project. The title of his research work is “Beyond the entrepreneurial intentions. Does decision help for university graduates?”. This thesis is supervised by Francesc Miralles, PhD.


The motivation of the study is introduced by asking and discussing: Why is entrepreneurial behavior interesting to study upon?

The factors that explain how individuals evolve towards becoming an entrepreneur have been of interest in many different works. These factors can help to design more efficient entrepreneurial promotion policies and consequently to obtain a better return from these policies.

The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) has been used to understand better those factors that help to explain entrepreneurial behavior. For a sake of feasibility, most of these studies use entrepreneurial intention as a dependent variable. Entrepreneurial intention has been found to be a good proxy of entrepreneurial behavior. However, the evolution of an individual from some level of entrepreneurial intention to an actual entrepreneurial behavior requires some additional light in this research area.

Problem Statement

Moreover, the problem statement that includes the contribution area says: This work proposes to progress in this path and suggests to use a new dependent variable, decision of entrepreneurial behavior, that has been defined as an evolution from the entrepreneurial intention towards the actual entrepreneurial behavior. What this work suggests is that the level of entrepreneurial decision should be a better proxy towards entrepreneurial behavior than the level of entrepreneurial intention.

The entrepreneurial decision is introduced taking as a reference the behavioral work of the planned behavior model (TPB) and some of the researchers that have used them. Also, some psychological theories provide support to study this variable as a proxy of entrepreneurial behavior.

By adapting some previous research instruments to include the new dependent variable, a convenience sample of graduate students was used to analyze the research model. With this sample, this research allowed to understand if the new variable could make sense in a TPB model.

Focus of the work

The cited document gathers the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) by Ajzen (1991), and induces to think that by achieving a higher degree of explanation about entrepreneurial intention, a higher proportion of entrepreneurial action and self-employment is explained.

Therefore, this study aims to explain the variables and factors that are related to the business graduated students’ entrepreneurial intentions, using Liñán’s (2008) model, and (Maluk O & Maluk S, ,2016) exploratory analysis, tries to validate the reliability of the constructs and quantify the relationship of its’ regressions.

Results overview

The relevance is academic and business, and is taking an academic step not yet done by delivering a measuring instrument to know the moment when the entrepreneur made his or her final decision to start an entrepreneurial venture.

The use is to measure the decision and also that this work serves to continue research into entrepreneurial action extending the model to the final behavior.

The results obtained show that the entrepreneurial intention of the graduates persists during their professional career, but that the decision to be an entrepreneur is highly correlated with this, although it is a different variable that reveals a certain degree of will to achieve its objective. Through the SEM model it was determined that the entrepreneurial intention has a positive effect on the decision to be an entrepreneur

Implications for academia and industry

Finally, the academic implications of this work allow to understand better the evolution towards the entrepreneurial behavior. Although intention has been proposed as a good proxy of this behavior, our work allows to refine the path to the actual behavior of entrepreneurship by those students that have been involved in entrepreneurial training.

The practical implications of this work, assure that with the measurement of the variable decision to be entrepreneur in a university graduated, it is possible to get better insights on their entrepreneurial behavior then using entrepreneurial intention.

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