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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Annals of Tourism Research, Volume 37, Issue 3, July 2010, Pages 646–669
This study aims to investigate the relationship between entrepreneurial traits, socio-cultural background and entrepreneurial intention of university students in the UK and Turkey. 409 tourism students were surveyed to measure entrepreneurial intention, entrepreneurial traits including risk-taking propensity, innovativeness, tolerance of ambiguity and locus of control and socio-cultural factors. The findings indicate that there is a statistically significant relationship between innovation, propensity to take risks, entrepreneurial family and entrepreneurial intention. Education does not seem to play an important role in fostering entrepreneurial traits and intentions of university students.
Entrepreneurship contributes to a country’s economy by promoting innovation, engendering competition, creating employment and thus contributes to economic wealth and spending power (Guasch et al., 2002 and Holmgren and From, 2005). In particular, in developed and developing countries both, tourism entrepreneurship is vital to tourists’ experiences and satisfaction and to destination and community development (Bardolet and Sheldon, 2008, Blake et al., 2006, Cawley and Gillmor, 2008 and Getz and Carlsen, 2005). Countries therefore are examining how best to cultivate tourism entrepreneurship. Previous research suggests that individuals’ traits influence their intentions to start a business (Koh, 1996, Mueller and Thomas, 2001 and Robinson et al., 1991). Individuals with traits such as high propensity for risk taking, tolerance for ambiguity and internal locus of control are more likely to start a new business. However, while investigating the interface between the traits of individuals and their intentions, these studies do not consider socio-cultural elements, namely, education, entrepreneurial family background and national culture. Previous studies claim that education influences individuals’ cultural values and thus their level of entrepreneurship (Hayton et al., 2002 and Morrison, 2000). For example, the manner in which people are educated from an early age and the transferable skills which they develop during higher education play a significant role in establishing characteristics generally associated with entrepreneurial behaviour (Casson, 1991 and Ronstadt, 1985). Tourism and hospitality education is still considered very much vocational and action oriented, and many have doubts about the extent to which it prepares students for thinking critically and working outside existing practices and paradigms (Airey and Tribe, 2000 and Echtner, 1995), essential features for fostering entrepreneurship (Kirby, 2005). Although tourism and hospitality management education has come a long way from its origins in on-the-job training to a broad-based liberal curriculum in schools, it is still considered very much vocational and action oriented. Scholars such as Airey and Tribe, 2000 and Ayikoru et al., 2009 question the extent to which traditional tourism and hospitality management education prepares students to think critically outside existing practices and paradigms. Especially in developing countries, Echtner (1995) proposes a ‘three-pronged’ approach to tourism education, which cultivates three types of skills: professional, vocational and entrepreneurial. Echtner points out that the existing types of tourism education programs can be grouped into two basic categories: professional education and vocational skills, and she emphasises the third, largely overlooked component in tourism education: entrepreneurial development. The main objective of professional education is to develop students’ ability to interpret, evaluate and analyse by providing theoretical concepts. The main objective of vocational education, on the other hand, is to teach skills; such content is highly practical. Although the debate on the content and approach to tourism education programs has centred on professional education versus vocational skills, they both are mainly concerned with creating human resources to work for others. However, according to Echtner, the third component creates human resources to work for oneself by developing entrepreneurs. Such an education can tap into an important portion of human resource potential in developing countries by encouraging and cultivating local entrepreneurial tourism development. In fact, one of the most important critical needs of developing counties is to foster not only an environment within which entrepreneurship can flourish, but also entrepreneurs (Echtner, 1995). A family business tradition also influences the entrepreneurial behaviours of individuals (Basu and Goswami, 1999 and Duchesneau and Gartner, 1990). Through working in a family business, people can acquire certain business ideas and skills to start their own or continue their families’ businesses. The tourism industry is dominated by family businesses (Getz & Carlsen, 2005), parents being a potential influential factor on their children’s intention to continue with an existing business or start a new business (Altinay & Altinay, 2006). Similarly, it has been found that national culture plays an influential role on entrepreneurial behaviours (McGrath et al., 1992, Shane, 1993 and Sivakumar and Nakata, 2003). Hofstede (2003, p. 25) defines national culture as “the collective programming of mind which distinguishes the members of one human group from another” and suggests four dimensions—power distance, individualism, masculinity and uncertainty avoidance—to explain differences among individuals from different nations. However, to date, there appears to be a limited number of studies exploring tourism entrepreneurs’ motives, despite the growing importance in responding to crucial tourism agendas such as ethics and sustainability, climate change and global crises (Getz and Carlsen, 2005, Hjalager, 2007 and Russell and Faulkner, 2004). Given the above factors, this paper aims to investigate the entrepreneurial intention of higher education tourism students in the UK and Turkey by considering their traits as well as their socio-cultural backgrounds. More specifically, this research aims to find out, first, the similarities and differences between the entrepreneurial traits of tourism students in the UK and Turkey; second, the influence of different traits—namely, propensity to take risks, internal locus of control, tolerance for ambiguity and students’ innovation—on their intentions to start a business; third, the influence of their socio-cultural backgrounds—namely, family background, education and national culture—on their intentions to start a business and fourth in particular, the moderating effect of education between the entrepreneurial traits and intentions of students. By exploring the above four factors, the study will address a research gap in the area of tourism entrepreneurship by identifying the intentions of tourism students to start a new business. In particular, it will respond to Johnson’s, Simon’s and Wijbenga’s (2006) call for discipline-based research into the effects of higher education on entrepreneurship. Interestingly, although today’s university students make up a significant share of the pool of potential entrepreneurs (Mueller 2004), there appears to be a dearth of studies into tourism students’ intentions to get involved in entrepreneurial endeavours.