Entrepreneurial Intentions among Engineering Students: Applying a Theory of Planned Behavior Perspective

  • Alejandro Valencia-Arias

    Departamento de Ciencias Administrativas, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Administrativas, Instituto Tecnológico Metropolitano, Calle 54 A #30-01, Medellín, Colombia

  • Luz Alexandra Montoya Restrepo

    Departamento de Ingeniería de la Organización, Facultad de Minas, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Av. 80 #65 - 223, Medellín, Colombia


This research employs the Theory of Planned Behavior in an attempt to identify the factors that exert an influence on the entrepreneurial intentions of undergraduate students. The authors hope to contribute to understanding the process of entrepreneurial intentions in engineering students in the context of a developing country, taking as an example engineering students in the city of Medellín. Descriptive field and cross-sectional research was conducted using a quantitative methodological design. Data was collected using a self-administered questionnaire. The sample was made up of 636 undergraduate engineering students. Following validation, statistical Somers’ D was used to evaluate the associations between the constructs found in the Theory of Planned Behavior. It proved possible to corroborate the influence of attitudes, perceived behavioral control, current behavioral control and entrepreneurial behavior on the intention of engineering students to create a business in the future. The authors propose that current behavioral control is the most influential factor on entrepreneurial intention in engineering students. Consequently, university entrepreneurial education initiatives and efforts to motivate entrepreneurship need to be accompanied by programs that help students identify business opportunities and financial mechanisms that will allow fledgling entrepreneurs to feel confident in their personal capacities (attitudes) and their ability to access financial support to help them create businesses.

Keywords: theory of planned behavior, students’ attitudes, higher education, engineering students
Published online
How to Cite
Valencia-Arias, A., Montoya Restrepo, L. A. (2020) “Entrepreneurial Intentions among Engineering Students: Applying a Theory of Planned Behavior Perspective”, Periodica Polytechnica Social and Management Sciences, 28(1), pp. 59-69. https://doi.org/10.3311/PPso.12731