Nowadays, different organizations have been faced with an increasingly competitive environment. According to Mintzberg (1994), organizations need to continually identify new opportunities beyond existing competencies if they are to survive in a rapidly changing world. Personnel work perceptions and their job performance are vital to achieving organizational objectives as well as maintaining competitive advantages and performance efficiency. Moreover, organizational development improvement demands personnel entrepreneurial self efficacy and their job performance. In the organizational behavior research, the issue of entrepreneurial self efficacy continues to receive attention from both practitioners and researchers. Based on the review of related literature about factors affecting the entrepreneurial process, creating and maintaining an entrepreneurial activity is the function of the combined effects of individual factors, such as entrepreneur’s competence and motivation, and situational factors (entrepreneurial environment). One of the most important constructs in association with intentionally decision making of personnel in an organization is entrepreneurial self efficacy (ESE) (Chen et al., 1998). Self efficacy is the focal point of social learning theory that leads to explain individual behavior through mutual relationships among the personal characteristics and environmental and behavioral factors (Chen et al., 1998; Hartsfield, 2003). In the entrepreneurship studies, the context-specific measure of self-efficacy called “entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE).” ESE refers to the strength of a person’s belief that he or she is capable of successfully performing the various roles and tasks of entrepreneurship. It consists of five factors: marketing, innovation, management, risk-taking, and financial control (Chen et al., 1998).
This study focuses on the beliefs of agricultural personnel in their ability to perform entrepreneurship – related tasks in an organization. Understanding self-efficacy and its determinants and outcomes is important in boosting entrepreneurial behavior and performance in an organization. Research on the effects of self-efficacy found that self-efficacy is the most effective predictor of performance (Bandura 1986; Bandura and Schunk, 1981; Wood and Bandura, 1989). Also, separate and discrete meta-analyses by both Judge and Bono (2001) and Stajkovic and Luthans (1998), in organizational research context, have demonstrated a strong and positive relationship between personnel self-efficacy and their job performance. In analyzing the relationship between entrepreneurial selfefficacy and entrepreneurial behavior, Wakkee et al. (2008) found that entrepreneurial self-efficacy has a positive effect on entrepreneurial behavior and coaching by managers has a direct positive effect on personnel entrepreneurial behavior. In this study, personnel work perceptions included personnel entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE), and their job performance (JP). According to Morris & Kuratko, (2002); Zahra et al. (1999), entrepreneurship research has gradually moved from the study of individual traits to the features of the entrepreneurial organization. Based on entrepreneurial literature, entrepreneurial organizations are characterized by a set of organizational attitudes and behaviors. This study focuses on organizational entrepreneurship which includes both entrepreneurial orientation and entrepreneurial management as the antecedents and factors affecting agricultural personnel entrepreneurial self efficacy and their job performance. According to Covin and Slevin (1989), entrepreneurial orientation refers to as organizational behavior patterns that reflect the organization’s commitment to entrepreneurial intensity, which is the combination of entrepreneurial frequency and the degree of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial frequency represents the number of entrepreneurial events in which an organization becomes involved, through assessing organizational new processes and services (Jennings & Seaman, 1990). The degree of entrepreneurship is the extent to which any event involves innovativeness, risk taking and proactiveness (Cheah, 1990; Covin & Slevin, 1990; Morris & Sexton, 1996). Innovativeness is an indispensable component of an entrepreneurial orientation because it reflects the organization’s tendency to engage in and support new ideas through experimentation and creative processes that contribute to the development of new products, services, technologies, or processes (Lumpkin & Dess, 1996). According to Morris & Kuratko (2002), proactiveness as a dimension of entrepreneurial orientation of one organization, involves focusing on the future; creating an idea; assuming responsibility; anticipating and preventing problems; communicating effectively; remaining adaptable; and persevering through implementation of the new process or launch of a new product. Entrepreneurial risk has been defined as decision making about new ventures, products or processes under conditions of risk and uncertainty (Cornwall & Perlman, 1990). Entrepreneurial management is defined as a management approach focused on the pursuit and exploitation of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled (Stevenson, 1983). According to Brown et al. (2001), entrepreneurial management can be categorized in the sub-dimensions of strategic orientation, resource orientation, management structure, reward philosophy, and entrepreneurial culture. Numerous studies suggest that organizational-level entrepreneurship leads to improved performance (For example, Naman & Slevin, 1993; Zahra & Covin, 1995). Based on entrepreneurship literature, numerous studies investigated the factors affecting personnel job performance, but examine how entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE) as a mediation factor, entrepreneurial orientation (EO), entrepreneurial management (EM), and job performance (JP) among personnel of one organization interact, merits further investigation, especially in the context of agricultural organizations in Iran country (figure 1).