Some key remarks of prominent entrepreneurship (education) researchers in the U.S. 

Vesper & Gartner (1997): Measuring Progress in Entrepreneurship Eduction
Over the last 20 years of surveys of entrepreneurship courses (Vesper, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1993), a growing number of business schools have developed a series of courses in entrepreneurship, variously labeled as either a program, concentration, or major in entrepreneurship. 

From thus base of 16 universities and colleges offering entrepreneurship courses in 1970, the number of (business) schools offering entrepreneurship courses had grown to over 400 by 1995. 

Katz (2003): A chronology and intellectual trajectory of American entrepreneurship education 1876-1999
(1) The field (entrepreneurship education in business school) reached maturity in the U.S.A.  
(2) Growth is likely outside business schools and outside the U.S.A. 
(3) A narrowing focus on top-tier publications, potential American stagnation and a shortage of faculty overall exacerbated by a shortage of PhD program. 


1) Maturity in business school

In a field more than 50 years old, it is safe to say that the life cycle of entrepreneurship education in United States business schools is at the threshold of the maturity stage. This arguably is characterized by:

Two widely recognized and consistent approaches: entrepreneurship (wealth-creation focussed courses) and small business (form-creation focussed courses); 294 J.A. Katz / Journal of Business Venturing 18 (2003) 283–300

For each approach, there is considerable standardization across the industry (notably the reliance on the number, type and teaching approach to courses) (Plaschka and Welsch,1990; Solomon et al., 1994);

The presence of the service in the major venues, notably nearly all AACSB accredited business schools, as well as more than 1000 nonaccredited ones (Solomon et al., 1994);

A complete educational infrastructure, consisting of more than 300 endowed positions, more than 100 centers, more than 40 refereed academic journals and more than a dozen professional organizations in the United States alone (Katz, 1994); 

An emerging segmentation of the discipline marked by the growth of specialized professional groups and publishing venues in economics, economic development, finance and high-technology; and

Legitimization by various external sources, including 
National rankings of entrepreneurship programs in the mainstream media (US News and World Report, Business Week) and  
Inclusion of four top-tier entrepreneurship journals in the Social Science Citation Index (Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Small Business Management, Small Business Economics).

2) Growth outside of business schools

Entrepreneurship offerings continue to grow in schools of agriculture, engineering, the learned professions, and arts and science, usually with minimal or no involvement by business school entrepreneurship faculty (cf. examples such as Carnegie-Mellon, Colorado, Cornell, Iowa, Laval, Minnesota, Missouri at Kansas City). If new approaches are developed there, business schools are not likely to know, much less benefit. The real risk to business schools would be if a new paradigm of entrepreneurship education emerged from these new sources, supplanting the model developed in American business schools and refined over the last 50 years. The 21st century entrepreneurship education would be certain to look nothing like its 20th century predecessor.

4.2.3. Avoiding stagnation

Can American entrepreneurship education cope with maturity? The big problem is avoiding stagnation. 

This is particularly possible where the internal business school ‘‘market’’ is rich—with abundant financial resources, publication outlets, students and programs to absorb faculty time. Entrepreneurs are warned about the danger success brings—getting ‘‘complacent with success’’ and forgetting about the energy, innovation and market orientation that originally made them successful.

The maturity of the field noted above, when contrasted with the explosive demand for entrepreneurship training and education outside of business schools and outside America,suggest America has reached a ‘‘complacent with success’’ phase. Historically, eager 296 J.A. Katz / Journal of Business Venturing 18 (2003) 283–300 entrepreneurship faculty, on the prowl for mindshare that could turn into endowments, have
emphasized innovation. Entrepreneurship was one of the first disciplines to have students consult (Gundry and Buchko, 1996) or to formally organize the use of adjunct faculty (e.g.,the Price-Babson Fellows Program or Katz, 1995). Today, however, collegiate entrepreneurship education has institutionalized its original model for growth, creating a new orthodoxy. If the American business schools are going to generate a new generation of frame-breaking paradigms, they must once again consider embracing the ‘‘lean and hungry’’ mindset of their earlier stages.


Kuratko (2005): The Emergence of Entrepreneurship Education: Development, Trends, and Challenges

Definition of Entrepreneurship: 

Entrepreneurship is a dynamic process of vision, change, and creation. It requires an application of energy and passion towards the creation and implementation of new ideas and creative solutions. Essential ingredients include the willingness to take calculated risks-in terms of time, equity, or career; the ability to formulate an effective venture team; the creative skill to marshall needed resources; the fundamental skill of building a solid business plan; and , finally, the vision to recognize opportunity where others see chaos, contradiction, and confusion. (Kuratko & Hodgetts, 2004, p. 30) 

(p586). 

The maturity/Complacency/Stagnation Trap

Katz (2003) argues that the presence of entrepreneurship courses in all Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business as well as over 1,000 nonaccredited schools points to a maturing of the entrepreneurship field. He adds the infrastructure numbers of 300 endowed positions, 100 centers, 44 academic journals, and the "legitimization" of the field by the mainstream media (Business Week and U.S. News & World Report). This is all true and I agree that it points to legitimization, but I respectfully disagree about maturity. 

The skirmishes and small battles are being won in business schools because of the sheer power of the already mentioned numbers and the tenacity and passion of individual faculty members. However, the "real war" continues to wage for complete respectability and leadership. 

