Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

Adapting Higher Education through Skills to the Professional Needs

Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

Adapting Higher Education through Skills to the Professional Needs

Article excerpt

Introduction

Innovation is the result of the development of an idea and bringing that idea into the market. This process is carried by individuals, who manage information and decision making, individuals who develop ideas and bring them to a new market, resulting in innovation. Based on the studies that analyzed characteristics of the entrepreneur and the common characteristics found in this study, we conclude that both are characteristics that are also competencies that can be developed. According to Bunk (1994), professional competence is developed by the knowledge, expertise and aptitudes needed in particular professions. In addition, professional competence means that individuals who possess it are autonomous and flexible and are able to contribute to the workplace and their profession.

Innovation and entrepreneurship are interlinked because innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit changes as an opportunity for a different business or service. Szerb (2003) describes an entrepreneur as someone who is profit and growth oriente d, can bear calculated risk, and who has innovative vein. Cunningham and Lischeron (Verhees and Meulenberg, 2004) argue that an entrepreneur is someone "who creates, manages, and assumes the risk of a new venture embraces the total innovative process". More general, entrepreneurship can be seen as "a process of creating new and valuable things" (Hisrich and Peters, 1989, cited in Szerb, 2003). By creating new and valuable things, the entrepreneur can be seen as a "key figure of economic growth in the sense of Schumpeter" (Szerb, 2003, p. 86).

While the connection between entrepreneurship and innovation is explained throughout the literature, measuring it becomes complex. In future, entrepreneurial research should include organizational variables in the individual level analysis in order to better explain performance differentials among new ventures (Canina et al., 2012). Van Praag and Versloot (2007), argue that innovation can be seen as a broad concept, and that there are multiple indicators for measuring innovation. Among the reasons for this complexity are the impact of innovation across countries and institutional contexts; the conditions under which entrepreneurs innovate; the policies and institutional environments that determine innovative behavior; the global environment and its challenges (Szirmai et al., 2010).

Entrepreneurs contribute in important ways to economic development (Nissan et al., 2011). One way they do this is through innovation, which involves the development of new products, new processes, new sources of supply, but also the exploitation of new markets and the development of new ways to organize business.

The main objective of the Bologna Process is to create a European space for higher education that allows for comparability, compatibility, and coherence between the existing systems of higher education across Europe. This objective is commonly known as the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The creation of the EHEA is a new and specific challenge for higher education in Europe, one that depends upon improved facultydevelopment and training across Europe. The integration of Spain and other European countries into European higher education more generally entails these challenges. In order for necessary changes in faculty development and training to take place, university managers and policy makers must account for designing training plans, as well the knowledge, attitudes and needs of faculty members.

The new structures of study plans, curriculum changes made based upon teaching skills and the professional profiles derived from the studies, require methodological adaptations in order to change the manner in which the faculty teach (Rué 2009; Calvo-Bernardino and Mingorance-Arnáiz2009).

Universities play an important role for shaping the future of the world society in terms of sustainable development by generating new knowledge as well as contributing to the development of appropriate competencies and raising sustainability awareness However, it can be asked which key competencies are most relevant for sustainable development and hence should be developed in future-oriented higher education. …

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