Mediating role of entrepreneurial alertness between prior entrepreneurial exposures and entrepreneurial intentions


Objective: The objective of the study is to ascertain the mediating role of entrepreneurial alertness (EA) on the prior entrepreneurial exposures (PEE) and entrepreneurial intentions (EI) relationship of fresh graduates in Nigeria.

Research Design & Methods: We conducted a survey on fresh graduates in Nigeria (n = 387). The data gathered were analysed using Hayes’ simultaneous entry on SPSS 23.0 and PROCESS 3.

Findings: We found that PEE leads to an entrepreneurship career intention. We concluded that EA improves the PEE–EI relationship amongst fresh graduates in an emerging economy.

Implications & Recommendations: The theory of EA is a good predictor of EI and a good mediator in the PEE–EI relationships, therefore further studies should consider EI models, especially those that involve EA and fresh graduates instead of students.

Contribution & Value Added: We advance the understanding of PEE-EI relationship by utilizing the EA theory as a mediator while also testing this on a fresh graduate population in an emerging economy.


Prior Entrepreneurial Exposures; Entrepreneurial Intentions; Entrepreneurial Alertness; Emerging Economy; Nigeria; Fresh Graduates

Adamako, S., Danso, A., & Narteh, B. (2018). Entrepreneurial alertness and new venture performance: Facili-tating roles of networking capability. International Small Business Journal, 36(5), 453-472.

Agbonlahor, A. (2016). Challenges of entrepreneurial education in Nigerian Universities: Towards a reposi-tioning for impact. Journal of Education and Social Research, 6(1), 208-214.

Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50(2), 179-211.

Amato, C., Baron, R. A., Barbieri, B., Belanger, J., & Pierro, A. (2016). Regulatory modes and entrepreneur-ship : The mediational role of alertness in small business success. Journal of Small Business Manage-ment, 55(1), 27-42.

Arshad, M., Farooq, O., Sultana, N., & Farooq, M. (2016). Determinants of Individuals’ entrepreneurial inten-tions: A Gender- Comparative Study. Career Development International, 21(4), 318-339.

Austin, M.J., & Nauta, M. M. (2015). Entrepreneurial role-model exposure, self-efficacy, and women’s entre-preneurial intentions. Journal of Career Development, 43(3), 1-13.

Bae, T.J., Qian, S., & Fiet, J.O. (2014). The relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepre-neurial intentions: A Meta-Analytic Review. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 38(2), 217-254.

Bagozzi, R. P., & Yi, Y. (1988). On the evaluation of structural. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 16(1), 74-94.

Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191-215.

Bogatyreva, K., Edelman, L. F., Manolova, T. S., Osiyevskyy, O., & Shirokova, G. (2019). When do entrepre-neurial intentions lead to actions? The role of national. Journal of Business Research, 96(C), 309-321.

Boldureanu, G., Ionescu, A. M., Bercu, A.-M., Bedrule-Griguruta, & Boldureanu, D. (2020). Entrepreneurship education through successful entrepreneurial models in higher education institutions. Sustainability, 12(3), 1-33.

Bosma, N., Hessels, J., Schutjens, V., Praag, M. Van & Verheul, I. (2012). Entrepreneurship and role models. Journal of Economic Psychology, 33(2), 410-424.

Cacciotti, G., Hayton, J. C., Mitchell, J. R., & Giazitzoglu, A. (2016). A reconceptualization of fear of failure in entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing, 31(3), 302-325.

Campos, H. (2017). Impact of entrepreneurial passion on entrepreneurial orientation with mediating role of entrepreneurial alertness for technology-based firms in Mexico. Journal of Small Business & Enterprise Development, 24(2), 1-33.

Chavoushi, Z. H., Zali, M. R., Valliere, D., Faghih, N., Hejazi, R., & Dehkordi, A. M. (2020). Entrepreneurial alertness : A systematic literature review. Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship, 32, 1-30.

