This is the brief notes on entrepreneurship management.Full description
Topic from principles of managementFull description
theories of entrepreneurshipFull description
A sample lesson plan for Entrepreneurship focusing on Target Market.
A sample lesson plan for Entrepreneurship focusing on Target Market.
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Researching entrepreneurship and education Part Pa rt 2: wh what at is en entr trep epre rene neur ursh ship ip ed educ ucat atio ion n an and d does it matter? Harry Matlay UCE Business School, Birmingham, UK Abstract conceptual, tual, contextual and empirical contributions contributions Purpose – This paper is the second in a series of concep that, individually and cumulatively, seek to analyse, develop and link two important ﬁelds of research: “entrepreneurship” and “entrepreneurship education”. Part 2 aims to provide a critical evaluation of entrepreneu entrep reneurship rship education and its impact upon graduate entrepreneurship entrepreneurship in the UK. comprehensive literature review and a struc structured tured evaluation Design/methodology/approach – A comprehensive of current knowledge on topics related directly and indirectly to “entrepreneurship education” in the UK. appears that conceptua conceptual, l, con contex textual tual,, des design ign and del delive ivery ry dif differ ferenc ences es can have a Findings – It appears conside cons iderabl rablee inﬂu inﬂuenc encee upon ent entrep repren reneur eurshi ship p edu educati cation on cou course rsess del delive ivered red in the UK. The There re are signiﬁcant deﬁnitional as well as conceptual and contextual issues affecting the design of relevant programm prog rammes es and the delivery delivery of the chosen curriculum curriculum.. Cons Consequ equent ently, ly, a numb number er of act actual ual and perceived barriers need to be overcome in order to facilitate a better understanding of stakeholder needs and learni learning ng patter patterns. ns. The eva evaluat luation ion and inte interpr rpreta etation tion of rel releva evant nt res resear earch ch Research limitations/implications – The results represent the author’s own perception and experiences, and should therefore be viewed with caution. It is suggested that the content of this paper is subject to the usual bias and singular perspective generally attributable to “viewpoint” articles. Practical implications – The paper measures the outcomes of entrepreneurship education is still proving difﬁcult and inconcl inconclusive. usive. More in-dept in-depth h rese research arch is needed on curre current nt UK entrepreneurship entrepreneurship education provision and initiatives in order to gain a better understanding of the scope and limitations of a wide range of entrepreneurship education programmes. This pape paperr pro provide videss a cri critic tical al eval evaluat uation ion of ent entrep repren reneur eurshi ship p edu educat cation ion in Originality/value – This the UK. Entrepreneurialis neurialism, m, Education, United Kingdom Keywords Entrepre
Education þ Training Vol. 48 No. 8/9, 2006 pp. 704-718 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0040-0912 DOI 10.1108/00400910610710119
Introduction In re rece cent nt ye year ars, s, it ha hass be beco come me fa fash shio iona nabl blee to vi view ew en entr trep epre rene neur ursh ship ip an and d entrepr ent reprene eneursh urship ip edu educati cation on as the pana panacea cea for stag stagnati nating ng or dec declini lining ng econ economic omic activity acti vity in both developed developed and dev develop eloping ing cou countri ntries es (Mat (Matlay, lay, 2001). Sim Similarl ilarly, y, in economies in transition, entrepreneurial education has become an integral part of the new curriculum on offer in both private and state sponsored business schools (Li and Matlay, Matl ay, 2005 2005). ). Int Intere erestin stingly, gly, ent entrepr reprene eneursh urship ip edu educati cation on is also prom promoted oted as an effe ef fecti ctive ve way to fac facili ilitat tatee th thee tra trans nsiti ition on of a gr growi owing ng gr gradu aduate ate pop popula ulatio tion n fro from m
education and into work (Matlay and Westhead, 2005). For these and a range of other socio-ec soc io-econom onomic ic and poli politica tically lly exp expedi edient ent reas reasons ons,, ent entrepr repreneu eneurshi rship p edu educati cation on has nudged itself itself to the top of the political agenda and it is currently a high priority item of policy throughout the industrially industrially developed and develop developing ing world (Mitra and Matlay, 2004). Although progress in entrepreneurship research has been impressive, existing theoretical frameworks tend to provide only a limited explanation of the complexities inhe in heren rentt in th thee ent entrep repre rene neuri urial al pr proce ocess ss (Ma (Matl tlay, ay, 200 2006a) 6a).. To fu furth rther er com compli plicat catee conceptual and contextual difﬁculties, most researchers tend to focus narrowly on segmented aspects of the entrepreneurial process (Shane, 2003). Ongoing research in entrepreneurship education also suffers from a range of conceptual and contextual problems, thus limiting the signiﬁcance, applicability and generalisation value of the growing body of knowledge on this topic (Matlay, 2006b). Interestingly, much of the relevant research on entrepreneurship appears to take place in Business Schools (Alvarez, 1996). Similarly, a large proportion of related entrepreneurship entrepre neurship education education at universi university ty level is offered in business schools. As Shane (2003, p. 1) points out: entrepreneurship among business school students is also extremel extremely y . . . the level of interest in entrepreneurship high . . . every university campus, it seems, has a wealth of courses about how to start and ﬁnance new business.
Despite such wid Despite widesp espread read ackn acknowle owledgem dgement ent of supp supply ly and dem demand, and, there exi exist st a disparity in the content and quality of entrepreneurship education programmes on offer, off er, incl includin uding g curr curricu icula la des design ign,, deli delivery very met methods hods and form formss of asse assessm ssment ent.. To complicate matters, the UK higher education (HE) system has expanded dramatically over the last two decades (Johnson, 2002). In contrast, however, the traditional graduate job market in this country is in long-term decline, mainly due to the downsizing and restruc res tructuri turing ng stra strateg tegies ies of larg largee orga organiza nization tionss and mul multina tination tionals als (Wes (Westhe thead ad and Matlay, 2004). This article provides a critical evaluation of entrepreneurship education in the UK. Thee ﬁr Th ﬁrst st se sect ctio ion n co cont ntai ains ns a co conc ncis isee re revi view ew of th thee sp spec ecia iali list st li lite tera ratu ture re on entrepreneurship education. The second section evaluates existing entrepreneurship education programmes and initiatives on offer in UK HEIs. The ﬁnal section outlines conclusions and relevant policy recommendations.
Entrepreneurship education: conceptual and contextual Issues Conceptual and contextual convergence is of paramount importance to the ongoing debate of whether entrepreneurs are born or made (Henry et al., 2004) and to issues surrounding entrepreneurship education and its impact upon entrepreneurial activities (Matlay, 2005). It is generally agreed that entrepreneurs can be subjected to both “pus “p ush” h” an and d “p “pul ull” l” in inﬂu ﬂuen ence cess wh whic ich h wi will ll de dete term rmin inee an and d sh shap apee th thei eirr ch chos osen en entrepreneurial paths (Matlay and Storey, 2003). According to Kuratko (2003, p. 11): . . . it is becoming clear that entrepreneurship, or certain facets of it, can be taught. . . business educators and professionals have evolved beyond the myth that entrepreneurs are born, not made.
In the UK context, Hannon (2006, p. 297) argues that:
Research entrepreneurship and education
entrepreneurship urship education is now part of the HE landscape. . . of a broader aim to embed . . . entreprene the noti notions ons of ente enterpri rprise se and entr entrepre epreneur neurship ship thro througho ughout ut the educ educatio ation n syst system em from primary, secondary and through tertiary levels.
It is often stated that evaluating the performance and relevance of entrepreneurship education programmes is a difﬁcult and highly subjective task (McMullan and Gillin, 2001 20 01). ). Th Ther eree ar aree va vari riou ouss re reas ason onss fo forr th this is co comm mmon on as asse sert rtio ion. n. In pa part rtic icul ular ar,, concept conc eptualis ualising ing and con context textuali ualising sing ent entrepr reprene eneurs urship hip edu educati cation on is conf confoun ounded ded by many intervening variables. According to Gartner and Vesper (1994) the number and variety of entrepreneurship programmes has expanded considerably during the past two decades, both in Europe and elsewhere. The diversity and heterogeneity of the sector is matched by the growing rhetoric that complements the tremendous tremendous growth in entrepreneurship education offerings across primary, secondary and university levels (Solomon et al., 2002). In the US, the enormous expansion of entrepreneurship courses has bee been n fue fuelled lled by stud student ent and accr accredi editati tation on bod bodies’ ies’ diss dissatis atisfac faction tion with gen general eral business education (Solomon and Fernald, 1991). Similar reasons are underlying the expansion of entrepreneurship education in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other parts of the world (Houston and Mulholland, 2003; Bell et al., 2002). Curra Cu rran n an and d St Stanw anwort orth h (19 (1989) 89) arg argue ue th that at bu busin sines esss ed educ ucat ators ors te tend nd to pro promot motee entrepr ent reprene eneursh urship ip edu educati cation on at unde undergra rgraduat duatee lev level el on the main assu assumpt mption ion tha thatt increa inc reasin sing g th thee co cohor hortt of st stud udent entss ho holdi lding ng rel releva evant nt th theor eoret etica icall kn knowl owled edge ge wi will ll invariably lead to a similar growth in the number of nascent entrepreneurs. Although the number of entrepr entrepreneurship eneurship education education programmes offered by HEIs in the UK has grown grow n cons consider iderably ably over the past two dec decades ades,, the actual contributio contribution n tha thatt suc such h course cou rsess hav havee on en entre trepre prene neur urial ial act activ ivit ity y re rema mains ins un uncl clear ear (Ma (Matl tlay ay,, 200 2006b 6b). ). Furthermore, it appears that entrepreneurship educators are still uncertain about the impact and effectiveness of entrepreneurship education as a whole, but are unwilling to depart from perceived “good practice”. Thus, it is argued that: . . . much of the entrepreneurship research to date has not provided empirical support for the claim that completion of formal courses in entrepren entrepreneurship eurship and small business management increases the likelihood that an individual will start a business (Cox et al., 2002, p. 230).
