The Challenges of Infusing Entrepreneurship within Non-Business Disciplines and Measuring Outcomes

Joseph Roberts 1 , Frank Hoy 2 , Jerome A. Katz 3  and Heidi Neck 4
  • 1 Webster University, Webster Groves, MO, USA
  • 2 School of Business, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
  • 3 Management Department, Saint Louis University, St. Louis MO
  • 4 Babson College, Babson Park, MA, USA
Joseph Roberts, Frank Hoy, Jerome A. Katz and Heidi Neck

Abstract

Entrepreneurship Education has seen rapid growth in the 21st century. As an academic discipline, entrepreneurship has spread its wings, escaped business schools and nested within non-business disciplines in academia. The focus of this Entrepreneurship Research Journal Special Issue, “Cross Campus Entrepreneurship Education” is to trace the development of this occurrence. In this overarching article describing the special issue, we briefly introduce some of the early stimulants of entrepreneurship education. This includes providing historical perspectives on how entrepreneurship became a global phenomenon. The rapid growth is continuing as entrepreneurship education becomes infused in disciplines such as arts, sciences, engineering, humanities, technology and social sciences. We examine how entrepreneurship curricula and campus ecosystems for entrepreneurship education have evolved. We draw from articles selected for this special issue of Entrepreneurship Research Journal to consider why and how this phenomenon is happening. This includes identifying both facilitators and obstacles associated with the proliferation of entrepreneurship education. Cross Campus Entrepreneurship Education prototypes utilized by The Coleman Foundation Faculty Fellows Program, The Kern Engineering Entrepreneurship Network and The Kauffman Campus Initiative are explained. The Fellows Program is presented as a potential testing ground for establishing norms for infusing entrepreneurship across non-business disciplines and assessing effectiveness of such initiatives. The authors of the articles published in this special issue demonstrate that approaches to educating students in multiple majors with entrepreneurship concepts have been themselves entrepreneurial. Universities with cross-campus programs have been creative, innovative and even disruptive. We give particular attention to challenges associated with assessing the effectiveness of the initiatives. It is evident that effective outcomes assessment will be critical in the future to ensure that campus-wide educational efforts do not become diluted and dysfunctional. There are numerous difficulties associated with such assessments, not the least of which may be the time lag that can be expected between instruction and fruition. Nevertheless, experiments in assessments that are already underway are explained. Multiple stakeholders, including government and academic institutions as well as students and faculty, are active in promoting and evaluating entrepreneurship programs. Research implications are explored and future research challenges within cross campus entrepreneurship education are uncovered.

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Positioned as the premier research journal within the field of entrepreneurship, the Entrepreneurship Research Journal (ERJ) is a forum for scholarly discussion on entrepreneurs and their activities, contexts, processes, strategies and outcomes. It seeks to encourage a scholarly exchange between researchers from any field of study who focus on entrepreneurs and includes both theoretical and empirical articles.

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