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of entrepreneurial traits and socio-cultural background on entrepreneurial intention of higher education tourism students in the UK and Turkey. The results indicated that there is a positive statistically significant relationship with entrepreneurial intention and some entrepreneurial traits; particularly innovativeness and propensity to take risks both in Turkey and the UK. In addition, among the socio-cultural factors, having an entrepreneurial family seems to be an important predictor in the entrepreneurial intention of tourism students. Culture, on the other hand, seems to play a role when the probability of establishing a business is concerned rather than having entrepreneurial intention. These findings suggest that entrepreneurial intention cannot be solely explained by individual traits; socio-cultural background also has an important bearing on entrepreneurial intention. It is therefore important that researchers take a holistic approach to understanding entrepreneurial intention. As suggested by Learned (1992), a combination of psychological traits in interaction with background factors makes individuals likelier candidates to attempt to start a business. The study findings also indicate that education does not play a statistically significant role in increasing either entrepreneurial intention or entrepreneurial qualities of tourism students neither in Turkey nor the UK. Since education does not appear to have a moderating effect between traits and intentions, we may question the academic provisions offered to students in tourism and hospitality schools and return to the arguments put forward by scholars such as Airey and Tribe, 2000, Ayikoru et al., 2009, Echtner, 1995 and Kirby, 2005 who argue that traditional education has to change to encourage entrepreneurship. Since entrepreneurship is about creativity, innovation, risk taking, and opportunity seeking, there has been an ongoing debate in the literature about whether entrepreneurship can be taught at all (Holmgren and From, 2005). However, as pointed out by Gorman (1997), there is considerable consensus among researchers that with a certain reformation and reorganisation of the so-called traditional education, it can be taught. Holmgren and From (2005) state that although researchers disagree on what entrepreneurship education should be, they agree on the fact that something positive must replace or be a part of traditional education. As Owusu-Ansah and Flemin (2002:92) state, “The educational system traditionally teaches young people to obey, to reproduce facts and to look for work as an employee. Entrepreneurs on the contrary, must trust their own judgement, learn by doing and create their own jobs. It is reported that several authors agree that enterprise can be taught by teaching entrepreneurial qualities, that is creativity, independence and need for achievement, and that it should be taught early in the educational system.” Encouraging the enterprise spirit is in the agenda of the European Union, therefore, in a similar fashion, in a report of the European Commission (2002:9), it was stated that “The educational systems have not in the past been geared towards the development of entrepreneurship and self-employment, the final goal of the educational path being rather to produce employees working in a big company or in a public administration.” Several researchers (such as Cooper, Bottomley and Gordon, 2004; Kirby, 2005) have suggested that to increase the number of students who view business start-up as a viable career option, entrepreneurship education must involve learning and facilitating for entrepreneurship, not about it. This study does not aim to offer appropriate teaching methods to encourage the enterprise spirit, rather it aims to understand whether today’s university education has an effect on the entrepreneurial mindset of the students. In the above sense, the findings of this research are important for policy makers and academics not only in Turkey, but also in the UK. Since, this study suggests that the current education processes should be changed and developed to create enterprising individuals, it offers valuable guidelines and insight for those who formulate, deliver and evaluate educational policy; they may wish to review the current higher educational system in a way to foster the entrepreneurial mindset in individuals. As suggested by Kirby (2005) the challenge is to develop a system of learning that can complement the traditional. Finally, research into entrepreneurship in tourism appears to be scant and at the embryonic stage. Previous studies in the area of tourism entrepreneurship have predominantly focused on how entrepreneurship could be fostered and developed at the country level (Getz and Carlsen, 2005, Hjalager, 2007 and Russell and Faulkner, 2004). They ignored the serious linkages between the entrepreneur as the key player of business development, entrepreneurship and country. This study focused on tourism students, who are regarded as the potential driving force of entrepreneurship, in two countries, Turkey and the UK. The study demonstrated that regardless of country of origin, tourism students possess two key characteristics of entrepreneurship: innovativeness and propensity to take risks. More importantly, these two traits have a bearing on their intentions to start a business. These results suggest that both the UK and Turkey might need to develop educational, socio-economic and political frameworks that will enable tourism students to exploit their innovative and risk-taking entrepreneurial qualities. This is particularly important in the context of a developing country such as Turkey, because entrepreneurship is being seen as a route to empower citizens, generate innovation and integrate the country into the global economy by changing mindsets (Hisrich and Drnovsek, 2002 and UNCTAD, 2008). There are a number of limitations in the study. First, we used cross-sectional method of data collection. However, longitudinal data would have provided more valid support for our study. Another important limitation of this study is the number of factors that are investigated. There are literally hundreds of variables that can influence entrepreneurial intentions of individuals; four of those important variables, religion, family income, self-efficacy and energy level were not investigated in the study. In addition, a larger sample including various other cultures would make the investigation more global and generalizable. Further research should investigate potential educational approaches and provisions that could foster entrepreneurial traits of individuals. In addition, students from different subject areas (e.g. engineering, education and business administration) or countries maybe studied. Finally, an institutional approach to the analysis of entrepreneurial intention and identification of factors in the institutional framework (legal, economic, educational) that stimulate and/or hinder entrepreneurial intention in different countries could also be examined.