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Comparisons of Faculty and Student Definitions of Entrepreneurship

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Research Technical Session 7

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count

18

Page Numbers

24.301.1 - 24.301.18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/20192

Download Count

102

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Paper Authors

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Philip M. Reeves The Pennsylvania State University

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Philip Reeves is a graduate student in the Educational Psychology Department at Penn State. He is working with faculty to evaluate a new university-wide entrepreneurship and innovation minor as a graduate assistant for the Leonhard Center for Enhancement of Engineering Education.

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Sarah E. Zappe Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Dr. Sarah Zappe is a research associate and director of assessment and instructional support in the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education at Penn State. She holds a doctoral degree in educational psychology emphasizing applied measurement and testing. In her position, Sarah is responsible for developing instructional support programs for faculty, providing evaluation support for educational proposals and projects, and working with faculty to publish educational research. Her research interests primarily involve creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship education.

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Elizabeth C. Kisenwether Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Liz holds a B.S.E.E. from Penn State (1979), and M.S.E.E. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1981) and Johns Hopkins University (1988). She worked in the defense industry for 11 years with HRB Systems/Raytheon, and then co-founded Paragon Technology, a high-tech start-up. Since joining Penn State in 1999, Liz has taught design courses in a variety of engineering departments. From 2002-2010, Liz was director of the engineering entrepreneurship (E-SHIP) minor, serving undergraduates from all majors. She was awarded the 2005 Price Foundation Innovative Entrepreneurship Educators Award – Stanford University. In 2006, she was awarded the ASEE Kauffman Outstanding Entrepreneurship Educator Award. Liz is currently co-director of the Lion Launch Pad, a student-centric, on-campus business accelerator program, and is also involved in research funded by NSF and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance. Between 2008-2012, Liz supported ASME’s annual Innovation Showcase (I-SHOW), was a faculty adviser for the Kern Family Foundation’s KEEN (Kern Engineering Entrepreneurship Network) program, and served as division chair and program chair of the ASEE Entrepreneurship Division. In 2013, Penn State’s new intercollege minor in entrepreneurship and innovation (ENTI) was approved, with five focus areas for undergraduate students to select from: Food and Bio-Innovation, New Media, New Ventures, Social Entrepreneurship, and Technology Based Entrepreneurship.

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D. Jake Follmer The Pennsylvania State University

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D. Jake Follmer is a first-year Ph.D. student in educational psychology at The Pennsylvania State University. He received his M.S.Ed. in 2013 from Bucknell University with certification in school psychology. He received his B.A. in psychology in 2010 from Lycoming College. His interests are in the areas of learning, assessment, and cognition. His research interests lie in the areas of self-regulation, metacognition, executive function, and problem solving.

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Jessica Menold Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Jessica Menold is a doctoral student in mechanical engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. As an undergraduate at Penn State she was heavily involved with a STEM outreach program called the engineering ambassadors. She currently works as a graduate mentor for entrepreneurial student groups on campus as a part of Penn State’s Lion Launch Pad team. Her interests in entrepreneurs, as well as engineering education, has led her to the study of innovation in engineers, working with Dr. Kathryn Jablokow. Her current research focuses on understanding innovation in engineering professionals and students, and she is collaborating with a team at Purdue to create a tool to measure innovativeness among engineers.

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Abstract

Comparisons of Faculty and Student Definitions of Entrepreneurship Many different definitions of entrepreneurship exist in various academic and businessdisciplines. In some ways the ambiguity in the definition of entrepreneurship is appropriate, asdifferent markets, contexts, businesses, and ventures spawn unique problems that require creativethinking and the innovative use of skills. One entrepreneur’s skills and insights may be highlyvaluable and relevant in one scenario and completely inappropriate in another. Teaching students to develop the entrepreneurial mindset can be challenging since theassociated skills are not completely agreed upon in the literature. Therefore, the goal of thisstudy is not to provide a definitive definition of entrepreneurship or a complete list ofentrepreneurial skills, but to examine instructors and students’ definitions of entrepreneurship inorder to evaluate the congruence between instructional goals and student expectations.Additionally, we will examine whether student expectations differ according to academicdiscipline (i.e. engineering versus business). In this study, two groups of people, instructors who taught entrepreneurial focusedclasses (N = 46) and students who were just starting their first entrepreneurial class (N = 130)were asked to define entrepreneurship. The instructors who participated in the study wereidentified as having taught entrepreneurship specifically to engineering students. Studentparticipants were from a variety of majors. Approximately 24% of the students intend to majorin engineering. The responses from the initial survey were coded into general categories whichwere compared across groups. A detailed description of the categories and definitions will bepresented in the full manuscript, but a general description of the results is presented below. The most frequent theme that was identified by 36.96% of the instructors in theirdefinitions was the notion that entrepreneurship involves the process of seeing and bringing anew idea to market. The second most frequent theme identified by 21.74% of the instructors wasthat entrepreneurs possess the ability to add value to either a business or society in general.Additionally, 17.39% of the instructors mentioned the risk associated with pursuing newopportunities in their definitions, and 17.39% of the instructors also stated that entrepreneurshipinvolves the creation and growth of a business, product, service, or venture. The most frequent theme that was identified by 25.35% of the students in theirdefinitions was the idea that entrepreneurship is characterized by starting or growing their ownbusiness. The students did not include products, services, or ventures in this theme, and insteadsolely focused on the act of business creation. The second most frequent theme that wasidentified by 21.83% of the students in their definitions was the notion that entrepreneurshipinvolves the process of seeing and bringing a new idea to market. Additionally, 15.07% of thestudents mentioned the risk associated with pursuing new opportunities. Finally, 10.56% ofstudents stated that entrepreneurship involves being your own boss and pursing individual goals. There are clear some similarities and differences between the students’ and instructors’definitions of entrepreneurship based on the general themes presented. However, a deeperanalysis within each theme will provide additional insights into their respective perspectives.

Reeves, P. M., & Zappe, S. E., & Kisenwether, E. C., & Follmer, D. J., & Menold, J. (2014, June), Comparisons of Faculty and Student Definitions of Entrepreneurship Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/20192

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