This is partly due to inherent design problems and inadequate outcome measures used to gauge student satisfaction, satisfaction, their attitudes towards course content and/or individ individual ual performance performan ce in entrepre entrepreneurship neurship programmes programmes (Block and Stumpf, 1992). According to Gorman et al.(1997) most of the empirical studies in this ﬁeld tend to focus on samples of respondents with an existing predisposition towards entrepreneurship. Thus, by not employing a control group of students without relevant education or predisposition, these the se rese research archers ers bias biased ed resu results lts in favo favour ur of ent entrepr reprene eneursh urship ip edu educati cation on (Mat (Matlay, lay, 2006a). In spi spite te of pre preva vaili iling ng “ca “caus usee and ef effe fect ct”” un uncer certai taint nties ies an and d rel relate ated d re resea search rch difﬁcult difﬁ culties, ies, the rise in the popularity popularity of entr entrepre epreneu neurshi rship p educ educatio ation n in HEI HEIss has contribu cont ributed ted to the eme emergen rgence ce and dev develop elopment ment of a spe speciali cialised sed cur curricu riculum. lum. Wide variatio vari ations ns in cour course se des design, ign, content content and deli deliver very y fue fuelled lled a heat heated ed deb debate ate amon among g entrepreneurship entrepre neurship educators in relation to course appropriateness appropriateness and effectiveness. effectiveness. In this context, Charney and Libecap (2003, p. 386) point out that: . . . approaches to entrepreneurship education have varied across colleges and universities from offering single courses in new business development or business plans preparation to
integrated curricula that include marketing, ﬁnance, competitive analysis and business plan development.
Due to th Due thee pa pass ssag agee of ti time me an and d in inte terc rced edin ing g ev even ents ts,, th thee ca caus usal al li link nk be betw twee een n entrepreneurship education and new venture formation is difﬁcult to establish and analyse, in particular when quantitative “snapshot” research methods are used (Cox et al., 2002). Arguably, longitudinal research involving the analyses of time series could prove more suitable for the study of the impact that entrepreneurship education can have on graduates in general and nascent entrepreneurs in particular. Unfortunately, such studies are both expensive and time consuming. In the meantime policy makers are left to question the validity and efﬁciency of a large number of entrepreneurship educ ed ucati ation on co cours urses es as we well ll as th thee vi viabi abilit lity y of all alloca ocatin ting g fu furt rther her fu fund nding ing to th this is specialised sub-sector of higher education. An analysis of a number of studies on entrepreneurship entrepreneurship courses offered in busine business ss schools across the world has established that most of them use a combination of theo th eoret retica icall an and d con conce cept ptual ual app approa roach ches es,, of ofte ten n re reinf inforc orced ed by de detai tailed led ana analy lysis sis of “practical” or “real life” solutions, including case and ﬁeld studies (Timmons, 2003). According Accordin g to Honig (2004) teaching the practic practicalities alities and monitoring the productio production n of a “business plan” is one of the more popular curricula formats. He found that 78 of the top 100 universities in the US considered the development of a business plan as the most important feature of their provision in the area of entrepreneurship or small business management (Honig, 2004, p. 258). In their analysis of possible differences between “entrepreneurship” and “small business management” courses, Winslow et al. (1999) highlighted both similarities and differences between the two types of provision. For instance, both types tended to focus on the “enterpr “enterprise” ise” as an economically feasible and proﬁtable unit. Similarly, both were aimed at a common customer base (i.e. nascent entrepreneurs, small business owner/managers, students and the unemployed) and prov pr ovid ided ed th theo eore reti tica call an and d pr prac acti tica call co cove vera rage ge of is issu sues es re rela lati ting ng to pl plan anni ning ng,, impl im plem emen entin ting g an and d op oper erat atin ing g sm small all-s -sca cale le en ente terp rpris rises es.. In th thei eirr se semi mina nall art articl icle, e, Winslow et al. (1999, p. 3) concluded that, in general: . . . the conceptual difference is often blurred, in both the academic and real worlds.
A radical dichotomy might place small business management provision in the context of “n “norm ormal” al” sal sales es,, pr proﬁt oﬁtss and gro growt wth, h, wh while ile en entre trepre prene neurs urshi hip p cou course rsess te tend nd to emphasize the possibility and desirability of rapid growth, high proﬁts and above “average” capital gains or returns on investments (Matlay, 2006b).
