Experiential Approaches: Effective Pedagogy “for” Entrepreneurship in Entrepreneurship Education


This paper aims to analyze the effective pedagogy to be used in the field of Entrepreneurship Education in teaching “for” entrepreneurship, by analysis of the available literature of effective approach for Entrepreneurship Education. Findings reveal that Experiential approaches are effective in teaching “for” entrepreneurship. Thus, schools that apply these approaches will train student better. This paper contributes to filling the gap in terms of realistic review on the effective pedagogy in teaching “for” entrepreneurship in Entrepreneurship education field.

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Malywanga, J. , Shi, Y. and Yang, X. (2020) Experiential Approaches: Effective Pedagogy “for” Entrepreneurship in Entrepreneurship Education. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 8, 311-323. doi: 10.4236/jss.2020.82024.

1. Introduction

Entrepreneurship is a career field, students who are studying Entrepreneurship must be aware that they are taking it as an occupation of their choice. In his theory of vocation development (1908), Parsons stated that decision to engage in any occupation occurs when a person has achieved: an accurate understanding of her or his individual traits (aptitude, interest, personal abilities); a knowledge of labor market; judgment about their individual traits, skills and labor market. Entrepreneurial skills are said to be necessary for performing all the functions important in this career. These skills are not traits. Lichtenstein and Lyons (2001) said that entrepreneurial skills can be developed through practice and coaching.

Entrepreneurship education is the only tool that can prepare professional entrepreneurs by developing certain entrepreneurial abilities like how to start your own business and the process of innovation in the existing business. Nasrullah et al., (2016) said that students receive this type of education, they should become more confident in their ability to create and evaluate entrepreneurial opportunities, and not only to improve the academic performance. Maresch et al., (2016) said they should be able to secure the resources required to seize.

Teaching “for” Entrepreneurship aim is to produce graduates with mindsets, skills and capabilities to identify and shape opportunities, and develop business ventures ( QAA, 2012). Learning “for” entrepreneurship has been associated with learning by doing and knowing how to conduct entrepreneurship through Simulations. ( Gibb & Price, 2014) stated that education “for” entrepreneurship focuses on creating enterprising mindset and experiences what it feels to be an entrepreneur. Learning should be based on creativity, informality, curiosity, emotion, real world problems and opportunities and should take place through entrepreneurial ways (Styliani, 2019).

Scholars have been argued for the pedagogical approaches borrowed from business management to teach “for” entrepreneurship, which has a classroom-based focus and “lecture teaching methodology, basically a stand-and-deliver approach” (Neck and Greene, 2011) which misses the vital stimulation of the “knowing how”, the reliance on theories, results in a failure to emphasize the distinctiveness of entrepreneurship and hinders the outcome goal of producing competent entrepreneurs (Solomon, 2008). In this literature review, the objective was set to analyze the effective pedagogy “for” Entrepreneurship education and it’s an effective application in teaching and practice.

2. Methodology

This research paper adopts a descriptive design to discuss on previous studies related to effective pedagogy “for” Entrepreneurship Education for the period of 2009-2019. The paper does not include the publications and reports of the practitioner that also focuses on Entrepreneurship Education only review the academic publication. In order to get the research papers, the study only searches the online databases using the statements Effective pedagogy for Entrepreneurship education and Teaching “for” Entrepreneurship for the period 2009-2019. The search results offered a lot of papers and out of those only the publications in the journal is considered which was around one hundred ninety-three papers. From this list only fifty-one research papers finally selected for review which contain aforementioned topic. Tablewas created to present a comprehensive summary of the analysis.

3. Review of Literature

Education “for” Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is among the carriers which need work experience training, due to its heart role of creation and Innovation. Gartner (1998) stated that entrepreneurship is about entrepreneurial individuals creating innovative firms that grow and create value. Shane & Venkataraman, (2000) said that entrepreneurship is not only creating a new venture but also creating value within organization. Stevenson and Jarillo (1990) viewed entrepreneurship as “a process by which individuals, either on their own or inside organizations, pursue opportunities without regard to the resources they currently control”. Gibb, (2005) also pointed out that entreprenuership involves actions that result in creation and renew of value.

Teaching “for” Entrepreneurship aim is to produce graduates with mindsets, skills and capabilities to identify and shape opportunities, and develop business ventures ( QAA, 2012) ( Pittaway & Cope, 2007: p. 215). Learning “for” entrepreneurship has been associated with learning by doing and knowing how to conduct entrepreneurship through Simulations”. ( Gibb & Price, 2014) stated that education “for” entrepreneurship focus on creating enterprising mindset and experience what it feels to be entrepreneur. Learning should be based on creativity, informality, curiosity, emotion, real world problems and opportunities and should take place through entrepreneurial ways (Styliani, 2019).