Chlosta, S., Patzelt, H., Klein, S. B., & Dormann, C. (2012). Parental role models and the decision to become self-employed : The moderating effect of personality. Small Business Economics, 38(1), 121-138.

Choukir, J., Aloulou, W. J., Ayadi, F., & Mseddi, S. (2019). Influences of role models and gender on Saudi Arabian freshman students’ entrepreneurial intention. International Journal of Gender and Entrepre-neurship, 11(2), 186-206.

Chukwu, U.D, Olaitan, O.O., & Omeje, H.O. (2018). Entrepreneurial exposures as factors for self-reliance of Building Technology students in Nigerian Universities. Journal Educational Foundations, 7(1), 213-222.

Eid, R., Badewi, A., Selim, H., & El-Gohary (2019). Integrating and extending competing intention models to understand the entrepreneurial intention of senior university students. Education and Training, 61(2), 234-254.

Entrialgo, M., & Iglesias, V. (2017). Are the intentions to entrepreneurship of men and women shaped dif-ferently? The impact of entrepreneurial Role-Model exposure and entrepreneurship education. Entre-preneurship Research Journal, 8(1), 1-14.

Gerba, D. T. (2012). Impact of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial intentions of business and engineering students in Ethiopia. African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, 3(2), 258-277.

Gird, A., & Bagraim, J. J. (2008). The theory of planned behaviour as predictor of entrepreneurial intent amongst final-year university students. South African Journal of Psychology, 38(4711-724).

Gozukara, I., & Colakoglu, N. (2016). Enhancing entrepreneurial intention and innovativeness of university students: The mediating role of entrepreneurial alertness. International Business Research, 9(2), 34-45.

Hajizadeh, A., & Zali, M. (2016). Prior knowledge, cognitive characteristics and opportunity recognition. In-ternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 22(1), 63-83.

Hayes, A. F. (2018). Introduction to Mediation, Moderation and Conditional Process Analysis. Guilford press, NY, USA.

Ho, M. R., Uy, M. A., Kang, B. N. Y., & Chan, K. (2018). Impact of entrepreneurship training on entrepreneuri-al efficacy and alertness among adolescent youth. Frontiers in Education, 3(13), 1-10.

Hofstede, G. (2011). Dimensionalizing Cultures: The Hofstede Model in Context. Online Reading in Psycholo-gy and Culture, 2(1), 1-26.

Hossein, T. N. (2016). Factors affecting entrepreneurial opportunities recognition in tourism small and me-dium-size enterprises. Tourism Review, 71(1), 1-25.

Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cut off criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis : Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling : A Multidisciplinary Journal, 6(1), 1-55.

Kautonen, T., Luoto, S., & Tornikoski, E. T. (2010). Influence of work history on entrepreneurial intentions in “prime age” and “third age”: A preliminary study. International Small Business Journal, 28(6), 583-601.

Kirzner, I. M. (1997). Entrepreneurial discovery and the competitive market process: An Austrian approach. Journal of Economic Literature, 35(1), 60-85.

Krueger, J. N. F., & Carsrud, A. L. (1993). Entrepreneurial intentions : Applying the theory of planned behav-iour. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development: An International Journal, 5(4), 315-330.

Krueger, N. (1993). The impact of prior entrepreneurial exposure on perceptions of new venture feasibility and desirability. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 18(1), 5-21.

Krueger, N. F., Reilly, M. D., & Carsrud, A. L. (2000). Competing models of entrepreneurial intentions. Journal of Business Venturing, 15(5-6), 411-432.

Langowitz, N., & Minniti, M. (2007). The entrepreneurial propensity of Women. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 31(3), 341-364.

Lecuna, A., Cohen, B., & Chavez, R. (2017). Characteristics of high-growth entrepreneurs in Latin America. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 13(1), 141-159.

Lent, R. W., Brown, S. D., & Hackett, G. (1994). Towards a unifying social cognitive theory of career and aca-demic interest, choice, and performance. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 45(1), 79-122.

