In line with Vision 2020, the government plans to build a progressive, innovative creative and advanced Malaysian society in science and technology ( Ishak et al., 2010 ). The sophistication of technology is tainted, however, by various environmental tragedies that occurred around the world. Concurrently, the effects of climate change and global warming also threaten human security and health. As a result, the earth temperature increment, due to the rapid growth of the industry and the occurrence of natural disasters, threatens humans ( Bakar, 2009 ). Focused on this global climate change, several conferences on environmental crisis solutions have been conducted internationally, including the Stockholm Conference (1972), The Belgrade Charter (1975), Tbilisi (1977), Malta (1991) and Agenda 21 (1992), which resulted in the Cabinet Report (1979) in Malaysia. These conferences have finally succeeded in formulating guidelines, principles and goals, and subsequently transforming the objectives of the Environmental Education Program in Malaysia ( Ministry of Education Malaysia, 2010 ).
1.1. Environment and Entrepreneurship
The worldwide environmental crisis is affected by rapid and unsustainable industrial development in the growing entrepreneurial field. However, most entrepreneurial activities are rooted on profit and less concerned with sustainability ( Sung & Park, 2018 ). Various solutions have been introduced both internationally and nationally, but news reports indicate many environmental pollution cases still occur every day, including accounts of illegal logging, toxic waste disposal and river pollution throughout Malaysia. These reports indicate that the community’s attitudes and behaviors about sustainability are still focused only on profit-based activities that don’t consider their impact on the environment ( Bakar, 2009 ). The attitude, behavior and lack of awareness of the environment illustrate that the individual’s sustainability orientation remains alarmingly low.
The field of entrepreneurship is usually associated with various promises. From the policy maker’s point of view, the purpose of entrepreneurs is to enhance the competitiveness of the economy in the global market and potentially create new job opportunities. From the entrepreneur’s perspective, exploiting entrepreneurial opportunities can be an interesting activity because it offers meaningful career promises and can potentially make entrepreneurship a superior activity ( Kuckertz & Wagner, 2010 ).
Discussion on sustainable orientation in this study encompasses environmental attitudes and behavior towards the environment. Studies show that the positive effect of sustainable orientation will be reduced if the individual has experience and education in the field of business or entrepreneurship ( Kuckertz & Wagner, 2010 ). This means that an individual with entrepreneurial or business background will have less sustainable orientation. This is alarming, as on one hand, because the entrepreneurial and business field is important for the development of a country. On the other hand, it also has the potential to disregard environmental sustainability.
Study by Wagner (2012) indicates that sustainability orientation has a positive impact on entrepreneurial opportunities related to sustainability and not entrepreneurial intentions. In addition, the analysis shows that entrepreneurial attitude is more important to pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities and focusing on entrepreneurship for sustainable development is the next conditional option over the decision to pursue entrepreneurial careers.
Recent study by Sung and Park (2018) suggests that sustainability orientation has a positive relationship with the recognition of opportunities and sustainability related entrepreneurship intentions. Besides, the analysis of the moderation effects of entrepreneurial orientation reveals a positive impact with sustainability orientation but a negative impact with the recognition of opportunities for sustainable entrepreneurial intentions. This study also explains that altruistic thinking of entrepreneurs can be a driving force towards the creation of more sustainable companies through the exploration of new opportunities that take into account environmental aspects at the same time.
1.2. Sustainable Orientation and Entrepreneurship
Sustainable orientation and entrepreneurial elements are often studied separately. Sustainable orientation focuses on individual attitudes, behavior and awareness of the environment, while entrepreneurship studies explain the characteristics, factors, interests, styles, leadership, values, perceptions and entrepreneurial tendencies.
Public involvement in the environment affects sustainable development ( Leiserowitz, Kates, & Parris, 2005 ). However, Mohamed et al. (2011) and Hussain et al. (2011) found that Malaysian attitudes toward the environment were at an alarmingly low level. The study reported that most respondents believed that environmental care was the responsibility of the government, while behavior and community involvement were important factors in the recycling programs that were the individual’s responsibility to support ( Wee & Radzuan, 2006 ).
The study found that students have very positive attitudes toward the environment. However, this study only demonstrates the aspect of engagement in consumer behavior ( Muderrisoglu & Altanlar, 2011 ). The aspect of environmental awareness, as a whole, is still low ( Zain et al., 2011 ; Zaid, 2009 ). In addition, the study also found that students’ academic factors can influence their environmental awareness. In addition, their parents’ academic factors also affect students’ environmental awareness ( Muderrisoglu & Altanlar, 2011 ).
