Home Computer Science Technological Entrepreneurship: Technology-Driven vs Market-Driven Innovation
Self-efficacy refers to individuals’ conscious belief in their own ability to successfully undertake a particular task (Bandura 1997). It is an important determinant of human behaviour. Individuals tend to avoid tasks about which they have low self-efficacy whilst being drawn towards tasks about which they have high self-efficacy. Individuals with a strong sense of self-efficacy in a given domain are likely to approach difficult problems in that domain with persistence and are less likely to be deterred by high levels of complexity or difficulty.
Chen et al. (1998) developed the construct of entrepreneurial selfefficacy (ESE) to describe the degree to which individuals believe that they are capable of performing the tasks associated with new venture management. These researchers identified a list of these tasks related to various aspects of entrepreneurship, including marketing, financial management, innovation, risk-taking and general management. Forbes (2005) noted that ESE can influence both an individual’s willingness to engage in entrepreneurship and the behaviour of those who are already entrepreneurs. ESE affects potential entrepreneurs, because individuals’ intentions to found new businesses are a function of the extent to which they perceive that it is both feasible and desirable to progress a specific business idea (Krueger and Brazeal 1994). In the case of existing ones, ESE can influence their willingness to engage in further entrepreneurial activities. Additionally ESE can influence how well existing entrepreneurs discharge their responsibilities as managers of new projects. This is important because many entrepreneurs continue to manage their ventures long after the initial start-up phase. Individuals with high levels of ESE are more likely to exhibit persistence and concentration. These behaviours are likely to enhance new venture performance. By contrast, low levels of self-efficacy are associated with performance-inhibiting behaviours, such as indecision, dis-traction and procrastination, in the performance of various tasks (Wood et al. 1990). Furthermore Krueger and Dickson (1994) concluded that individuals with high levels of ESE are better able to recognise new opportunities as these emerge.
Bandura proposed there are four ways in which an individual’s experiences can influence their self-efficacy:
In developing and refining the scale developed by Chen et al., Forbes
proposed that there is a requirement to recognise the influence of certain
additional factors upon ESE. These include:
4. The availability of real-time data because this, unlike historical data, provides immediacy and access to the latest knowledge, allowing the entrepreneur to rapidly gain understanding of the latest trends and technological events that are likely to impact the success of their innovative activities. The need to acquire real-time data also has the social effect of forcing the entrepreneur to continually engage in the exchange and interpretation of information from key external sources.
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