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Effectuation in the undergraduate classroom: three barriers to entrepreneurial learning

Franziska Günzel-Jensen (Department of Management, Aarhus Universitet, Aarhus, Denmark)
Sarah Robinson (Center for Teaching Development and Digital Media, Aarhus Universitet, Aarhus, Denmark)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 14 August 2017

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1153

Abstract

Purpose

Since Sarasvathy’s (2001) research on decision-making logics of expert entrepreneurs, effectuation has become a cornerstone in entrepreneurship education. Effectuation is not only subjectified in entrepreneurship education, but has also become conceptualized as a method in the learning process. The purpose of this paper is to explore how students, who are novice entrepreneurs, react to working effectually and which barriers they face when applying effectual decision-making logics in a university course.

Design/methodology/approach

A student-centered process course in entrepreneurship with 142 students provides a unique opportunity to explore the phenomena. Participant/teacher observations, written and oral work from the students and finally formal and informal written evaluations of the course by the students provide comprehensive data.

Findings

The authors find that students experience three barriers to using effectuation. These are: noviceness, regarding the project as a “school project,” perceived lack of legitimacy of both the instructors and the process.

Originality/value

The contribution of this study is threefold: first, to contribute to the understanding of the applicability of effectuation for novice entrepreneurs in the classroom; second, to articulate the factors that hinder entrepreneurial learning when effectuation is used in a process course; and third, to shed light on the importance of contextual factors for individual learning.

Keywords

Citation

Günzel-Jensen, F. and Robinson, S. (2017), "Effectuation in the undergraduate classroom: three barriers to entrepreneurial learning", Education + Training, Vol. 59 No. 7/8, pp. 780-796. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-03-2016-0049

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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