Yes You Can Teach Entrepreneurship

Yes You Can Teach Entrepreneurship

Editor(s): Patricia G. Greene, Babson College & Dean A. Shepherd, Indiana University

Increasingly entrepreneurship is looked at around the world as an (if not “the”) leading answer to economic and social problems. At the same time, Entrepreneurship as a business discipline has grown substantially, with more than 5,000 entrepreneurship courses delivered at over 2600 colleges and universities and over 250 business plan competitions in the U.S. alone.

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Increasingly entrepreneurship is looked at around the world as an (if not "the") leading answer to economic and social problems.  At the same time, entrepreneurship as a business discipline has grown substantially, with more than 5,000 entrepreneurship courses delivered at over 2,600 colleges and universities and over 250 business plan competitions in the United States alone (Kauffman Foundation, 2006).  And yet a substantial number of questions are asked about the state of entrepreneurship education, including ones about content and delivery.
Focusing a lens on entrepreneurship content begins with how the discipline is defined when taught, a question too seldom explicitly asked and answered by those  designing and delivering entrepreneurship education programs.  The content has been approached largely from lenses of person (who is the entrepreneur); process (business planning); and cognition (thinking) (Neck & Greene, 2010).  Each lens drives the type of content included in each course.

Entrepreneurship education is recognized for innovative approaches, with courses that often lead schools in their efforts to meet AACSB recommendations for curriculum that is taught through more integrated and experiential approaches.  This also fits with the idea that the strongest approach to entrepreneurship education rises above the false dichotomy of rigor-relevance by blending academic and practitioner approaches to provide frameworks that guide action.
Entrepreneurship education is also the unique position of being a desired mind-set and skill-set, identified as needed by students beyond the boundaries of the business school and as having outcomes that create value beyond that of individual financial wealth.  In fact, social entrepreneurship may be considered as one of the most rapidly growing areas in entrepreneurship education.

This special issue enables us to take stock of the contribution that research published in the Academy of Management Learning & Education has made to address some of the most pressing entrepreneurship education questions of our time, such as:
1.      What is the role of education in developing an entrepreneurial mind-set?
2.      Is the educational emphasis on business planning appropriate?
3.      How can education make the most of students' desires "to do good" and help alleviate the suffering of others?
4.      To what extent is there a gap between entrepreneurship education and practice?
5.      How can students learn to identify opportunities?

Are we limiting the potential of entrepreneurship education by making it the exclusive domain of business schools?

 

Pages: 356
Publisher: Academy of Management
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Patricia G. Greene, Babson College & Dean A. Shepherd, Indiana University