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The influence of proactive personality on social entrepreneurial intentions among African-American and Hispanic undergraduate students: the moderating role of hope.

INTRODUCTION

In this present study, the author will explore the possibility that hope moderates the relationship between proactive personality and social entrepreneurial intentions among African-American and Hispanic undergraduate students. Research has begun to move from merely examining personality as a main effect (Barrick, Parks & Mount, 2005), to focus on the moderating or mediating effects that explain how personality influences a dependent variable. This approach can also be taken to examine the relationship between proactive personality and social entrepreneurial intentions and to investigate whether hope moderates this relationship.

In the United States African-American and Hispanic communities are disproportionately more prone to poverty, violent crime and other social ills. Identifying and solving large scale social problems requires social entrepreneurs because only entrepreneurs have the committed vision and inexhaustible determination to persist until they have transformed an entire system (Drayton, 2005). Disadvantaged communities need social entrepreneurs to generate innovative solutions to complex problems to transform their societies. There is a need to figure out which individuals are most likely to have social entrepreneurial intentions in order to train and equip them with the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities that will allow them to be effective social entrepreneurs that are equipped to handle some of society's complex problems such as poverty, crime, HIV, etc.

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

The concept of social entrepreneurship has been rapidly emerging in the private, public and non-profit sectors over the last few years, and interest in social entrepreneurship continues to grow (Johnson, 2002). Currently, the non-profit sector is facing intensifying demands for improved effectiveness and sustainability in light of diminishing funding from traditional sources and increased competition for these scarce resources (Johnson, 2002). At the same time, the increasing concentration of wealth in the private sector is promoting calls for increased corporate social responsibility and more proactive responses to complex social problems, while governments at all levels are grappling with multiple demands on public funds (Johnson, 2002). Social entrepreneurship is emerging as an innovative approach for dealing with complex social needs (Johnson, 2002). With its emphasis on problem-solving and social innovation, socially entrepreneurial activities blur the traditional boundaries between the public, private and nonprofit sector, and emphasize hybrid models of for-profit and non-profit activities (Johnson, 2002). Promoting collaboration between sectors is implicit within social entrepreneurship, as is developing radical new approaches to solving old problems (Johnson, 2002).

In the literature overall, the main definitional debates are over the locus of social entrepreneurship (Johnson, 2002). Thompson (2002) argues that social entrepreneurship exists primarily in the non-profit sector. Many define social entrepreneurship as bringing business expertise and market-based skills to the non-profit sector in order to help this sector become more efficient in providing and delivering these services (e.g., Reis, 1999). This category includes non-profits running small, for-profit businesses and channeling their earnings back into social service problems as well as non-profits adopting private sector management techniques in order to get more mileage out of existing resources" (McLeod, 1997). Boschee (1998) distinguishes between for-profit activities which serve to help offset an organization's costs, and what he calls 'social purpose ventures' whose primary purpose is to make a profit which can then be used for non-profit ventures. Others define social entrepreneurship more broadly, and argue that social entrepreneurship can occur within the public, private or non-profit sectors, and is in essence a hybrid model involving both for-profit and non-profit activities as well as cross-sectoral collaboration (Johnson, 2002). These definitions tend to put more emphasis on the 'entrepreneurial' nature of these activities and the creativity and innovation that entrepreneurs bring to solving social problems in unique ways rather than focusing on the social benefits such services can provide (Johnson, 2002). This conceptualization suggests social entrepreneurship can take a variety of forms, including innovative not-for-profit ventures, social purpose business ventures (e.g., for-profit community development banks, and hybrid organizations mixing for profit and not-for-profit activities (e.g., homeless shelters that start small businesses to train and employ their residents) (Dees, 1998).