Li, L., & Wu, D. (2019). Entrepreneurial education and students’ entrepreneurial intention: Does team coop-eration matter? Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research, 9(35), 1-13.

Liguori, E. W., Bendickson, J. S., & Mcdowell, W. C. (2017). Revisiting entrepreneurial intentions : A social cognitive career theory approach. International Entrepreneurship Management Journal, 14(1), 67-78.

Liguori, E., Winkler, C., Vanevenhoven, J., Winkel, D., & James, M. (2019). Entrepreneurship as a career choice: Intentions, attitudes, & outcome expectations. Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship, 32(4), 311-331.

Lim, W. L., Lee, Y. L., & Ramasamy, R. (2014). Personality, prior knowledge, social capital & entrepreneurial intentions: Entrepreneurial Alertness as Mediator. Global Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(1), 68-78. Retrieved from Social-Capital-and-as-Lim-Lee/5e43c649b0dd88090442831bc419201b5e4d6a8b on 26th February, 2020

Linan, F., & Chen, Y. (2009). Development and Cross-Cultural application of a specific instrument to measure entrepreneurial intention. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33(3), 593-617.

Linan, F., & Fayolle, A. (2015). A systematic literature review on entrepreneurial intentions: citation, themat-ic analyses, and research agenda. International Entrepreneurship Management Journal, 11(4), 907-933.

Lu, H., & Wang, J. (2018). Entrepreneurial Intention of two patterns of Planned Behaviour and Alertness : Empirical Evidence in China. Journal of Asian Finance, Economics and Business, 5(2), 63-72.

Ma, R., & Huang, Y. (2019). An opportunity-based explanation of entrepreneurial intention : Evidence from global sourcing suppliers in China intention: evidence from global sourcing suppliers. Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship, 32(4), 379-400.

Machdo, H. P., Faia, S., & Silva, J. D. (2016). Entrepreneurial alertness: Study of the influence of individual characteristics and entrepreneurship. Brazilian Business Review, 3(5), 85-107.

Malebana, M. J., & Swanepoel, E. (2014). The relationship between exposure to entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial self-efficacy. Southern African Business Review, 18(1), 1-26.

Maresch, D., Harms, R., Kailer, N., & Wimmer-wurm, B. (2016). Technological forecasting and social change the impact of entrepreneurship education on the entrepreneurial intention of students in science and engineering versus business studies university programs. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 104(C), 172-179.

Miralles, F., Giones, F., & Riverola, C. (2015). Evaluating the impact of prior experience in entrepreneurial intention. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 12(3), 791-813.

Monsen, E., Mahagaonkar, P., & Dienes, C. (2012). Entrepreneurship in India: the question of occupational transition. Small Business Economics, 39(2), 359-382.

Mueller, J., Zapkau, F. B., & Schwens, C. (2014). Impact of Prior Entrepreneurial Exposure on Entrepreneurial Intention — Cross-Cultural Evidence. Journal of Enterprising Culture, 22(3), 251-282.

National Youth Service Scheme (2018). NYSC Corps Members permanent register 2018-2019 Batch B. Un-published raw data.

Neneh, B. N (2019). From entrepreneurial alertness to entrepreneurial behavior: The role of trait competi-tiveness and proactive personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 138:273-9

Nowiński, W., & Haddoud, M. Y. (2019). The role of inspiring role models in enhancing entrepreneurial in-tention. Journal of Business Research, 96(June 2018), 183-193.

Nowiński, W., Haddoud, M., Wach, K., & Schaefer, R. (2020). Perceived public support and entrepreneurship attitudes: A little reciprocity can go a long way! Journal of Vocational Behavior, 121, 103474.

Okwo, H., Ezenwakwelu, C., Igwe, A., & Imhanrenialena, B. (2019). Firm size and age mediating the firm sur-vival-hedging effect: Hayes’ 3-Way parallel approach. Sustainability, 11(3), 1-17.

Otache, I., (2019). Entrepreneurship education and undergraduate students’ self- and paid-employment intentions A conceptual framework. Education + Training, 61(5), 46-64.

