Date of Award

4-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Department

Business Administration

First Advisor

Dr. James Ryan

Second Advisor

Riad Eid

Third Advisor

Dr. Ateeq Jakka A l Mansoori

Abstract

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is considered a youthful country where national youth prefer to work in the already saturated government sector and avoid the private sector. In recent times, growing levels of young unemployed people have been observed. This study investigates UAE national youth intentions to become entrepreneurs by examining the factors that affect entrepreneurial career choice. This quantitative research employs the theoretical model of Ajzen's (1991) Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). The most recent version of the standardized measure of "Entrepreneurial Intention Questionnaire (EIQ)" has been used in the UAE context for the first time. UAE national senior Business and Engineering undergraduate students inside and outside the country were sampled. The survey methodology yielded 544 usable responses. Analysis using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) confirmed the applicability of TPB in the UAE context. The study results show that attitude and perceived behavioral control positively and directly affect entrepreneurship intention. Subjective norms also indirectly affect the entrepreneurship intention through their direct effect on attitude and perceived behavioral control. The results suggest that more young UAE males than females have the intention to start a new business. In addition, entrepreneurship intention appears to be higher among UAE national youth who are studying outside the country. The relatively small sample of UAE students in other countries (44 cases) may affect the generalizability of some research results. Moreover, the effect of risk on young people's entrepreneurship intention could not be tested due to measurement issues. Other limitations are described in detail in the discussion and conclusion chapter. This study fills the literature gap regarding the UAE found by this research. Second, it tests and validates the most recent version of the EIQ measure for the first time in the present context and compares its results with other previously validated measurement approaches, thus enhancing the methodological rigor and advancing the knowledge of ways to measure entrepreneurship intention and its antecedents. Moreover, this study tries to compare the entrepreneurship intention of the UAE national youth students both inside and outside the country. To our best knowledge, this is a novel approach in conducting this kind of research.

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