Document Type: Original Article


1 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran


Increasing rate of unemployment among the graduates of Iranian higher agricultural education system has been developed into one of the major socio-economic problems of the nation. Entrepreneurship is one of the most important factors contributing to economic and social development, that is, it is a main driver for employment creation. As such, many policy initiatives in Iran attempt to pull agricultural students toward an entrepreneurial career choice. In this regard, considering the importance of entrepreneurship, and applying Ajzen’s (1991) theory of planned behavior, the present study was conducted to investigate the factors affecting entrepreneurial behavior of agricultural students in Razi University. The population of this study consisted of all senior agricultural students of Razi University in Iran (N=300), 169 of whom were selected as the sample using the proportional stratified sampling method. Data were analyzed by SPSS and AMOS version23 software in two phases of descriptive and inferential statistics. Results of structural equation modeling revealed that personal attitude toward entrepreneurship, perceived behavioral control, and subjective norm were the main predictors of entrepreneurial intention (R2=0.46) and behavior (R2=0.45) among agricultural students. The findings of this study can have practical implications concerning the promotion of entrepreneurial intention and behavior among agricultural students for higher agricultural education managers, planners, and educators. 

Graphical Abstract


Entrepreneurial intention was the single best predictor of entrepreneurial behavior.

Personal attitude toward entrepreneurship, perceived behavioral control and subjective norm was the main predictors of entrepreneurial intention and behavior.

The findings of this study can have practical implications for higher agricultural education planners and educators.



Main Subjects

Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding attitudes and predicting social behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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

Ajzen, I. (2002). Perceived behavioral control, self-efficacy, locus of control and the theory of planned behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32, 1-20.

Armitage, C. J., & Conner, M. (2001). Efficacy of the theory of planned behavior: A meta-analytic review. British Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 471-499.

Autio, E., Keeley, R. H., Klofsten, M., Parker, G. G. C., & Hay, M. (2001). Entrepreneurial intent among students in Scandinavia and in the USA. Enterprise and Innovation Management Studies, 2, 145-160.

Bagozzi, R., Baumgartner, H., & Yi, Y. (1989). An investigation into the role of intentions as mediators of the attitude-behavior relationship. Journal of Economic Psychology, 10, 35 – 62.

Bandura, A. (1982). Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency. American Psychologist, 37, 122-147.

Bandura, A. (2001). Social cognitive theory: An agentic perspective. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 1-26.

Barani, Sh., & Zarafshani, K. (2009). A determination of the effect of attitude towards entrepreneurship, social norm, and self-efficacy in predicting entrepreneurial intentions among rural development management students at Payame-Noor University, Kermanshah.  Iranian Journal of Agricultural Economics and Development, 40-2 (3), 91-99. 

Barani, Sh., Zarafshani, K., Del-Angizan, S., & Hosseni Lorgani, S. M. (2011). The impact of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial behavior of students Payam-Noor University of Kermanshah: structural equation modeling approach. Journal of Research and Planning in Higher Education, 57, 85-105.

Bird, B. (1988). Implementing entrepreneurial ideas: The case for intentions. Academy of Management Review, 13, 442-453.

Carree, M., & Thurik, R. (2006). Understanding the role of entrepreneurship for economic growth. In M. A. Carree & A. R. Thurik (eds.) the Handbook Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth. Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, US: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited. Http://

Dam, K. V., Schipper, M., & Runhaar, P. (2010). Developing a competency-based framework for teachers’ entrepreneurial behavior. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26, 965-971.

Douglas, E. J., & Shepherd, D. A. (2002). Self-employment as a career choice: Attitudes, entrepreneurial intentions, and utility maximization.  Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 26, 81-90.

Engle, R. L., Dimitriadi, N., Gavidia, J., V., Schlaegel, C., Delanoe, S., Alvarado, I., & Wolff, B.  (2010). Entrepreneurial intent: A twelve-country evaluation of Ajzen's model of planned behavior.  International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research, 16(1), 35-57.

European Community (1999). Action plan for promoting entrepreneurship and competitiveness. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. (1981). Structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(1), 39-50.

Gartner, W. B., Shaver, K. G., Gatewood, E. J., & Katz, J. (1994). Finding the entrepreneur in entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 18, 5-10.

Ghasemi, J. Asadi, A., & Hoseninia, Gh. (2009). Investigating factors affecting entrepreneurial mentality of Tehran University’s graduate students. Iranian Journal of Agricultural Economics and Development, 40-2 (2), 71-79.

Hair, J. F., Anderson, R. E., Tatham, R. L., & Black. W. C. (2010). Multivariate data analysis (7th Ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall International, Inc.

Henry, C., Hill, F., & Leitch, C. (2005). Entrepreneurship education and training: can entrepreneurship be taught. Education and Training, 47 (3), 158-169.

