Theory Development of How Student Entrepreneurs Think, Learn and Work: Uncovering Deep Insights into the Cognitive Processes of Student Entrepreneur Lived Experiences to Develop a Cue Inventory of Student Entrepreneurship

Queensland University of Technology
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange Conference 2014 Conference Proceedings, 2014, pp. 785 - 800
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Principal Topic: The concept of the true student entrepreneur is relatively new and attracting societal and academic attention. A paucity of research exists on the cognitive processes student entrepreneurs use to think, learn and work. Student entrepreneurs operate within a challenging environment balancing entrepreneurial work activities and study life. Normally, the archetypal entrepreneur of last century drops out of university. This research explores the student entrepreneur not just as a student attending entrepreneurial classes but conducting business on/near campus or leading a campus enterprise (voluntary association) while simultaneously attending formal university award courses. Methodology: This preliminary study centres on the lived experiences of student entrepreneurs not as most previous studies the intentionality of students to become entrepreneurs. As such, in-depth interviews take place with student entrepreneurs based on the Critical Incident Technique (Flanagan 1954) focusing on storytelling by student entrepreneurs in natural campus settings. Results and Implications: A cue inventory of student entrepreneurship is sourced from the lived experiences of student entrepreneurs and informsthe generation of a cognitive framework. Findings point to the university environment providing leverage to help innovatively solve entrepreneurial problems in real time. Student entrepreneurs are “luck ready” always open for potential opportunities. As a consequence universities interested in fostering true entrepreneurship beyond classroom teaching are able to facilitate and manage various sources of opportunities.
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