Altering student preferences toward takeover entrepreneurship: Action research based on threshold theory.
This paper investigates whether students change their entrepreneurial entry preference if they are presented with different options. We propose that students’ entry preferences are mediated by concepts proposed by threshold theory: choice options, opportunity costs and psychic income. This study is exploratory in nature, analyzing a small sample of 31 student essays both quantitatively and qualitatively to test our propositions. Though lacking a control group, enrolment in a six-week module on entry mode options by a group of third year Bachelor students at a Dutch university resulted in some interesting changes—in particular, toward greater clarity in the entrepreneurial entry mode preference as well as a shift toward takeover options (including firm acquisition and family succession). However, thematic analysis of students essays reveals that the perceived ability to act on such preferences may still be limited by opportunity costs (i.e., the higher need for financial capital) and a self-perceived lack of human capital (entrepreneurial or management experience).
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