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Filling in the Blanks: ‘Black Boxes’ in Enterprise/Entrepreneurship Education


Special issue call for papers from International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

Aims & Scope


The number of programmes and courses offered in entrepreneurship has exploded in the past couple of decades (Kuratko, 2005; Katz, 2003; 2008; Nabi et al 2016). Corresponding to this growth in educational programmes, entrepreneurship education research has become a field in its own right (Fayolle et al., 2006, Pittaway and Cope, 2007a, Fayolle, 2007; Fayolle and Kyrö, 2008, Neck and Green, 2011). Indeed, existing studies have been particularly adept in examining different forms of pedagogy (Pittaway and Cope, 2007a) and the way that entrepreneurship education influences students’ propensity for, and intentions of entrepreneurship (Bae et al., 2014). However, entrepreneurship education research is still a young scholarly field that struggles for legitimacy (Fayolle, 2013), and there are needs for more robust intellectual foundations that can inform and advance the current knowledge base, both at theoretical and methodological levels (Pittaway and Cope, 2007a; Fayolle, Verzat & Wapshott, 2016). In this respect, a number of topics remain un(der)explored that we perceive as ‘black boxes’ in entrepreneurship education. They include but are not limited to the following:

First, research into how entrepreneurship education contributes to the development of active, employable, and entrepreneurial citizens remains scarce. Indeed, we know far too little about the variability of outcomes of student learning, both in the short and the long-term. Furthermore, while experiential forms of learning are often taken for granted in entrepreneurship education, there is a need for research on different learning approaches (including experiential and transformational) and how these approaches may help foster learning (Pittaway and Cope, 2007b). Research is also needed on how individuals are involved with different types of educational experiences and interventions, as well as explorations of differences in motivations for and immersion in entrepreneurship education and learning (Kassean et al, 2015). We would like to see research that takes into account differences among individuals as learners (Corbett, 2007; Politis and Gabrielsson, 2015). Contributions that investigate the ways that entrepreneurial competencies are developed, that is, offering insights into “how, when, why and what” entrepreneurial competencies are learned over time (and in particular circumstances – see the next “black box”) are particularly welcomed (Lackeus, 2015).

Second, the impact of context is a topic that is rarely addressed in the entrepreneurship education literature compared to what is found in entrepreneurship research, overall (Welter, 2011; Welter at al., 2016). For example, the role of institutions and regulations set up by governments and universities remains underexplored (Walter and Block, 2016). However, context clearly plays an important role in what is possible, achievable, and appropriate in entrepreneurship education (Urban and Kujinga, 2017; Refai and Klapper, 2016). We would like to see submissions that investigate and critically assess how context (broadly defined) limits or facilitates the kinds of opportunities and challenges that educators and students encounter.  Besides institutional and cultural aspects of context, we seek manuscripts that might explore such questions as: What role does space and place play in the unfolding of entrepreneurial learning?  How are tensions between freedom and creativity on one hand and control and accountability on the other recognized and “managed” in entrepreneurial learning?

Third, entrepreneurship education seems to exist in a vacuum, that is, it fails to recognize a broad and deep literature about the nature of learning and pedagogical innovation (Fayolle, et al., 2016), even though many of the approaches used in entrepreneurship education have a long history in educational science (Fayolle, 2013). For example, entrepreneurship education often draws on notions of experiential and transformational learning, reinterpreting these in an entrepreneurship/ enterprise context. We also tend to borrow liberally from psychology when trying to understand student behaviour (e.g., Krueger & Carsrud, 1993; Wilson et al., 2007) and from e.g. design-thinking or action learning to devise learning activities (Rae, 2012). Therefore, we would encourage contributions that address and even problematize the cross-fertilization that takes place between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial learning and insights into learning and education from other disciplines.

Finally, intentions and self-efficacy measures have traditionally been a major focus for exploring the outcomes of entrepreneurship education (Nabi et al., 2015).  We encourage submissions that would evaluate other kinds of outcome measures, particularly research that explores how entrepreneurship education impacts the behaviours of individuals engaged in entrepreneurship. We are looking for contributions that use innovative samples and/or methodologies to collect and analyze the data on a broad range of entrepreneurial activities and outcomes. We welcome research needs that addresses how the impact of entrepreneurship education is measured, particularly research that might capture possible unintended or adverse outcomes of entrepreneurship education. Longitudinal approaches for studying entrepreneurship education and learning are of particular interest. Most research in entrepreneurship education tends to focus on samples from single universities, so we would welcome comparisons of university programmes or comparisons of university programmes with other forms of training programmes. We also encourage research that aims at developing new ways to measure the impact of entrepreneurship education.

We would like to encourage a diversity of methods and approaches to tackle the above issues as some black boxes lend themselves better to either conceptual, qualitative or quantitative designs, and we will be open to novel approaches. However, we will stress rigour and transparency, so we encourage contributions that incorporate recent methodological advances (e.g. Gioia et al, 2012).

