A Research Agenda for Entrepreneurship Education

Harry Matlay (Global Independent Research, Coventry, UK)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 13 August 2019

Issue publication date: 13 August 2019




Matlay, H. (2019), "A Research Agenda for Entrepreneurship Education", Education + Training, Vol. 61 No. 7/8, pp. 1038-1040. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-08-2019-268



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Over the last three decades or so, there has been a steady growth in Entrepreneurship and related Entrepreneurship Education publications, reflecting the growing relevance and popularity of these two interrelated topics of academic research as well as practitioner activity. Amongst the best known and most highly respected contributors to Entrepreneurship Education research and practice in Europe, the edited volumes of Professor Alain Fayolle have become a much anticipated annual publication that reflect the cutting edge knowledge in this topic. As part of the Elgar Research Agendas series, a hardback volume of “A Research Agenda for Entrepreneurship Education” was published on 29 June 2018, followed by a paperback version of this book that was released on 28 April 2019. In addition to the Editor’s Introduction, this edited volume offers 13 chapters organised in 3 parts, followed by a comprehensive Index. In the Introduction, Alain Fayolle sets out the reasons and justifications behind setting an agenda for the rapidly growing topic of entrepreneurship education. He argues that the rapidly expanding entrepreneurship education literature highlights the need for more robust theoretical and methodological foundations. This is particularly important in the context of the worldwide growth and rapid expansion of relevant entrepreneurship education provision such as courses, modules and programmes, that are on offer at all levels of national, regional and international educational systems.

Part I of this volume, “Rethinking Entrepreneurship Education Research”, comprises four seminal chapters that address key issues affecting entrepreneurship education from specific research perspectives. In the first of these chapters, “Towards Rigour and Relevance in Entrepreneurship Education” Bruce Martin, Dirk De Clercq and Benson Honig focus on research that centres upon the impact of entrepreneurship education. The authors acknowledge inherent design, methodological and data analysis weaknesses, most of which affect negatively this aspect of entrepreneurship research. They offer a number of “hands on” practical suggestions that would improve both the quality and the impact of future research in this area of academic study. In the next chapter, “Dealing with the Inconsistency of Studies in Entrepreneurship Education Effectiveness: A Systemic Approach to Drive Future Research”, Michela Loi evaluates the extant literature on entrepreneurial training effectiveness. She recommends a systemic solution and approach to the assessment of entrepreneurship education. Patricia G. Greene, Michael L. Fetters, Richard Bliss and Anne Donnellon are the authors of the next chapter in this section, aptly entitled “The Future of Entrepreneurship Education: Education for Economic and Social Impact”. The authors argue that in universities in general and business schools in particular, too much emphasis is placed upon improving entrepreneurship education for students, whilst nascent and existing entrepreneurs are generally neglected. To evidence their approach, the authors focus on the highly successful Goldman Sachs “10,000 Small Businesses” programme and its outcomes. In the final chapter of the first section of this book “Does Entrepreneurship Education Develop Wisdom? An Exploration”, Jeffrey J. McNally, Benson Honig and Bruce Martin point out that scant empirical attention has been paid to the development of “wisdom” in entrepreneurship education research. Based on an exploratory investigation of the syllabi of 50 university entrepreneurship courses and the content of relevant entrepreneurship textbooks, the authors offer insights as well as theoretical and practical implication for wisdom development through entrepreneurship education provision.

The second part of this book, “Learning from European Exemplary Contributions”, incorporates four illustrative chapters on commendable and impactful European entrepreneurship education research and dissemination. In the first chapter of this section, “Exemplary Contributions from Europe to Entrepreneurship Education Research and Practice” Jonas Gabrielsson, Hans Landstrom, Diamanto Politis and Gustav Hagg review the evolution of Entrepreneurship Education in general and the theoretical as well as practical contribution of the European Entrepreneurship Education Award in particular. This is an especially interesting approach to evaluating research impact not only because of who is included in the authors’ review, but also who is excluded from it […] In the next chapter, “Personal Views on the Future of Entrepreneurship Education”, Alain Feyolle outlines his own perspective on what he considers to be relevant and important for the future development of Entrepreneurship Education as a scholarly field. In the following chapter, “Limits to and Prospects of Entrepreneurship Education in the Academic Context”, Bengt Johannisson outlines his highly original and distinctive perspective on entrepreneurship as a processual phenomenon, which he appropriately labels “entrepreneuring”. In the last chapter of this section, “The Conceptual Contribution of Education to Research on Entrepreneurship Education”, Paula Kyro highlights the well-rehearsed and often aired problem of the lack of a shared Entrepreneurship Education framework. This apparent failure she attributes to the general tendency in this field of study to draw ideas from the entrepreneurship topics rather than from what she calls the “science of education”.

The third and final part of this research monograph, “Focusing on Key Outcomes and Innovative Pedagogies”, contains five chapters which focus on important aspects and outcome related to Entrepreneurship Education pedagogies. In the first chapter of this section, “The Reflective Novice Entrepreneur: From Habitual Action to Intelligent Action Using Experience-Based Pedagogy as a Vehicle for Change”, Gustav Hagg argues that entrepreneurship education would benefit considerably from a pedagogy which combines both action-oriented and experiential approaches. In the second chapter, “Towards More Synergy in Entrepreneurial Competence Research in Entrepreneurship Education”, Thomas Lans, Yvette Baggen and Lisa Ploum focus upon conceptual aspects related to entrepreneurial competence. The authors offer a tentative agenda and highlight possible venues for future research. In the next chapter, “Learning Fictions or Facts? Moving from Case Studies to the Impact Based Method”, Sylvain Bureau highlight a growing number of innovative approaches to the theory and practice of Entrepreneurship Education, all of which depart from the “classic” case study based teaching. In the following chapter “The Personal Dimension of an Entrepreneurial Competence: An Approach from the Spanish Basic Education Context”, Antonio Bernal and Francisco Linan investigate the concept of entrepreneurial competence in the context of basic education in Spain. In the final chapter of section three, Ravi S. Ramani, George T. Solomon and Nawaf Alabduljader undertake a qualitative and comparative review of Entrepreneurship Education in North America.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading and reflecting upon this excellent new contribution by Alain Feyolle to the rapidly growing literature on Entrepreneurship Education. I genuinely believe that this research monograph would be of great assistance to all those who have an interest in this topic. It is a useful volume to have on the bookshelves of all those stakeholders, policy makers, academics and students involved in various aspects of entrepreneurship education, specifically to those who are interested in innovative thinking, critical approaches and cutting edge developments in this important topic of research. I wish to congratulate Professor Fayolle as well as Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, for their continuing commitment and high quality research contribution to the field of Entrepreneurship in general and Entrepreneurship Education in particular.

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