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Integrating the Entrepreneurial Mindset Throughout Higher Education: A Case Application for the Industrial Engineering Classroom

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Industrial Engineering Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Industrial Engineering

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Paper Authors


Lisa Bosman Purdue University at West Lafayette

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Dr. Lisa Bosman, PhD in Industrial Engineering, is an Assistant Professor at Purdue University. Her engineering education research interests include entrepreneurially minded learning, energy education, interdisciplinary education, and faculty professional development.

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Nathalie Duval-Couetil Purdue University at West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Nathalie Duval-Couetil is the Director of the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, Associate Director of the Burton D. Morgan Center, and a Professor in the Department of Technology Leadership and Innovation at Purdue University. She is responsible for the launch and development of the university’s multidisciplinary undergraduate entrepreneurship program, which involves 1800 students from all majors per year. She has established entrepreneurship capstone, global entrepreneurship, and women and leadership courses and initiatives at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Prior to her work in academia, Nathalie spent several years in the field of market research and business strategy consulting in Europe and the United States with Booz Allen and Hamilton and Data and Strategies Group. She received a BA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, an MBA from Babson College, and MS and PhD degrees from Purdue University.

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The entrepreneurial mindset is defined as the “inclination to discover, evaluate, and exploit opportunities” (Bosman and Fernhaber, 2018). Developing the entrepreneurial mindset is not only important for individuals wanting to start their own businesses, but also for those wanting to add value creatively to the company they work for, or their personal life. Moreover, the entrepreneurial mindset is critical in solving complex social issues.

Within higher education, educators across disciplines are increasingly focused on cultivating this much-needed entrepreneurial mindset in their students. As such, entrepreneurial educators are an integral part of creating the next generation of start-up entrepreneurs, corporate innovators, and world changemakers. There is not only a need for entrepreneurial educators within the walls of business schools, but also throughout universities in areas such as engineering, food science, the liberal arts, and more.

Fortunately, there are many resources available which support effective learning activities pertaining to entrepreneurship. Many of these resources can be obtained for free through online platforms including Stanford’s d.School website ( and the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) portal ( Also, several books exist including “Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice Based Approach (Neck et al., 2014),” “How to Teach Entrepreneurship (Jones, 2019)” and “Classroom Exercises for Entrepreneurship: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach (Hart, 2018)”. These resources provide a many examples of entrepreneurial learning activities, yet, are limited in two ways. First, most of the learning activities are focused within the business discipline, which is surprising given that the entrepreneurial mindset is recognized as a necessity in disciplines across the university. Second, they do not reflect a holistic design approach, whereby the instructor considers the entire learning process from curriculum development to delivery to assessment. Thus, instead of considering the learning experience from a holistic perspective, these resources tend to focus on isolated learning activities and/or learning assessment with limited regard for the course design and delivery as a whole.

The purpose of this manuscript is to introduce a standardized, holistic approach for integrating the entrepreneurial mindset into existing courses across the disciplines using four curriculum design components as follows: • #1: Curriculum Design for the Entrepreneurial Component • #2: Curriculum Design for Professional Skills • #3: Curriculum Design to Promote Habit Development and Behavioral Changes • #4: Curriculum Design to Ensure Best Teaching Practices

The manuscript will describe the application of this approach in a traditional industrial engineering course on Supply Chain Management Technology. Recommendations and considerations are provided for faculty interested in leveraging this standardized, holistic approach to integrating the entrepreneurial mindset into their courses, regardless of discipline.


Bosman, L. & Fernhaber, S. 2018. Teaching the entrepreneurial mindset to engineers, Switzerland, Springer International Publishing. Hart, J. D. 2018. Classroom Exercises for Entrepreneurship: A Cross-disciplinary Approach, Edward Elgar Publishing. Jones, C. 2019. How to teach Entrepreneurship, Edward Elgar Publishing. Neck, H. M., Greene, P. G. & Brush, C. G. 2014. Teaching entrepreneurship: A practice-based approach, Edward Elgar Publishing.

Bosman, L., & Duval-Couetil, N. (2021, July), Integrating the Entrepreneurial Mindset Throughout Higher Education: A Case Application for the Industrial Engineering Classroom Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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