Annals in Entrepreneurship Education series
Edited by Michael H. Morris
Chapter 2: Links between learning speed and opportunity recognition
The ability to recognize opportunities is arguably one of the cornerstones of new venture creation and entrepreneurship. In today’s fast paced economy, the ability to identify, absorb and act upon information is a valued skill often related to success, especially in business fields. In fact, most would agree that without opportunities there is, in fact, no entrepreneurship (Shane and Venkataraman, 2000). However, there is still no consensus on the process or key skills required to build an aptitude in opportunity recognition. While there has been significant research on the topic, the research has not been translated in a concise and broadly accepted manner in the classroom. The models and pedagogy used by educators to teach opportunity recognition vary significantly from institution to institution, educator to educator, and class to class. More than a decade ago, in two associated research efforts, Fiet (2001a, 2001b) reminded educators in the entrepreneurship discipline of the integrated nature of scholarship and pedagogy to inform each other. Yet, like many young disciplines, one could argue that our scholarship has not yet been effectively transferred into the classroom. In this chapter, we review the scholarship in opportunity recognition (OR), experiential learning and learning theory with a goal of discovering more effective models for teaching opportunity recognition. Entrepreneurship as a field of research has grown in interest to both scholars and practitioners (Aldrich and Fiol, 1994; Burt, 1997; Lumpkin and Dess, 1996; Shane and Venkataraman, 2000).
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