Understanding the Relationship Between Entrepreneurship Education, Experiential Learning and Business Ethics
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Business and Management., *pedagogy
Recent cognitive research in entrepreneurship describes the entrepreneur as a ‘motivated tactician’, who can be characterized as a “fully engaged thinker who has multiple cognitive strategies available” (Haynie et al., 2010: p18), and the ability to shift and choose rapidly from among them based on specific goals, motives, needs and circumstances, leading to the ability to act (or not) in response to perceived entrepreneurial opportunities. The Association for Experiential Education broadly defines experiential education as: “a philosophy and methodology in which educators purposefully engage with learners in direct experience and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills and clarify values” (AEE, 2011). The aim of business ethics is to encourage people in business to think and work with the aim to promote morality and improve the ethics of the society, both national and international. This paper examines how this can be achieved through the use of experiential learning theory while working with university undergraduate students. The methodology used to assess the latter was through two case studies, one in Ireland and the other in America.
The paper concludes by recommending that there be a greater move towards “experiential learning” so that students gain real life experience as opposed to a traditional classroom approach. Learning should focus on developing creativity, critical thinking and reflection among individuals, which improves motivational skills entrepreneurial development and ethical behaviour. Carrying out real life ventures was found to be a most helpful mode of learning as participants interacted with customers and developed managerial skills.
Farrell, K., Cooney, T., Benson, C., Palin, G. (2012) Understanding the relationship between entrepreneurship education, experiential learning and business ethics. International Federation of Scholarly Associates of Management (IFSAM) 2012, Limerick.
International Federation of Scholarly Associates of Management (IFSAM) 2012, Limerick