Furthermore, entrepreneurial aspects offer additional insights. For example, studies by Othman and Wahid (2006) prove the characteristics and styles of entrepreneurial thinking can create a pattern of excellence in any activity, including that provided by educational institutions. Student interest is found to influence the application of entrepreneurial value ( Judeh & Rahim, 2006 ). Discipline, motivation and desire are the factors that influence the selection of entrepreneurship as a career among students ( Amin & Ispawi, 2009 ).
A study of teachers by Hashim and Rahman (2007) found that the level of knowledge, skills and attitudes towards entrepreneurship was high. However, a survey of 94 teachers from four schools stated that the knowledge factor was a barrier in the application of entrepreneurial characteristics in teaching and learning at school ( Mohammad, 2008 ).
The sustainability orientation of Malaysian students is still low. Therefore, the factors affecting this finding should be identified. In comparison, an understanding of entrepreneurship exists in both students and teachers. However, there are certain constraints that delay the implementation. Although some studies relate societal orientation and individual entrepreneurial elements ( Kuckertz & Wagner, 2010 ), most previous studies analyze environmental issues and entrepreneurship separately. This study suggests that the effects of sustainable orientation are reduced if one has entrepreneurial business experience and education. By studying the influence and relationship between these two aspects, this study fills the gap in research in these two areas. Specifically, this study views these elements from the aspect of subject stream specialization because the effect of sustainable orientation is reduced if one has business experience and education ( Kuckertz & Wagner, 2010 ).
Based on the previous study, a basic understanding of sustainable orientation and entrepreneurship are clearly visible among high school students. Furthermore, there are fewer samples of studies involving school students in entrepreneurship studies than those involving business entrepreneurs, students of tertiary institutions and successful entrepreneurs in Malaysia and other countries. Therefore, the connection between sustainable orientation and entrepreneurship should be examined among adolescents, especially high school students. These young people represent the next generation, which will be the key to Malaysia’s development and economic progress. If students’ entrepreneurial abilities can be identified, steps and follow-up actions can be designed to foster new approaches to sustainable entrepreneurship and instilled inside the country’s future leaders.
To survive and be globally competitive, modern society needs to master the important area of entrepreneurship. Focusing on sustainable entrepreneurship is crucial to the well-being and ecology of the environment and future generations, as well as economic growth for the development of a country. Accordingly, this study focuses on the aspects of sustainable orientation and entrepreneurship among high school students. The two objectives underlying this study are to:
1) Identify the differences in sustainable orientation and entrepreneurial elements based on subject stream specialization; and
2) Examine the influence of entrepreneurial elements on sustainable orientation.
This study was conducted quantitatively through the survey method using questionnaires to collect data. Justification of data collection through questionnaire is based on several factors such as large sample size, time and financial constraint. Researchers use questionnaire instruments because, according to Cresswell (2005) and Palaniappan (2007) , the survey design with questionnaire because it is versatile, efficient and can make generalizations about the population. In addition, the researcher can modify and adapt research instruments based on the conceptual framework of the study, operational definitions and views of expert and experienced personnel.
In this study, the Likert scale of positive points from 1 to 5 is used. Instruments are divided into four parts: Part A covers demographic aspects; Part B revolves around the sustainable orientation construct; Part C focuses on life value constructs; and Part D relates to entrepreneurial constructs. Please note that Part C is not discussed in this article. Each of these constructs is further divided into sub-constructs. Sustainable orientation (Part B) is divided into the sub-constructs of environmental attitudes and environmental behaviors, while entrepreneurial constructs (Part D) are divided into five sub-constructs: attitude, thinking, management of sale and purchase, making products and moral ethics.
The population of the study was Form Four students of regular secondary schools throughout Negeri Sembilan. Determination of this sample is based on the Sample Determination Table by Krejcie and Morgan (1970) in which the number of suitable samples based on the population of 8561 students was 368. In this study, the number of study samples was 384.
Cluster sampling over populations is used to select one area from all areas in Negeri Sembilan. Cluster sampling is a sampling technique used in research covering a wide area and the subjects have multiple characteristics; the researchers do not have the names of each subject in the population ( Chua, 2006 ). As a result of cluster sampling, Seremban district was chosen to represent the population. From this category, five regular secondary schools from all regular secondary schools in Seremban district were later selected through simple random sampling.
