B2 Book chapter
Critical entrepreneurship education: a form of resistance to McEducation?

List of Authors: Ulla Hytti
Place: London and New York
Publication year: 2018
Book title *: Revitilizing Entrepreneurship Education: Adopting a Critical Adopting a Critical Approach in the Classroom
Title of series: Routledge Rethinking Entrepreneurship Research
Number of pages: 7
ISBN: 978-1-138-21379-1
eISBN: 978-1-315-44760-5


conceptual chapter discusses why some individuals resist the entry of
entrepreneurship into the university, and how critical entrepreneurship
education could be a solution for embedding entrepreneurship at the
universities in a sustainable way.

are increasingly expected to strengthen their role in society (Jarvis 2013).
This also suggests a transition towards ‘entrepreneurial university’ (Etzkowitz
2014; Foss and Gibson 2015) and a reorientation of university strategies and
policies to promoting entrepreneurship and societal impact (Siegel & Wright
2015). One tenet in this development is increasing the supply of
entrepreneurship education and training modules campus-wide. This strong wind
of entrepreneurship into the universities is not without critics. The resisting
voices are asking will the move towards the entrepreneurial university erase
any attempts to safeguard the traditional values and threaten the academic
ethos of the Humboldtian university (Philpott et al., 2011).  

In the
chapter I argue that the academics are not resisting the entry of
entrepreneurship into the university per se but they are resisting the ways it
is introduced and the ways entrepreneurship is understood. The resistance is
targeted at the narrow interpretation of entrepreneurship, and to the
implementation of entrepreneurship as a managerial, top-down project (Philpott
et al, 2011; Kolhinen, 2015), and at understanding university as a place of
educational consumption and students as consumers. This is discussed through
the metaphor of McDonaldisation of higher education (Ritzer, 1998), that I find
insightful for thinking about entrepreneurship education in universities.

In this
McEducation version of entrepreneurship education the university takes a
one-size-fits-all approach by claiming that once entrepreneurship courses and
services are offered campus-wide and are open to all, they are available to
all. Yet, this has been questioned (Komulainen et al. 2009) Inclusion cannot be
achieved simply by increasing numbers, and thus inclusion does not in itself
bring greater equality (Delanty, 2003). The strong new venture creation focus
combined often with a technology or science bias in reality means that the
entrepreneurship becomes an elitist and narrow approach and the vast majority
of students for example in humanities and social sciences become excluded from
them. This one-size fits all model is oblivious to the questions of gender
(Berglund et al. 2017). Importantly, all axiological debates in
entrepreneurship education are silenced, marked by the lack of ‘why’ questions
(Kyrö, 2015).

I advocate that the
success of the entrepreneurship agenda is strongly dependent on whether or not
the university relies on its core Humboldtian values of criticality and
reflexivity in introducing entrepreneurship into the university. Thus, my take
on entrepreneurship education will not emphasise the choice between the
traditional academic and entrepreneurial values. Rather, I wish to join Fayolle
(2013) and Kyrö (2015) and proponents of critical entrepreneurship education in
the forthcoming book in their call for more reflective approaches and reflexivity
as a necessary condition in furthering entrepreneurship education. The
McDonaldisation of education is not a guarantee of success for embedding
entrepreneurship at the university, on the contrary, it has the risk of
becoming a functionalist pervasive ideology that may be taken to mean anything
to anyone, and it easily and often becomes a contested concept (Alvesson and
Spicer, 2012).


Internal Authors/Editors

Last updated on 2019-21-08 at 21:34