Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited
The 2018 edition of the “Annals of Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy”, is the third, and much anticipated research monograph that I reviewed in Education + Training. The series was inaugurated by Dr Michael Morris and is published every two years in conjunction with Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, as part of its celebrated “Annals in Entrepreneurship Education” series. It should be noted that is beyond the scope of this brief book review to outline and comment in detail upon the content of the chapters included in this excellent volume. Suffice to say, however, that it is a well-structured, informative and competently edited collection of chapters that not only inform but also challenge a reader’s views and perspectives on entrepreneurship education. It also amply demonstrates how and why US-based researchers, academics and practitioners continue to lead in the field of Entrepreneurship Education research, both in their own country as well as internationally, in industrially developed and developing nations and nations in transition. In common with previous editions, this volume contains a Preface, a further 28 chapters divided into three parts, and an Index. In the “Preface: Three Key Challenges to Advancing Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy”, Charles H. Matthews outlines his own professional perspective of what holds back the development and advancement of Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurship Education. He convincingly argues that two important aspects of Entrepreneurship, as a field of study, have to be addressed before Entrepreneurship Education can advance further than its current state: definitional issues; and measurement difficulties. The author develops an interesting and challenging approach, which goes a long way towards resolving, at least partially, a number of issues related to Entrepreneurship Education as a complex field of research and practice.
Part I of the book, “Leading Edge Research Perspectives”, includes 12 influential chapters, each one a prospective classic of its own. Some chapters reflect upon on the personal learning process and professional outcomes of entrepreneurship educators. In another chapter, we are offered a brief but concise history and developmental journey of the US Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Other chapters outline various perspectives on entrepreneurship education purpose, curricula, prospects and future developments. A couple of chapters focus on visual settings and cross-cultural aspects involved in this specialised educational offering. The role of university-based education and the influence of the Internet of Things are investigated in the context of new venture creation, in terms of both opportunities and challenges. Entrepreneurship competencies and students’ entrepreneurship self-efficacy are reviewed and consolidated, as is the role of entrepreneurship as a political tool. Interestingly, there is a challenging chapter, in this section of this voluminous volume, which addresses a pertinent and controversial aspect of entrepreneurship education, namely the much praised and equally maligned “Business Plan”, as an educational tool for would be entrepreneurs.
In Part II, “Model University Entrepreneurship Programs”, we are presented with five cases of innovative and outstanding institutions, all of which champion specific models of entrepreneurship education, at its very best: the American University Center for Innovation, North Carolina State University, Grove City College, Miami University and Aalto University. The American University Center for Innovation is well known for assisting their students and alumni to gain a solid understanding of the world of business and related markets, through the medium of entrepreneurial opportunities. The North Carolina State University employs a unique facility, the “NC State Entrepreneurship Clinical Model of Teaching and Research”, that combines entrepreneurship education with practice. Grove City College supports the experimental entrepreneurship activities of their students by facilitating a comprehensive programme of elevator pitch and business plan competitions, as well as successful entrepreneur speaker series. At Miami University, cross campus entrepreneurial activities are encouraged and supported by four vertical tracks, to include start-up, creative, corporate and social entrepreneurship. In Finland, at Aalto University, the entrepreneurship education model is student- based and led, designed to actively promote entrepreneurial mindset, thinking and attitudes. This section would be of particular use to entrepreneurship educators at all levels of the educational system, as well as to entrepreneurial training professionals looking for best practice case studies and innovative approaches.
Part III, “Best Practice Innovations Inside and Outside the Classroom”, comprises 11 chapters which, individually and collectively, make a significant contribution to Entrepreneurship Education practice, as seen from a wide variety of perspectives and contextual settings. It is well known and widely accepted amongst educators that there are conceptual as well as contextual differences between the theory and practice of Entrepreneurship Education. It is therefore useful and refreshing to gain an insight into the latest and most innovative ways to transfer entrepreneurial knowledge and experience to students, both within and outside the usual or normal classroom settings. Life stories, in particular recounts of entrepreneurial journeys, can play an important role in educating and training would be graduate entrepreneurs. A couple of chapters in this section of the book focus primarily upon the transfer of relevant entrepreneurial knowledge through entrepreneurship related stories and storytelling. This approach usually involves classmates, peers or guest speakers. In order to increase their chances of success, entrepreneurship oriented students need to gather critical feedback from a number of sources and perspectives, both within and outside of their classrooms. Experiential courses and modules, including “real time” or “accelerated” approaches, are considered crucial to the inception and development of “entrepreneurial mindsets” of future graduate entrepreneurs. Similarly, global experimental learning and curriculum innovations are also useful to promote social and corporate entrepreneurship. Increasing numbers of entrepreneurial students tackle global issues by actively engaging in learning about social enterprises and going on to convert their ideas into sustainable humanitarian enterprises all over the world. Furthermore, cross-campus and interdisciplinary collaborations in entrepreneurship education are increasingly viewed as innovative as well as productive and sustainable ways to provide entrepreneurial student with new ways to convert their ideas into new ventures. All these and many more innovative approaches to entrepreneurship education can be found in the chapters presented in this section of the book.
The 2018 edition of the “Annals of Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy”, as its 2014 and 2016 predecessors, make a useful addition to the private and institutional libraries of academics, researchers, policy makers and support agencies that are involved in promoting as well as delivering entrepreneurship education and learning. Undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students will also find this volume useful in conceptualising and contextualising the many facets of this complex and fast growing field of study. I highly recommend this volume for its richness, complexity and empirical rigour. I look forward with great interest and anticipation to the publication of the 2020 version of “Annals of Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy”. Finally, I wish to congratulate all those involved in compiling and editing this voluminous book and the authors of the 28 chapters, as well as Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, for facilitating the publication of this excellent series of Annals in Entrepreneurship Education.