Edited by G. Page West III, Elizabeth J. Gatewood and Kelly G. Shaver
Chapter 10: Balsamic Vinaigrette: Entrepreneurship in the Arts and Sciences
Kelly G. Shaver* Introduction Ask the president of a liberal arts college ‘What does this place do for its students?’ There is a long list of excellent answers, none of which includes the words ‘provide job training’. One good answer might be to encourage life long interest in learning, by placing a high value on informed discussion, showing students the differences between supposition and fact and teaching them to find and use the latter. Another answer might be to encourage independent judgment by presenting contrasting – and often equally well-researched – views on important life questions. In this sense, the liberally educated student may prefer ‘it depends’ as his or her answer of choice, but will also be able to indicate the factors that should be considered in reaching one decision or the other. A third answer might be to provide a connection to the world’s intellectual traditions through general education requirements that lead students to study several topics – outside of an academic major or minor – in detail. Merely scratching the intellectual surface fails to provide sufficient background for understanding. Compare these objectives of a liberal arts education with several descriptions of the nature of entrepreneurial behavior. One major current textbook on entrepreneurship notes: [S]eeking opportunities, taking risks beyond security and having the tenacity to push an idea through to reality combine into a special perspective that . . . can be exhibited inside or outside an organization, in profit or not-for-profit enterprises, and in business or nonbusiness activities for the purpose of...
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