Ozgen, E., & Baron, R. A. (2007). Social sources of information in opportunity recognition : Effects of men-tors, industry networks, and professional forums. Journal of Business Venturing, 22(2), 174-192.

Packham, G., Jones, P., Miller, C., Pickernell, D., & Thomas, B. (2010). Attitudes towards entrepreneurship education: a comparative analysis. Education and Training, 52(8/9), 568-586.

Patricia, P. & Silangen, C. (2016). The effect of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial intention in Indonesia. DeRe Journal Manajemen, 11(1), 67-86.

Paunescu, C., Popescu, M. C., & Duennweber, M. (2018). Factors determining desirability of entrepreneur-ship in Romania. Sustainability, 10(11), 1-22.

Peterman, N. E., & Kennedy, J. (2003). Enterprise education : Influencing students’ perceptions of entrepre-neurship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 28(2), 129-144.

Poon, J. M. L., Ainuddin, R. A., & Junit, S. H. (2006). Effects of self-concept traits and entrepreneurial orienta-tion on firm performance. International Small Business Journal, 24(1), 61-82.[79

Sang, D., & Lin, J. (2019). How does entrepreneurial education influence the entrepreneurial intention of college students : The moderating and mediating effects of entrepreneurial alertness. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, 14(8), 139-154.

Scherer, R. F., Adams, J. S., Carley, S. S., & Wiebe, F. A. (1989). Role model performance effects on develop-ment of entrepreneurial career preference. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 13(3), 53-72.

Schreiber, J. B., Nora, A., Stage, F. K., Barlow, E. A., & King, J. (2006). Modeling and confirmatory factor analy-sis results: A Review. Journal of Educational Research, 99(6), 323-338.

Shane, S. (2000). Prior knowledge and the discovery of entrepreneurial opportunities. Organization Science, 11(4), 448-469.

Shapero, A. & Sokol, L. (1982). The Social Dimensions of Entrepreneurship. In C.A. Kent, D.L. Sexton, & K.H. Vesper (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship (pp. 72-90). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Shava, H., & Chinyamurindi, W. T. (2019). The influence of economic motivation, desire for independence and self-efficacy on willingness to become an entrepreneur. The Southern African Journal of Entrepre-neurship and Small Business Management, 11(1), 1-12.

Shaw, E., & Carter, S. (2008). Social entrepreneurship: Theoretical antecedents and empirical analysis of entrepreneurial processes and outcome. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 14(3), 418-434.

Shepherd, D. A., Patzelt, H., & Wolfe, M. (2011). Moving forward from project failure: Negative emotions, affective commitment, and learning from the experience. Academy of Management Journal, 54(6), 1229-1259.

SMEDAN and NBS. (2017). NATIONAL survey of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Retrieved from,%20%202017%201.pdf on 2nd February 2020.

Sorensen, J.B (2007). Bureaucracy and entrepreneurship: Workplace effects on entrepreneurial entry. Ad-ministrative Science Quarterly, 52(3), 387-412.

Soria-Barreto, K., Honores-Marin, G., & Gutiérrez-Zepeda, P. (2017). Prior exposure and Educational Envi-ronment towards Entrepreneurial Intention. Journal of Technology Management and Innovation, 12(2), 45-57.

Tang, J. (2008). Environmental munificence for entrepreneurs: entrepreneurial alertness and commitment. International Journal of Entrepreneurship Behaviour and Research, 14(3), 128-151.

Tang, J. (2010). How entrepreneurs discover opportunities in China : An institutional view. Asian Pacific Journal of Management, 27(3), 461-479.

Tang, J., Kacmar, K. M., & Busenitz, L. (2012). Entrepreneurial alertness in the pursuit of new opportunities. Journal of Business Venturing, 27(1), 77-94.

Turkina, E. (2018). The importance of networking to entrepreneurship: Montreal’s artificial intelligence clus-ter and its born-global firm Element AI. Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship, 30(1).