Submission Guidelines:

All submissions are subject to the standard double-blind review process. Manuscripts must be original, unpublished works not concurrently under review for publication at any other outlet and are expected to follow the standard formatting guidelines for the journal. Submission must be made through the ScholarOne site at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ijebr by April 30th 2018. Submissions should be prepared according to the Author Guidelines found at http://emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=ijebr


When submitting your manuscript, please ensure you select this special issue from the relevant drop-down menu. Reviews will be conducted through mid to late-2018, aiming at publication for those accepted expected in late 2019.

Initial inquiries can be directed to any of the Guest Editors at the following email addresses:
Helle Neergaard (Helle.Neergaard@mgmt.au.dk)
William B. Gartner (wgartner@babson.edu)
Ulla Hytti (ullhyt@utu.fi)
Diamanto Politis (diamanto.politis@fek.lu.se)
David Rae (david.rae@dmu.ac.uk)

REFERENCES
Bae, T. J., Qian, S., Miao, C. & Fiet, J. O. (2014) The Relationship between Entrepreneurship Education and Entrepreneurial Intentions: A Meta‐analytic Review. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 38(2) 217-254
Corbett, A.C. (2007) Learning Asymmetries and the Discovery of Entrepreneurial Opportunities.  Journal of Business Venturing, 22(1) 97–118.
Fayolle, A. (Ed.). (2007) Handbook of Research in Entrepreneurship Education: A General Perspective (Vol. 1). Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK
Fayolle, A. (2013) Personal Views on the Future of Entrepreneurship Education. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 25(7-8) 692-701
Fayolle, A. & Kyrö. P. (Eds) (2008) The Dynamics between Entrepreneurship, Environment and Education. Edward Elgar Publishing. Cheltenham, UK
Fayolle, A., Gailly, B. & Lassas-Clerc, N. (2006) Assessing the Impact of Entrepreneurship Education Programmes: A new Methodology. Journal of European Industrial Training, 30(9) 701-720
Fayolle, A., Verzat, C. & Wapshott, R. (2016) In Quest of Legitimacy: The Theoretical and Methodological Foundations of Entrepreneurship Education Research, International Small Business Journal, 34(7), 895–904
Gioia, D A; Kevin G. Co; Hamilton, A L. (2012) Seeking Qualitative Rigor in Inductive Research: Notes on the Gioia Methodology. Organizational Research Methods, 16(1) 15-31.
Kassean, H., Vanevenhoven, J., Ligouri, E. & Winkel, D.E. (2015) Entrepreneurship Education: A Need for Reflection, Real-world Experience and Action. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 21(5) 690-708
Katz, J. A. (2003) The Chronology and Intellectual Trajectory of American Entrepreneurship Education: 1876–1999. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(2) 283-300.
Krueger, N. F., & Carsrud, A. L. (1993) Entrepreneurial Intentions: Applying the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 5(4) 315-330
Lackeus, M (2015) Entrepreneurship in Education: What, why, when, how. Entrepreneurship360. Background Paper. OECD
Nabi, G., Liñán, F., Fayolle, A., Krueger, N. & Walmsley, A. (2016) The Impact of Entrepreneurship Education in higher Education: A Systematic Review and Research Agenda. Academy of Management Learning & Education, amle-2015
Neck, H. M., & Greene, P. G. (2011) Entrepreneurship Education: Known Worlds and New Frontiers. Journal of Small Business Management, 49(1) 55-70
Pittaway, L. & Cope, J. (2007a) Entrepreneurship Education: A Systematic Review of the Evidence. International Small Business Journal, 25(5) 479-510
Pittaway, L. & Cope, J. (2007b) Simulating Entrepreneurial Learning: Integrating experiential and Collaborative Approaches to Learning. Management Learning, 38(2) 211-233
Politis, D. & Gabrielsson, J. (2015) Modes of Learning and Entrepreneurial Knowledge. International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 18(1) 101-122
Rae, D (2012) Action Learning in New Creative Ventures. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 18(5) 603-623
Refai, D. & Klapper, R. (2016) Enterprise Education in Pharmacy Schools: Experiential Learning in Institutionally Constrained Contexts. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 22(4) 485-509
Urban, B & Kujinga, L (2017) The Institutional  Environment and Social Entrepreneurship Intentions. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 23(4) 638-655
Walter, S. G., & Block, J. H. (2016) Outcomes of Entrepreneurship Education: An Institutional Perspective. Journal of Business Venturing, 31(2) 216-233
Welter, F. (2011) Contextualizing Entrepreneurship—Conceptual Challenges and Ways Forward. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 35(1) 165-184
Welter, F., Gartner, W. B., & Wright, M. (2016) The Context of Contextualizing Contexts. In: Welter, Gartner & Wright (Eds), A Research Agenda for Entrepreneurship and Context, pp. 1-15, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK
Wilson, F., Kickul, J., & Marlino, D. (2007) Gender, Entrepreneurial Self‐efficacy, and Entrepreneurial Career Intentions: Implications for Entrepreneurship Education. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 31(3) 387-406