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Article
Publication date: 4 August 2020

Hesamedin Gholami, Amir Alambeigi, Mohammadreza Farrokhnia, Omid Noroozi and Mostafa Karbasioun

This study aims to investigate the role of social capital in Iranian agricultural students' acquisition of generic skills. For this purpose, the effect of various social…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the role of social capital in Iranian agricultural students' acquisition of generic skills. For this purpose, the effect of various social capital dimensions on students' generic skills development was examined.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted among 190 third- and fourth-year undergraduate students in one of the colleges of agriculture and natural resources in Iran. The partial least square method was used to examine the relationships among various social capital dimensions (i.e. social values, social trust, social networks, social cohesion, social participation, social communications and information sharing) with students' generic skills.

Findings

The findings showed that social networks and social participation are effective factors in the generic skills development of students. A model designed for the development of students' generic skills based on their social capital level predicted up to 33% of generic skills' variances. Furthermore, the multi-group analysis showed that males and females vary on how various social capital dimensions affect their generic skills. In this respect, the social participation dimension had a significantly greater impact on female students' generic skills, whereas the generic skills of male students were influenced more by the social cohesion dimension.

Practical implications

Developing generic skills through social capital can be considered as an effective strategy in countries that do not have formal programs for developing students' generic skills. Additionally, higher education policymakers should present a more supportive approach for developing generic skills of female students through social participation in the campuses.

Originality/value

So far, no study has examined the relationships among various social capital dimensions and students' generic skills in Iran. The picture is even more unclear when it comes to the differences between male and female students. The results of this study confirmed the importance of social networks and social participation in the universities to support students and to improve their generic skills and, consequently, their employability competencies. Furthermore, it could be inferred that male and female students have similarities and also differences in terms of the effect of social capital on developing generic skills that can provide a path for future studies.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 December 2020

Hossein Mehdizadeh, Hesamedin Gholami, Nematollah Shiri and Mojgan Khoshmaram

Although extensive governmental efforts have taken place to promote entrepreneurship in Iran, based on global entrepreneurship monitor report, the rate of perceived…

Abstract

Purpose

Although extensive governmental efforts have taken place to promote entrepreneurship in Iran, based on global entrepreneurship monitor report, the rate of perceived opportunities among young people, especially those with university education, has dropped. Since the perceived entrepreneurial opportunities are the first and most important step in the entrepreneurship process, this study identified the factors affecting the entrepreneurial opportunity recognition in Iranian higher education.

Design/methodology/approach

The statistical population included 127 senior undergraduate students in all majors of agriculture at Ilam University. The sample size was determined by using the Krejcie and Morgan’s (1970) sampling table to be 100 senior undergraduate agriculture students at Ilam University, Ilam province, Iran, selected through a stratified random sampling technique.

Findings

The results showed that the perceived entrepreneurial opportunity among students was moderately low. According to structural equation modeling, the alertness, human capital, social capital and environmental support variables had a positive and significant effect on the entrepreneurial opportunity recognition.

Research limitations/implications

Regarding the research implications, the present study, with providing and testing a model for developing the entrepreneurial opportunity recognition among students in a developing country (Iran) with diverse cultures and values, has improved the literature of entrepreneurship in higher education.

Practical implications

Based on results instructors in higher agricultural education can use active teaching and learning methods, such as creating ideas, experiential and service learning, teamwork and practical work, critical thinking and problem-solving in education. Also, financial, technical and consultative support of instructors and managers in agricultural colleges to implement, launch and commercialize agricultural students' entrepreneurial ideas and projects is needed.

Originality/value

The findings indicated the importance of alertness, human capital, social capital and environmental support on the entrepreneurial opportunity recognition among students. Findings showed that ecological approach could be used to develop students' entrepreneurial opportunity recognition.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 April 2014

Ehsan Gholifar and Hesamedin Gholami

– The purpose of this paper is to investigate the affecting factors on faculty members’ psychological empowerment of agricultural colleges in Iran.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the affecting factors on faculty members’ psychological empowerment of agricultural colleges in Iran.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 404 faculty members from 12 agricultural colleges participated in this survey study. Based on the literature a conceptual model of factors affecting psychological empowerment of agricultural faculty members was proposed. Regression analysis was used to determine the effect of proposed affecting factors.

Findings

Results showed that professional skills, organizational culture and management-organizational factors, respectively, had the most positive significant effect on psychological empowerment of agricultural faculty members.

Research limitations/implications

The measuring of professional skills, one of the effective factors on faculty members’ psychological empowerment, by asking their colleagues or students may lead to more accurate data while in this study was evaluated through self-assessment.

Practical implications

The relative weakness/strength of agricultural colleges in different dimensions of faculty members’ psychological empowerment and also factors affecting them can be used as a basis for planning for improving agricultural faculty members’ psychological empowerment.

Originality/value

The proposed conceptual model provided a framework for investigating the factors affecting psychological empowerment of agricultural faculty members and was empirically tested.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

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