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An analysis of core entrepreneurial competencies, their interdependencies and their cultivating approaches in virtual education using a collective intelligence methodology

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dc.contributor.advisor Murphy, Eamonn
dc.contributor.advisor O'Reilly, John
dc.contributor.advisor Hogan, Michael
dc.contributor.advisor Cleary, Brendan Rezaei-Zadeh, Morteza 2015-01-22T17:36:57Z 2015-01-22T17:36:57Z 2014
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract In 2012, an OECD1 report entitled, ‘Education at a glance’ highlighted a dramatic increase in the unemployment rate of university graduates in many OECD countries. Since entrepreneurship is frequently seen as an important factor in reducing unemployment in nations and in specific groups including university graduates, Entrepreneurship Education (EE) has become an increasingly important focus of research. Despite this potential important impact, EE programmes are suffered by a number of gaps and shortcomings, such as: ignoring their stakeholders in the process of curriculum design, using traditional teaching methods, high ambiguity about the important entrepreneurial competencies, lack of appropriate use of educational technologies, and lack of clarity about the role of context. Furthermore, e-learning is emerging as the new paradigm of modern education with a radical growth and technology is expected to positively affect EE. In this light, the current study seeks to contribute to EE literature by designing an e-learning based entrepreneurship curriculum which –against the gaps above- effectively stimulates students’ entrepreneurial competencies. Moreover, in order to review the impact of cultural factors on EE, this study was conducted in two countries with different backgrounds: Iran and Ireland. Implementing five Interactive Management (IM) sessions as an exploratory collective intelligence method and six focus groups by active participation of Irish and Iranian academics, students and entrepreneurs, this study: - Identified ‘Productive Thinking’, ‘Motivation’, ‘Interpersonal skills’ and ‘Leadership’ competencies as the key entrepreneurial competencies which enable university students to create their own innovative job opportunities after their graduation; - Explored the inter-dependencies between these entrepreneurial competencies. In the sample as a whole, the critical mass and total influence scores for categories of competencies suggest that a focus on Productive thinking competencies – such as Tolerance for ambiguity - may serve to significantly enhance specific Motivation, Interpersonal, and Leadership competencies. 1 The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) - Generated and classified two sets of cultivation approaches (solutions) which could be implemented in an e-learning platform for enhancing the first two highly recommended entrepreneurial competencies (Productive Thinking and Motivation) in students. When considering these solutions, it was emerged that they are significantly aligned with two well-known educational theories: Cooperative and Experiential Learning. Therefore, the key features of cooperative learning (positive interdependence, individual accountability, promotive interaction, social skills and group processing), as well as the main cycles of experiential learning (concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualisation and active experimentation) and their affordances for implementing those solutions in an e-learning platform are outlined. It was also argued that while culture matters to entrepreneurship, dividing countries into “developing” and “developed” categories may cloud our understanding of the subtle similarities and differences across cultures. Another cultural contribution of this study was that while Hofstede’s cultural dimensions are dominantly used in cross-cultural entrepreneurship studies, they do not adequately describe cross-country differences in the context of entrepreneurship. Therefore, further information from other resources such as Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) and from other perspectives such as economic, politics, and infrastructures should be used in an entrepreneurship cross-country study. To sum up, if EE is to be effective in reducing university graduates unemployment rate, it must meet some pre-requirements highlighted by this study. Resisting against these required improvements can result in enhancing passiveness and ineffectiveness of EE programmes. The most important pre-requirement is an evolution in the teaching methods applied in these programmes. Traditional teaching methods should be replaced by non-traditional cooperative-experiential methods which stimulate students’ right-hemisphere. The second pre-requirement is paying attention to specific know-how soft competencies including Productive Thinking, Motivation, Interpersonal skills, and Leadership in order to educate students ‘for’ entrepreneurship instead of ‘about’ entrepreneurship. Third, EE stakeholders should be engaged in the process of curriculum deign in order to make sure that their needs and preferences are met by the curriculum. Fourth, appropriate use of educational technologies and e-learning platforms should be a priority in order to facilitate the process of conducting cooperative-experiential cultivating approaches generated by this study. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.subject OECD en_US
dc.subject university graduates en_US
dc.subject e-learning en_US
dc.subject unemployment en_US
dc.title An analysis of core entrepreneurial competencies, their interdependencies and their cultivating approaches in virtual education using a collective intelligence methodology en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/doctoralThesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US

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