Uchenna, C. D., Olawale, O. O., & Omeje, H. O. (2018). Entrepreneurial exposures as factors for self-reliance of building technology students in Nigerian universities. Journal of Educational Foundation, 7(1), 213-222. Retrieved from on 26th February 2020.

Urban B. (2019) Entrepreneurial alertness and self-efficacy : A focus on social values and innovation perfor-mance. SA Journal Human Resource Management, 7(0):1-9.

Urban, B. (2017). Corporate entrepreneurship in South Africa: The role of organizational factors and entre-preneurial alertness in advancing innovativeness. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 22(3), 1-20.

Vaillant, Y., Lafuente, E., Vaillant, Y., & Lafuente, E. (2018). Entrepreneurial experience and the innovative-ness of serial entrepreneurs. Management Decisions, 57(11), 2869-2889.

Vallaster, C., Kraus, S., Lindahl, J. M. M., & Nielsen, A. (2019). Ethics and entrepreneurship: A bibliometric study and literature review. Journal of Business Research, 99(C), 226-237.

Valliere, D. (2013). Entrepreneurial alertness and paying attention. Journal of Enterprising Culture, 21(1), 1-17.

Wang, D., Wang, L., & Chen, L. (2017). Unlocking the influence of family business exposure on entrepreneur-ial intentions. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 14(4), 951-974.

Webb, J. W., Irel &, R. D., Hitt, M. A., Kistruck, G. M., & Tihanyi, L. (2011). Where is the opportunity without the customer ? An integration of marketing activities, the entrepreneurship process, and institutional theory. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 39, 537-554.

Wyrwich, M., Stuetzer, M., & Sternberg, R. (2015). Entrepreneurial role models, fear of failure, and institu-tional approval of entrepreneurship: A tale of two regions. Small Business Economics, 46(3), 467-492.

Xie, X., & Lv, J. (2016). Social networks of female tech-entrepreneurs and new venture performance : The moderating effects of entrepreneurial alertness and gender discrimination. International Entrepreneur-ship and Management Journal, 12(4963-983).

Yu, T. F. (2001). Entrepreneurial Alertness and Discovery. The Review of Austrian Economics 14(1) 47-63.

Zapkau, F. B., Schwens, C., & Kabst, R. (2016). The role of prior entrepreneurial exposure in the entrepre-neurial process: A review and future research implications. Journal of Small Business Management, 55(1), 56-86.

Zapkau, F. B., Schwens, C., Steinmetz, H., & Kabst, R. (2014). Disentangling the effect of prior entrepreneurial exposure on entrepreneurial intention. Journal of Business Research, 68(3), 639-653.

Zaremohzzabieh, Z., Ahrari, S., Eric, S., Bin, A., Samah, A., Kwan, L., & Ariffin, Z. (2019). Predicting social en-trepreneurial intention: A meta-analytic path analysis based on the theory of planned behavior. Journal of Business Research, 96(C), 264-276.

Published : 2021-11-25

Edigbo, A., Ogbo, A., Onwe, C., Igwe, A., & Okafor, L. (2021). Mediating role of entrepreneurial alertness between prior entrepreneurial exposures and entrepreneurial intentions. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 9(4), 67-84.

Anthony Ogbuinya Edigbo 
University of Nigeria  Nigeria

Deparment of Management. Phd Candidate

Anastasia Ogbo
University of Nigeria  Nigeria

Department of Management; Senior Lecturer

Chukwuemeka Christain Onwe 
University of Nigeria  Nigeria

Department of Management; PhD candidate

Anthony Igwe 
University of Nigeria  Nigeria

Department of Management. Senior lecturer

Lawrence Chima Okafor 
Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki  Nigeria

Department of Business Management and Entrepreneurship. Senior Lecturer

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a CC BY-ND licence that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  2. Authors are asked to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

 Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) only the final version of the article, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access). We advise using any of the following research society portals:

Most read articles by the same author(s)