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Entrepreneurship education: a need for reflection, real-world experience and action

Hemant Kassean (University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius)
Jeff Vanevenhoven (University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, Whitewater, WI, USA)
Eric Liguori (Sykes College of Business, University of Tampa, Tampa, FL, USA)
Doan E. Winkel (Department of Management, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, USA)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 3 August 2015




The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of common undergraduate entrepreneurship classroom activities on students’ motivational processes related to entrepreneurial careers.


In total, 700 undergraduate students from a variety of majors at a large midwestern university in the USA were invited to take a web-based survey. They were asked to indicate which experiential activities they would participate/were participating in as part of their program.


The findings show that students’ entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE) is a driving force in classroom activities enhancing students’ intentions. However, the authors also found that the type of classroom activities that are common in entrepreneurship education negatively impact students’ ESE.

Research limitations/implications

The generalizability is limited to the US region and the link from intention to behavior goes untested, but results strongly supported the adoption of social cognitive career theory to the entrepreneurship domain.

Practical implications

This study lends support to the argument that promoting the learning process in entrepreneurship education should focus on real-world experience, action, and reflective processes to engage students in authentic learning, which should lead to greater entrepreneurial abilities and propensity, and eventually to enhanced entrepreneurial performance, which benefits individuals and societies.

Social implications

This study suggests that the goals and pedagogical approaches to teaching entrepreneurship are issues that educators may need to revisit and update if the economic benefits of entrepreneurship are to be fully realized.


While the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurship activity is well documented in extant literature, this study found that activities that are common in entrepreneurship education may negatively impact students’ ESE and need to be further explored.



Conflict of interest: the authors do not have any potential conflict of interest to declare in this research.


Kassean, H., Vanevenhoven, J., Liguori, E. and Winkel, D.E. (2015), "Entrepreneurship education: a need for reflection, real-world experience and action", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 690-708.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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