Ideas and Insights from Engineering, Science, Medicine and Arts
Edited by Satish Nambisan
Chapter 2: Engineering entrepreneurship: developing an entrepreneurial mindset
The purpose of this chapter is to define entrepreneurial mindset and relate how it is particularly important within the field of engineering. A mindset is an outlook and collection of attitudes applicable when approaching any situation. Entrepreneurial mindset is at the root of entrepreneurial behavior. In contrast, a traditional study of entrepreneurship may focus on innovations, obtaining resources and funding, and following entrepreneurial business practices and processes. While these are valuable, an individual’s entrepreneurial mindset is the true engine of value creation. Many researchers have attempted to identify core entrepreneurial attributes, behaviors, and mental models. These types of studies focus on the personal agency of the entrepreneur. Our focus is upon the underlying entrepreneurial mindset that can be applied in any situation, becoming an entire outlook on life. It can be applied in any context, within a new venture or within an existing organization. In particular circumstances, an entrepreneurial mindset might lead to entrepreneurship in the traditional sense of the word. We demonstrate how this broad and succinct definition of entrepreneurial mindset is particularly suited to engineering. It is valuable to acknowledge that over the past several decades there has been significant debate about the value of studying the personal attributes of the entrepreneurs themselves. While personality plays a moderate role, a study indicates that there is little ability to predict entrepreneurial intentions or entrepreneurial performance based on personality traits.
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