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Encouraging Future Entrepreneurs: The Effect of Entrepreneurship Course Characteristics on Entrepreneurial Intention

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abstract Entrepreneurship courses can influence the entrepreneurial intention of the participants. However, if we want to design entrepreneurship courses responsibly and effectively, simply knowing that we can change entrepreneurial intention is not sufficient. We also need to understand why the change occurs: Which educational characteristics are more influential than others? How do they influence entrepreneurial intention through antecedent cognitive structures? Such insights can then be used for curriculum development.

The present study combines exploratory and quantitative research methods. The exploratory part of the study consisted of semi-structured interviews, written learning reflections, and complementary interviews with experts in pedagogy. The objective was to derive hypotheses about course characteristics with a positive influence on the antecedents of entrepreneurial intention.

The hypotheses were tested with a quantitative study which was designed as an ex ante/ex post measurement. 465 valid pairs of ex ante/ex post questionnaires were filled out by students participating in entrepreneurship courses at 17 German-speaking universities. Ajzen's model of planned behaviour served as the underlying theoretical model.

The validity of Ajzen's model was successfully tested using multivariate regressions. The hypotheses regarding the influence of course characteristics on attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control were tested by calculating bivariate correlations. Seven educational variables have been identified which can positively influence the antecedents of entrepreneurial intention: conveying practical knowledge, business planning activities, the integration of role models, options for building up networks, student-oriented teaching, explorative elements, and the integration of feedback processes.

Most of the effective identified course elements require actions on the part of the students and are hence linked to experiential learning.
   
type thesis (English)
   
keywords Entrepreneurship education; entrepreneurial intention; theory of planned behavior
   
project The Effectiveness of Entrepreneurship Education
university Universit├Ąt St. Gallen
evaluator Prof. Dr. Thierry Volery, Prof. Dr. Chris Steyaert
publisher EDIS: http://www.biblio.unisg.ch/www/edis.nsf/wwwDisplayIdentifier/3550 (St. Gallen)
date of appearance 2009
citation Mueller, S. (2009). Encouraging Future Entrepreneurs: The Effect of Entrepreneurship Course Characteristics on Entrepreneurial Intention, Universit├Ąt St. Gallen, Thesis. St. Gallen: EDIS: http://www.biblio.unisg.ch/www/edis.nsf/wwwDisplayIdentifier/3550.