William Drayton is thought to have coined the term 'social entrepreneur' several decades ago (Davis, 2002). He is widely credited with creating the world's first organization to promote the profession of social entrepreneurship, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. Drayton recognized that social entrepreneurs have the same core temperament as their industry-creating, business entrepreneur peers but instead use their talents to solve social problems on a society-wide scale such as why children are not learning, why technology is not accessed equally, why pollution is increasing, etc. The essence, however, is the same. Both types of entrepreneur recognize "when a part of society is stuck and provide new ways to get it unstuck" (Drayton, 2002). Each type of entrepreneur envisages a systemic change that will allow him or her to tip the whole society onto this new path, and then persists and persists until the job is done (Drayton, 2002). Thompson, Alvy, and Lees (2000) described social entrepreneurship as the process of applying entrepreneurial principles to creative vision, leadership, and the will to succeed in inducing social change. Social entrepreneurs are different from business entrepreneurs in many ways. The key difference is that social entrepreneurs set out with an explicit social mission in mind. Their main objective is to make the world a better place. This vision affects how they measure their success and how they structure their enterprises (Dees, 2001). Broadly speaking, two overlapping conceptions of social entrepreneurship can be identified in the literature.

The theory of planned behavior is a good framework for explaining an individual's intention to perform a given behavior (ie. intentions to start a social venture that will positively transform society). Intentions are assumed to capture the motivational factors that influence a behavior; they are indications of how hard people are willing to try, of how much of an effort they are planning to exert, in order to perform the behavior (Ajzen, 1991). The next section will give a brief review of the theory of planned behavior.

THEORY OF PLANNED BEHAVIOR

The theory of planned behavior is an extension of the theory of reasoned action (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975) made necessary by the original model's limitations in dealing with behaviors over which people have incomplete volitional control (Ajzen, 1991). As in the original theory of reasoned action, a central factor in the theory of planned behavior is the individual's intention to perform a given behavior (Ajzen, 1991). Intentions are assumed to capture the motivational factors that influence a behavior; they are indications of how hard people are willing to try, of how much of an effort they are planning to exert, in order to perform the behavior (Ajzen, 1991). As a general rule, the stronger the intention to engage in a behavior, the more likely should be its performance. The first determinant of intentions is the person's attitude, conceptualized as the overall evaluation, either positive or negative, of performing the behavior of interest (Jimmieson, Peach, & White, 2008). The second determinant of intentions is subjective norm, which reflects perceived social pressure to perform or not perform the behavior (Jimmieson, Peach, & White, 2008). The third determinant of intentions is perceived behavioral control, which reflects the extent to which the behavior is perceived to be under volitional control (Jimmieson, Peach, & White, 2008). Perceived behavioral control has been argued to indirectly affect behavior via intentions and/or have a direct effect on behavior (Ajzen, 1991; Ajzen & Madden, 1986). Ajzen (1991) argued that considered actions are preceded by conscious decisions to act in a certain way. He further theorized that these intentions were the result of attitudes formulated through life experiences, personal characteristics and perceptions drawn from these prior experiences (Kuehn, 2008).

According to Ajzen (1991) the central factor in the theory of planned behavior is the individual's intention to perform a given behavior (ie. intentions to start a social venture that will positively transform society). Intentions are assumed to capture the motivational factors that influence a behavior; they are indications of how hard people are willing to try, of how much of an effort they are planning to exert, in order to perform the behavior (Ajzen, 1991). As a general rule, the stronger the intention to engage in a behavior, the more likely should be its performance (Ajzen, 1991).

ENTREPRENEURIAL INTENTIONS

Intentions to act are believed central to understanding the behaviors in which people engage. While actual behavior may differ from intended behavior, it has been established that one's intention to act toward something in a certain manner is the most consistent predictor of actual behavior, particularly planned behavior (Krueger, Reilly and Carsrud, 2000). Intentions-based models then are particularly suited to entrepreneurship as the entrepreneurial process is a planned one (Kuehn, 2008). Individual entrepreneurial intent has proven to be an important and continuing construct in entrepreneurship theory and research (Carr & Sequeira, 2007; Hmieleski & Corbett, 2006). All new firms set up by individuals, or groups of individuals outside the formal context of existing firms, begin with some degree of planned behavior on the part of those individuals (Krueger & Reilly, 2000; Shook, Priem, & McGee, 2003).