Entrepreneurship education in UK HEIs Arguab Arg uably, ly, mu much ch of th thee ec econo onomic mic gr growt owth h exp experi erien ence ced d by bot both h de deve velop loped ed an and d developing countries can be attributed to new businesses created and managed by nascent entrepreneurs (Reynolds, 1994; Davidsson et al. 1994; Mitra and Matlay, 2004). The concept of nascent entrepreneurship can, however, vary considerably according to the context in which it is considered (Lazear, 2002). According to Reynolds and White (1992) (19 92) “na “nasc scent ent en entre trepr pren eneur eurs” s” are th thos osee in indiv dividu iduals als who un unde derta rtake ke ac activ tivit ities ies connected with new ﬁrm formation, start-up and management. The related business processes can, and usually are, labelled as “nascent entrepreneurship”. Interestingly, Wagne Wag nerr (20 (2003) 03) de descr scrib ibes es na nasc scen entt en entre trepre prene neur urss as th those ose ind indiv ividu iduals als wh who o are de facto considering consideri ng or are about to start a career as self-employed. In his view, nascent
Research entrepreneurship and education
entrepreneurs must be ready and willing to move from employee to self-employed status. Thus, it can be argued that traditionally, nascent entrepreneurship is equated with the beginning of the entrepreneurial process, which will eventually lead to the formation of new and dynamic small businesses (Wagner, 2004). According to Delmar and Da Davi vids dsson son (20 (2000) 00) th there ere are co cons nside iderab rable le gap gapss in “na “nasc scent ent ent entre repre prene neur urshi ship p knowl kn owledg edge” e”,, in par partic ticul ular ar to th thee le learn arning ing pr proce ocesse ssess th that at le lead ad to th thee cre creati ation on and deve de velo lopm pmen entt of ne new w en entr trep epre rene neur uria iall bu busi sine ness sses es.. Th This is is no nott su surp rpri risi sing ng as entr en trep epre rene neur ursh ship ip re rese sear arch ch is fr frag agme ment nted ed an and d bi bias ased ed to towa ward rdss mo more re ge gene nera rall sub-t su b-top opics ics su such ch as ma manag nageme ement nt,, st strat rategy egy an and d mar marke keti ting ng (S (Shan hane, e, 200 2003). 3). Is Issu sues es relating rela ting to voca vocation tional al edu educat cation ion and trai training ning or hum human an reso resource urce dev develop elopmen mentt are generally marginalised or ignored altogether (Matlay, 2000, 2002). Conc Co ncep eptua tuall an and d con conte textu xtual al dif difﬁc ﬁcul ultie tiess en enco coun unte tered red in th thee st stud udy y of nas nasce cent nt entre en trepr pren eneu eurs rs ca can n als also o be rel releva evant nt to th thee em emer ergin ging g ﬁe ﬁeld ld of ent entre repre prene neur urshi ship p educ ed ucati ation on re resea searc rch. h. Fo Forr ins insta tanc nce, e, mo most st of th thee pre previo vious us re rese searc arch h in th this is are area a has been conducted retrospectively and involves samples of successful or economically activ act ivee nas nasce cent nt en entre trepr prene eneur urs. s. As a res result ult,, th there ere is a no notab table le pau pauci city ty of re resea search rch that relates relates to fail failed ed nasc nascent ent entrepren entrepreneurs eurs or to thos thosee who had aban abandon doned ed the their ir efforts of setting up a new business (Matlay, 2000). There is a paucity of research on pert pertine inent nt aspe aspects cts of ent entrepr reprene eneurs urship hip edu educati cation on rese research arch,, incl includin uding g regi regional onal variat var iation ions, s, cr cross oss cou countr ntry y com compar pariso isons ns or th thee clu clust ster ering ing te tend ndenc encie iess of nas nasce cent nt entrepr ent reprene eneurs. urs. Thu Thus, s, exis existing ting research research only allows for limi limited ted or coun county ty spec speciﬁc iﬁc gene ge neral ralis isati ation on and lac lacks ks th thee sc scope ope fo forr wid wider er rel relev evanc ancee (se (seee Ke Keebl eblee an and d Wal Walke ker, r, 1994). 1994 ). Muc Much h of this research research reli relies es upo upon n qua quantit ntitativ ativee “sn “snap ap shot shot”” surv surveys eys,, whic which h can in invol volve ve bi biase ased d sam sample pless an and d me meth thodo odolog logies ies.. Fu Furth rther ermor more, e, as askin king g si simi milar lar ques qu estio tions ns fro from m co comp mpara arable ble sam sample pless of res respon ponde dent ntss of ofte ten n res resul ults ts in mu mutu tuall ally y supp su pport ortin ing g and re reinf inforc orcing ing ou outc tcom omes es (M (Mat atlay lay,, 199 1997). 7). Sp Spec eciﬁ iﬁcal cally ly,, inin-de dept pth h longit lon gitud udin inal al qu quali alitat tativ ivee re rese searc arch h on gra gradu duat atee na nasc scent ent en entre trepr prene eneurs urs is not notab ably ly absent from the specialist body of knowledge (Matlay, 2002). An earl early y adv advocat ocatee of ent entrepr reprene eneursh urship ip educ educatio ation, n, Kni Knight ght (196 (1960) 0) sugg suggest ested ed tha thatt some aspects of vocational courses would be beneﬁcial to nascent entrepreneurs. He persisted in his belief that entrepreneurship education provided by business schools could have a signiﬁcant impact upon both the number and the quality of graduate entrepreneurs entering an economy (Knight, 1987). Other researchers were equally conﬁdent in their evaluation of the impact that entrepreneurship education would have on the stock of graduate entrepreneurs. In this context, Reynolds (1997) found that education in general and entrepreneurship entrepreneurship education in particula particularr impacted positively positively upon upo n ind indivi ividua duall pre predil dilect ection ion for sel self-e f-empl mploym oyment ent.. Acc Accord ording ing to Bat Bates es (19 (1995) 95),, entrepr ent reprene eneurs urs wit with h high higher er edu educati cational onal atta attainme inments nts ten tended ded to do bett better, er, and the their ir ﬁrmss surv ﬁrm survived ived longer, longer, tha than n the their ir coun counterp terparts arts who lack lacked ed form formal al edu educati cation on and training. Having reviewed the existing evidence, Delmar and Davidsson (2000, p. 5) concluded that: educat catio ion n pro probab bably ly has a pos positi itive ve im impac pactt on sel self-e f-empl mploym oyment ent,, at lea least st in som somee . . . edu [knowledge-intensive [knowledge -intensive]] industries industries..
