A Study on the Impact of Personality Traits on Entrepreneurial Capacity of Undergraduates of Faculty of Management Studies of Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka

C.R. Denis, C. Ariyarathne, C. Perera


Entrepreneurs are national assets to be motivated, cultivated, and remunerated to the greatest possible extent. During the last few decades improving entrepreneurial capacity through education has garnered much enthusiasm among academics, practitioners, and policy-makers. The level of entrepreneurial capacity in terms of an individual’s feeling of being able to discover opportunities and transform them into value creating outcomes greatly influence the possibility of them being future entrepreneurs. In the preliminary investigation conducted by the researchers, it was found that the entrepreneurial capacity is noticeably low within the final year undergraduates of the faculty of Management Studies, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka (FMS, SUSL). The literature highlights the importance of studying individual’s personality on entrepreneurial capacity. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to identify the impact of each big five personality trait on the entrepreneurial capacity of the undergraduates of the FMS, SUSL. Extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience are the five dimensions of big five personality traits. The research was conducted based on Positivistic research paradigm with quantitative research methodology. Further, deductive approach was applied and data was collected through a validated and a reliable questionnaire. The study sample was 137 final year undergraduates selected using the stratified random sampling technique. The data was initially analyzed using the multiple regression analysis to test the hypotheses of five personality dimensions on entrepreneurial capacity. Since all the dimensions except neuroticism were rejected from the initial model, final fitted model was developed using simple regression analysis. SPSS 21.0 software was used to analyze the data. Among all other factors, this study found that only neuroticism has a significant negative influence on entrepreneurial capacity of undergraduates. This research finding will contribute to the students, administrative staff, and academics for recognizing and mitigating the neuroticism aspect. It will assist undergraduates to become successful entrepreneurs and in turn, contribute to the growth of the country’s economy and social development.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Capacity, Personality Traits

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Faculty of Management Studies & Commerce