The entrepreneurial process trigger: a modelling attempt in the French context

Abstract : Purpose - In France, there seems to be no immediate correlation between the desire to opt for an entrepreneurial career and actually starting or taking over a business. Based on this observation, the purpose of this paper is to focus on the entrepreneurial process and more specifically on its trigger phase; the exploratory research question is: how to model the entrepreneurial process trigger phase? Design/methodology/approach - First, based on a review of the literature, the authors seek to identify the main concepts that can be used to study the entrepreneurial process trigger. Second, the authors try to show the articulation between these various concepts with a view to proposing a typology of the entrepreneurial process trigger. In order to model the trigger phase, the authors rely mostly on the concepts of intention and displacement and works by Shapero and Sokol, by Ajzen, and by Krueger and Carsrud. The authors study the case of French engineers by drawing on previous research, notably the database of French engineers assembled by Fayolle. Concerning the methodological approach, first a quantitative analysis was performed on the sample, which was completed with a qualitative study. Findings - Thanks to the questionnaire, the authors were able to identify eight possible career paths based on the initial measurements made by Fayolle in 1996; then various trigger paths were tested. Finally, a model of the trigger phase is proposed based on the qualitative study. Two determining dimensions emerge through analysis of the results: the trigger paths evolve differently over time. Furthermore, the intensity and impact of displacements are perceived differently by individuals. This leads the authors to propose a mapping of the four identified trigger processes. Originality/value - At the theoretical level, this research contributes to mapping out the various trigger processes of new venture creation. By incorporating the time dimension, it was possible to outline the sequence of events. The authors shed some light on the entrepreneurial process by showing the main factors that can lead an individual to go from intention to action. In light of the results, the authors feel it necessary to reject any determinist interpretation of the French engineers' career paths. The interactions between personal and contextual variables add to the complexity of the phenomenon, as contextual and environmental factors play a significant role in the trigger of the entrepreneurial process. The present work provides insights into the decisive factors in the career orientation of French engineers, and it can be replicated with samples from various nationalities.
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Submitted on : Monday, September 1, 2014 - 7:11:01 PM
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  • HAL Id : hal-01059783, version 1



Alain Fayolle, Jean-Michel Degeorge. The entrepreneurial process trigger: a modelling attempt in the French context. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Emerald, 2011, Volume 18 (Issue 2), pp.251 - 277. ⟨hal-01059783⟩



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