This re This reson sonat ates es wi with th th thee “e “ent nterp erpris risee cu cult lture ure”” mo move vemen mentt in th thee UK UK,, whi which ch lin links ks entrepr ent reprene eneursh urship ip to the know knowled ledge ge base based d econ economy omy and sust sustaina ainable ble com compet petitiv itivee advantage (DTI, 2001; Peters, 2001).
A de detai tailed led ana analy lysis sis of de deﬁn ﬁniti itions ons,, sam sample pless and me meth thodo odolog logies ies us used ed in re rece cent nt entr en trepr epren eneu eursh rship ip ed educ ucati ation on re resea searc rch h qu quest estion ionss th thee val validi idity ty,, com compar parabi abilit lity y and gene ge neral ralisa isatio tion n pot poten enti tial al of re resu sults lts and hy hypo poth these esess pre prese sente nted d in th thee sp spec ecial ialist ist literature (Matlay, 2002). A critical review of the UK, European and international literature on entrepreneurship education, training and learning has identiﬁed only a small sm all nu numb mber er of em empi piric ricall ally y rig rigoro orous us pu publ blica icatio tions ns th that at co cons nside iderr th thee pos positi ition on of graduates as nascent entrepreneurs. Most research originates in the US and focuses upon upo n grad graduate uate entreprene entrepreneursh urship ip in the context context of a mat mature ure and sta stable ble econ economy omy.. McCarthy et al. (1997) mapped ongoing entrepreneurial education programmes on a “product life cycle” curve and argued that relevant academic courses in the US have ﬁnally made the transition through introduction and growth stages to early stages of maturity. Similarly, Vesper and Gartner (1996) plot the rise in provision, from one college offering one course in 1945 to 16 busines businesss schools with relevant programmes in 1970.. By 1995 1970 1995,, ther theree were in exc excess ess of 400 uni univers versitie itiess offe offering ring entrepren entrepreneurs eurship hip education to their students. Interestingly, all of these universities claimed to provide “advanced entrepreneurship education”, including guidance on writing business plans, obta ob tain inin ing g st star artt-up up ca capi pita tall an and d de deve velo lopi ping ng th thee ma mana nage geri rial al sk skil ills ls of na nasc scen entt entr en trepr epren eneu eurs rs.. As a re resu sult, lt, Le Leonh onhard ardtt (19 (1996) 96) arg argue ued d th that at mo most st bu busin sines esss sc scho hool ol graduates who beneﬁted from entrepreneurship education were prepared to either start their own small businesses or to become valuable employees in large organisations or multinational multinat ional corporations corporations.. It is also claimed that graduates who chose entrepreneurship education as part of their the ir curr curricul iculum um ten tend d to have a high higher er prop propens ensity ity to eng engage age in entr entrepr eprene eneursh urship ip activities activit ies (Brown, 1990; Vesper and Gartner, 1996). Furtherm Furthermore, ore, Callan and Warshaw (1995) argued that the likelihood of graduates embarking upon successful business creation increases further with their attendance of relevant MBA programmes. As most of these only admit students with prior work experience, the apparent increase in success could be explained by this and similar factors (Krueger and Brazeal, 1994; Stuart Stu art and Abe Abetti, tti, 1990 1990). ). Uni Univers versitie itiess ofte often n prov provide ide a rang rangee of ent entrepr reprene eneursh urship ip educati edu cation on cou courses rses that outline, outline, disc discuss uss and rein reinforc forcee crit critical ical issu issues es and solu solution tionss related rela ted to bus busines inesss ven ventur turee cre creatio ation, n, cove covering ring both pre- and post post-- star start-up t-up phases (Matlay, (Mat lay, 2002) 2002).. Sim Similar ilarly, ly, grad graduate uatess with rele relevan vantt bus busines inesss exp experie erience nce cou could ld have acquired a relevant knowledge base and contextual advantage and therefore would bene be neﬁt ﬁt co cons nsid ider erab ably ly fr from om th this is ty type pe of pr prov ovis ision ion (T (Tay aylo lorr an and d Ba Bank nks, s, 19 1992 92). ). Unfortunately, however: . . . students, lacking relevant experience in which to place this knowledge and lacking the context of immediacy surrounding the issue, are likely to dismiss dealing with such problems as common sense or irrelevant (McCarthy et al., 1997, p. 2).
