Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Ronald H. Humphrey

Second Advisor

Joseph E. Coombs

Third Advisor

In-Sue Oh

Fourth Advisor

Matthew W. Rutherford


The field of entrepreneurship is rapidly advancing and matures as a discipline that receives substantial amount of attention. One popular area of research in the discipline of entrepreneurship is to investigate one’s intent to start a business, which is entrepreneurial intention. This is an important construct that warrants ongoing research because entrepreneurial intention is not only a great predictor of entrepreneurial behavior but also an important step in the process of becoming an entrepreneur. The present study, based on a sample of 321 subjects along with 264 observers, makes five contributions to the entrepreneurship literature. First, I examined the psychometric property of entrepreneurial take-over intention and found that it is a construct different from entrepreneurial start-up intention. Second, the results demonstrated that risk propensity and proactive personality are positive predictors of entrepreneurial start-up and take-over intentions, whereas cognitive ability is a negative predictor of entrepreneurial start-up and take-over intentions. Rebelliousness is a positive predictor of entrepreneurial take-over intention and also has an inverted U-shaped relationship with entrepreneurial take-over intention. Third, entrepreneurial self-efficacy mediates the relationship between three individual traits (i.e., emotional intelligence, risk propensity, and proactive personality) and entrepreneurial start-up and take-over intentions. Need for cognition mediates the relationship between two individual traits (i.e., cognitive ability and proactive personality) and entrepreneurial start-up intention. Fourth, 2D:4D ratio (a proxy measure for prenatal testosterone exposure level) negatively predicts risk propensity. There also exist two two-step mediations from 2D:4D ratio to both entrepreneurial start-up and take-over intentions through risk propensity and entrepreneurial self-efficacy. Fifth, the results suggest that observer ratings of individual traits only contribute modest incremental validity above and beyond self-reported ratings of them in predicting entrepreneurial start-up and take-over intentions. I discuss implications, limitations, and future directions informed by the present study.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission