The Problem Discussed in the Article
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In a traditional setting, two-year colleges have applied entrepreneurial education on a narrow spectrum focusing only on aspects that are relevant to individual course programs. Martinez-Lopez’s (2009) article, “Creating an Entrepreneurial Culture at Two Year Colleges” identifies the lack of an entrepreneurial culture as the primary problem facing two-year colleges, especially when it comes to implementing entrepreneurial education.
The problem could be due to the inability of colleges to effectively communicate entrepreneurial messages through their mission and vision statements. According to Martinez-Lopez (2009), this problem can explain the high failure rate of businesses opened up by fresh graduates. Additionally, most of the colleges fail to develop pertinent relationships with external organizations that can facilitate entrepreneurial knowledge transfer through academic staff to the students. Regarding the mission and vision statements, the article also identifies the lack of involvement of organizational stakeholders, namely, staff, students, and faculty, in their strategic implementation. This situation hints that the stakeholders lack an opportunity to practically apply their entrepreneurial skills.
The article also denotes a lack of entrepreneurial initiative by the institutions’ stakeholders as a key hindrance to the development of entrepreneurial culture by two-year colleges. This claim could be due to the lack of proper entrepreneurship skills, for instance, technical, creativity, and team building expertise, among the staff, students, and faculty. In addition, among the minorities, Martinize-Lopez (2009) calls to attention the absence of entrepreneurial role models who can inspire undergraduates who are preparing to enter the market to make a difference in the society. Finally, the article also claims that poor development and the integration of entrepreneurial culture in the colleges result from entrepreneurial staff failing to utilize entrepreneurship opportunities to solve real world situations.
To enforce an entrepreneurial culture, two-year colleges need to develop mission and vision statements that inspire members to pay more attention to the organizational, entrepreneurial, and educational strategy. Moreover, colleges should involve the staff, students, and faculty in the implementation of the entrepreneurial strategy through hiring them as members of the strategic entrepreneurial team.
To help undergraduates and staff better utilize entrepreneurial opportunities, the colleges should help to nurture their entrepreneurial skills. Consequently, Martinize-Lopez (2009) hypothesizes that due to undergraduates’ motivation to improve their communities and personal financial status, it is easier to adopt an entrepreneurial culture in colleges that serve a high proportion of minority students. To improve the success of entrepreneurial education initiatives, multidisciplinary teams that encompass staff, learners, and faculty should be developed. In addition, the adoption of entrepreneurial culture in two-year colleges can be more successful if staff members and faculty can be encouraged to solve real-world situations.
The Need for the Study
Martinize-Lopez (2009) seeks to investigate the role and impact of colleges’ mission and vision in creating an entrepreneurial culture with reference to learners, faculty, and staff, specifically during the implementation of industrial aspects. There is also the need to investigate the role of an entrepreneurial strategic process and commercial education in helping students to compete in the market after graduation. Since entrepreneurial education and success are important, there is a need to establish how entrepreneurial initiatives can improve the relationship between the two elements.
Moreover, more review needs to be done explaining why it is easier to adopt an entrepreneurial culture in minority colleges. Martinize-Lopez (2009) also seeks to evaluate the significance of multidisciplinary entrepreneurial teams in the development of entrepreneurial educational initiatives. Furthermore, the study examines why and how the faculty and staff can improve the development of entrepreneurial initiatives and culture using their skills to solve real-world problems.
The study uses the interview method. Through this method, the interviewer conducts a controlled conversation with a respondent through asking pertinent questions that are relevant to the study objectives. The interviewer can choose to either use an unstructured or semi-structured approach. For the study, the article applies the unstructured approach to allow respondents to give an in-depth insight into the subject.
The selection of the respondents was based on their role in developing an entrepreneurial culture in their respective college institutions. In this regard, five institutions were selected due to their success in creating and integrating an entrepreneurial culture. The institutions included the Blank Center for Entrepreneurship at Babson College, Bard Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Denver, Barkley Center for Entrepreneurship at New York University, the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, and the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship.
Martinez – Lopez (2009) sets a section on literature review where he establishes entrepreneurship as a process of creating and recognizing opportunities through innovation and decision-making. Organizational culture refers a value and belief system shared by members of a group or organization. Therefore, according to the article, entrepreneurship culture entails a system of beliefs and values used in the creating and recognizing opportunities through innovation and decision-making. To create a robust entrepreneurial culture, two-year colleges need to set appropriate vision and mission statements that resonate with the institutions’ commercial customs.
Moreover, they need to ensure they involve the students, staff, and faculty in implementing the entrepreneurial vision and mission. According to Martinez-Lopez (2009), an entrepreneurial culture should encompass the following characteristics: innovation, risk-taking, attention to detail, outcome orientation by management, people orientation, team orientation, aggressiveness/competitiveness, and stability. Additionally, human talent, external environment, and resource provision opportunities are critical elements that need to be factored and changed by the colleges during the creation of an entrepreneurial culture.
To compete in the aggressive market, Martinez-Lopez (2009) asserts that two-year colleges will need to adopt a strategic entrepreneurship process. This strategy will help them to identify innovation opportunities using cross-entrepreneurship processes that can benefit their institution. Cross-entrepreneurial processes involve integrating all organizational areas through identifying and satisfying internal and external needs of the consumers who include students, faculty, and staff. In this context, the article defines strategic entrepreneurship as the process through which the management formulates plans for achieving the strategic goals of an organization through actionable processes. The author suggests the creation of an entrepreneurial strategic team to guarantee the adoption of the institution’s culture.
