An integrative model for understanding the sustainable entrepreneurs’ behavioural intentions: an empirical study of the Italian context

  • Brunella ArruEmail author


Intention is a mental state that powerfully predicts and explains human thought and behaviour. Therefore, to support and encourage sustainable entrepreneurship, which is directly linked to achieving sustainable development goals, it is essential to bridge the gap in our knowledge of the factors that lie behind sustainable entrepreneurial intention. Consequently, employing data from Italy, the primary aim of this study is to provide insights into the factors that affect sustainable entrepreneurs’ behavioural intentions. This study looks to extend existing research on how the subconscious goals, subjective motivations (SSMs) and personality traits of sustainable entrepreneurs influence their behavioural intentions towards sustainable business. For this purpose, a holistic map of the SSM of sustainable entrepreneurship was designed, and the mechanisms behind the relationships between personality traits and SSM and the predictive power of the personality traits on SSM were analysed. The findings revealed the importance of the joint and non-alternative use of SSM and personality traits to better understand the antecedents of sustainable entrepreneurship. Further, the findings revealed the most relevant cognitive factors and personality traits and the influential role of personality traits in some SSM factors. This study provides a theoretical and empirical contribution to the debate on intention towards sustainable entrepreneurship and offers useful reflections for policy-makers and entrepreneurship education.


Cognitive motivations Subconscious and subjective motivations Sustainable entrepreneurship Personality traits Sustainable entrepreneurial intentions Italy 



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AgricultureUniversity of SassariSassariItaly

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