Scholarly Technical Education Publication Series (STEPS) Vol. 1
Determinant Factors of Entrepreneurial Intention Among Students in Kolej Komuniti Kok Lanas
Mohd Azian bin Husin
Kolej Komuniti Kok Lanas Kelantan
Shuhaila binti Ibrahim
Kolej Komuniti Kok Lanas Kelantan
This research aims to establish the factors that would likely influence the entrepreneurial intention of the students of the Kolej Komuniti Kok Lanas Kelantan (KKKLK), which is one of the Higher Education Colleges in Malaysia established for community residents to improve their knowledge and diversified skills. The study involved the participation of 151 students from the different courses offered and are only limited on the students of KKKLK enrolled in the current fiscal year. The research findings are intended to aid policy makers in promoting and developing future entrepreneurs in Community Colleges in social and educational areas through strengthening institutional support in subject areas deemed to significantly affect entrepreneurship intentions among the students.
Findings suggest that institutional support is perceived to have a more significant influence in shaping entrepreneurial intention compared to subjective norms and attitude. This finding is in line with the Theory of Planned Behavior suggesting that the determinant factors for influencing entrepreneurship decisions were: subjective norms, attitude and entrepreneurial intention.
Keywords: theory of planned behavior, entrepreneurship intention, institutional support
Community Colleges are established to provide alternative routes or other viable options for post-secondary students through the instruction of skills, training and education. It also provides training and skills to the underprivileged members of the society by encouraging a quality learning environment and using tools such as up-skilling training, re-skilling and multi-skilling to local workforce needs and a strategic network for the purpose of strengthening the socio-economic activities and well-being of local communities.
Community Colleges pioneered change by strengthening the Community College program launched on July 14, 2011, in accordance with the New Economic Policy initiated by Dato ‘Seri Mohd Najibbin Tun Abdul Razak at the Invest 2010 conference in Kuala Lumpur.
School programs have been implemented using a modular approach that is related to opportunities to enhance skills to students in technical and vocational fields. This program offers 135 different courses by 2012 compared with 52 programs in 2010. This program is in line with government’s desire to develop world class human capital.
Pelan Pengukuhan Keusahawanan Kolej Komuniti, Jabatan Pengajian Kolej Komuniti (JPKK or the Entrepreneurial Reinforcement Plan of Community Colleges, Department of Community Colleges) focuses on the development of Community College students that they may possess entrepreneurial characteristics and competencies, be competitive and with high self-esteem in line with the Dasar Pembangunan Keusahawanan Institusi Pengajian Tinggi (Entrepreneurial Development Policy of Higher Education Institutions). The main goal of this plan is to provide guidelines in implementing entrepreneurship programs at Community Colleges in order to encourage the development of the human capital through imbibing the values and ideals of entrepreneurship.
In an effort to achieve the above goals, the government has developed the Pelan Strategik Pengukuhan Keusahawanan Kolej Komuniti based on the six core areas of Dasar Pembangunan Keusahawanan:
- Establishing a center for entrepreneurship at JPKK and a Community College;
- Providing education and entrepreneurship programs that are planned and holistic;
- Strengthening entrepreneurship development programs and creating an effective measurement mechanism;
- Providing a conducive environment and ecosystem for entrepreneurship development; and
- Strengthening competency of entrepreneurship coordinator.
This study realizes the need for Community Colleges to integrate entrepreneurship into the curriculum. Thus, it concentrates on the three main factors in influencing entrepreneurship intention namely: (1) attitude, (2) subjective norms and (3) institutional support in evaluating the students’ intention to pursue entrepreneurship activities after graduation.
The study aims to answer the following research questions:
- What is the perception towards attitude, subjective norms and institutional support as factors in influencing entrepreneurial intention among the students in KKKLK?
- Is there a significant difference between the perception towards attitude, subjective norms and institutional support as factors in influencing entrepreneurial intention among the students in KKKLK?
Null Hypothesis: Attitude, subjective norms and institutional support have no significant difference in influencing the intention of the students to pursue entrepreneurship.
Alternative Hypothesis: Attitude, subjective norms and institutional support have significant difference in influencing the intention of the students to pursue entrepreneurship.
Conceptual and Theoretical Framework
The study refers to theories formulated by Thomas (2006), where he asserted that the person’s skill depended on his ability to search for knowledge and his willingness to learn entrepreneurship, and it is related to his intention in developing his interest in entrepreneurship and all aspects related to it. This is further supported by David (2004), where he identified that entrepreneurship education using effective learning models is very instrumental in providing and building knowledge to potential entrepreneurs.
Another theory from Ajzen (1991) used an intention-based model and approach to explain an individual’s intention to perform in a given behavior. Intention indicates how hard people are willing to try, and how much effort they are planning to exert in order to perform the behavior. This theory was used in the study to validate its ability to explain intention in performing a particular behavior (Bidin et al., 2012). This conceptual research will be using the theory of planned behavior (TBP) to explain the intention among students of KKKLK in venturing to entrepreneurial activity in the future. According to the theory there are three conceptually independent determinants of intention towards behavior, namely: attitudes towards the behavior, subjective norm, and perceived behavior control (Ajzen, 1991).
