Entrepreneurial Intention: A Match Between Spirituality and Resilience

Entrepreneurial Intention: A Match Between Spirituality and Resilience

Clara Margaça (University of Salamanca, Spain), José Carlos Sánchez-García (University of Salamanca, Spain) and Brizeida Hernandez Sánchez (University of Salamanca, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1802-1.ch001
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Entrepreneurial intention presumes that new business formation is a deliberately designed behavior and is the first step in new business formation. What is the basis of these intentions? In this review chapter, the authors consider spirituality has been seen as a strong predictor of a successful entrepreneur, who bases the company on personal values, that is, economic values are not the most important. If we consider spirituality as a form of intelligence that can be developed, it can be seen as a coping mechanism in the field of entrepreneurship, especially in decision making. A spiritual and resilient entrepreneur has the key to personal fulfillment and sustainable lifelong performance at extraordinary levels.
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Entrepreneurial intention is typically considered to be formed by a person’s attitude toward entrepreneurship, the prevailing social norms attached to it, and the person’s level of self-efficacy. Thus, entrepreneurial intention is a conscious state of mind that directs attention toward a specific goal or pathway in order to achieve the stated ambitions (Bird, 1988; Liñán & Fayolle, 2015). Recently, it has been pointed out as being a cognitive representation of the actions to be implemented by individuals who want to establish new companies (Fini, Grimaldi, Marzocchi, & Sobrero, 2009; Paço, Ferreira, Raposo, Rodrigues & Dinis, 2015).

Some authors see spirituality as being a strong predictor of a successful entrepreneur—one who bases the company on the personal values, (that is, non-economic values) as a priority element. Empirical studies (De Noble, McCandliss & Farah, 2007; Jackson & Konz, 2006; Judge & Douglas, 2013) indicate that religious beliefs are explanatory variables for a propensity towards entrepreneurship, suggesting a causal relationship between them; that is, when high spirituality indices are denoted, potential entrepreneurs tend to use religious criteria based on their decision-making. In turn, spiritual intelligence focuses on skills that predict functioning, adaptation, and ability to produce valuable products and services (Sunita & Anthuvan, 2015). This intelligence also predicts an individual's ability to evaluate his or her actions throughout life.

According to Pruzan (2011), an entrepreneurial intention based on spirituality begins to emerge as an inclusive, holistic and highly personal approach integrating, into a cohesive whole, the internal components of the subject—identity, purpose, social responsibility, and ethics (Sánchez, Ward, Hernández & Florez, 2017). Fogel, a 1993 Nobel laureate in economics, emphasizes the importance of spirituality in the new entrepreneurial economy and has identified resources and spiritual values essential to the economy, “such as a sense of purpose; opportunity and community; strong family; and work ethics” (2000, p.4). Weber (1979) argues that entrepreneurship does not develop only with acts motivated by economic interests, but also by internalized norms and values. Undoubtedly, the explanation of these premises is that the acquired mental and spiritual peculiarities of the social environment—especially the kind of education favored by the religious atmosphere of the family—determine the choice of the occupation; hence, of the career.

Psychology in general invested in the concept of resilience, which stems from physics in the 1950s, with the early studies of Emmy Werner and Ruth Smith (1955). The term resilience, in the context of entrepreneurship, refers to the existence—or construction—of adaptive resources in order to preserve the healthy relationship between the human being and their work in a changing environment. Researchers such as Shapero and Sokol (1982) suggest that the occurrence of critical events in the context of individuals’ lives may lead them to the decision to become entrepreneurs. According to Blatt (2009) and Vassura and Lima de Castro (2018), resilience is a dynamic adaptation process that allows entrepreneurs to continue to look towards the future despite harsh market conditions and despite the destabilizing events they must continually face. Thus, resilience is the capacity that an entrepreneur has in order to overcome particularly difficult circumstances.

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