Next, from the five selected schools, a stratified random sampling method was performed to obtain samples from two education streams, namely science and non-science stream students. Science stream students are in the pure science category and take elective classes in biology, physics and chemistry while non-science students are comprised of students who take elective classes in subjects such as trade, economics or business. Stratified random sampling is a sampling technique that is applied when the sampling frame is heterogeneous ( Chua, 2006 ). This sampling is used to obtain a smaller sampling error than the error that exists from the systematic random sampling procedure and simple random sampling. If a selected school has multiple science and non-science stream classes, simple random sampling would be conducted to select one class from all Form Four classes in the school. Each class from science and non-science streams should be determined to have a heterogeneous number of students or to be almost identical to qualify for random sampling.
Pilot test data was obtained through the Alpha Cronbach statistical test because, according to Konting (1994) , this test is one of the statistical tests used to obtain the reliability coefficient if the collected data used the Likert scale. Data from the pilot study was processed using SPSS 19 software through "item correlation and reliability" analysis to obtain validity and reliability of the questionnaire. Through the correlation analysis between the items in each construct as well as the correlation between each item and the number of scores for each construct, the researcher will modify or abolish any items that do not show significant correlation and the correlation value less than 0.30 ( Nordin, 1995 ). Cronbach Alpha value exceeding 0.60 is often used by researchers as a reliability index in the study ( Konting, 1990 ). Thus, after the pilot test, it was found that the Alpha Cronbach’s value for the sustainable orientation construct and entrepreneurial element exceeded the value of 0.60. This value meets the value stated by Hair et al. (1998) in which the minimum value of Cronbach Alpha accepted for survey study is equal to or greater than 0.60 (≥0.60).
The data is analyzed descriptively and inferentially. Descriptive analysis involves the frequency, percentage, mean and standard deviation to determine the profile of the respondents. Inferential analysis involving the MANOVA test identifies the differences of sustainable orientation and entrepreneurial elements based on the stream specialization. In addition, the Pearson correlation analysis is used to identify whether there is a contribution of entrepreneurial element towards the sustainable orientation.
3. Results and Discussion
3.1. Demographic Information
The study involves 384 secondary school students. Demographic profiles of the students involved in this study are presented in detail in Table 1.
Based on Table 1, demographic information such as stream specialization, position at school and parents’ occupation can be viewed. The number of science and non-science stream students is fairly balanced, with 193 science students (50.3%) and 191 non-science students (49.7%). This specialization demographic is used as an independent variable in this study. Demographic information such as parents’ occupation will be used to see if this demographic indirectly affects the level of sustainability and entrepreneurial elements of students.
The demographic information about the father’s occupation shows that salaried workers record the largest number of people at 275 (71.6%), while those who are self-employed (laborers/farmers) tally the least, with just three people (0.8%). Under the mother’s occupation, housewives accounts for the largest number with 199 people (51.8%), while self-employed (traditional work such as sewing, knitting, weaving, etc.) records the least with only one person (0.3%).
More than half of the students in the study (200 students or 52.1%) hold no positions at school or are involved in activities. Only 33 students (8.6%) hold positions as co-operative prefect or treasurer for classes or are involved in uniformed units, clubs, society and games.
3.2. Difference of Sustainable Orientation
Table 2 concludes the sustainable orientation among secondary school students as follows.
Table 2 shows that aspects of attitudes toward the environment has the highest mean (mean = 4.39 and sd = 0.540) and is at a high level compared to the behavioral aspects of the environment (mean = 3.15 and sd = 0.680), which is at a moderate level. As a whole, it shows that sustainable orientation is at a moderate level (mean = 3.50 and sd = 0.491).
Based on this result, it can be concluded that the students are aware of the importance of environmental care, but they are not ready to contribute towards enhancing the preservation of nature when it involves personal action. This is in line with the study by Mohamed et al. (2011) and Hussain et al. (2011) , which
Table 1. Respondents’ profile.
Table 2. Sustainable orientation among students.
find that most respondents think environmental protection is the responsibility of the government.
3.3. Differences of Sustainable Orientation Based on Specialization
Null Hypothesis: There is no significant difference in attitudes and behavior toward the environment among students based on specialization.
