Annals of Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy – 2014
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Annals of Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy – 2014

Edited by Michael H. Morris

A sizable gap exists between the ample demands for (and growing supply of) entrepreneurship education and our understanding of how to best approach the teaching and learning of entrepreneurship. To help close this gap, the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) has identified some of the most important and provocative work on entrepreneurship education over the years, and worked with the authors of this work to produce updated perspectives. The intent is to capture the richest insights and best practices in teaching entrepreneurship, building entrepreneurship curricula, and developing educational programs.
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Chapter 10: Design-centered entrepreneurship: a process for designing opportunities

Michael G. Goldsby, Donald F. Kuratko and Thomas Nelson


Shane and Venkataraman (2000) assert that the domain of entrepreneurship at its essence is based on how people pursue opportunities. Previous work examining the opportunity phenomena include Schumpeter’s concept of ‘creative destruction’ (Schumpeter, 1942: 81–86), Kirzner’s emphasis on entrepreneurial alertness (Kirzner, 1997; Shane, 2003) and the idea that opportunities are created by the entrepreneur’s actions (Aldrich and Ruef, 2006). These landmark studies are descriptive of where opportunities come from and what entrepreneurs typically do in pursuing them. While useful in better understanding the opportunity phenomenon, a new line of prescriptive research is being developed that offers guidelines in how entrepreneurs should pursue opportunity. The premise of prescriptive research is that while we may gain knowledge on what entrepreneurs typically do, might there be better ways they could pursue opportunity if they were taught a different way? The two leading prescriptive models are systematic search and effectuation. Systematic search is not a theory of how entrepreneurs find and exploit business ideas, rather it is an empirically tested system that produces superior results when compared to unconstrained search (Fiet, 2002, 2007; Fiet et al., 2007; Fiet, Piskounov and Patel, 2005). That is, systematic search is a theory of what entrepreneurs should do, rather than an explanation of what they do do. Systematic search is a pre-business guide to idea discovery.

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