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURIAL INTENTIONS

Social entrepreneurial intentions can be described as a person's intention to launch a social enterprise or venture to advance social change through innovation. As previously stated, according to Ajzen (1991) the central factor in the theory of planned behavior is the individual's intention to perform a given behavior (i.e. intentions to start a social venture that will positively transform society).

In recent years college students in the United States and all over the world are enthused about making a difference in the world and are very much engaged in seeking ways in which they can help transform society for the better. Due to students' desire for opportunities to make a difference various universities throughout the United States are introducing social entrepreneurship fellowship programs and courses designed to support students who are launching social enterprises. For example NYU has a social entrepreneurship fellowship that attracts three types of change-makers; 1) those that have or are planning to develop an innovative idea to address a specific social problem in a pattern breaking, sustainable and scalable way, 2) those that will work in and/or build the infrastructure needed for social entrepreneurial work to take root, including individuals who will practice their profession in a social entrepreneurial organization (accountants, lawyers, etc.) and individuals who want to improve the operations and management systems of public, private and not for profit organizations, and 3) those who will bring action oriented awareness on a national and/or global scale to particular social problems through journalism, the arts, photography, film making, television production and other media avenues (Social Entrepreneurship Graduate Fellowship, 2009).

Students with a proactive personality may be more inclined to become social entrepreneurs due to their desire to challenge the status quo and bring about meaningful change. The next section will give a brief review of proactive personality.

PROACTIVE PERSONALITY

Bateman and Crant (1993) developed the proactive personality concept, defining it as a relatively stable tendency to effect environmental change that differentiates people based on the extent to which they take action to influence their environments. Individuals with a prototypical proactive personality identify opportunities and act on them, show initiative, take action, and persevere until meaningful change occurs (Crant, 2000). In contrast, people who are not proactive exhibit the opposite patterns: they fail to identify, let alone seize, opportunities to change things. Less proactive individuals are passive and reactive, preferring to adapt to circumstances rather than change them (Crant, 2000). As work becomes more dynamic and decentralized, proactive behavior and initiative become even more critical determinants of organizational success. For example, as new forms of management are introduced that minimize the surveillance function, companies will increasingly rely on employees' personal initiative to identify and solve problems (Frese, Fay, Hilburger, Leng, & Tag, 1997). Crant (2000) defined proactive behavior as taking initiative in improving current circumstances or creating new ones; it involves challenging the status quo rather than passively adapting to present conditions. Employees can engage in proactive activities as part of their in-role behavior in which they fulfill basic job requirements (Crant, 2000). For example, sales agents might proactively seek feedback on their techniques for closing a sale with an ultimate goal of improving job performance. Extra-role behaviors can also be proactive, such as efforts to redefine one's role in the organization. For example, employees might engage in career management activities by identifying and acting on opportunities to change the scope of their jobs or move to more desirable divisions of the business (Crant, 2000). Crant (1995) demonstrated that proactive personality accounted for incremental variance in the job performance of real estate agents after controlling for both extraversion and conscientiousness.

Proactive personality refers to individuals' disposition toward engaging in active role orientations, such as initiating change and influencing their environment (Bateman & Crant 1993). Proactive people are relatively unconstrained by situational forces, and they identify opportunities, act on them, show initiative, and persevere until meaningful change occurs (Crant, 2000). The key differentiating feature of proactive personality and behavior is an active rather than passive approach toward work (Bateman & Crant, 1993). Several researchers have examined an array of potential outcomes of proactive personality at work. For example, Crant (1995) examined the criterion validity of the proactive personality scale developed by Bateman and Crant (1993). Using a sample of 131 real estate agents, results indicated that the proactive personality scale explained an additional 8% of the variance in an objective measure of agents' job performance beyond experience, social desirability, general mental ability, and two of the big five personality factors- conscientiousness and extraversion. Parker (1998) found that, using a sample from a glass manufacturing firm, proactive personality was positively and significantly associated with participation in organizational improvement initiatives. Becherer and Maurer (1999) examined the effects of a proactive disposition on entrepreneurial behaviors. Results from a sample of 215 small company presidents suggested that the presidents' level of proactivity was significantly associated with three types of entrepreneurial behaviors: starting versus not starting the business, the number of startups, and the types of ownership.

