Academic journal article Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship

Applying Entrepreneurial Action to Explore Entrepreneurship Pedagogy: The Entrepreneurship Education Project

Academic journal article Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship

Applying Entrepreneurial Action to Explore Entrepreneurship Pedagogy: The Entrepreneurship Education Project

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

As an academy of scholars interested in the pedagogy of entrepreneurship we remain divided on the basic fundamental approaches to teaching entrepreneurship education. Great evidence of this divide was the very public discourse between Drs. Norris Krueger, Scott Shane, and Brian Nagy on the Academy of Management Entrepreneurship Listserv (ef., Krueger, 2015; Shane, 2015; Nagy, 2015). Krueger argued for the teaching of business modelling and reduction of lecture time to be replaced with action. Shane contended there was value and support for teaching business planning to graduate students. Nagy argued that some "newly minted scholars have to chalk and talk [lecture]," making the discourse more personal in the process.

While the dialogue may, in retrospect, seem petty and disconnected, consider that these are prominent, established scholars (Google Scholar shows Shane having over 40,000 citations and Krueger having over 8,000) debating the basic fundamental approaches of how we should teach entrepreneurship, and there is no consensus in sight. Given entrepreneurial activity has long been recognized as a global stimulant of economic development (Schumpeter, 1934; Stevenson & Sahlman, 1986; Birch, 1987; Mazzarol, Volery, Doss, & Thein, 1999; Baumol & Strom, 2007) and leads to improved quality of life (Zahra, Rawhouser, Bhawe, Neubaum, & Hayton, 2008), stronger public education systems (Peterson, 2010; Weaver et al., 2012), and lower dependence on natural resources (Sine & Lee, 2009), exploration of the effectiveness of entrepreneurship pedagogy is more relevant and critical than ever before.

This paper proceeds by providing a brief overview on the evolution of EEP from formation in 2009 to the present day. The EEP design and implementation processes are reviewed, demonstrating the entrepreneurial nature in which the research effort was undertaken. A review of EEP-based research to date is provided, and future directions of the EEP are discussed, including branching into new domains and making linkages to action.

THE EVOLUTION OF EEP

The People

Doan Winkel (Illinois State University) and Jeff Vanevenhoven (University of Wisconsin - Whitewater) first came up with the idea for EEP in 2009 and together developed the initial conceptual schema and surveys. Early assistance in assembling some U.S. and cross-national context was provided by Will Drago and Christine Clements (both from University of Wisconsin - Whitewater). Additional coding categories and procedures were developed and refined by Eric Liguori (The University of Tampa) who became heavily involved in EEP in 2011. Today EEP is co-directed by Winkel, Vanevenhoven, and Liguori, each focusing on different aspects of the organization.

The Idea

The Entrepreneurship Education Project (EEP) originated with one honest question: "Does what we do in the classroom (viz., teaching undergraduate entrepreneurship courses) make any difference in terms of students actually starting their own business?" Certainly this was not the first time this question had been asked, but after a critical review of the literature surrounding entrepreneurship education little past research truly nor completely addressed the question. While a plethora of studies investigating an individual's intention to start their own business exist (e.g., Audet, 2004; Krueger, Reilly, & Carsrud, 2000; Wilson, Kickul, & Marlino, 2007; Zhao, Seibert, & Hills, 2005), most of this body of literature focuses on the factors that influence the formation of entrepreneurial intentions, specifically limited to individual factors such as personality characteristics and/or attitudes. A separate body of literature, then, focuses on the linkages between entrepreneurship education programs and students' entrepreneurial intentions (i.e., Kolvereid & Moen, 1997; Fayolle, Gailly, & Lassas-Clerc, 2006; Noel, 2001; Segal, Borgia, & Schoenfeld, 2005). …

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