Due to the increasing demand for entrepreneurial education, there is the need for colleges to study and/or adopt new trends in this area. Entrepreneurship education is concerned with offering students in colleges and universities curricular issues that enable them to develop entrepreneurship skills. The colleges’ alumni may implement such expertise in the business environment. Through entrepreneurial learning, students can learn to create, recognize, and develop opportunities.
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The essential entrepreneurial skills taught in entrepreneurial education include team creative skills, technical expertise, and team-building tactics. According to evidence-based research, two-year colleges where majority of the students are from minority populations have an easier time developing an entrepreneurial culture. This situation may arise because of the need to improve their current financial status while giving back to their community.
Study Assumptions, Limitations, and Potential for Future Research
The study asserts that two-year colleges have a higher chance of being successful in creating an entrepreneurial culture if students, staff, and faculty are incorporated into the strategic entrepreneurial team. This observation can be enhanced through the support by the top management. The article also acknowledges the assumption that it is easier to develop initiatives for entrepreneurial education in two-year colleges where minority learners constitute a large part of the population. The article also assumes that entrepreneurial educational initiatives would be more successful if multidisciplinary teams could be developed integrating students, staff, and faculty.
Finally, the article assumes that the faculty members may attain a considerable success in teaching entrepreneurial knowledge if they apply it to solve real-world problems. However, the study fails to establish a concrete difference between entrepreneurial education in two-year and four-year colleges, thus suggesting the need for more investigation into the area in the future. The paper suggests the need for an empirical and analytical study on the six propositions that can formulate a testable hypothesis.
Conclusion for Research Findings
The paper highlights the various contributions made by studying how two-year colleges can create an entrepreneurial culture through entrepreneurial education. The article also sets to identify how two-year colleges can identify and develop entrepreneurial educational initiatives in their college community. The article incites a discussion regarding the importance of the study in identifying the differences that exist between entrepreneurial education at two and four-year colleges.
Furthermore, the article provides practical actions for creating an entrepreneurial culture at two-year colleges. According to the paper, a strategic entrepreneurial process should create an interdisciplinary team responsible for reviewing the mission and vision, identifying university practices, recognizing common aspects in disciplines that can be used to develop entrepreneurial projects, presenting entrepreneurial action plan for an academic year, and setting modalities for assessing the success of the set plans.
The article emphasizes the importance of top management in creating an entrepreneurial culture. This issue is supported by the fact that managers are directly involved in interacting with subordinates. This finding strategically matches Griffin and Moorhead’s (2014) sentiments concerning employee motivation and organizational behavior. By motivating subordinates, resolving conflicts, ensuring proper job assignments, evaluating employee performance, and helping workers to set goals, managers can nurture and shape organizational behavior (Griffin & Moorhead, 2014).
For instance, top management in two-year colleges can motivate the faculty, students, and staff to adopt an entrepreneurial culture. Nonetheless, the article fails to structurally outline and expound on the four basic functions of managers in creating and developing an entrepreneurial culture in two-year colleges. The functions include planning, organization, leadership, and control. In terms of planning, the manager formulates the future position of the institution.
Organizing entails the process of designing and assigning various jobs such as an entrepreneurial department among others and establishing authority in them. Through leadership, managers should motivate the staff, faculty, and students to adopt an entrepreneurial culture. Finally, the management should control the learners and faculty by ensuring that their actions are in line with the entrepreneurial culture.
Based on theoretical aspects of the article, entrepreneurial skills can be developed through the recognition, creation, and development of opportunities. In this regard, the author successfully highlights three important skills, namely, technical, team building, and creativity. However, students and faculty may require additional managerial skills to productively adopt an entrepreneurial culture.
The article highlights seven characteristics of organizational behavior. The traits include innovation and risk-taking, attention to detail, outcome orientation, people orientation, team direction, aggressiveness, and stability. However, these characteristics can be grouped into three basic concepts, namely, individual processes, interpersonal elements, and organizational aspects. Individual processes include stress, motivation, decision-making, and foundation.
Furthermore, such processes produce individual outcomes such as performance, productivity, attitudes, absenteeism, and turnover. Interpersonal processes encompass communication, teams and groups, leadership, conflict, and negotiation. Some of the results produced by this category are performance, cohesion, productivity, satisfaction, and norms. The third category is organizational processes, which include design, culture, structure, and change.
According to the article, by using real world situations as opportunities to apply entrepreneurial knowledge, the staff, students, and faculty can transform their knowledge into action. This strategy is underscored by the concept of systems where the organizational system receives inputs such as material, human, financial, and information. The system transforms them into outputs, including products/services, employee behaviors, profits/losses, and new information.
In this context, students, staff, and faculty represent the inputs while real world situations such as political and legal issues are the opportunities to be used to come up with the solutions/outputs. On the other hand, the view of transforming inputs into outputs is contrasted by the ideologies of situational perspective and interactionism. Situational perspective proposes that most outcomes are not only influenced by the system but also by other situational factors.
Unlike the systems approach, the situational approach suggests that organizational situations or problems should be evaluated in relation to elements of the problem, which would then demonstrate situational ways of responding. In relation to interactionism, when people join an organization, Griffin and Moorhead (2014) explain that their behaviors and actions have the ability to shape the organization in various ways. In a similar manner, two-year colleges may shape the entrepreneurial culture of their students and vice versa through student-institution interactions.
Griffin, R., & Moorhead, G. (2014). Organizational behavior: Managing people and organizations. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Martinez-Lopez, C. (2009). Creating an entrepreneurial culture at two year colleges. Review of Business Research, 9(2), 76-85.