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Doctoral education in entrepreneurship: a European case study

David Urbano (Business Economics Department, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain)
Marinés Aponte (Departament of Finance, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Nuria Toledano (Business Economics Department, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 16 May 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse a European doctoral programme in entrepreneurship. The specific objectives are the following: to illustrate the process to design and launch the doctoral programme; to describe its main characteristics; and to explore the conditioning factors to its success.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology is based upon a systematic application of a longitudinal case‐study approach. Multiple sources of evidence were gathered. These included interviews with key informants and documentary data. Additionally, a participant observation approach was adopted. Concerning the theoretical approach, the related literature in entrepreneurship education was reviewed.

Findings

The analysis supports the notions that the launching of a doctoral programme is similar to the process of creating a new business. The results emphasise the importance of the founder's personality, the network ties among universities and the strategic vision in order to achieve success in an entrepreneurship doctoral programme.

Research limitations/implications

The interpretation of findings represents the authors' perceptions about a single case study. In terms of theory building, as a future research line, a multi‐case study approach would allow for the developmental history of several doctoral programmes to be studied and compared.

Originality/value

This paper provides a very useful source of information for universities that are planning to offer a doctoral programme in entrepreneurship.

Keywords

Citation

Urbano, D., Aponte, M. and Toledano, N. (2008), "Doctoral education in entrepreneurship: a European case study", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 336-347. https://doi.org/10.1108/14626000810871718

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited