New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
From Entrepreneur to Designer: The Transferable Design and Problem-Solving Principles of the Entrepreneur
The competencies and outcomes of entrepreneurial activities spark the interest of many stakeholders across innovation ecosystems – governments, companies, entrepreneurs, and educational institutions alike. Typically, those of an entrepreneurial bent are sought after for their ability to create new ventures and deliver multiple forms of societal value, such as creating jobs, bolstering the economy, and translating technology into real world applications. Yet, beyond these outcomes, at the core of entrepreneurial activities is a qualitatively distinct design and problem-solving approach; and thus an entrepreneurial mindset has the potential to be a powerful philosophy to scaffold thinking and solve problems in any domain. However, very little has been explicitly written about how this mindset and problem-solving philosophy could map to domains in which new ventures are not a desired outcome.
This paper focuses on synthesizing and distilling the design and problem-solving strategies of the entrepreneur to make them broadly applicable beyond business centric contexts. The paper reviews multiple literature streams in entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial expertise, effectuation, and entrepreneurial opportunity recognition, problem-solving and decision-making using Boyer’s scholarship of integration lens as a guiding approach/methodology. This method places value on integrating insights into new language and frameworks that unify concepts often dispersed across domains. Emphasis is placed on the meta-design (problem solving) principles of entrepreneurs and their applicability across contexts, synthesizing such principles in a proposed theoretical framework of “entrepreneurship as a problem-solving philosophy.” The applicability of this framework across domains is then exemplified using case studies of non-venture related pursuits in which case actors seem to have applied the aforementioned generic design principles to their specific domains. Overall, the paper complements current research streams in entrepreneurship by helping further characterize the entrepreneurial mindset, while simultaneously opening a new research direction, thus enriching the engineering education space and related fields.
Solis, F., & Sinfield, J. V. (2016, June), From Entrepreneur to Designer: The Transferable Design Principles of the Entrepreneur Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26970
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