Ideas and Insights from Engineering, Science, Medicine and Arts
Edited by Satish Nambisan
Chapter 10: Towards a cross-disciplinary understanding of entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is not merely “a thing that business people do to start companies.” It is a way of thinking – an approach towards discovering and pursuing opportunities (solving problems) in ways not constrained by the present – that finds application in diverse contexts and institutions (new and old; public and private). It emphasizes imagining new possibilities in the face of high uncertainty, committing one to putting valuable ideas into practice and finding a broader meaning in one’s ideas and actions. As such, entrepreneurship can be practiced (and indeed has relevance) in careers and contexts in a wide range of fields – from engineering, science, and technology to arts and design to health and medicine. It also has equal relevance whether one works in the private, non-profit, or public sector. No wonder then programs and courses on entrepreneurship have taken root in schools and institutes across the disciplinary spectrum. This is definitely good news. At the same time, there seems to be little consensus in the different fields on how we should help our students develop skills and capabilities for entrepreneurial pursuits. One approach has been for students in various disciplines to register for entrepreneurship and innovation management courses offered by business schools. Such courses would definitely help them gain a business perspective and a sound understanding of the more general entrepreneurship-related activities (e.g. developing a business plan).
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