The creation of entrepreneurial engineers: A re-evaluation of the Standish-Kuon and Rice (2002) typology and the emergence of the Entrepreneurial Engineering Education (EEE) typology

Niyan KO Fraser, Morgan P Miles, Megan Woods, Gemma K Lewis

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Abstract

Background - World economies are demanding a new type of engineer—an entrepreneurial engineer—who possesses a multidisciplinary set of technical and entrepreneurial competencies. These new engineers are essential to the fostering of entrepreneurship, innovation, and technological enhancement within an economy. Given the importance of having entrepreneurial engineers, it is necessary for tertiarylevel academic institutions to prepare their engineering students to undertake these roles. This is being done by offering entrepreneurship education to engineering students.
Limited research is available as to how academic institutions structure entrepreneurship initiatives for engineering students. The Standish-Kuon and Rice (2002) study was the only available research that showed the approaches taken by
the first academic institutions in the United States to educate engineering undergraduates about entrepreneurship. The findings from this study also resulted in the emergence of a typology which presented the three models to which entrepreneurship initiatives could be categorized into, and ultimately the three models that institutions could follow to educate their engineering students about entrepreneurship.
In recognition of the importance of entrepreneurial engineers coupled with the need for developing a greater understanding of entrepreneurship education for engineering students, it has become necessary to review the types of initiatives used to educate engineering students about entrepreneurship. Doing this will help to determine the relevance of the Standish-Kuon and Rice (2002) typology regarding present-day initiatives. It is important to know whether this typology still represents the initiatives offered at U.S. institutions and whether or not this typology can be applied in a nonU.S. context to show how engineering students in other countries are educated about entrepreneurship.
Purpose - The purpose of this research was to acquire information about how tertiary-level academic institutions in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States are educating engineering undergraduates about
entrepreneurship. The overall objective was to determine whether the Standish-Kuon and Rice (2002) typology was still representative of entrepreneurship initiatives for engineering undergraduates, or if the typology had to be updated.
Design/Method - This research used a desktop review approach conducted in two phases. In the first phase, the data was collected from entrepreneurship initiative descriptions on the websites of tertiary-level academic institutions in the United States. In the second phase, the data was collected from entrepreneurship initiative descriptions on the websites of institutions in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. A content analysis was conducted, and the distinguishing criteria identified in the Standish-Kuon and Rice (2002) typology were used to categorize the entrepreneurship initiatives reviewed.
Findings - The findings showed that a total of five models were used to categorize entrepreneurship initiatives for engineering undergraduates. This demonstrates that academic institutions in the five countries use one (or in some cases more) of the five models to educate engineering undergraduates about entrepreneurship. The presence of the five models showed that the Standish-Kuon and Rice (2002) typology required updating to reflect present-day initiatives for engineering undergraduates. These findings, as a result, laid the foundation for the emergence of a new typology, which was subsequently entitled the Entrepreneurial Engineering Education, or EEE, typology.
Conclusion - The Standish-Kuon and Rice (2002) typology, while still valuable, requires updates to represent the evolving educational needs of the engineering field and entrepreneurship education’s place in engineering. The need for extension has resulted in a new typology, the EEE typology, which could ultimately be used to conduct future research that will enhance the field of entrepreneurial engineering and gain insight into entrepreneurial engineering education. Areas of interest for future research are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-105
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Engineering Entreneurship
Volume8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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