What is the action in action-based entrepreneurship education – a case study in a management course
A bias towards action is a mantra in most entrepreneurship education courses and programs. However, defining actions that are entrepreneurial has not been thoroughly evidenced in the entrepreneurship education literature, and therefore educators and researchers continuously struggle with framing and defining the constituents of an entrepreneurial action (in singular form). Questions about the duration, temporality, quality and effect of actions in action-based entrepreneurship education endure as an important aspect to be explored since this can provide a better understanding of learning processes and subsequent pedagogical design hereof. The evident gap in both literature and teaching practice appliance enables room for researching entrepreneurial actions in a broad sense. This paper investigates the actions in action-based entrepreneurship education with the aim of contributing to the definition of actions embedded in entrepreneurship courses and programs. A thorough review of the literature on action-based entrepreneurship education provides the conceptual framework for analysis of a case study of a management course in a Danish university of applied science. The results from the case study is compared to the findings from the literature and finally discussed in relation to an understanding of actions as critical learning events and contrasting this to the field of management education where actions can be understood in the light of entrepreneurial leadership theory where Kempster and Cope (2010) emphasize that entrepreneurial leadership can be acquired by active involvement in education and training. The findings suggest a need for clarification in two areas: 1) Elaboration of the context of actions when educators ask students to undertake/pursue these, and 2) The growing need to develop an action-based pedagogy within entrepreneurship education.