Kim, Hon and Crant (2009) examined the indirect effects of a proactive personality on career satisfaction and perceived insider status, determined the process by which newcomer creativity mediates these relationships. Their findings provided several important theoretical implications. They found that the extent to which new employees possess a proactive personality was associated with their creativity (Kim, Hon & Crant, 2009). Proactive personality has been linked to a number of desirable personal and organizational outcomes, and their findings provided evidence that employee creativity should be added to the positive correlates of a proactive disposition (Kim, Hon & Crant, 2009). Most fundamentally, their study's results extend current proactive personality literature by addressing the underlying process by which proactive personality ultimately manifests itself in individual outcomes (Kim, Hon & Crant, 2009).

The proactive personality scale appears to have the potential for providing further insight into the personality trait- entrepreneurship relationship (Crant, 1996). The proactive personality scale measures a personal disposition toward proactive behavior, an idea that intuitively appears to be related to entrepreneurship (Crant, 1996). In a study conducted by Crant (1996) that examined the relationship between the proactive personality scale and entrepreneurial intentions, proactive personality was positively associated with entrepreneurial intentions. This may also be the case for social entrepreneurial intentions; people with a proactive personality may be more inclined to have social entrepreneurial intentions and may want to influence their environment. More proactive people may have a greater desire to become social entrepreneurs in order to help transform society for the better.

Hypothesis 1: There will be a positive relationship between individuals' proactive personality and social entrepreneurial intentions.

Personality affects outcomes through mediating and moderating processes and mechanisms, and identifying these underlying structures has been posited as a desirable next step for moving the proactive personality literature forward (Seibert, Crant, & Krainer, 1999). For this reason the author also decided to examine hope as a potential moderator that may factor in the relationship between proactive personality and social entrepreneurial intentions.

HOPE

Hope is conceptualized and operationalized in various ways by different people. The philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas (1927) conceptualized hope as a movement of the appetitive power ensuing from the apprehension of a future good, difficult but possible to obtain. Paulo Freire (1992) stated that hope helps us to "understand human existence, and the struggle needed to improve it." (p. 8). In a qualitative study that examined hope in the Dominican Republic it was found that the subjects viewed hope as an essential but dynamic life-force that grows out of faith in God, and is supported by relationships, resources and work, and results in the energy necessary to work for a desired future (Holt, 2000). Davis-Maye & Perry (2007) in a study that focused on the development of African American girls, conceptualized hope as a concept that continues to compel individuals when the odds seem insurmountable and it fuels resilience, and the ability to achieve and strive despite the existence of barriers.

Due to the hardships that African Americans faced in the United States one would expect that they would be lacking in hope, however, it appears to be the opposite (Adams, Rand, Kahle, Snyder, Berg, King, Rodrigues-Hanley, 2003). In a study of college students, for example, African Americans were higher in hope than their Caucasian counterparts (Munoz-Dunbar, 1993). According to Adams et al (2003), hope consistently has been found to play an important role in the subjective well-being reported by African Americans. Historically, scripture provided stories and text with which African Americans identified with and found hope through God (Hoyt, 1991). Also, through oral tradition, custodians passed on the collective story, including the history, customs, and values of African Americans, thereby imparting insight into the lives of their fore-parents and ways in which they lived with hope (Wimberly, 1996). Adams et al (2003) stated that African Americans draw on hope as a way of remaining resilient in the face of adversity. Also through hopeful thinking, African Americans can gain new insights into their goal attainment activities (Adams et al, 2003). High-hope compared to low-hope African Americans appear to be better able to deal with the blockages to their goal attainments (Adams et al, 2003).

