Entrepreneurship education in the age of effectuation: Teaching strategies evidence from Mexico and Germany

Maribel Guerrero*, Susanne Steiner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The positive impact of Entrepreneurship on economic development has been supported by many research studies (Drucker 1985). Based on those, education and training have been confirmed as relevant factors in promoting and fostering an entrepreneurial perspective (Gibb 1994; Peterman and Kennedy 2003; Kuratko 2005; Pittaway and Cope 2007). Therefore, universities have increasingly incorporated entrepreneurship modules into their educational programs at undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels (Kirby 1992; Vesper and Gartner 1997; Katz 2003). Even counterarguments on the general effectiveness of entrepreneurship education agree that entrepreneurial skills are teachable (Aronsson 2004). In recent years, the effectuation theory has emerged, arguing that while it was hitherto known that entrepreneurs focus on discovering and exploiting existing opportunities with a set target in mind, research findings suggest another equally valid approach (Sarasvathy 2008). In the age of effectuation, potential entrepreneurs may derive their entrepreneurial ideas and decisions from the realities of their life and individual value systems. Therefore, the same person can use both causal and effectual reasoning at different times depending on what the circumstances call for (Sarasvathy 2001a). As a result, a scientific debate about the role of effectuation in entrepreneurship education has emerged. In particular, teacher-centered classroom teaching was exposed as a purely causal element, due to its sequential progression from an initial business idea to its respective market potential and financial projections (Sarasvathy 2001b). This study aims to demonstrate the existence of a range of effectuation elements in current entrepreneurship education programs and identify the teaching strategies adopted. The methodology followed the multiple case study approach, applied to the entrepreneurship education programs at a Mexican and a German University respectively. The main implication highlights the role of both teaching methodologies and teaching models in entrepreneurship education in the 'Age of Effectuation.'

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeaching Strategies
EditorsJamie P. Henderson, Adam D. Lawrence
Place of PublicationHauppauge
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781612096872
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


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