Table 3 shows significant differences in sustainability orientation among students based on specialization subjects with Wilks’ = 0.937, F (1, 382) = 0.000 (p < 0.001). This indicates that the null hypothesis (Ho2), which states that there is no significant difference in the sustainable orientation among the students based on the subject stream specialization, is rejected. This means there are significant differences in sustainability orientation based on the subject stream specialization. The difference in each aspect in sustainable orientation among the students based on the subject specialization was analyzed in more detail using MANOVA as shown in Table 3.
Table 4 shows significant differences in attitudes toward the environment among students based on the stream specialization of subjects with the value of F = 22.674 (p < 0.001). In terms of mean, it shows that science stream students (mean = 4.52 and sd = 0.454) have higher environmental attitudes scores than non-science students (mean = 4.26 and sd = 0.589). Again, this indicates that the null hypothesis is rejected. That is, there is a significant difference in attitudes towards the environment between science students and non-science students.
These results indicate that science stream students have better environmental attitudes than non-science stream students. This is in line with the results of the study by Astalin (2011) , which states that the environmental attitude of science students is better than non-science students because the design of science curriculum itself contributes toward positively improving the attitudes regarding environment.
There is a significant difference in the behavior toward the environment among students based on the subject stream specialization with the value of F =
Table 3. Wilks’ Lambda on the differences of sustainable orientation based on the subject stream specialization.
Table 4. MANOVA difference of sustainable orientation based on subject stream specialization.
4.621 (p < 0.05). In terms of the mean, it shows that non-science stream students (mean = 3.22 and sd = 0.660) have higher environmental behavior than science students (mean = 3.07 and sd = 0.692). This indicates that the null hypothesis is rejected. That is, there is a significant difference in environmental behavior between science students and non-science students.
Based on the results of the study, the environmental behavior of non-science stream students is better than the science stream. The results are consistent with the results of the study by Muderrisoglu and Altanlar (2011) , which states that students who are involved with activist behavior and recycling behavior are non-science specialization; this includes students in technical education, economics and management, art, and physical and sports education. Students who are less involved in both behaviors are students in nursing, education and forestry.
3.4. Difference of Entrepreneurial Elements
Overall, the entrepreneurship among secondary school students can be concluded as shown in Table 5.
Table 5 shows that good moral and ethical values (mean = 4.13 and sd = 0.706) have the highest mean. This is followed by entrepreneurial attitude (mean = 3.87 and sd = 0.628), skills and knowledge practice of basic management of sale and purchase (mean = 3.71 and sd = 0.743), entrepreneurial thinking (mean = 3.62 and sd = 0.630) and products making (mean = 3.40 and sd = 0.843). On the whole, entrepreneurship elements among high school students are high (mean = 3.73 and sd = 0.558).
3.5. Differences of Entrepreneurship Based on Stream Specialization
Null Hypothesis: There is no significant difference in entrepreneurship among students based on specialization.
Table 6 shows that there is no significant difference in entrepreneurship based on the subject stream specialization with Wilks = 0.974, F (1, 382) = 1.989 (p > 0.05). This shows this study failed to reject the null hypothesis. That means there is no significant difference in entrepreneurship between science students
Table 5. Entrepreneurial element among students.
and non-science students.
The differences in each aspect of entrepreneurship based on subject stream specialization using MANOVA analysis can be seen in Table 7.
Table 7 shows the differences in each aspect of entrepreneurship based on subject stream specialization using more detailed analysis with MANOVA. Table 7 shows that there is no significant difference in entrepreneurial attitudes among students based on subjects specialization with F = 3.179 (p > 0.05). In terms of mean, science students (mean = 3.92 and sd = 0.580) have higher entrepreneurship attitude than non-science students (mean = 3.81 and sd = 0.669). However, these differences are not significant. That is, there is no significant difference in entrepreneurial attitudes among students between science and non-science specializations.
There is a significant difference in entrepreneurial thinking among the students based on the subject specialization with the value of F = 4.344 and sig = 0.038 (p < 0.05). In terms of mean, science students (mean = 3.69 and sd = 0.616) have higher entrepreneurship thinking than non-science students (mean = 3.56 and sd = 0.638). This shows the null hypothesis is rejected. That is, there is a significant difference in entrepreneurial thinking between science and non-science students.
There is a significant difference in the students’ basic management skills and knowledge of sale and purchase based on the subject specialization with the value of F = 8.104 (p < 0.05). In terms of mean, science students (mean = 3.82 and sd = 0.710) have higher basic management skills and knowledge of sales and purchase than non-science students (mean = 3.61 and sd = 0.762). This shows
Table 6. Wlilks’ Lambda entrepreneurship difference based on the subject stream specialization.