The components of education “for “entrepreneurship as suggested in literature include: the acquisition of knowledge, the development of an entrepreneurial support system and the building of entrepreneurial skills. Sijde et al., (2008) suggest that entrepreneurship “for” includes realizing opportunities, as a set of competence, as starting a business and as managing a small company. ( Fayolle, 2008) mentioned; raising awareness, teaching techniques tools, how to handle situations and supporting project bearers. (Lackeus, 2014) stated that, students pursuing this type of entrepreneurship education have a genuine interest in starting a new venture.

Entrepreneurial skills

Cooney (2012) said that starting a venture, creating product or doing any entrepreneurial projects needs application of entrepreneurial knowledge and skills to discern and accessing opportunity. Different entrepreneurial skills and traits such as self-images, specific knowledge, motives and social roles lead to venture birth, survival and its growth, also help entrepreneurs successfully to perform a job role ( Tehseen & Ramayah, 2015).

Chell (2013) defined skills as “multidimensional constructs; they comprise the cognitive, knowledge and what is learnt; the affective, emotional expression and what is experienced; the behaviour, action at strategic, tactical and personal levels; and the context, sectoral, occupational, job and task levels”. (Riyanti et al., 2016) discussed those skills by grouping them into two categories of soft skills and hard skills. He argued that Hard skill related to technical for managing or running entrepreneurial activities they include human resources management skills; Marketing skills, production skills; Financial skills. Whereas soft skill related to personality or characteristics of entrepreneur is also divided in two groups. One being soft skill of personality and the other being soft skill of cognitive style. Soft skill of personality includes; initiative, perseverance, performance, commitment and self-confident. Soft skills of cognitive style include seeking information, efficiency, systematic planning, problem solving, persuasive skills, influencing others.

Application of Entrepreneurial skills in Entrepreneurial process.

Scholars have identified how entrepreneurial skills applied in entrepreneurship process. Davila et al., (2003) mentioned technical skills help to identify opportunities based on existing competence. Baron (2004) identifies problem solving skills help in conflict resolution and overcoming stress. Rwigema and Venter (2004) said personal motivation skills help in attaining self efficacy, positive attitudes and commitment. GEM (2003) said adaptability to change skill, help in adapting to technological and innovation progresses. Hankinson (2000) stated that persuasion and negotiation skills help in relationships with suppliers, bankers, directors, managers, shareholders, customers. Nieman (2006) said human resource management skills help in dealing with employee relations. Hankinson (2000) mentioned that creativity skills and innovation skills are useful for development of new innovative products and innovative techniques. Similarly, Man et al., (2002) confirmed that ICT skills help to access critical knowledge about markets, opportunities and businesses. According to OECD (2002) financial management skill help in proper resource needs, understand the financial terminology that investors and venture capitalist use and to proposed the amount profit that venture can make be able to re-compensate their investors and cover the staff’s salary. Gartner et al., (1999) said Marketing skill help in identify niche markets, paying customers and to analyze competitors, identifying, quantifying and analyzing potential uncertainties and envisioned risks linked with the opportunity Gartner et al. (1999).

These skills can be utilized in the specific phases of entrepreneurship that is seen more as a process than as a one-off decision to take and should be understood and studied as a cognitive and evolving process (Saukkonen, 2017).

Experiencial Approaches to Learning.

Experiential approaches to learning refer to those theories and methods which emphaze on learning through action. These theories which develop experience and skills belief that learning effectively occurrs when learners are able to connect concepts, reflect and conceptualize themes. They address the ambition to develop competency, which is understood as the combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes ( Sánchez, 2011). They also assert that knowledge is constructed in social interaction (Ylänne & Nevgi 2003) when a personally responsible participant(s) cognitively, affectively, and behaviourally processes knowledge and skills. ( Kolb, 1984) allow learning from experience as it gives possibility to learn from natural consequences, mistakes and success.

Experiential approaches, which are effective in teaching “for” entrepreneurship as discussed in literature include; Action based learning, which was introduced by Reg Revans in 1970s. He believes that no learning without action, and no action without learning. Reg Revans emphasis on collaborative learning and experience which takes place in a form of team, with a maximum number of six members, who will be learning through action by performing real tasks oriented or work related tasks. Learning process in team reflect on the actions based on tasks given, which are linked with the specific knowledge or skills to be developed under the guidance of a facilitator (Pedler et al., 2005).

Others are Experiential learning, which was developed by Kolb 1970s, and Problem based learning by Mc Master 1960. Kolb, (1984) explained that individuals learn from experience through an experiential learning cycle, comprise of concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation. He defined experiential learning theory as “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience and knowledge that results from the combination of grasping and transforming experience”, It allows learners to actively construct knowledge in collaborative groups, whereby, the teacher is a facilitator and not the main source of knowledge. Problem-based learning is designed for students to tackle problems, preferably real life and structured events, in small groups supervised by a facilitator ( Hansemark, 1998; Hmelo-Silver, 2004; Neufeld & Barrows, 1974; Savery, 2006; Schmidt, 1993).

