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Comparison of Two Survey Instruments for the Assessment of Entrepreneurial Mindset

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Assessing Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

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Paper Authors


Thomas P. James P.E. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Tom James is presently a Professor of Entrepreneurship at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. His major interests are new product development and global business ventures. He currently teaches courses in accounting, finance, and entrepreneurial studies. In addition to teaching, Dr. James directs the ESCALATE program, a living-learning community focused on integrating entrepreneurship and technical disciplines. He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering and an Executive MBA from Marquette University. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and is a registered Professional Engineer (PE). Dr. James is also an avid inventor with over two dozen patents and he has several publications in peer reviewed journals related to his research in biomechanical systems. Prior to joining academia, he worked for over a decade in the consumer products industry, most recently as Senior Vice President of Global Engineering at Techtronic Industries, headquartered in Hong Kong, where he lived with his family for several years.

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Craig G. Downing Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Craig G. Downing is Department Head and Associate Professor of Engineering Management at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. His teaching responsibilities are focused on delivering graduate-level
instruction related to Operations and Quality Systems. His interests are rooted in Academic-Industrial partnerships, Process Improvement, and Action Research in Engineering Management. Further, serves as one of the champions for leading the campus entrepreneurial initiatives. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

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Diane Evans Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Dr. Diane Evans was previously a professor in the mathematics department at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology from 2001 to 2016, and she joined the engineering management department in 2016. She received her BS and MA degrees in mathematics at The Ohio State University and her MS and PhD in operations research and applied science from the College of William and Mary. Diane received her Black Belt in Six Sigma in 2011 from Purdue’s Technical Assistance Program. Her current research and teaching interests are in probability, statistics, quality control, and Six Sigma. She has published journal articles in the areas of probability, statistics, statistics education, quality control, and Six Sigma, and has published a book in computational probability. Diane won Rose-Hulman’s Dean’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 2007, was named in Princeton Review’s 300 Best Professors in America in 2012, and was selected as one of Microsoft’s 365 “Heroes in Education” in 2012. In 2014, Diane was nominated for U.S. Professor of the Year and Indiana’s Women & Hi Tech’s “Outstanding Educator in STEM.” In Winter Quarter 2015, Diane spent her sabbatical working for Minitab statistical software company producing educational materials for new statistics instructors. These materials are available at:

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Conversations regarding outcome assessment naturally precipitate as the entrepreneurship curriculum matures from certificates and minors to undergraduate and graduate degree programs. In general, the assessment conversation begins with a discussion and comparison of entrepreneurial skills versus entrepreneurial mindset. The assessment of skills, such as the ability to discern information from a balance sheet or the ability to create a robust business model, is a more straightforward endeavor than documenting a temporal change in mindset. Questions such as, “Have we changed how a student thinks about risk?” or “Have we affected a student’s perception on the feasibility of becoming an entrepreneur?” are more difficult to answer than skills assessment from a metrics-based perspective. However, progress is evident in the development of tools to document entrepreneurial mindset and hence through longitudinal studies measure the potential impact of curriculum and co-curricular activities on changing mindset. This paper compares and contrasts two relatively new tools for assessment of entrepreneurial mindset: (1) Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile (EMP), which has origins back to 2010 at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, and (2) Entrepreneurial Profile 10 Index (EP10), by Gallup with underpinnings in 2009. Both are web-based surveys.

For this research, 70 undergraduate students majoring in math, science, or engineering completed both instruments. Forty students were enrolled in an Introduction to Entrepreneurship course, with the remainder enrolled in an Introduction to Engineering Management course. The instruments are first compared based on the authors’ perspective of practical mechanics, such as ease of administration, the time required for completion, instructions to students, formatting of questions, and access to results to name a few. Additionally, the research presents a correlation study of results for the same students taking both instruments. In addition, students who participated in the research were surveyed to gain insight into their experience when completing the instruments, such as time allotted, clarity of questions, and understanding of results. Finally, students were asked to express their judgment on the perceived value of these instruments to provide useful knowledge about their entrepreneurial mindset.

The results of this research are particularly relevant to faculty and administration interested in measuring changes in entrepreneurial mindset by adopting a commercially available assessment instrument or by developing an in-house instrument. Faculty interested in the concept of the entrepreneurial mindset, whether they use the EMP, EP10 or some other psychometric instrument as a classroom activity or assessment are a secondary audience for results presented herein.

James, T. P., & Downing, C. G., & Evans, D. (2017, June), Comparison of Two Survey Instruments for the Assessment of Entrepreneurial Mindset Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28057

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