Abstract

The number of entrepreneurship classes at universities has grown rapidly in recent years. But (how) can such offers effectively motivate and qualify students for entrepreneurial careers? Empirical studies have shown a positive impact of taking entrepreneurship classes on students’ entrepreneurial intentions (e.g. Souitaris et al., 2007; Peterman and Kennedy, 2003) but have not differentiated teaching styles and neglected the university and individual context. Teaching styles include active modes that emphasize active experimentation (e.g. business plan seminars) and reflective modes that emphasize reflective observation (e.g. lectures).

This paper illuminates how the extent of entrepreneurship education within university departments influences students’ entrepreneurial intentions (and its drivers as suggested by the theory of planned behavior: attitudes to the behavior, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control). Specifically, we argue that the effect of such education is not the same for all contexts, but is (1) contingent on its mode (active vs. reflective), (2) contingent on the regional context and (3) complemented by individual-level influences.

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