Hope is also a significant construct for Hispanics. In a recent study that examined Hispanic youth it was found that hope may be a particularly important strength or resource among young Hispanics, who often are confronted with the dual challenges of negotiating the transition to adulthood (Phinney, Kim Jo, Osorio, & Vilhjalmsdottir, 2005) and developing a positive bicultural identity within both Hispanic and European American cultures (Phinney & Devich Navarro, 1997; Romero & Roberts, 2003). As these youth identify and develop goals across various life arenas, they may need to marshal agency and pathways thoughts to navigate around obstacles such as poverty, discrimination, and other bicultural stressors (Edwards, Ong, Lopez, 2007).

The basic premise of hope theory (Snyder, Harris, Anderson, Holleran, Irving, Sigman, Yoshinobu, Gibb, Langelle, & Harney, 1991) is that hope is comprised of not only emotion, but thinking as well. Indeed, according to hope theory, thinking is at the core of hope (Snyder, 2002). While investigating the phenomenon of excuse making by individuals when they failed to perform well, Snyder discovered that even though these individuals had reasons for not doing well they also expressed the desire to establish positive goals (Helland & Winston, 2005).

The reality of hope as a phenomenon has been confirmed through research conducted over the past decade resulting in a cognitive based theory of hope (Helland & Winston, 2005). Hope Theory has been studied in relation to physical and psychological health (Snyder, 1996; Snyder, Irving & Anderson, 1991; Snyder, Feldman, Taylor, Schroeder & Adams, 2000), psychotherapy (Snyder, Michael & Cheavans, 1999) academic achievement and sports performance (Curry, Snyder, Cook, Ruby & Rehm, 1997). Hope has much in common with other positive psychology concepts, yet the theory building and measures of hope have clearly demonstrated it to be an independent construct. For example, empirical analyses have shown that hope, optimism, and self-efficacy are related yet clearly distinct constructs (Magaletta & Oliver, 1999). Also, in a series of studies by Snyder, Cheavans, and Sympson (1997), hope measures have predicted coping, well-being, and reported psychological health responses significantly beyond projections related to measures of anxiety, positive and negative affectivity, optimism, positive outcome expectancies, and locus of control (Luthans & Jensen, 2002). Scholarly reviews indicate that hope is conceptually independent and captures unique predictive powers in explaining how individuals cope and thrive (Magaletta & Oliver, 1999). Organizational research that is either underway or completed includes: hope as a factor in human and social capital management referred to as positive psychological capital (Luthans & Youssef, 2004); the role of hope in sustaining innovation during major changes such as mergers and acquisitions (Ludema, Wilmot, & Srivastva, 1997); the impact of high hope on profits, retention rates, follower satisfaction and commitment (Luthans & Jensen, 2002); the differences of hope levels among social workers and corresponding levels of stress, job satisfaction, commitment and performance (Kirk & Koeske, 1995); the development of positive organizational hope and its impact on organization citizenship behaviors (White-Zappa, 2001). More recently hope theory has been applied to concepts of organizational leadership (Helland & Winston, 2005). This pioneering work has only just begun and there are many unanswered questions regarding the "processes by which leaders influence hope in followers," (Avolio Gardner, Walumbwa, Luthans, & May, 2004, p. 808).

Hypothesis 2: Hope will moderate the relationship between proactive personality and social entrepreneurial intentions such that the higher the hope score, the more individuals will have social entrepreneurial intentions.

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METHODS

The accessible population for this study was African American and Hispanic full time undergraduate students who attended the institution where this study was conducted during the spring 2010 semester. Application of Cochran's formula determined that a minimum sample size of 176 should be delivered. However in order to ensure that adequate data was collected, the researcher elected to increase the sample size to 1,280. The students received an email from the researcher describing the research and inviting them to participate. The data collection procedure included a web-based survey. An internet link was sent to the students via email. Reminder notices were sent a week after the initial email was sent. A total of 214 students responded to the survey.

Pearson's correlation coefficient was employed to determine if proactive personality was a significant predictor of social entrepreneurial intentions. Moderated multiple regression was utilized to determine whether the proposed moderating variable, hope, strengthened the relationship between the proposed predictor, proactive personality, and the criterion variable, social entrepreneurial intentions. Moderated multiple regression is widely used in management, psychology, and related disciplines. Accordingly, proactive personality, the predictor variable, and hope, the proposed moderator variable, were entered in Step 1 of the moderated multiple regression analysis. In Step 2, the interaction term reflecting the product of the predictor variable (proactive personality) and moderator variable (hope) was entered. A statistically significant increment in R2 at Step 2, with an effect size of .02, supports a moderator effect.