In contrast to the usual HEI claims regarding their graduates’ success at setting up proﬁtable new businesses, there is scant evidence that entrepreneurship education courses prepared any of them for successfully managing or growing their post start-up ﬁrms. Following a growing interest in entrepreneurship education in recent years, there have been concerted attempts to explore UK graduates’ motivation, perceptions and awareness of entrepreneurship as a career path or as a realistic alternative to paid employm emp loyment ent (Wes (Westhe thead ad and Matl Matlay, ay, 2006 2006). ). The resu results lts of the these se stu studies dies,, how however ever,,
Research entrepreneurship and education
proved either inconclusive or contradictory in their ﬁndings and recommendations (Matlay, 2002). As Henry et al. (2004, p. 250) note: . . . even though much evidence has been accumulated about how the small business sector
operates, there are still signiﬁcant areas that have not been subject to the same level of debate and analysis . . . one of these areas concerns education and training for new business creation creation that comprises a number of problematic issues.
The Stirling University study of graduate entrepreneurship career aspirations and destinations provides a more consistent perspective on business school graduates as nascent entrepreneurs (Cannon et al., 1988; Rosa and McAlpine McAlpine,, 1991; Rosa, 1993, 1994). Comprising of a main (1988) study of 5,375 students from ten universities in England and Scotland and a number of smaller, supplementary surveys, this research provides useful insights, comparisons and trends relating to nascen nascentt graduate entrepreneurship entrepreneurship (Rosa, 2003). The results show that 9.7 percent of graduates in the combined research sample became entrepreneurs within ﬁve years of leaving university. According to Rosa (2003, p. 441) this represents: . . . a remarkably high ﬁgure when we consider the range of career options open to students in employment and the fact that UK students tend to be very employee oriented in their career aspirations.
Rosa (2003) also acknowledges that about one ﬁfth of graduates had “entrepreneurial expe ex perie rienc nce” e” be befo fore re joi joinin ning g th thee un unive iversi rsiti ties es in th thee UK sa samp mple. le. En Entre trepr pren eneu euria riall experience gained prior to undertaking entrepreneurship education tends to improve al.., 200 al.., thee lat th later er pe perfo rform rmanc ancee of th these ese nas nasce cent nt en entr trep epren reneu eurs rs (Si (Simon mon et al 2000; 0; We West sthe head ad et al 2005). Importantly, Importantly, however, it appears that about half of the graduate entrepreneurs entrepreneurs in the sample were still trading ﬁve years later. In the context of entrepreneurial failure, the survival rate amongst these graduate entrepreneurs is considerably higher than the nati na tion onal al UK av aver erag agee an and d by in infe fere renc nce, e, mu much ch be bett tter er th than an bu busi sine ness sses es ru run n by non-graduates non-gradua tes (see, Storey, 1994). Sole trading was the preferred entrepreneurial entrepreneurial outlet and a high proportion (78 percent) of these graduate entrepreneurs were involved full time in the management of their businesses. Over the same period of time, the graduate entrepreneurs in the sample appear to outperform the national average of similarly sized businesses (see, for example, Daly, 1991; CSBRC, 1992). Rosa (2003, p. 451), while acknowledging that graduate entrepreneurs entrepreneurs in the sample were more enterp enterprising rising and performe performed d better than the national proﬁle of self-em self-employed ployed and small business owner/managers, found that they lagged considerably behind the UK VAT reg registe istered red bus busines inesses. ses. Typ Typical ically, ly, howe however, ver, the these se ﬁrm ﬁrmss wer weree eit either her sole trader tra derss or mi micr cro-b o-bus usine inesse ssess th that at de depe pende nded d on th thee kn know owled ledge ge and sk skill illss of th thee entrepreneur. Like most newly created small ventures, the ﬁrms in the sample were likely to have operated below the VAT registration threshold. Even the larger of these new ventures were mostly professional practices or family businesses and unlikely to be gr grow owth th or orie ient nted ed.. Th Thee sa samp mple le of ne new w ve vent ntur ures es in init itia iate ted d by th thes esee gr grad adua uate te entrepreneurs exhibited a remarkably high correlation between the main topic of study and the type of business. Most of these new ventures focussed upon designer and business support and not science degree topics, biotechnology or computer software design. It is important to realise that the ﬁndings of these interrelated surveys only provide a broad benchmark for this rapidly expanding topic of research.
