The doctoral dissertations of the former Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) and Aalto University Schools of Technology (CHEM, ELEC, ENG, SCI) published in electronic format are available in the electronic publications archive of Aalto University - Aaltodoc.

Entrepreneurial Intentions and the Entrepreneurial Environment: A Study of Technology-Based New Venture Creation

Henri Grundstén

Dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Science in Technology to be presented with due permission of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management for public examination and debate in Auditorium TU2 at Helsinki University of Technology (Espoo, Finland) on the 11th of June, 2004, at 12 o'clock noon.

Dissertation in PDF format (ISBN 951-22-7131-1)   [1594 KB]
Dissertation is also available in print (ISBN 951-22-7130-3)


This dissertation aims to create new knowledge concerning technology-based entrepreneurship and the external factors affecting the entrepreneurial process. More precisely this study focuses on the relationship between entrepreneurial behavior of an individual and the environment. Particular attention is paid to the resource availability from the environment. The main research question of this study is "How does the environment affect technology-based entrepreneurial behavior of an individual?"

The theoretical framework of this study is built on the conceptual framework of new venture creation (Gartner, 1985) and on the concept of entrepreneurial intentions. Other theories applied in this study include resource-based view of the firm, social capital theory and resource dependence. The concept of entrepreneurial intentions is used in this research as a measure for the entrepreneurial behavior of an individual and the resulting entrepreneurial activity. The environment is characterized through two different factor categories: affective environmental factors and rational environmental factors. A special of group of rational environmental factors is the resource availability of the environment. It is hypothesized that these environmental factors affect entrepreneurial intentions in that environment. A model defining the relationships between the environmental factors and entrepreneurial intentions was constructed drawing on the entrepreneurial intention models.

The empirical data of this study is derived from a survey and a case study. The sample for the survey was comprised of the participants of a business plan competition and students of entrepreneurship classes at selected universities. The survey data of 271 nascent entrepreneurs was used to test the model using path analysis. A case study of six recently established technology-based firms was carried out to explore the entrepreneurial process and the role of different resources in that process.

The results of the study show that the environmental factors affect entrepreneurial intentions. However, concerning resource availability only the availability of technology-related resources affected entrepreneurial intentions. The findings of the study suggest that the development of entrepreneurial intentions is a multiphase process where different external factors affect the process at different phases.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial intentions, entrepreneurial environment, resources

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© 2004 Helsinki University of Technology

Last update 2011-05-26