Issues and Newness
Edited by Alain Fayolle
Chapter 3: Entrepreneurship Education: Can Business Schools Meet the Challenge?
David A. Kirby Introduction According to Brockhaus (2001: xiv) ‘one of the first courses [in entrepreneurship or small business] was offered at the Harvard Business School in 1947. Peter Drucker taught another early course at New York University in 1953’. However, it was only in the last two decades of the twentieth century that any considerable attention was paid by academia to the role of higher education in the creation of graduate entrepreneurs (Hills, 1986; Scott and Twomey, 1988). With the publication of Birch’s (1979) findings on the role of new small businesses in the creation of employment opportunities in the USA, and the advent of governments in America and Great Britain that focused on reducing the level of state intervention and increasing individual responsibility, governments around the world became interested in the creation of cultures that would promote enterprise and create new ventures. Subsequently, education systems have been charged, in varying degrees, with bringing this about. Nowhere has this been demonstrated more clearly than in the UK. In 1997, the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education (1997: 201) recommended universities to ‘consider the scope for encouraging entrepreneurship through innovative approaches to programme design’, and by 2000 business and entrepreneurial development had been listed as one of four strategic goals for British universities (Universities UK, 2000). Despite such external influences, there has been considerable debate within the academic community over whether universities in general and business schools in particular can or should contribute. To some, entrepreneurs are born not...
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