Application of Experiencial approaches in teaching “for” entrepreneurship

The effectiveness of these approaches in teaching “for” entrepreneurship, lies on the manner of the method which is applied in teaching and learning process. Example the extent to which the method allow interaction between learners, and exposing students to real entrepreneurial environment, have higher impact on developing entrepreneurial skills, traits and knowledge. For example, team work helps learner to improve communication skills as they listen to each other’s opinion (Taylor, 2016). Team work increases student self-efficacy, uncertainty and ambiguity tolerance and self -insight. (Lackeus, 2013) developed entrepreneurial behaviours, exploration of business ideas, increasing entrepreneurial attitudes, motives and intentions ( Gibb & Price 2014).

Projects enhanced student ability to deal with entrepreneurial challenges such as product design. ( Musteen et al., 2018) help students to make a pitch to businesses to attract resources or engagement, developing persuasion skills and confidence as students will use them when pitching the idea towards different areas in the target market ( Mason and Arshed, 2013). Develop creative thinking among students generating innovative solution on different problems ( Wee, 2004), and generating knowledge related to entrepreneurial process (Kruegar, 2007; Welsha et al., 2016).

Other experience practice such as assignments and presentations make student own their learning, Internship allows students to contacts with local industry and entrepreneurs, also inspire students to engage in entrepreneurship (Oyugi, 2014). allow students to improve other meta-skills. These skills may include networking, time management, communication, creativity, selling, negotiation skills as well as planning skills. Increase student’s interest in becoming an entrepreneur, giving the students real hands-on entrepreneurial experience ( Sebora, 2008). Help students to create entrepreneurship value and develop confidence in their carrier (Lackeus et al., 2013).

While experience is a great teacher, it cannot replace what can be best taught in a classroom and vice versa ( Wrenn & Bruce 2009). Application of experiential approaches in classroom implies the use of learner centered-methods to teach the content relate to theories of entrepreneurship, with the goal of active exploration and construction rather than the passivity of lecture attendance and textbook reading (Norman, 2014). These methods include brainstorming, use of video, Recitation recitation, Drill drill and practice, demonstration, assignment, discussion, guided discovery, socratic teaching, inquiry, self-assessment, cooperative groups, contracts and presentations. These methods help entrepreneur student to generate a resource of personal knowledge “for” Entrepreneurship (Garrett, 2008). Classroom learning and field learning should be balanced. Although some researchers suggest that best results for entrepreneurship can be obtained outside classroom (Wren & Bruce 2009), “Good theory without action is busy work and action without theory is not worth learning” Neck et al. (2014b). The planning for fieldwork, team project and experiments activities should be decided whether to start in second and third year after students being oriented with all theories guiding entrepreneurship field.

4. Review Summary

Analysis showed that pedagogical approaches borrowed from business management to teach “for” entrepreneurship, which has a classroom-based focus and lecture teaching methodology, basically a stand-and-deliver approach’ hinder the outcome goal of producing competent entrepreneurs. Experiential approaches are effective as they allow interaction both in classroom and outside classroom. They help students create a more tangible link between theory and practice, influenced students “attitude toward entrepreneurship as a career path” ( Musteen et al., 2018). Help those students with limited prior entrepreneurial knowledge, as they develop meaning schemes which occur through moving from a controlled process of acquiring knowledge toward an automated process of developing expertise in a field (Hagg, 2017). Help in awakening student’s desire and mind-set to develop entreprenefurial skills ( Moylan et al., 2016). A comprehensive summary has been presented in Table 1 basing on the research objective, findings and application of the findings in teaching “for” Entrepreneurship.

5. Conclusion

In this literature review, the objective was set to analyze the effective pedagogy “for” Entrepreneurship education and it’s an effective application in teaching and practice. This paper finds that education “for” Entrepreneurship aim is to produce graduates with mindsets, entrepreneurial skills and capabilities to identify,

Table 1. Comprehensive summary of the findigs from literature review.

Source: Author, Summary from literature review.

shape opportunities and develop business ventures, the study also finds that traditional approaches such as lecture and reading the text have little impact on the decision about entrepreneurship as a career, and these approaches make students less interested in becoming an entrepreneur, which would seem to defeat the goals of education “for” entrepreneurship. Learning activities that are more experiential in nature have a greater impact on developing entrepreneurial skills and the decision to become an entrepreneur. This study provides evidence that experiential approaches are effective pedagogy “for” Entrepreneurship. Educators should apply them so as to get professional entrepreneurs who can make the world a better place for living.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.


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