Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Nature vs. nurture: Who is interested in entrepreneurship education? A study of business and technology undergraduates based on Social Cognitive Career Theory
by Bernstein, Andrew, Ph.D., The George Washington University, 2011, 169; 3433540
Abstract (Summary)

Research suggests high school students are interested in starting businesses, however few students possess the knowledge to do so. Undergraduate entrepreneurship education intends to address this gap by increasing students’ understanding of entrepreneurship and their likelihood of success as entrepreneurs. However, since formal entrepreneurship education is not a prerequisite to become an entrepreneur, the question arises as to the perceived value proposition of undergraduate entrepreneurship offerings.

This research takes a step toward understanding the value proposition of the undergraduate entrepreneurship major and elective by examining the effects of educational self-efficacy, entrepreneurship career self-efficacy, and the outcome expectation of increased likelihood of success as an entrepreneur through a Social Cognitive Career Theory framework.

The results identify a positive relationship between self-efficacy for having successful entrepreneurial careers and interest in entrepreneurship education. While students perceived positive outcome expectations for both types of undergraduate entrepreneurship education options, results differed based on level of self-efficacy.

Students with lower levels of self-efficacy perceive the entrepreneurship major or entrepreneurship elective as improving their success as entrepreneurs over alternative educational options. However, students with higher levels of self-efficacy agreed at similar levels that an entrepreneurship major or a non-entrepreneurship major would both increase their likelihood of success as an entrepreneur.

The implications of the findings of this research suggest: (1) Increasing secondary school students’ understanding and awareness of entrepreneurship could lead to greater levels of interest in entrepreneurship careers and undergraduate entrepreneurship education regardless of the students’ intended field of study. (2) Integration of entrepreneurship education components into non-entrepreneurship undergraduate curricula could lead to increased interest in entrepreneurship careers and entrepreneurship education.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Carayannis, Elias G.
Commitee: Alexander, Jeffrey, Cseh, Maria, Donnelly, Richard G., Waters, Robert C.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Management
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 72/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Entrepreneurship, Business education
Keywords: Business and technology education, Entrepreneurship education, Entrepreneurship elective, Entrepreneurship major, Undergraduates
Publication Number: 3433540
ISBN: 978-1-124-39178-6
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