Iakovleva, T., Kolvereid, L. & Stephan, U.  (2011). Entrepreneurial intentions in developing and developed countries. Education and Training, 53(5), 353-370.

Karimi, S. (2014). Analyzing and promoting entrepreneurship in Iranian higher education. Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of doctor at Wageningen University. Unpublished dissertation, Wageningen University, Wageningen, NL (2014) with references, with summaries in English, Dutch and Persian, ISBN 978-94-6173-845-5

Karimi, S., Biemans, H.  J.  A., Lans, T., Chizari, M., Mulder, M., & Naderi Mahdei, K. (2013). Understanding role models and gender influences on entrepreneurial intentions among college students. Social and Behavioral Sciences, 93, 204-214.

Karimi, S., Biemans, H. J. A., Lans, T., Mulder, M., & Chizari, M. (2012). The role of entrepreneurship education in developing students’ entrepreneurial intentions. Retrieved from SSRN:

Krejcie, R. V., & Morgan, D. W. (1970). Determining sample size for research activities. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 30, 607 – 610. 

Krueger, N. F., & Carsrud, A. L. (1993). Entrepreneurial intentions: Applying the theory of planned behavior. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 5, 316-323.

Krueger, N. F. (2000). The cognitive infrastructure of opportunity emergence. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 24, 5-23.

Learned, K. E. (1992). What happened before the organization? A model of organization formation. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 17, 39 – 48.

Leroy, H. Maes, J. Meuleman, M. Sels, L., & Debrulle, J. (2009). Gender effect on entrepreneurial intentions. A TPB multi-group analysis at factor and indicator level. Retrieved from

Linan, F., & Chen, Y. W. (2009). Development and cross-cultural application of a specific instrument to measure entrepreneurial intentions. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33, 593-617.

Linan, F., Nabi, Gh. & Krueger, N. (2013). British and Spanish entrepreneurial intentions: A comparative study. Revista De Economía Mundial, 33, 73-103.

Moriano, J. A., Gorgievski, M., Laguna, M., Stephan, U., & Zarafshani, K. (2012). A cross-cultural approach to understanding entrepreneurial intention. Journal of Career Development, 39 (2), 162-158.

Nabi, G., & Liñán, F.  (2011). Graduate entrepreneurship in the developing world:  intentions, education and development. Education and Training, 53(5), 325-334.

Nunnally, J. C., & Bernstein, I. H. (1994). Psychometric theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Onstenk, J. (2003). Entrepreneurship and vocational education. European Educational Research Journal, 2, 74- 89.

Papzan, A. H., Afsharzadeh, N., & Moradi, Kh. (2013). Entrepreneurial intention determinants: An empirical model and a case of Iranian students in Malaysia. Journal of Entrepreneurship Management and Innovation, 9 (3), 43-55.

Peterman, N., & Kennedy, J. (2003). Enterprise education: influencing students' perceptions of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 28, 129 – 135.

Shapero, A. (1982). Social dimensions of entrepreneurship. In C. A. Kent, D. L. Sexton, and K. Vesper (Eds.), the encyclopedia of entrepreneurship (p. 72-90). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Shiri, N., Mohammadi, D., & Hosseini, S. M. (2012). Entrepreneurial intention of agricultural students: Effects of role model, social support, social norms and perceived desirability. Archives of Applied Science Research, 4(2), 892-897.

Shook, C. L. Priem, R. L., & McGee, J. E. (2003). Venture creation and the enterprising individual: a review and synthesis. Journal of Management, 29, 379 – 399.

Soliemani, A., & Zarafshani, K. (2011). Explaining predictors of entrepreneurial intentions among the students of “KhoshehayeZarin” Agricultural-Vocational School in Ravansar Town in Kermanshah Province. Journal of New Approaches in Educational Administration, 2 (7), 107-124.

Thompson, E. R. (2009). Individual   entrepreneurial   intent:   construct clarification and development of an internationally reliable metric. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33(3), 669-694.

Tkachev, A., & Kolvereid, L. (1999). Self-employment intentions among Russian students. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 11, 269-280.

Van-Gelderen, M., Brand, M., van Praag, M., Bodewes, W., Poutsma, E., & van Gils, A. (2008). Explaining entrepreneurial intentions by means of the theory of planned behaviour. Career Development International, 13, 538-559.

Veciana, J. M. Aponte, M., & Urbano, D. (2005). University student's attitudes toward entrepreneurship: A tow countries comparison. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 1(2), 165- 182.

Zhao, H. Siebert, S. E., & Lumpkin, G. T. (2010). The Relationship of Personality to Entrepreneurial Intentions and performance: A Meta-Analytic Review. Journal of Management, 36, 381 – 404.