Action-Based Education in Academic Entrepreneurship: A New Role of the Student?

  • Lene FossEmail author
  • Elin M. Oftedal
  • Tatiana Iakovleva
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)


The scope of entrepreneurship programs offered by academia has expanded significantly in many areas around Europe, Asia, North America, Australia, and New Zealand (Gartner and Vesper 1994). With reference to the theory of planned behavior and the literature on entrepreneurship education, research has confirmed that students taking entrepreneurship programs increase their competencies and strengthen their intention towards self-employment (Fayolle et al. 2006; Mwasalwiba 2010; Sanches 2010). In examining the literature, more economic oriented studies with ex ante and ex post survey responses find that students learn about their entrepreneurial aptitude through entrepreneurship education (von Graevenitz 2010). Based on previous research, Dutta et al. (2011) conclude that specialized entrepreneurship education has a significant positive impact on the likelihood of future venture creation. However, a diverse and broad-based educational experience seems to make a critical difference in terms of the entrepreneurs’ personal income and net worth. Thus, the former facilitates venture creation, whereas the latter adds to entrepreneurial success. Further, it has been noted that academic entrepreneurship is regarded as an experience or outcome, rather than a clearly defined role (Jain et al. 2009). Interestingly, in research on entrepreneurial universities (83 studies in all) revealing organizational designs that enhance commercialization of university innovations, a focus on entrepreneurial education is totally missing. The term academic entrepreneurship has been treated as a task academics can perform, but not as a role in itself (Jain et al. 2009). Thus, a blank spot in previous literature is knowledge on how the new action-based entrepreneurship programs offered by universities affect the role of students (Foss and Lozano 2012; Ollila and Williams-Middleton 2011; Rasmussen and Sørheim 2006).