In my view, there is a great deal of scope for further research in entrepreneurship educ ed ucati ation on and rel relate ated d to topic pics. s. In th this is top topic, ic, it is rel relat ative ively ly eas easy y to as ask k pe pert rtine inent nt questions and much more difﬁcult to ﬁnd relevant answers (see Matlay, 2006a). I would sugg su gges estt th that at fut future ure re rese searc arch h sh shoul ould d inc inclu lude de em empi piric ricall ally y rig rigoro orous us qu quant antit itati ative ve,, qualitative qualitati ve and longitudi longitudinal nal studies studies.. Consid Considerable erable public resource resourcess have been investe invested d in this area of policy making and the outcomes are yet to be properly investigated in terms of the number and quality of graduate entrepreneurs entering and the UK economy. Ofﬁcial Ofﬁcial rhetoric and anecdotal evidence evidence is neither useful nor convincing and it befalls befalls us – the academic academic communi community ty – to undertake undertake and dissemina disseminate te relevant relevant rese re searc arch h th that at wil willl inﬂ inﬂue uenc nce, e, dir direct ect an and d va valid lidate ate th thee siz sizee and ch choic oicee of lon long-t g-term erm investment in entrepreneurship education at all levels of the UK educational system. In relat re lative ive te term rms, s, we app appea earr to be doi doing ng a gre great at dea deall to pro promot motee ent entrep repre rene neurs urship hip education in this country. The main question, however, remains unanswered: are we doing doin g enou enough, gh, in abs absolut olutee term terms, s, to ensu ensure re sus sustain tainable able comp competit etitive ive adv advanta antage ge at national and international levels? If the recent past has taught us much about national competitiveness, than the next few years will no doubt provide us with pertinent answers, clear directions and a relevant research agenda . . .
Concluding remarks There is growing consens consensus us amongst policy makers and other important stakeholders stakeholders that entrepreneurship education can increase both the quality and the quantity of grad gr adua uate te en entr trep epre rene neur urss en ente teri ring ng th thee UK ec econ onom omy. y. Th Thee ma main in pr prem emis isee of th this is convergence converge nce of opinion rests upon the assumption that the entrepreneurship entrepreneurship education curri cu rricul culum um tau taugh ghtt in HE HEIs Is ca can n po posit sitive ively ly in inﬂu ﬂuen ence ce gra gradu duate ate att attit itud udes es tow toward ardss entrepreneurship entrepre neurship and equip nascent entrepreneurs entrepreneurs with the necess necessary ary knowled knowledge ge and skills to start up, manage and develop economically viable businesses. Consecutive UK governments have made concerted efforts to support the development of university graduates and increase the numbers of better-educated entrepreneurs. In recent years, a number of radical changes have been forced upon the HE sector and a variety of support sup port init initiati iatives ves were int introdu roduced ced in orde orderr to inc increas reasee and wide widen n part partner nership shipss betw be twee een n HE HEIs Is an and d in indu dust stry ry.. Mo Most st of th thes esee in init itia iati tive vess in incl clud uded ed a sp spec eciﬁ iﬁcc entrepr ent reprene eneurs urship hip age agenda nda that soug sought ht to enh enhance ance ent entrep reprene reneuria uriall mot motivat ivation ion and busines bus inesss comp compete etency ncy amo amongst ngst the exp expandi anding ng coh cohort ort of new grad graduat uates. es. Ong Ongoing oing research on graduate entrepreneurship in the UK tends to be encouraging, even though a sizeable proportion of students persist in their choice of traditional careers in large organisations or multinational corporations. An analysis of the specialist literature on entrepreneurship education and its impact upon graduate nascent entrepreneurship has highlighted a number of deﬁnitional, conceptual concep tual and contextu contextual al difﬁculties that cast doubt upon the validity, comparability comparability and generalisation potential of emerging results. It is argued here that the existing body of knowledge has only limited value, as it reﬂects mainly isolated and biased research practices. Contradictory results that emerge from methodologically deﬁcient researc res earch h can both conf confuse use and mis mislead lead policy efforts efforts in thi thiss area of gov governm ernment ent intervention. Similarly, it can negatively affect academic credibility in the eyes of policy makers and their representatives. There The re exi exists sts a pauc paucity ity of con conclus clusive ive and emp empirica irically lly rigo rigorous rous research research to link entrepreneurship education in the UK to a signiﬁcant and sustainable increase in
Research entrepreneurship and education
nascent graduate entrepreneurs. entrepreneurs. It appears that the propens propensity ity of graduat graduates es to become nascent nasc ent ent entrepr reprene eneurs urs is inﬂu inﬂuenc enced ed by pre prevail vailing ing soci socio-ec o-econom onomic ic and edu educati cational onal cond co ndit itio ions ns th that at ar aree sp spec eciﬁ iﬁcc to th thee UK an and d it itss po posi siti tion on in th thee gl glob obal al ec econ onom omy. y. Conc Co ncept eptua ual, l, con conte textu xtual, al, de desig sign n an and d de deliv livery ery di diff ffere erenc nces es ca can n hav havee con consi sider derab able le inﬂuen inﬂ uences ces upo upon n ent entrep repren reneur eurshi ship p edu educat cation ion cou course rsess del delive ivered red in UK HEI HEIs. s. Furt Fu rther hermo more, re, a nu numb mber er of pe perso rsonal nal,, fam family ily and pe peer er inﬂ inﬂue uenc nces es oft often en af affe fect ct a graduate’ss career aspirations, entrepreneurial graduate’ entrepreneurial motivation or nascent potential. Thus, a number of actual and perceived barriers need to be overcome or mitigated in order to facilita faci litate te a bett better er und underst erstandi anding ng of sta stakeho keholde lderr need needs, s, con contrib tributio utions ns and lear learning ning patterns. There is an urgent need for empirically rigorous research to bridge the knowledge gap that persists between the interests of various stakeholders in this area of policy intervention intervent ion and actual entrepreneurial entrepreneurial outcomes. Such research would offer a realistic benchmark against which stakeholders could evaluate progress in entrepreneurship education and nascent entrepreneurship at all levels of economic activity. It could also provide a transparent and realistic measure of ongoing public investment as well as an expedient response base in a rapidly changing global environment.