Referring from Ajzen (1991)’s theory of planned behavior, attitudes towards performing a behavior refers to perceptions of personal desirability to perform the said behavior. Further explanations from Riani et al. (2012) emphasized the attitude exhibited by students in entrepreneurship are influenced by attitudes towards entrepreneurial intentions. Attitudes are defined as the beliefs and perceptions about the willingness to personal behavior, which in turn related to expectation about the impact of personal decisions (Mokhtar and Zainuddin, 2010).
Ajzen (1991) also explained the importance of perceived behavioral control (PBC) in relating to an individual’s perception on the degree of easiness and difficulties in performing such behavior. It is assumed to reflect past experience as well as anticipated obstacles. Bidin et al. (2012), said intentions are affected by perceptions of access to necessary skills, resources and opportunities to perform a behavior.
Referring from the previous researches, it has shown that environmental barriers and institutional support have shown control over the behavior of the entrepreneurship intention (Schwarz et al. 2009). Environmental support can be exhibited in banking services and ease of obtaining the capital for these initiatives to materialize.
The modified TPB models are based on the theories of Schwarz et al, (2009), Riani et al, (2012), Bidin et al, (2012) and Mokhtar and Zainuddin, (2010) and are arranged on the framework as suggested in Figure 1. This figure illustrates that subjective norms, attitude entrepreneurship and institutional support from the KKKLK has a direct effect on the entrepreneurship intention of the students.
To obtain data on the variables identified in this study, questionnaires were used and randomly distributed. A total of 200 questionnaires were distributed randomly to selected students. Out of these, 151 questionnaires representing 76% of the total were deemed to be usable in the study. Out of 151 samples, 30% was male and 70% was female. The breakdown of the respondents who have taken a course or training on entrepreneurship and who will be entrepreneurs eventually is further explained in Table 1.
The questionnaires contained items that measure the key variable of attitudes, subjective norms; perceived behavioral control and intention were adapted from Riani et al, (2012). All items were measured on five-point Likert scale, ranging from ‘1’ “strongly disagree” to ‘5’ “strongly agree.” The research instrument consists of questionnaire items that meet the objectives of this study.
Results and Discussions
To determine the factors of entrepreneurial intention, a basic descriptive analysis was performed using the average score and the distribution of score for the attitude, subjective norms, institutional support and entrepreneurial intention. The results are shown in Table 2. As indicated in the table, the mean score of attitude is 16.90, which means that the respondent had moderately favorable attitude towards entrepreneurship. The mean scores for subjective norms and institutional support were moderately low (mean of 16.79, and 16.33, respectively).
ANOVA is used to test the difference between two sample means to assess the competing claims of both hypothesis. Table 3 shows the results.
Referring from the data in Table 3, the implied results from ANOVA were:
- Accept the null hypothesis stating that attitude has no significant difference between entrepreneurial intention. This implies that regardless of attitude between the courses, entrepreneurial intention still remains the same.
- Accept the null hypothesis stating that subjective norms has no significant difference on entrepreneurial intention. This implies that the subjective norms implemented has little or no impact in changing entrepreneurial intention.
- Reject the null hypothesis stating that institutional support has no significant difference on entrepreneurial intention. This implies that the provision of institutional support has a significant impact in influencing the degree of entrepreneurial intention.
Based from the findings, the emphasis of the Community Colleges on integrating entrepreneurship principles is important in transforming the direction of TVET programs being offered. Students who were exposed to entrepreneurship through entrepreneurship modules and inclusion of entrepreneurship in the curriculum are likely to exhibit an efficient understanding on the concept, therefore enabling them to pursue entrepreneurship education and careers in the future. It also shows that the institution has provided important avenues in encouraging them to undergo entrepreneurship studies.
TVET can contribute a lot more for the students in the technical aspect as well as in improving the image and status of skills and vocational education particularly on entrepreneurial education and training. Students from Community Colleges may not be eligible to enter the academic pathway but they can still be productive and efficient through entrepreneurship, therefore, increasing their chances towards gainful employment.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Based on the analysis and testing conducted in this study, the study concludes that:
- The institutional support is perceived to influence the intentions of the students from Kolej Komuniti Kok Lanas to pursue entrepreneurship the most other than attitude and institutional support. This finding supports the findings of Shwarz et al (2009) stating that environmental factors are a significant factor in influencing entrepreneurship decisions.
- The ANOVA shows that the provision of institutional support significantly affects the decisions of the students to pursue entrepreneurship, supporting the finding of Shwarz et al (2009) that stresses the importance of institutional factors in influencing decisions pertaining to entrepreneurship pursuits.
Based from the findings, the study recommends the following measures for the institutions to consider:
- To transform the TVET system, program offers must be monitored and adapted to the constantly changing business environment and curriculum designs for techvoc education must be attuned to current trends in the business environment. In relation to this professional accreditation bodies must also look into these concerns and must gain consensus in addressing such issues.
- To improve students’ entrepreneurship intentions in Higher Education especially in Community Colleges more entrepreneurial training and opportunities for business training motivation may be designed.
- Students be provided with more opportunities to participate in internships, cooperative efforts and business opportunities.
- The curiculum on entrepreneurship education must be improved in such a way that it is geared towards enhancing awareness and positive attitude of students of Community Colleges on becoming an entreprenuer or having their own businesses. Incentives and appropriate facilities for students who strive to be young entrepreneurs must also be provided, whereby private companies may be engaged in developing a business center unit on campus.
- To further improve the study, future researchers can look further into the effects of attitude, personal background and other norms in influencing entrepreneurship decisions among incoming students and graduating students.
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