Handbook of Research on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Edited by Elizabeth Chell and Mine Karataş-Özkan

This insightful Handbook focuses on behaviour, performance and relationships in small and entrepreneurial firms. It introduces a variety of contemporary topics, research methods and theoretical frameworks that will provide cutting edge analysis, stimulate thought, raise further questions and demonstrate the complexity of the rapidly-advancing field of entrepreneurship.
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Chapter 15: Entrepreneurship education: what we know and what we need to know

Janice Byrne, Alain Fayolle and Olivier Toutain


Over the last few decades, entrepreneurship has become a global policy darling and has been promoted as a solution to a range of societal and economic ills. The first decade of the millennium has seen national governments, international organizations (i.e. UNESCO, OECD, the European Commission), civil society groups and others increasingly advocate the importance of entrepreneurship and the role that education plays in igniting it (World Economic Forum, 2009). This surge of support for entrepreneurship education and training has continued despite some researchers' reservations regarding the political promotion of entrepreneurship as an unequivocal source of economic and societal good (Shane, 2009; Jones and Spicer, 2009). Doubts have also been expressed as to the legitimacy and maturity of entrepreneurship education (Kuratko, 2005; Katz, 2008) and others have criticized the predominant approach to how we teach entrepreneurship (Honig, 2004; Neck and Greene, 2011). Governments investing in this area need to commit to research examining entrepreneurship education in order to improve the evidence base, to evaluate the impact of interventions and to gain a clearer idea of what policies might work more effectively in which contexts (Pittaway and Cope, 2007). Teachers and academics in the field of entrepreneurship would also benefit from re-thinking how they approach entrepreneurship education (Neck and Greene, 2011). Entrepreneurship education is a troubled research object and theoretical field. The field has been found to suffer from an acute lack of theoretical grounding (Béchard and Grégoire, 2005).

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