Proactive personality was measured using the 10-item version of Bateman's and Crant's (1993) measure refined by Seibert et al (1999). A sample item is ''I am always looking for better ways to do things''. All items were rated on a seven point scale ranging from Strongly disagree (1) to Strongly agree (7). The internal consistency of the abbreviated scale was good (alpha = .83). A higher score indicates a more highly proactive personality.

Hope was measured using Snyder, Sympson, Ybasco, Borders, Babyak and Higgins (1996) 6-item, 8-point Likert-type State Hope Scale (alpha = .90). Examples of scale items include "At the present time, I am energetically pursuing my goals" (agency) and "If I should find myself in a jam, I could think of many ways to get out of it" (pathways).

Social entrepreneurial intentions, the dependent variable, was measured using a five-point likert scale, which was modified from an entrepreneurial decision scale (alpha = .92) in Chen, Greene, and Crick (1998). The social entrepreneurial intention instrument was validated by a panel of experts from various universities and institutions who specialize in the study and practice of social entrepreneurship. It will then be field tested via email by 20 undergraduates from a student organization on the campus where this study took place. This researcher used Cronbach's alpha to test for reliability. Cronbach's alpha is the most widely used diagnostic measure of the reliability coefficient that assesses the consistency of an entire scale of related questions. The measures range from 0 to 1. The generally agreed upon lower limit accepted for Cronbach's alpha is .70 (Hair et al., 1998). This researcher set a priori the following levels of acceptability: .70 - .79 = acceptable; .80 - .89 = high; .90 and above = very high.

FACTOR ANALYSIS FOR SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURIAL INTENTIONS

The social entrepreneurial intentions scale used in this study consisted of five items. The scale was factor analyzed to determine if underlying factors could be identified. Results of the factor analysis procedure revealed one factor which explained 66.206% of the variance and an eigenvalue of 3.310. The items included in social entrepreneurial intentions, and their loadings (.872, .871, .844, .736, and .733) are presented in Table 1.

RESULTS

The descriptive statistics of respondents are summarized below. The first variable on which respondents were described was current age. Respondents were asked to choose the most appropriate range that included their current age. The category options were "18-25", "26-35", "36-45", "46-55", "56-65", "66-75", "76-85", and "86 and older". The largest number of respondents indicated their age as between 18 and 25 years (n = 210, 98.1%). The second largest group was the 26-35 age group, with 3 (1.4%). Only one respondent (n = 1, .5%) indicated their age as between 36 and 45 years. Table 2 gives the sample's age distribution.

Regarding gender of the African American and Hispanic undergraduate study participants; the majority of the participants (n = 136, 63.6%) indicated their gender as female. Seventy eight subjects (36.4%) reported their gender as male.

Respondents were also asked to report their year classification in school. The year classification for the largest group of respondents was senior (n = 66, 30.8%). The second largest group of respondents was sophomores (n = 59, 27.6%). The smallest group of respondents was freshman (n = 39, 18.2%). The information regarding year of classification of respondents is provided in Table 3.

Regarding ethnicity of the study participants; the majority of the participants (n = 164, 76.6%) indicated their ethnicity as African American. Fifty subjects (23.4%) reported their ethnicity as Hispanic.