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Rosa, P. and McAlpin McAlpine, e, R. (1991), “Graduate career orientation orientation towards enterprise”, in Davies, L. and Gibb, A. (Eds), Recent Research in Entrepreneurship , Gower, Aldershot, pp. 73-105.
Solomon, G.T., Duffy, S. and Tarabishy, A. (2002), “The state of entrepreneurship education in Internat rnationa ionall Jou Journal rnal of thee Un th Unit ited ed St Stat ates es:: a na nati tion onwi wide de su surv rvey ey an and d an anal alys ysis is”, ”, Inte Entrepreneurship Education, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 1-22. Solom Sol omon, on, G. G.T. T. and Fe Ferna rnald, ld, L. L.W. W. (19 (1991) 91),, “T “Tren rends ds in sm small all bus busine iness ss ma manag nagem ement ent and entrepreneurship education in the United States”, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice , Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 25-39.
Understanding tanding the Small Business Secto Sector r , Routledge, London. Storey, D.J. (1994), Unders Stuart, R.W. and Abetti, P.A. (1990), “Impact of entrepreneurial and management experience on early performa performance”, nce”, Journal of Business Venturing , Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 151-62. Taylor, Tayl or, G.S. and Ban Banks, ks, M.C M.C.. (199 (1992), 2), “En “Entrep treprene reneurs, urs, sma small ll busi business ness exec executiv utives, es, and larg largee business executives: executives: a comparison of the perceived importance of current business issues”, Journal Jour nal of Small Business Management , Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 24-40. Timmons, J.A. (2003), Entrepreneurial Thinking: Can Entrepreneurship Be Taught? , Coleman Foundation White Paper Series. Vesper, K.H. and Gartner, W.B. (1996), “Measuring progress in entrepreneurship education”, paper pap er pre presen sented ted at the Na Nati tiona onall Aca Academ demy y of Ma Manag nagem ement ent As Assoc sociat iation ion Me Meeti eting, ng, Cincinnati, OH, August 9-14. Wagner, Wagn er, J. (200 (2003), 3), “The imp impact act of pers personal onal characteri characteristic sticss and the regi regional onal milieu on the transiti tran sition on from unem unemploy ployment ment to self self-em -employ ployment ment:: empi empirica ricall evid evidence ence for Ger Germany many”, ”, , Vol. 223, pp. 204-22. Jahrbucher fur Nationalokonomie und Statistik Wagner, J. (2004), “What a difference a Y makes – female and male nascent entrepreneurs in Germany”, Discussion Paper No. 1134, Institute for the Study of Labour, Bonn, IZA, May. Westhead, P. and Matlay, H. (2004), “Critical issues in graduate career choices”, Working Paper No. 23, Global Independent Research, Coventry. Westhead, P. and Matlay, H. (2006), “Skills associated with employment positions in SMEs and favourable attitudes towards self-employment: longitudinal evidence from students who Technology logy Analysi Analysiss and particip part icipated ated in the Shel Shelll tech technolo nology gy ente enterpri rprise se prog program ramme” me”,, Techno Strategic Management , Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 93-124. Westhead, P., Ucbasara Westhead, Ucbasaran, n, D. and Wright, Wright, M. (2005), “Experienc “Experiencee and cognition: cognition: do novice, serial and portfolio entrepreneurs differ?”, International Small Business Journal , Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 72-98. Wins Wi nslo low, w, E. E.K. K.,, So Solo lomo mon, n, G. and Ta Tara rabi bishy shy,, A. (1 (199 999) 9),, “E “Emp mpir iric ical al in inve vest stig igat atio ion n in into to entrepre entr epreneur neurship ship education education in the Uni United ted Stat States: es: som somee resu results lts of the 1997 National National Survey of Entrepreneurship”, Entrepreneurship”, paper presented at the USASBE Conference, San Diego, CA, January 14-17.
Further reading Aldrich, H. (1999), Organisations Evolving , Sage, London. Baharun, R. and Ahmad, F.S. (2002), “Entrepreneurship education: a comparison of male and female students in technical disciplines”, Akauntan Nasional , Vol. 9, September, pp. 30-3.
Borjas, G.J. (2000), Labour Economics , 2nd ed., McGraw-Hill, Boston, MA. Bridge, S., O’Neill, K. and Cromie, S. (2003), Understanding Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2nd ed., Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. Brockhaus, R.H., Hills, G.E., Klandt, H. and Welch, H.P. (2001), Entrepreneurship Education: A Global View, Ashgate, Aldershot, pp. 57-77.
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