Tacit Knowledge Explicit Knowledge Entrepreneurial Intention Role Ambiguity Technology Transfer Office 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Ajzen I (1991) “The theory of planned behavior”, organizational behavior and human decision education and incubation at the university. Int J Entrep Innov Manage 13:161–178Google Scholar
  2. Bager T (2010) The camp model for entrepreneurship teaching. Int Entrep Manage J 7(2):279–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Béchard J-P, Grégoire D (2005) Entrepreneurship education research revisited: the case of higher education. Acad Manage Learn Educ 4(1):22–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beehr TA (1976) Perceived situational moderators of the relation between subjective role ambiguity and role strain. J Appl Phychol 61:35–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Botha M, Nieman G, Vuuren J (2006) Enhancing female entrepreneurship by enabling access to skills. Int Entrep Manage J 2(4):479–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cope J, Watts G (2000) Learning by doing—an exploration of experience, critical incidents and reflection in entrepreneurial learning. Int J Entrep Behav Res 6(3):104–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Corbett A (2005) Experiential learning within the process of opportunity Identification and exploitation. Entrep Theory Pract 29(4):473–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cunningham J, Harney B (2006) Strategic management of technology transfer: the new challenge on campus. Oak Tree Press, CorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Djokovic D, Souitaris V (2008) Spinouts from academic institutions: a literature review with suggestions for further research. J Technol Transf 33(3):225–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dutta DK, Li J, Merenda M (2011) Fostering entrepreneurship: impact of specialization and diversity in education. Int Entrep Manage J 7(2):163–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fayolle A, Gailly B, Lassas-Clerc N (2006) Assessing the impact of entrepreneurship education programmes: a new methodology. J Eur Ind Training 30(9):701–720CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fiet JO (2001) The theoretical side of teaching entrepreneurship. J Bus Venturing 16(1):1–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Foss L (2012) The university-industry interface: a collaborative arena. In: Johnsen H-CG, Ennals R (eds) Creating collaborative advantage. Innovation and knowledge creation in regional economies. Gower, AldershotGoogle Scholar
  14. Foss L, Lozano F (2012) Innovation through academic entrepreneurship: How to develop new collaborative models to educate entrepreneurs? Paper presented at INBAM, 20–23 March 2012Google Scholar
  15. Gartner W (1985) Conceptual framework for describing the phenomenon of new venture creation. Acad Manage Rev 10(4):696–706Google Scholar
  16. Gartner WB, Vesper KH (1994) Experiments in entrepreneurship education: successes and failures. J Bus Venturing 9(3):179–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gibb A (1993) The enterprise culture and education. Int Small Bus J 11(3):11–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gibb A (2002) In pursuit of a new ‘enterprise’ and ‘entrepreneurship paradigm for learning: creative destruction, new values, new ways of doing things and new combinations of knowledge. Int J Manage Rev 4(3):233–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. von Graevenitz G (2010) The effects of entrepreneurship education. J Econ Behav Organ 76:90–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gregoro DD, Shane S (2003) Why do some universities generate more start-ups than others? Res Policy 32:209–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hoang H, Gimeno J (2005) Entrepreneurial identity: theory and measurement. Presentation at the first annual Smith entrepreneurship research conference, University of Maryland, College Park, 22–23 April 2005Google Scholar
  22. Hytti U, O’Gorman C (2004) What is ‘Enterprise education’? An analysis of the objectives and methods of enterprise education programmes in four European countries. Educ Training 46(1):11–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jain S, George G, Maltarich M (2009) Academics or entrepreneurs? Investigating role identity modification of university scientists involved in commercialization activity. Res Policy 38(2009):922–935CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kahn RL, Wolfe DM, Quinn RP, Snoek JD, Rosenthal RA (1964) Organizational stress: studies in role conflict and ambiguity. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  25. Kattz D, Kahan RL (1978) The social psychology organizations. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  26. Kirby D (2004) Entrepreneurship education: can business schools meet the challenge? Educ Training 46(8/9):510–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kolb F (1984) Experiential learning: experience as the source of learning and development. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs.!. 31 May 2006
  28. Lackéus M, Middleton Williams K (2011). Venture Creation Programs: entrepreneurial education through real-life content. Paper presented at interactive paper session BCERC 2011 conference, SyracuseGoogle Scholar
  29. Laukkanen M (2000) Exploring alternative approaches in high-level entrepreneurship education: creating micro-mechanisms for endogenous regional growth. Entrep Reg Dev 12:25–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Marsick V, Watkins K (1990) Informal and incidental learning in the workplace. Routledge, London, p 270Google Scholar
  31. Mead GH (1934) In: Morris CW (ed) Mind, self and society from the standpoint of a social behaviourist. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  32. Muscio A (2010) What drives the university use of technology transfer offices? Evidence from Italy. J Technol Transf (Springer) 35(2):181–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mwasalwiba ES (2010) Entrepreneurship education: a review of its objectives, teaching methods, and impact indicators. Educ Training 52(1):20–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Neck H, Greene P (2011) Entrepreneurship education: known worlds and new frontiers. J Small Bus Manage 49(1):55–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nonaka I (1994) A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation. Organ Sci 5(1):14–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ollila S, Williams-Middleton K (2011) The venture creation approach: integrating entrepreneurial education and incubation at the university. Int J Entrep Innov Manage 13(2):161–178 (Processes, vol. 50, pp. 179–211)Google Scholar
  37. Owen-Smith J, Powell WW (2011) Careers and contradictions: faculty responses to the transformation of knowledge and its uses in the life sciences. Res Soc Work 10:109–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Politis D (2005) The process of entrepreneurial learning: a conceptual framework. Entrepreneurship Theory Pract 29(4):399–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rae D, Carswell M (2000) Using a life-story approach in researching entrepreneurial learning: the development of a conceptual model and its implications in the design of learning experiences. Educ Training 42(4–5):220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rasmussen E, Sørheim R (2006) Action-based entrepreneurship education. Technovation 26(2):185–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rasmussen E, Rice M (2012) A framework for government support mechanisms aimed at enhancing university technology transfer: the Norwegian case. Int J Technol Transf Commercialization 11(1–2):1–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rotefoss B (2001) A resource based approach to the business start up—a longitudinal investigation. Doctoral Thesis, Henley Management College, London RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  43. Rothaermel FT, Agung SD, Jiang L (2007) University entrepreneurship: a taxonomy of the literature. Ind Corp change 16:691–791CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sanches JC (2010) University training for entrepreneurial competencies: its impact on intention of venture creation. Int Entrepreneurship Manag J 7(2):239–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Shane S (2003) A general theory of entrepreneurship: the individual-opportunity nexus. Edward Elgar, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  46. Siegel D, Waldman DA, Atwater LE, Link A (2003) Commercial knowledge transfers from universities to firms: improving the effectiveness of university–industry collaboration. J High Technol Manage Res 14:111–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Spilling OR (2008) On the role of academic staff as entrepreneurs in university spin-offs: case studies of biotechnology firms in Norway. In: Landstrôm H, Crinjs H, Laveren E (eds) Entrepreneurship, sustainable growth and performance. Frontiers in European entrepreneurship research Cheltenham. Edward Elgar, UK, pp 267–298Google Scholar
  48. Tan SS, Ng CKF (2006) A problem-based learning approach to entrepreneurship education. Educ Training 48(6):416–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Timmons JA, Spinelli S (2004) New venture creation: entrepreneurship for the 21st century. McGraw-Hill/Irwin, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lene Foss
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elin M. Oftedal
    • 1
  • Tatiana Iakovleva
    • 2
  1. 1.Tromsø University Business SchoolTromsøNorway
  2. 2.Stavanger Business SchoolStavangerNorway

Personalised recommendations