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This paper aims to further our understanding of the career success of the self-employed and how it is influenced by their psychological capital (PC), persistence (P) and risk-taking propensity (RTP). This study explores the direct effect of PC on success and investigates the potential mediation of P and RTP on the PC-success association.Design/methodology/approachIn this quantitative study, questionnaires were administered to measure PC, P, risk-taking and success. Data was collected using purposive sampling with an expert judgment that represented a cross-section of the entrepreneurial population in three Malaysian northern states. Structural equation modeling by means of partial least square was used for hypotheses testing of the 252 usable responses.FindingsStatistically significant and positive relationships were found between PC and success, whereas P and risk-taking were found to mediate the PC-success association. The mediation effects of P and risk-taking were more pronounced when entrepreneurial self-efficacy and optimism were included in the PC as a second-order construct than individually separate constructs.Practical implicationsThe importance of the transitional progression of self-efficacy and optimism to success through P and risk-taking were verified and so can be used for nurturing efforts that activate positive self-efficacy and optimism for entrepreneurial career success. The lower mediation effect of risk-taking on the optimism-success association denotes caution when managing risk.Originality/valueThere is a relative dearth of supporting research that has not examined the inter-relationships between PC and career success of entrepreneurs. Exploring the intervening effect of P and risk-taking on that relationship is unprecedented.
Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 20, 2022
Keywords: Entrepreneurial career success; Psychological capital; Persistence; Risk-taking propensity
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