From intention to entrepreneurial action

Assessing the impact of the barriers on the creation of new organizations


  • Antonio Oliveira Polytechnic of Porto, Porto Accounting and Business School
  • Orlando Lima Rua Polytechnic of Porto, Porto Accounting and Business School



Entrepreneurial intention


Purpose – This paper aims to contribute to the explanatory debate of the entrepreneurial intention-action gap that results from the interposition of normative-regulatory, sociocultural and economic-financial barriers facing potential and intending entrepreneurs. Design/methodology/approach – Grounded on post-positivist position, the authors propose a quantitative approach, surveying 569 potential and intending entrepreneurs from a longitudinal and stratified sample of 22 years. Findings – The economic-financial barrier is the most important, followed by the sociocultural except in the period in which access to banking financial support is facilitated, where the order is reversed. The impact of the normative-regulatory barrier is statistically relevant, but irrelevant on the magnitude. The results also allow us to conclude that a lower development of the project accentuates the entrepreneurial intention-action gap and, finally, support the existence of a medium/long-term temporal relation between entrepreneurial intention and entrepreneurial action. Research limitations/implications – From an empirical standpoint, the sample was limited to potential and pretending entrepreneurs from one national institution and one country. This limits the scope of generalization. Further studies in multiple contexts should be undertaken. Practical implications – The study points to contradictory results with the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor – Portuguese Reports, which, if confirmed, require the reformulation of Portuguese national policies in the promotion and development of entrepreneurial activities. Originality/value – The study is novel by providing new insights about entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial intention-action gap.


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Research Paper