Ryan D. Butt

Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

James A. Mourey

Second Advisor

Suzanne Fogel

Third Advisor

Zafar Iqbal


Numerous studies have explored first-generation college student experiences leading up to and throughout their time seeking a bachelor’s degree. Other research has investigated the relationship between risk perception or self-efficacy traits and entrepreneurial orientation. The purpose of this study is to fill the gap between these two research streams by exploring the relationship of entrepreneurial orientation in, and between, first- and continuing-generation college graduates, specifically evaluating their post-graduation experience. This project explores entrepreneurial orientation, risk-taking, self-efficacy, and familial obligations to explore potential similarities and differences between first-and continuing-generation graduates. Specifically, this study hypothesized that first-generation college graduates would have greater entrepreneurial orientation, compared to continuing-generation graduates. Furthermore, the relationship between graduate type and entrepreneurship orientation was thought to be mediated by risk-taking. Results showed that, as predicted, risk-taking was positively correlated with entrepreneurial orientation but that graduate type predicted neither entrepreneurial orientation nor risk-taking.