Entrepreneurship education: a need for reflection, real-world experience and action

Hemant Kassean, Jeff Vanevenhoven, Eric Liguori, Doan E. Winkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

225 Scopus citations


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of common undergraduate entrepreneurship classroom activities on students’ motivational processes related to entrepreneurial careers. Design/methodology/approach – In total, 700 undergraduate students from a variety of majors at a large midwestern university in the USA were invited to take a web-based survey. They were asked to indicate which experiential activities they would participate/were participating in as part of their program. Findings – The findings show that students’ entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE) is a driving force in classroom activities enhancing students’ intentions. However, the authors also found that the type of classroom activities that are common in entrepreneurship education negatively impact students’ ESE. Research limitations/implications – The generalizability is limited to the US region and the link from intention to behavior goes untested, but results strongly supported the adoption of social cognitive career theory to the entrepreneurship domain. Practical implications – This study lends support to the argument that promoting the learning process in entrepreneurship education should focus on real-world experience, action, and reflective processes to engage students in authentic learning, which should lead to greater entrepreneurial abilities and propensity, and eventually to enhanced entrepreneurial performance, which benefits individuals and societies. Social implications – This study suggests that the goals and pedagogical approaches to teaching entrepreneurship are issues that educators may need to revisit and update if the economic benefits of entrepreneurship are to be fully realized. Originality/value – While the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurship activity is well documented in extant literature, this study found that activities that are common in entrepreneurship education may negatively impact students’ ESE and need to be further explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)690-708
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)


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