Entrepreneurial self-efficacy: a systematic review of the literature on its theoretical foundations, measurement, antecedents, and outcomes, and an agenda for future research

Alexander Newman, Martin Obschonka, Susan Schwarz, Michael Cohen, Ingrid Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


With increased emphasis being placed on entrepreneurial thinking and acting in today's careers, we have witnessed growing research on entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE) over the last two decades. The present study provides a systematic review of the literature on the theoretical foundations, measurement, antecedents, and outcomes of ESE, and work which treats ESE as a moderator. Based on the review, an agenda for future research is developed and implications for entrepreneurship education and training highlighted. In doing so, the need to consider alternative theoretical perspectives to improve understanding of how ESE influences outcomes at different levels of analysis is highlighted. In addition, the review identifies a need to a) examine the factors which drive short-term fluctuations and long-term changes in ESE, b) examine the developmental precursors of ese in childhood, adolescence and early adulthood, c) examine the negative/curvilinear effects of ESE, d) investigate whether ESE can be treated as a collective level phenomenon, e) look at the effects of ESE on outcomes outside of entrepreneurial contexts, and f) improve measurement and research design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-419
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Entrepreneurial careers
  • Entrepreneurial self-efficacy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Social cognitive theory
  • Theory of planned behavior

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