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Conference Papers Year : 2013

Entrepreneurial Experience Transfer by Role Models: A Structural Model

Olivier Brunel
Eric-Michael Laviolette
  • Function : Author
Miruna Radu Lefebvre


The aim of this article is to demonstrate that the entrepreneurial experience of alumni students can be transferred through testimonials to new students with a snowball effect on their self-efficacy and entrepreneurial intention. Often, students do not engage in an entrepreneurial career because of their lack of experience. To compensate for that, their engagement might be highly influenced by legitimate role models, which arouse their emotions and reinforce their self-efficacy, enabling them to project themselves in a career seen as difficult and risky (Dyer, 1994; Scott and Twomey, 1988). These role models are young men and women of the same school who have created successfully and unsuccessfully companies, implicitly with the same level of experience as any student. Students are exposed to them during an internship, at school, in the family context or more widely in the media with multiple examples such as the founder of facebook. The influence of these role models has been strongly confirmed in literature for established entrepreneurs (Bosma et al., 2011 ; Brockhaus and Horwitz, 1986; Cooper and Dunkelberg, 1987; Shapero and Sokol, 1982). However, when it comes to potential entrepreneurs such as students, its impact through training programs has been rarely examined (Auken, Fry and Stephens, 2006; Scherer, Adams and Wiebe, 1989; Wilson, Kickul and Marlino, 2007). The objective of this article is to explore how symbolic role models such as testimonials or stories of alumni students who have founded their companies have an effect on the self-efficacy and the entrepreneurial intention of new students in the same school.
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Dates and versions

hal-01016965 , version 1 (01-07-2014)


  • HAL Id : hal-01016965 , version 1


Olivier Brunel, Eric-Michael Laviolette, Miruna Radu Lefebvre. Entrepreneurial Experience Transfer by Role Models: A Structural Model. Research in Entrepreneurship and Small Business (RENT), Nov 2013, Lithuania. ⟨hal-01016965⟩
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