Liquid Modernity as an Analytical Framework: A Study of the Entrepreneurial Intention- Behavior Divergence
Purpose: Behavioral intention models postulate intention as a consistent determinant of entrepreneurial behavior. Yet, research has observed a ubiquitous gap between individuals’ stated intentions and subsequent action to venture creation, which weakens capacity to explain and predict entrepreneurial behavior. This paper aims to explore this discrepancy by considering how current social conditions potentially disrupt the realization of intention by influencing a person’s perceptions and cognitions. Design/methodology/approach: In an attempt to examine the intention-behavior divergence, the paper brings forward a sociological approach to entrepreneurial behavior, rather neglected up to now. Specifically, it draws on Bauman’s liquid modernity thesis as a theoretical framework, since it allows the analysis of the contemporary social conditions whose features Bauman has most eloquently described in terms of their repercussions on human lives and behavior. Findings: Three themes, namely the ambivalence of emancipation, temporal perception, and perceived uncertainty are highlighted as these conceptual factors, specified as sociopsychological variables, are related to aspects of the entrepreneurial theory. Practical implications: This conceptual paper by way of throwing some light on the intention – behavior divergence contributes to the entrepreneurship literature by providing additional insight into the social and cognitive processes underlying entrepreneurial behavior.