Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship

Lund University School of Economics and Management

Entrepreneurial education and learning

Research programme

Programme Director: Diamanto Politis

The researchers involved within the area are presented to the right.

Introduction to research programme

The role of universities in providing entrepreneurship education is today much emphasized as a way to stimulate the entrepreneurial mind-sets of young people and promote more entrepreneurial attitudes and behaviours in society. Large investments from both public and private sources are made to organize and carry out entrepreneurship education, and a lot of people are in this respect involved in providing or receiving entrepreneurship education. From a few single entrepreneurship courses offered in the US in the 1980s, the supply has thus grown exponentially during the past decades and entrepreneurship has today become a subject offered more or less at all major universities worldwide.

The significant increase in the supply of entrepreneurship education has led to a parallel growth in research with an interest in mapping the phenomena and contributing with debate and knowledge exchange about pedagogical approaches and curriculum development. A notable change in this stream of research has been from an initial “crusade” phase, characterized by a few pioneers, towards a phase that increasingly calls for a more critical and questionable approach to the plethora of initiatives and efforts that now exist. The time is thus ripe for scholarly studies that take account of the accumulation of knowledge in the field so far and move the field forward by focusing on areas where there is need for theoretical development and continued debate.

At Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship we have launched a research program on entrepreneurship education, which builds on our previous studies about enterprise education and entrepreneurial learning. The research program aims to contribute with scholarly knowledge that benefit both the international scholarly community as well as for developing and strengthen our own entrepreneurship education provided at Lund University.

Areas of focus

Evaluation of Entrepreneurship Education

Entrepreneurship education often claims itself to be “different” – but what does this difference imply for evaluation efforts and to what extent can (or cannot) it be evaluated with established evaluation models? What evaluation models are suitable for different kinds of entrepreneurship education?

Action Based Entrepreneurship Education

What are the theoretical underpinnings of this emerging approach to entrepreneurship education and how (or to what extent) are its pedagogical idea(s) related to previous work or pedagogical schools of thought? What are the main components of the approach, how should they be coordinated and implemented, and how should they be carried out to achieve its aim(s) in practice?

University-based Entrepreneurship Education Ecosystems in Scandinavia

What are the main or typical models for supporting and organizing entrepreneurship education in the Scandinavian system(s) for higher education and how have these models/ideas evolved over time? What characterize well-performing units for entrepreneurship education and what are the success factors for such units?

Entrepreneurship Education in Policy

How is current state-of-the-art knowledge about entrepreneurship education reflected in national/regional policies? What rationales guide current policy initiatives at different levels and to what extent are they systematically coordinated and promoted? How to support policy learning in the area?

Selected publications

Johannisson, B., Landström, H. & Rosenberg, J. (1998) University training for entrepreneurship – An action frame of reference, European Journal of Engineering Education, 23(4), 477–96.

Politis, D. (2005) The process of entrepreneurial learning: A conceptual framework. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 29(4): 399–424.

Politis, D. (2008) Does prior start-up experience matter for entrepreneurs' learning? A comparison between novice and habitual entrepreneurs, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 15(3): 472–489.

Politis, D. & Gabrielsson, J. (2009) Entrepreneurs’ attitudes towards failure – an experiential learning approach, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 15(4), 364–383.

Gabrielsson, J., Tell, J. & Politis, D. (2010) Business simulation exercises in small business management education: Using principles and ideas from action learning, Action Learning: Research and Practice, 7(1), 3–16.

Politis, D., Winborg, J. & Lindholm Dahlstrand, Å. (2012) Exploring the resource logic of student entrepreneurs, International Small Business Journal, 30(6).