Publication of the Research


International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research
Volume 18 issue 6

Published: 2012, Start page: p630

The impact of story bound entrepreneurial role models on self-efficacy and entrepreneurial intention
Eric Michael Laviolette, Miruna Radu Lefebvre, Olivier Brunel
(pp. 720 - 742)



The purpose of this paper is to measure the impact of positive and negative same-gender fictional role models on students’ self-efficacy and entrepreneurial intention.


The authors conducted an experimental research on 276 French students. Structural equation modeling techniques were employed to measure role model identification, attitude toward the role model, emotional arousal, entrepreneurial self-efficacy and entrepreneurial intention.


Exposure to fictional role models favorably impacts self-efficacy and behavioral intentions if students identify with role models, hold favorable attitudes toward the message, and experience positive emotional arousal. Successful role models reinforce role model identification and generate favorable attitudes toward the message, thus enhancing self-efficacy and entrepreneurial intention. Unsuccessful entrepreneurial role models also favorably reinforce the relationship between self-efficacy and entrepreneurial intention. Message framing and role models’ gender exert a moderating effect on these results.

Practical implications

Several implications for entrepreneurship education are discussed. The predominance of masculine models in entrepreneurship discourse should be inverted in the agenda of entrepreneurship education. The authors question the overall predominance of positive models in entrepreneurial education and more deeply explore the learning value of negative models.


Entrepreneurial literature mainly focuses on mastery experience and positive real-life role models as antecedents of entrepreneurial self-efficacy. Negative role models are rarely examined as potential favorable sources of self-efficacy beliefs, and little is known about the impact of emotional arousal, another source of self-efficacy beliefs, as theorized by Bandura.