The researcher measured the research participants' proactive personality score, hope score and social entrepreneurial intentions score as measured by the proactive personality scale, the state hope scale and the social entrepreneurial intentions scale. Norms for the scales have not been established. The researcher contacted the scale developers and was advised to base norms on the study sample. Based on this information the scores were organized by the researcher by identifying the points on the scale which divided the scale into quartiles. Individuals in the highest quartile were designated as high ([greater than or equal to]75th percentile). Individuals in the middle quartile were designated as moderate (26th-74th percentile). Individuals in the lowest quartile were designated as low ([less than or equal to]25 percentile). The mean proactive personality score for the respondents was 5.7 (SD = .88) and the scores ranged from a low of 1.50 to a high of 7.5. Based on the quartiles established using the sample data a high score ([greater than or equal to]75 percentile) was 6.3 or higher. The percentage of students that had a high score was 25.4% (n = 54). Based on the quartiles established using the sample data a moderate score ([26.sup.th]-[74.sup.th] percentile) was 5.21 to 6.29. The percentage of students with a moderate score was 47.4% (n = 101). Based on the quartiles established using the sample data a low score ([less than or equal to]25 percentile) was 5.2 or lower. The percentage of students with a low score was 27.2 % (n = 58).

The mean state hope score was 6.51 (SD = 1.01) and the scores ranged from a low of 2.50 to a high of 8. Based on the quartiles established using the sample data a high score ([greater than or equal to] 75 percentile) was 7.17 or higher. The percentage of students that had a high score was 26.3% (n = 51). Based on the quartiles established using the sample data a moderate score (26th-74th percentile) was 6.1 to 7.16. The percentage of students with a moderate score was 42.3% (n = 82). Based on the quartiles established using the sample data a low score ([less than or equal to]25 percentile) was 6 or lower. The percentage of students with a low score was 31.4 % (n = 61).

The mean social entrepreneurial intentions score was 3.11 (SD = .87) and the scores ranged from a low of 1 to a high of 5. Based on the quartiles established using the sample data a high score ([greater than or equal to]75 percentile) was 3.75 or higher. The percentage of students that had a high score was 30% (n = 64). Based on the quartiles established using the sample data a moderate score (26th-74th percentile) was 3.1 to 3.74. The percentage of students with a moderate score was 20.7% (n = 44). Based on the quartiles established using the sample data a low score ([less than or equal to]25 percentile) was 3 or lower. The percentage of students with a low score was 49.3 % (n = 105). Table 4 illustrates the distribution of respondents' scores.

Hypothesis one of the study was to determine whether a positive relationship exists between individuals' proactive personality and social entrepreneurial intentions. The Pearson's correlation coefficient was employed to determine if proactive personality was positively related to social entrepreneurial intentions. Results of the Pearson's correlation coefficient indicated that there was a statistically significant relationship between proactive personality and social entrepreneurial intentions (r = .397, p < .001); therefore hypothesis one was supported.

Hypothesis two of the study was to determine whether the proposed moderating variable, hope, strengthened the relationship between the proposed predictor, proactive personality, and the criterion variable, social entrepreneurial intentions. Accordingly, proactive personality, the predictor variable, and hope, the proposed moderator variable, were entered in Step 1 of the regression analysis. In Step 2, the interaction term reflecting the product of the predictor and moderator variables was entered. The addition of the product term resulted in an R squared change of .000. This result shows that hope does not moderate the relationship between proactive personality and social entrepreneurial intentions; therefore hypothesis two was not supported. Table 5 presents the results of the moderated multiple regression.

CONCLUSION AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS

The findings demonstrated that there is a positive relationship between having a proactive personality and social entrepreneurial intentions among African American and Hispanic undergraduate students. These findings support the conclusions of Crant (1996) which stated that proactive college students tend to have intentions to become entrepreneurs. Based on this conclusion it can be said that proactive African American and Hispanic students have a desire and intend to make a difference and become social entrepreneurs. The study demonstrated that the proactive personality scale can be used to identify African American and Hispanic students with social entrepreneurial intentions. The next step would be for researchers and practitioners to conceptualize frameworks that can aid in training and developing social entrepreneurs in order to solve some of the complex problems facing the African American and Hispanic communities in the United States. Critical pedagogy and the Center for Creative Leadership's Assessment, Challenge, and Support (ACS) model may be utilized (McCauley & Van Velsor, 2004). The students may be 1) Assessed to determine if they are proactive and have social entrepreneurial intentions; 2) challenged by a curriculum that allows them to think critically about issues affecting their communities and to formulate innovative business plans, and, 3) supported by mentors, and other social entrepreneurs, etc.

