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Understanding the heterogeneity of entrepreneurship education: going beyond Gartner

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Abstract:

Purpose ‐ This paper seeks to draw attention to the importance of appreciating and using ever-present diversity to achieve increased legitimacy for entrepreneurship education. As such, it aims to draw the reader into a reflective process of discovery as to why entrepreneurship education is important and how such importance can be prolonged. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper revisits Gartner's 1985 conceptual framework for understanding the complexity of entrepreneurship. The paper proposes an alternative framework based on the logic of Gartner's framework to advance the understanding of entrepreneurship education. The authors discuss the dimensions of the proposed framework and explain the nature of the dialogic relations contained within. Findings ‐ It is argued that the proposed conceptual framework provides a new way to understand ever-present heterogeneity related to the development and delivery of entrepreneurship education. Practical implications ‐ The paper extends an invitation to the reader to audit their own involvement and proximity to entrepreneurship education. It argues that increased awareness of the value that heterogeneity plays in student learning outcomes and programme branding is directly related to the presence of heterogeneity across the dimensions of the conceptual framework. Originality/value ‐ The paper introduces a simple yet powerful means of understanding what factors contribute to the success or otherwise of developing and delivering entrepreneurship education. The simplicity of the approach suggested provides all entrepreneurship educators with the means to audit all facets of their programme.

Keywords: Educational philosophy; Enterprise education; Entrepreneurialism; Heterogeneity; Legitimacy

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00400911111185026

Publication date: November 22, 2011

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