How many full departments of entrepreneurship exist? 
How many young faculties are being granted tenure purely for their research and teaching in entrepreneurship? 
How many deans are rising from the ranks of entrepreneurship faculty?
How many business schools are ranking the pure entrepreneurship journals on their "A" list?

A partial legitimacy - yes; maturity - no! This is the time for all of those questions to be answered in the positive. 

Real maturity and complete academic legitimacy of the entrepreneurship field have yet to be experienced. 

Katz (2003) contends that because the field has matured, there is now a danger of being "complacent with success." He argues that as entrepreneurship educators, we may be forgetting our earlier "lean and mean" mid-set that helped fuel the tremendous growth of our field. There is truth here but I am not so sure there was ever a "lean and mean" mind-set. I believe there was a "pioneering passion" in some and aa "survival" mentality in others. It was an age of fighting for a cause. It was our crusade! Today ,as I mentioned earlier, the war is still waging at the highest levels. Because today it is about Leadership! We need to ignite the young entrepreneurship faculty. Out collective leadership must inspire the next generation of entrepreneurship faculty to take our discipline to the next plateau. The entrepreneurship's rightful place in business schools of the 21st century will be one of leadership-curriculum, research, faculty, and funding. We stand at the cusp of this monumental step. Faculty-young and old-must bind together to climb the next plateau and move entrepreneurship into its leadership position. 

The Faculty Pipeline Shortage

There are two simultaneous problems here. First is the shortage of entrepreneurship faculty at every academic rank, and second is the lack of doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) programs to provide pure entrepreneurship faculty. 

It is true that we need more business schools to develop sound PhD programs in entrepreneurship. Taking the lead from Indiana University, Colorado University, Syracuse University, University of Georgia, and Case Western Reserve University, more of our leading business schools need to establish programs. However, until more programs develop, faculty can be trained ("retreaded") if we make an effort. For years, Babson College has produced the Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators program to develop faculty. Syracuse University has developed and promoted an "experiential classroom" for entrepreneurship education. It has produced remarkable results in helping faculty move into this field. These programs must be continued, supported, and enhanced. Organizations such as USASBE, NCEC, and the Academy of Management's Entrepreneurship Division, along with the Coleman Foundation and the Kauffman Foundation, need to support this effort as part of their mission. If the business schools will not develop the PhD programs, then the entrepreneurship faculty must develop the needed education themselves. We have pioneered an entire academic field that has exponentially grown in 30 years. why should we stop short now? 
The other issue, however, is the lack of faculty at every rank. This challenge relates back to the respectability of entrepreneurship research and journals in our business schools. Resolve that issue and more entrepreneurship faculty will receive tenure and promotion. Thus, the ranks will grow in number rather than shrink. Once again, entrepreneurship is legitimized but no respected. It is time for the entrepreneurship field to move into a leadership position within our business schools. 


Solomon (2002): An examination of entrepreneurship education in the United States

Scholars and researchers in entrepreneurship education in the United States have reported that small business management and entrepreneurship course at both the two- and four-year college and university levels have grown in both the number and diversity of course offerings from 1990-2005. This expansion of educational offerings has been fueled in part by dissatisfaction with the traditional Fortune 500 focus of business education voiced by students and accreditation bodies (Solomon and Fernald, 1991). 

Historical perspective
Entrepreneurship education has experienced remarkable growth in the past 50 years (1955-2005) from a single course offering to a diverse range of educational opportunities available at more than 1,500 colleges and universities around the world. (Charney and Libecap, 2000). The early prediction that “ . . . the number of course offerings should increase at an expanding rate over the next few years” (Vesper, 1985) held true. In 1985, 253 colleges or universities offered courses in small business management or entrepreneurship, and in 1993, 441 entrepreneurship courses were available to interested students (Gartner and Vesper, 1994). Fourteen years later, Foote (1999) reported student enrollment in entrepreneurship classes at five top American business schools increased 92 percent from 1996 to 1999 (from a total of 3,078 to 5,913), and the number of entrepreneurship classes offered increased 74 percent. A recent estimate suggests that entrepreneurship and small business education may now be offered in as many as 1,200 post secondary institutions in the United States alone (Solomon et al., 2002) with educational experiences ranging from traditional course work to integrative curricula that includes marketing, finance, new product development and technology (Charney and Libecap, 2000).

The Technology Challenge

Solomon et al. (2002) found a negative trend with regards to technology in their national survey on entrepreneurship education. " A surprising trend emerged from the data regarding entrepreneurship education and the use of technology only, 21% of the respondents indicated they use distance-learning technologies in their entrepreneurship education course or concentrations." Entrepreneurship cannot be a field that succumbs to stagnation. It must recognize and apply technologies in the educational setting. In many respects, entrepreneurship education may actually transform the educational setting. For example, some universities, such as George Washington University, are applying unique technological application. They developed a software tool entitled, "Prometheus." Other examples include Ball State University's MBA in Entrepreneurship via television (Kuratko, 1996) where the entrepreneurship classes are taught in a state-of-the-art television studio. Another example is Indiana University's Keeley School of Business on-line MBA entitled "Kelley Direct," where the entire MBA degree is accessed through the Internet. There is no question that this mode of delivering entrepreneurship education will continue to expand in the 21st century. 



Posted by Jeonghwan Choi

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