The findings demonstrated that hope did not moderate the relationship between proactive personality and social entrepreneurial intentions. This was surprising; however, it may be that African American and Hispanic undergraduate students need more than hope to stimulate their desire to become social entrepreneurs and transform their communities. It is also likely that the moderated relationship was not supported because some students may not yet possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to create social enterprises. Future research should consider other possible moderating mechanisms involved in the proactive personality and social entrepreneurial intentions relationship. It is possible that entrepreneurial parents, entrepreneurial self-efficacy, socio-economic status, and other variables may moderate the relationship between proactive personality and social entrepreneurial intentions. There is also general agreement that social networks play a major role in the entrepreneurial process by providing the fundamental resources necessary for starting a business (Boyd, 1989). This has implications for social entrepreneurship.

In conclusion, social entrepreneurial research personality variables have an important role to play in developing theories of the social entrepreneurial process, including such areas as social entrepreneurial intentions and it is important for universities and other institutions to identify and develop African American and Hispanic undergraduate students who have a desire to bring about meaningful change in their communities.

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Leon C. Prieto, Savannah State University
Table 1: Component Matrix for Social Entrepreneurial Intentions Scores
of African American and Hispanic Undergraduate Students at a Research
Extensive University in the Southern United States

Social Entrepreneurial Intentions                         Component

I am interested in launching a social enterprise or         .872
venture that strives to advance positive social change

I have considered launching a social enterprise or          .871
venture that strives to advance positive social change

I am prepared to launch a social enterprise or venture      .844
that strives to advance positive social change.

I am going to try hard to launch a social enterprise or     .736
venture that strives to advance positive social change

How soon are you likely to launch your social               .733
enterprise or venture that strives to advance positive
social change?

Note. Eigenvalue = 3.310, Percent of Variance = 66.206
Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis

Table 2: Age distribution of African American and Hispanic
Undergraduate Students at a Research Extensive University in the
Southern United States

    Age in Years             n           Percentage

18-25                       210            98.1
26-35                        3              1.4
36-45                        1              .5
46-55                        0               0
56-65                        0               0
66-75                        0               0
76-85                        0               0
86 and older                 0               0
Total                       214             100

Table 3: Year of Classification Distribution of African American and
Hispanic Undergraduate Students at a Research Extensive University in
the Southern United States

School Classification         n           Percentage

Freshmen                     39             18.2
Sophomore                    59             27.6
Junior                       50             23.4
Senior                       66             30.8
Total                        214             100

Table 4: Distribution of African American and Hispanic Undergraduate
Students' Proactive Personality (PP), State Hope (SH), and Social
Entrepreneurial Intentions (SEI) Scores

Construct   Mean     SD      Min   Max     Percentile
                                         ([less than or
                                          equal to]25)

   PP       5.7      .88     1.5    7     5.2 (n = 58
                                           or 27.2%)

   SH       6.51    1.01     2.5    8     6 (n = 61 or
                                             31.4%)

   SEI      3.11     .87      1     5    3 (n = 105 or
                                             49.3%)

Construct      Percentile        Percentile
              (26th-74th)      ([greater than
                                  or equal
                                  to]75th)

   PP        5.21-6.29 (n =       6.3 (n =
             101, or 47.4%)     54 or 25.4%)

   SH       6.1-7.16 (n = 82    7.17 (n = 51
               or 42.3%)         or 26.3%)

   SEI      3.1-3.74 (n = 44    3.75 (n = 64
               or 20.7%)          or 30%)

Note. A total of 214 students responded to the survey during the
spring 2010 semester.

Proactive Personality Scale: 213 participants responded

State Hope Scale: 194 participants responded.

Social Entrepreneurial Intentions Scale: 213 participants responded

Table 5: The Moderating Role of Hope in the Relationship between
Proactive Personality and Social Entrepreneurial Intentions

Model   R2 Change   F Change   df1   df2   Sig. F Change

  1       .159       19.817     2    209       .0001
  2       .000         .031     1    208       .860
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Publication:Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal
Date:Jul 1, 2011
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