The impact of young employees’ perceptions of current paid jobs on the entrepreneurial intention with the mediator of job satisfaction: The case of Vietnam



Abstract Objective: While research on entrepreneurial intention is popular around the world and relies mostly on data from university students, a question open to academics is: ‘do working people’s perceptions of their employment affect their start-up intention?’. An answer to this question would be useful for employers and other stakeholders, hence, this article aims to explore the impact of young employees’ perception of their current paid jobs on their entrepreneurial intention via the mediator of job satisfaction.  Research Design & Methods: A sample of 272 working people aged 25 to 30 from all three regions of Vietnam with a structure corresponding to the whole population was used to conduct a quantitative study utilising structural equation modelling (SEM). The research model was established based on the entrepreneurship event model (EEM), the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), and the job characteristics model.  Findings: Young employees’ perceptions of current job characteristics (perception of work meaningfulness, responsibility, and results) positively impact their current job satisfaction. In turn, job satisfaction mediates the relationship between the perception of current job characteristics and the entrepreneurial intention of young employees, with its positive effect on the intention.  Implications & Recommendations: Employers should design jobs with many opportunities for learning, and create an intra-entrepreneurial working environment to take advantage of the employees’ start-up intention and keep the talents.  Contribution & Value Added: The findings of this research challenge our long-held belief that job satisfaction has a negative relationship with entrepreneurial intention. The explanation was found in the new employee generations’ high need for learning opportunities. In addition, the study also investigated entrepreneurship through a new lens combined of the entrepreneurship event model (EEM), the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), and the job characteristics model and demonstrated the power of these theories.

Keywords Entrepreneurial Intention; Job Characteristics; Job Satisfaction; Start-up Ecosystem