Table 7. MANOVA of entrepreneurship difference based on the subject stream specialization.
the null hypothesis is rejected. That is, there is a significant difference in the skills and knowledge of sale and purchase and basic management between science and non-science students.
There is no significant difference in product making among students based on the subject stream specialization with the value of F = 1.447 (p > 0.05). In terms of mean, it shows that science students (mean = 3.45 and sd = 0.812) have a higher product making score than non-science students (mean = 3.35 and sd = 0.872). However, these differences are not significant. This shows the study failed to reject the null hypothesis. That is, there is no significant difference in product making between science and non-science students.
There is a significant difference in the moral and ethical values of the students based on subject stream specialization with F = 5.088 (p < 0.05). In terms of mean, science students (mean = 4.22 and sd = 0.636) have higher moral and ethical values than non-science students (mean = 4.05 and sd = 0.765). This shows the null hypothesis is rejected. That is, there are significant differences in good moral and ethical values between science and non-science students.
Overall, science students show a tendency towards better entrepreneurship elements than non-science students. This finding is quite contrary because, theoretically, non-science students should show better entrepreneurial elements because the samples of non-science students consist of students taking economics, trading and business electives. However, if viewed positively, science students who show entrepreneurial elements can be developed into a future generation of entrepreneurial scientists.
3.6. Contribution of Entrepreneurship Elements towards Sustainable Orientation
Null Hypothesis: There is no significant relationship between entrepreneurship and sustainable orientation among high school students.
The Pearson correlation analysis was conducted to identify the relationship between entrepreneurial elements and sustainable orientation among students. The result of the Pearson correlation analysis is shown in Table 8. All entrepreneurship elements have significant positive correlation with sustainable orientation with
Table 8. Pearson correlation relationship between entrepreneurship and sustainable orientation.
various degrees of relationship strength. The highest correlation can be seen between entrepreneurial thinking and sustainable orientation with r = 0.359 (p < 0.001). This indicates that the relationship strength is moderate. Other entrepreneurship elements has weak relationship with sustainable orientation such as products making, r = 0.400 (p < 0.001); basic skills and knowledge practice of basic management of sale and purchase, r = 0.370 (p < 0.001); entrepreneurial attitude r =0.359 (p < 0.001); and lastly good moral and ethical values, r = 0.322 (p < 0.001).
When comparison is made to the environmental orientation and entrepreneurship level, the results of the study showed that the level of environmental orientation was moderate (3.50 ± 0.491) whereas the level of entrepreneurship was high (3.73 ± 0.558). The relationship between entrepreneurial elements and environmental orientation in this study also has a low correlation coefficient. This decision supports the study of Kuckertz and Wagner (2010) , which suggests the positive relationship between individual sustainability orientation and entrepreneurial tendencies will be stronger for individuals with less entrepreneurial characteristics compared to those with high entrepreneurial characteristics. Furthermore, a person with a sustainable orientation will have a higher tendency to see the impact of entrepreneurship as a result of unsustainable and unsustainable economic behavior.
This study considers the relationship between the environment and the entrepreneurial perspective. Understanding the level of sustainable orientation and entrepreneurship, as well as their relationship to high school students, is the first step in developing a new dimension of sustainable entrepreneurship. However, this study has its limitations. The results are limited to students in the district of Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, and cannot be generalized for all students in Malaysia. This study is also limited to observing the influence of entrepreneurship on sustainable orientation. Therefore, it is expected to provide approaches to effectively instruct students on the important aspects of sustainable entrepreneurship. The study also provides key findings that can help parties, such as curriculum development teams to improve coursework by adding sustainable entrepreneurship skills that align with educational goals. In addition, educators can use the study results to help increase awareness in their respective areas about the worsening environmental crisis. Schools can introduce and implement entrepreneurial programs that work to preserve the environment as a new approach to their programs. Parents and communities can help to foster appreciation and interest in preserving the environment among children of all ages.
In conclusion, sustainable entrepreneurship deals with three policies that balance economic health, social equity and environmental sustainability. In fostering entrepreneurial attitude in students, their awareness about sustainability should also be incorporated. Entrepreneurial students can be nurtured from the early stage about the importance of sustainable entrepreneurship. They can be exposed to various business opportunities that are not only beneficial to the environment, but also generate tremendous profits. This will certainly attract them towards sustainable entrepreneurship and make them realize that entrepreneurship can be a stepping stone in conserving the environment.