Entrepreneurial Potential, Realism and Optimism as Predictor Variables of Entrepreneurial Intention: Differences Between Spain and Portugal

  • José Carlos Sánchez-García
  • Brizeida Hernández Sánchez
  • Jenny Flórez
  • Helena I.B. Saraiva
  • Vitor M.S. Gabriel
Keywords: Entrepreneurial potential, realism, optimism, entrepreneurial intention


In the psychological literature, intentions appear to be a good predictor of future planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991). This factor is directly associated with people's ability to create a business and self-employment as a strategy of progress and independence. The present study is an attempt to analyze whether there are differences between university students in Spain and Portugal regarding entrepreneurial intention and potential using the PROE instrument (Pessimism, Realism, Optimism and Entrepreneurship). The sample comprises 110 university students with a mean age of 21 years, 68.8% of whom were women and 29.5% were men. All factors evaluated have good internal consistency, and it was concluded that there are significant differences between Spanish and Portuguese students in their entrepreneurial potential, realism and optimism, with the establishment of social networks and economic motivation being the differential factors in the two populations.


View per year:  
Download data is not yet available.


Allport, G. W. (1961). Pattern and growth in personality. New York: Holt, Renehart and Winston

Audretsch, D., y Fritsch, M. (2003): «Linking Entrepreneurship to Growth: The Case of West of Germany», Industry and Innovation, 10(1), pp. 65-73

Ajzen, I. (1991). ) The Theory of Planned Behavior . Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 50, 179-21.

Baron, R., y Shane, S. (2005). Entrepreneurship: A Process Prespective, 1 Edition, Mason, Ohio, South-Wester Publishing, p, 60.

Carree, M. A., y Thurik, R. (2003): «The Impact of Entrepreneurship on Economic Growth», en AUDRETSCH, D. y ACS, Z. J. (eds.). Handbook of Entrepreneurship Research (pp. 437-471), Boston: Kluwer-Academic Publishers.

Carver, C. S., Scheier, M. F. y Segerstrom, S. C. (2010). Optimism.Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 879-889. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2010.01.006.

Centro de estudios económicos Tomillo, S. L. (2002): Las empresas innovadoras Españolas, Ed. Centro de EstudiosEconómicosTomillo.

Chang, E., (2001). Introduction: Optimism and pessimism and Moving Beyond the most Fundamental Questions. Optimism and Pessimism, Washington, D. C. American Psychological association. p. 3-12

Coe, D., y Helpman, E. (1995). «International R and D spillovers», European Economic Review, 29(5), pp. 859-887

Commision of the European Comminities (2006).Implementing the community Lisbon Programme: Fostering entrepreneurial mindsets through education and learning.Communication from the commission to the council, the European parliament, The European economic and social Committee and the committee of the regions.

Cooper, A.C., Woo, C.Y., y Dunkelberg, W.C. (1988). Entrepreneurs perceived chances for success. Journal of Business Venturing, 3, 97-108. doi: 10.1016/0883-9026(88)90020-1

Drucker, P. (1994). Innovation and Entrepreneurship. New York: Harper and Row

Garavan, T. N., y O´Cinneide, B. (1994). Entrepreneurship educaction and training programmes: A review and evaluation – Part 1. Journal of European Industrial Training, 18 (8), 3-13

Gartner, W. B. (1985). A conceptual framework for describing the phenomenon of new venture creation. Academy of Management Review, 10 (4), 696-706

Hashimoto, M. (2006). Espírito emprendedor nas Organizações: aumentando a competitividade através do intraempreendedorismo. São Paulo: Saraiva

Hey, J. (1984). The economics of Optimism and Pessimism, KTKLOS, 37 (2), p. 181-205.

Hmieleski, K. M., y Baron, R. A. (2009). Entrepreneurs optimism and new venture performance: a social cognitive perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 52, 473-488. doi: 10.5465/AMJ.2009.41330755

Holmgren, C., From, J., Olofsson, A., Karlson, H., Snyder, K., y Sundtröm, U. (2004). Entrepreneurship education: Salvation or damnation? International Journal of Entrepreneurship, 8, 55-71

Kam, C. y Meyer, J. P. (2012). Do optimism and pessimism have different relationships with personality dimensions? A re-examination. Personality and Individual Differences, 52, 123-127. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2011.09.011.

Liang, K. y Dunn, P. (2008). Are entrepeneurs optimistic, realistic, both or fuzzy? Relationship between entrepreneurial traits and entrepeneurial learning. Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal, 14, 51-73

Liang, K.. y Dunn, P. (2010a). Entrepreneurial characteristics, optimism, pessimism, and realism – correlation or collision?. Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship, 22,1-22.

Liang, K..y Dunn, P. (2010b). Examining four dimensions of entrepreneurs’ perceptions on spouses’ reactions to new venture creation – realistic optimism, pessimism, other entrepreneurial characteristics, and expectations. Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship, 22, 75-95.

Longenecker, J. y Schoen, J. (1975).The Essence of Entrepreneurship.Journal of Small Business Management, 13 (3), 26-32.

López, J., Ramírez, A., y Casado, M. P. (2012). Modelling entrepreneurial attitudes in women entrepreneurs with bayesian networks. Psychology, 3, 265-271. doi:10.4236/psych.2012.33037

López, J y Ruiz-Ruano, A. (2015). Adaptación de la Escala de Realismo de Liang y Dunn para emprendedores potenciales. REMA, ISSN-e 1135-6855, Vol. 20, Nº. 1, 2015, págs. 16-32

Lovallo, D., y Kahneman, D. (2003). Delusions of success. How optimism undermines executives’ decisions. Harvard Business Review, 81, 56-63

McClelland,D.(1968).La sociedad ambiciosa. Madrid. Guadarrama.

McClelland,D.(1973).Testing for competence rather than for "intelligence". American Psychologist, 28(1), 1‐14.

McClelland,D.(1975).The Achieving Society. New York: Irvington.

McClelland,D.(1989). Estudio de la motivación humana. Madrid:Narcea

McCrae, R. R. (1982). Consensual validation of personality traits: evidence from self-reports an ratings. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 43, 239-303

McKenzie, B., Ugbah, S y Smothers, N. (2007). “Who is an entrepreneur?” is the wrong question. Entrepreneurship, Academy of entrepeneurship Journal, 13, 23-43.

Murray, H. A. (1938). Explorations in Personality. New York: Oxford University Press

Murray, H. A. (1973). Motivação e amoção. 3ª edição. Rio de Janeiro. ZaharEditores

Nadiri, M. I. (1993): «Innovations and Technological Spillovers», C. V. Starr Centre for Apelled Economics. Economics Research Reports, pp. 93-31

Pinchot, G. (2004). Intra-empreendedorismo na práctica: um guía de inovação nos negocios. Rio de Janeiro: Elsevier.

Raposo, M. y do Paço, A. (2011). Entrepreneurship education: relationship between education and entrepreneurial activity. Psicothema, 23, 453-457.

Reynolds, P., Bygrave, W., Autio, E., Cox, L., y Hay, M. (2003). Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: Executive Report. Babson College, London Business School and Kauffman Center.

Reynolds, P. D., Hay, M., y Camp, S. M. (1999). Global Entrepreneuship Monitor: 1999 - Executive Report. Babson College, London Business Scholl and the kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership

Robbins, S. (2005). Comportamiento organizacional. 11ª edição. SãoPoulo: Pearson Precentice Hall

Romer, P. M. (1986): « Increasing Returns and Long Run Growth», Journal of Political Economy, 94(5), pp. 1002-1037

Ruiz, M., Fuentes, M. y Ruiz, J., (2014). Análisis del emprendedor potencial: Integración de factores socio demográficos, cognitivos y relacionales Gestión Joven Revista de la Agrupación Joven Iberoamericana de Contabilidad y Administración de Empresas (AJOICA) pp. 37 - 51

Sánchez, J.C. (2016). El cuestionario PROE. Documento interno. Cátedra de emprendedores. Universidad de Salamanca.

Sánchez, J.C. (2015). Evaluación de la intención emprendedora. Documento interno Cátedra de emprendedores. Universidad de Salamanca

Sánchez, J. C. (2011a). Entrepreneurship: introduction. Psicothema, 23, 424-426.

Sánchez, J. C. (2011b). Entrepreneurship as a legitimate field of knowledge. Psicothema, 23, 427-432.

Sánchez, J. C. (2010a). University training for entrepreneurial competencies: Its impacton intention of venture creation. International Entrepreneurship of Management Journal, April, 1-16

Sánchez, J. C. (2010b). Evaluation of entrepreneurial personality: Factorial validity of entrepreneurial orientation questionnaire (COE). Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología, 41(1), 107-117.

Sánchez, J. C. (2009). Aprendizaje social e intenciones emprendedoras: un estudio comparativo entre México, España y Portugal. http://www.scielo.org.co/pdf/rlps/v41n1/v41n1a09.pdf

Scheier, M.F. y Carver, C.S. (1985). Optimism, coping, and health: Assessment and implications of generalized outcome expectancies. Health Psychology, 4, 219-247

Santos, Susana C., and Caetano, António. (2015). Entrepreneurship in Portugal in relation to other European Union countries from 2010 to 2014: Are we far from or close to the tipping point?. Revista de Gestão dos Países de Língua Portuguesa, 14(3), 37-62. Recuperado em 28 de novembro de 2016, de http://www.scielo.mec.pt/scielo.php?script=sci_arttextandpid=S1645-44642015000300005andlng=ptandtlng=en

Saraiva,H. y Paiva, T. (2014). Entrepreneurship Education in Portugal - Considerations on the Topic and its Development Environment, Holos, Ano 30, V 6, 3-15.

Schumpeter,J.(1952).Can Capitalism Survive?New York: HarperandRow

Scheier, M. F., Carver, C. S., and Bridges, M. W. (1994). Distinguishing optimism from neuroticism (and trait anxiety, self-mastery, and self-esteem): A re-evaluation of the Life Orientation Test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 67, 1063-1078

Shane, S., y Venkataraman, S. (2000). The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research. Academy of Management, 25, 217-226.

Sheperd, J. A., Fernández, J. K., y Ouellette, J. A. (1996). Abandonig unrealistic optimism: performances estimates and the temporel proximity of self-relevant feedback. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 844-855

Sheperd, J. A., Findley-Klein, C., Kwavnick, D. k., Walker, D., y Pérez, S. (2000).Bracingforloss. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 620-634.

Solow, R. M. (1956): « A contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth». Quarterly Journal of Economics, 70(1), pp. 65-94

Soria, B., Zuniga, S y Ruiz, S. (2016). Campo Educación e Intención Emprendedora en Estudiantes Universitarios: Un Caso de Estudio. Universidad Católica del Norte, Escuela de Ciencias Empresariales. Formación Universitaria Vol. 9(1), 25-34

Sweeny, K., Carroll, P. J., Y Shepperd, J. A. (2006). Is optimism always the best? Future outlooks and preparedness. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15, 302-306. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8721.2006.00457.x

Van Praag, C. M., y Versloot, P. H. (2007). What is the value of entrepreneurship? A review of recent research. Small Business Economics, 29, 351-382. doi: 10.1007/s11187-007-9074-x

Venkatamaran, S. (1997). The distinctive domain of Entrepreneurship research. Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence and Growth, 3, 119-138

Welsch, H. P., y Young, E. C. (1982). The information source selection decision: the role of entrepreneurial personality characteristics. Journal of Small Business Management, 20, 49-57.

Wennekers, S., y Thurik, R. (1999). «Linking Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth» Small Business Economics, 13(1), pp. 27-55

Wong, , P. K., Ho, Y. P., y Autio, E. (2005): «Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Economic Growth: Evidence from GEM data», Small Business Economics, 24(3), pp. 335-350

Wrosh, C., y Scheier M. (2003). Personality and Quality of Life: The Importance of Optimism and Goal Adjustment, Quality of Life Research 12 (Suppl. 1), p. 59-72
How to Cite
Sánchez-García, J. C., Hernández Sánchez, B., Flórez, J., Saraiva, H. I., & Gabriel, V. M. (1). Entrepreneurial Potential, Realism and Optimism as Predictor Variables of Entrepreneurial Intention: Differences Between Spain and Portugal. Journal of Business, Universidad Del Pacífico (Lima, Peru), 9(1), 67-82. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21678/jb.2017.824