Fang, Chen, & Liwen Chen (2019). Exploring the entrepreneurial intentions of science and engineering students in China: A Q methodology study. Sustainability, 11, art. 2751. 16 pp. (doi: 10.3390/su11102751)

Abstract: The entrepreneurial intentions of Chinese students have received rapidly evolving attention, with the “mass entrepreneurship and innovation” program as a driving force, which encourages individuals to start their own business. Entrepreneurial intention, which is perceived as being a predictor of entrepreneurial behavior, has generally been explored in the existing literature on the basis of the theory of planned behavior and the intention–behavior model. Since intention is a psychological notion, it is important to investigate the motivation for developing entrepreneurial intention from a subjective perspective. The aim of this study is to identify the objective factors that determine Chinese science and engineering students’ entrepreneurial intentions, and to understand how these different factors affect their intention to become an entrepreneur. Q methodology, which is a technological combination of qualitative and quantitative research, was conducted using thirty Chinese science and engineering students, and this paper reports their individual attitudes and discourses concerning their entrepreneurial intentions. After compiling 32 Q sets of statements and performing factor analysis, three distinct types of entrepreneurs were revealed. The findings suggest that a subjective approach to entrepreneurship education should be taken to enhance science and engineering students’ entrepreneurial intentions. Some theoretical and practical implications of these findings for techno-entrepreneurship education and development are also discussed.

Liwen Chen <> is in the Department of Technology Management, Chung Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan.