توسعه یک چارچوب مبتنی بر شایستگی برای رفتار کارآفرینانه معلمان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|9474||2010||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 26, Issue 4, May 2010, Pages 965–971
The purpose of this study was to investigate which competencies underlie teachers' entrepreneurial behaviour. Based on the literature and discussions in the field, six competencies (entrepreneurial knowledge, career adaptability, occupational self-efficacy, creative thinking, networking skill, teamwork skill) and entrepreneurial climate were included in the research model. A questionnaire was developed and tested in a pilot study (n = 178). A sample of 255 teachers from five different vocational schools in the Netherlands participated in the main study. The findings supported most expectations; only occupational self-efficacy was not significantly related to entrepreneurial behaviour. This study has theoretical and practical implications.
In the past decade, entrepreneurship and enterprising behaviour have become important objectives for organisations and societies in general. Entrepreneurship relates to the capability for exploiting successfully innovative ideas in a commercially competitive market. Entrepreneurship is generally considered a source of flexibility and innovation, a creator of jobs for the economy, and an interesting opportunity for individual career development (Onstenk, 2003). Both within and outside the European community, policies on education and life-long learning emphasize the importance of stimulating entrepreneurial behaviour (European Community, 1999). Integrating entrepreneurship development in vocational education is viewed as an effective way to enhance enterprising behaviour at the economic market and the labour market (Biessen, Ebbens, Van Esch, Kleuskens, & Thielen, 2005). Vocational education prepares learners for jobs that are based in manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic, and totally related to a specific trade, occupation or vocation. It is sometimes referred to as technical education, as the learner directly develops expertise in a particular group of techniques or technology. The need for entrepreneurship in vocational education implies changes for the educational system of a school (Biessen et al., 2005). Instead of sitting and listening to their teachers' lectures on trade and management, students are now actively involved in the entrepreneurial and managerial aspects of enterprising. For example, students participate in simulations, collaborate with real entrepreneurs, or engage in mini-enterprises or student competitions. Also, students are stimulated to think creatively, and develop innovative procedures, technologies, services, products, and come up with ways to energise these businesses. As these examples illustrate, the emergence of entrepreneurship also affects teachers' roles and conduct. Nowadays, teachers are more than producers of knowledge; instead, they are expected to act as entrepreneurs themselves (Johnson, 2004). Scanning the environment for new developments, designing and facilitating compelling technology-based classroom projects, and locating the means and funds to acquire the tools their students need, are some of examples of teachers' entrepreneurial behaviour. Despite the importance of teachers' entrepreneurial behaviour, little is known about the factors underlying teachers' entrepreneurship. Accordingly, the objective of the present study was to identify which competencies are related to teachers' entrepreneurship, and find empirical evidence for the unique contribution of these competencies to the display of teachers' entrepreneurial behaviour. Insight in these competencies will add to theories and models of entrepreneurship, and will help schools with their efforts to enhance teachers' entrepreneurship. The theoretical model is presented in Fig. 1. 1.1. Entrepreneurial behaviour Entrepreneurial behaviour generally refers to behaviour that involves recognizing opportunities and marshalling the resources to take advantage of, and acting upon these opportunities (e.g., Chung and Gibbons, 1997 and Huefner and Hunt, 1994). In line with the literature, we conceptualized entrepreneurial behaviour as including opportunity recognition, taking initiative, and risk management (Rauch & Frese, 2000). (i) Opportunity recognition refers to behaviour a person displays when actively seeking and identifying an opportunity ( Hills, 1995Hills, G. E. (1995). Opportunity discovery by successful entrepreneurs: A pilot study. In M. Hay, W. D. Bygrave, S. Birley, N. C. Churchill, R. Keeley, B. Bird, et al. (Eds), Frontiers of entrepreneurship research; Proceedings of the fifteenth Annual Entrepreneurship Research Conference (pp. 105–117). Wellesley, MA: Babson College. and Tolentino, 1998), where an opportunity can be defined as a ‘fit’ between market needs and possible resources (Gibb, 1998). Identifying and selecting the right opportunities are among the most important behaviours of successful entrepreneurs (Stevenson, Roberts, & Grousbeck, 1985). Onstenk's (2003) study in the educational field similarly suggests that recognizing chances is an important part of teachers' entrepreneurship. (ii) Initiative is needed to act on the identified opportunities. Research has shown the importance of personal initiative and proactive behaviour for the success of entrepreneurs (e.g., Antoncic and Hisrich, 2001 and Frese et al., 1997). In education, initiative is similarly perceived valuable for successful entrepreneurship at school (Onstenk, 2003). (iii) Risk management refers to behaviour that is tolerant of some risk, but in a calculated way, not recklessly. There is extant evidence that calculated risk-taking is related to successful entrepreneurship (e.g., Gibb, 1998 and Rauch and Frese, 2000). In conclusion, the literature indicates that opportunity recognition, initiative, and risk management are important aspects of entrepreneurial behaviour, and predictive of successful entrepreneurship. 1.2. Entrepreneurial competencies Individuals' entrepreneurial competencies are generally considered fundamental to organisations' ability to nurture and sustain innovation and new venture creation (Hayton & Kelley, 2006). Spencer and Spencer (1993, p. 9) describe competency as “an underlying characteristic of an individual that is causally related to … superior performance in a job or situation”. Three categories of individual characteristics are considered to underlie specific competencies and contribute to effective performance: knowledge, aptitudes, and skills (e.g., Schmitt & Chan, 1998). Specific sets of aptitudes, knowledge and skills are needed for superior performance in a specific domain such as entrepreneurship. Although research has identified a number of different characteristics of entrepreneurs (e.g., Baum & Locke, 2004), the specific individual-level characteristics of corporate entrepreneurs, and especially those in education, have not been addressed clearly yet. Based on a review of the literatures of psychological entrepreneurship (e.g., Baum and Locke, 2004 and Rauch and Frese, 2000), human resource management (e.g., Hayton & Kelley, 2006), and education (e.g., Biessen et al., 2005 and Onstenk, 2003), and observations of practices in the field (e.g., schools' mission statements), the present study distinguished six individual characteristics that were expected to underlie teachers' entrepreneurial behaviour: entrepreneurial knowledge, three aptitudes (career adaptability, occupational self-efficacy, creative thinking), and two skills (networking skill, teamwork skill). 1.2.1. Entrepreneurial knowledge Knowledge about a topic is seen as one of the competencies someone needs to be able to successfully exert specific task-related behaviour (e.g., Hayton and Kelley, 2006 and Nordhaug and Gronhaug, 1994). Rottinghaus, Day, and Borgen (2005) found that perceived knowledge of the job market, or how well one understands job market and employment trends, was related to various behaviours at work. Perceived knowledge, for example, was moderately but positively related to risk-taking behaviour, which is part of our entrepreneurial behaviour construct. It was also found that perceived knowledge of the job market was positively related to Holland's (1985) enterprising personality. Therefore, we expected entrepreneurial knowledge to be positively related to entrepreneurial behaviour. 1.2.2. Career adaptability Career adaptability relates to the ability to plan and adapt career plans and work responsibilities to fit new or changed circumstances (Savickas, 1997). It is likely that career adaptability is necessary to display entrepreneurial behaviour at school, because teachers' work demands and required behaviours are changing. It can be expected that teachers who are high on career adaptability are well able to conduct the adjustments and environmental explorations that are required for entrepreneurship. Rottinghaus et al. (2005) found that career adaptability was positively related to the level of confidence people have in their enterprising skills. Moreover, career adaptability has been positively related to risk-taking and adventure (Savickas, Briddick, & Watkins, 2002). Consequently, we expected a positive relationship between career adaptability and entrepreneurial behaviour. 1.2.3. Occupational self-efficacy Self-efficacy refers to individuals' beliefs that they are capable of successfully performing in a certain manner to attain specific goals (Bandura, 1997). Self-efficacy has been related to positive outcomes such job satisfaction and job performance (Judge & Bono, 2001). Self-efficacy has also been associated with personal entrepreneurial development (Luthans, Stajkovic, & Ibrayeva, 2000) and personal initiative (Frese et al., 1997). In this study, we used Schyns and Von Collani's (2002) concept of occupational self-efficacy which allows for predictions in the occupational domain. We expected occupational self-efficacy to be positively related to entrepreneurial behaviour. 1.2.4. Creative thinking Creative thinking refers to the ability to take new perspectives on problems and apply persistence to the exploration of new pathways to solve problems (Amabile, 1996). In the literature, creative thinking is generally considered an important predictor of the emergence and success of entrepreneurs (e.g., Rauch and Frese, 2000 and Timmons, 1994). Also, in education, creative thinking is often mentioned in relation to entrepreneurial behaviour (Biessen et al., 2005 and Onstenk, 2003). Consequently, we expected a positive relationship between creative thinking and entrepreneurial behaviour. 1.2.5. Networking skill Networking skill refer to an individual's competency to develop and maintain relationships with others who have the potential to assist in situations at work or career (Forett & Dougherty, 2001). Entrepreneurs are required to successfully build and coordinate networks with individuals and organisations, because this is critical for business success and for starting up a company (Birley, 1985 and Rauch and Frese, 2000). Research has found that social skills and networking behaviours are related to entrepreneurial activities and success (Baron and Markman, 2003 and Bruederl and Preisendoerfer, 1998). For entrepreneurship within vocational education, it is important that teachers share knowledge, remain up to date, and proactively deal with changes in the regional market. To obtain these objectives, teachers should be able to build and maintain networks, and engage in networking behaviours (Gibb, 1998 and Tolentino, 1998). Based on this theoretical and empirical evidence, we expected a positive relationship between networking skill and entrepreneurial behaviour. 1.2.6. Teamwork skill Because teachers need to jointly coordinate their entrepreneurial actions and responsibilities, teamwork skill is also important for entrepreneurship. In the new educational system, teachers are supposed to work together in teams that provide students with a more customized learning process. Biessen et al. (2005) found that these teams served as small enterprises with a strong tendency to be creative and innovative. We expected a positive relationship between teamwork skill and entrepreneurial behaviour. 1.3. Perceived climate for entrepreneurship Although individual competencies are essential for corporate entrepreneurship, the mere presence of these competencies might not suffice. As has been noted in the literature (e.g., Hayton and Kelley, 2006 and Rauch and Frese, 2000), moderating conditions might exist that affect this relationship. We propose that a supportive organisational climate will contribute to corporate entrepreneurship by strengthening the effects of individual competencies. Climate perceptions are seen as critical determinants of individual behaviour (Carr, Schmidt, Ford, & DeShon, 2003), and have been found to moderate the relationship between antecedent characteristics and individuals' responses (Nauta, Van Vianen, Van der Heijden, Van Dam, & Willemsen, 2009). Organisations with an entrepreneurial climate distinguish themselves by their ability to innovate, initiate change, and rapidly respond to change (Guth & Ginsberg, 1990). Similarly, research has found that some organisational climates are supportive of corporate entrepreneurship (Morris et al., 1993 and Zahra et al., 2004). Based on this theoretical and empirical evidence, we expected that perceptions of an entrepreneurial climate will strengthen the relationship between teachers competencies and entrepreneurial behaviours. 1.4. Contributions to the literature The present study contributes to the literature in four primary ways. First, the study applies a competency perspective to entrepreneurship. A competency perspective focuses on those competencies of employees (or teachers) that are relevant for successful behaviour. Psychological entrepreneurship research has traditionally taken a trait-based approach (e.g., Chell, 2008 and McClelland, 1965), investigating stable characteristics as predictors of entrepreneurial behaviour. This trait-based research appeared to be based on the assumption that entrepreneurs are born, not made. However, until now, this line of research has failed to show strong relationships between personality and entrepreneurial success (Rauch & Frese, 2000). Advantages of a competency-based approach are that competencies are assumed to be recognizable, assessable, and relevant for practice (Hayton & Kelley, 2006). In contrast to stable personality traits, competencies can be developed; and they relate to organisational effectiveness (Hamel and Prahalad, 1994 and Spencer and Spencer, 1993). Second, whereas previous research focused on entrepreneurs as the founders and maintainers of new ventures, in the current study, we were interested in the practice of entrepreneurship within an established organisation, also referred to as intrapreneurship. Intrapreneurship covers multiple activities in the organisation that are focused on identifying and pursuing new opportunities (Zahra, 1996), and has received attention only recently. Third, whereas most studies have focused on employees in industrial organisations, the present study focused on teachers within an educational setting. Teachers' entrepreneurial behaviour is generally expected to contribute to the school's quality by increasing the fit of the school's curriculum with the dynamic nature of organisations and markets, thereby improving students' equipment and preparation for the labour market. Fourth, the present study examined the impact of the school's climate on the relationship between teachers' competencies and entrepreneurial behaviour. In the literature on entrepreneurship, several authors have called for research that studies individual and organisational antecedents of entrepreneurship in combination, and not in isolation (Baum et al., 2001 and Rauch and Frese, 2000).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Adopting a competency-based framework, the main objective of this study was to identify individual entrepreneurial competencies that would be related to teachers' entrepreneurial behaviour. The findings supported our research model to a large extent, showing that most of the competencies under investigation were significant predictors for teachers' entrepreneurial behaviour. Especially career adaptability, and creative thinking were strongly related to entrepreneurial behaviour. Both competencies reflect the teacher's flexibility and versatility to deal with changing demands and environments, and can be considered aspects of the more general construct of adaptability. Adaptability is generally regarded a necessary individual characteristic in today's rapidly changing workplace (Ployhart and Bliese, 2006 and Pulakos et al., 2002). Although adaptability has been discussed in relation to many different organisationally relevant variables (e.g., new technology, new people and teams, novel and ill-defined problems), it has not yet been related to entrepreneurial behaviour. By showing that career adaptability, and creative thinking are strongly related to entrepreneurship, the present study therefore contributes to the literature on adaptability. The findings also showed that entrepreneurial knowledge mattered for teachers' entrepreneurship. Having knowledge of the behaviours that comprised entrepreneurship enabled teachers to actually show these behaviours. Teachers who have been working within the classroom most of the time, teaching the same materials for many years, will have more difficulty in turning to entrepreneurship, because it implies dealing with uncertainty and unpredictable developments. Marketing knowledge, an understanding of the demand of the product or service, as well as risk management analysis are all crucial knowledge domains that can help teachers to become active entrepreneurs. Schools can support individual teachers in this respect by assigning experienced entrepreneurs as mentor to teachers, or by promoting teachers to work in teams, where they can share knowledge and insights. Additionally, teachers' networking skill and teamwork skill contributed to the prediction of entrepreneurial behaviour. Although the relationships of networking skill and teamwork skill with entrepreneurial behaviour were modest, these skills still can be regarded as facilitators for entrepreneurial behaviour. It is possible that actual networking behaviour and teamwork behaviour, more than the more distal underlying skills, are stronger predictors of entrepreneurial behaviour. Several studies have shown that networking and teamwork behaviours are related to entrepreneurial activities and success (Baron and Markman, 2003 and Bruederl and Preisendoerfer, 1998). For entrepreneurship within vocational education, it is important that teachers successfully build and coordinate networks (Rauch & Frese, 2000), and to jointly coordinate their entrepreneurial actions and responsibilities. In addition to the importance of individual competencies, this study showed the importance of an entrepreneurial environment. Both a direct and a moderation effect of entrepreneurial climate was found. Teachers engaged in entrepreneurial behaviour more when they perceived a climate that stimulated and supported this behaviour. This direct effect was uniform for all teachers, independent of their competencies. Whereas we had expected an entrepreneurial climate to strengthen the relationships between individual competencies and entrepreneurial behaviour, such a moderation effect was found for networking skill only. Teachers who were high on networking skill showed even more entrepreneurial behaviour when they perceived an entrepreneurial climate. For the other competencies, no such moderation effect appeared. Although self-efficacy has proven a consistent predictor of work–related behaviours in previous research (e.g., Judge & Bono, 2001), occupational self-efficacy was not significantly related to entrepreneurial behaviour. It is possible that the occupational self-efficacy scale (Schyns & Von Collani, 2002) used in this study was not specific enough, focusing on work behaviour in general, whereas entrepreneurial behaviour refers to activities in a specific domain. A discrepancy in levels of specificity between variables has been noted to result in type II errors (Woodruff & Cashman, 1993). Indeed, Zhao, Hills, and Seibert (2005) found that entrepreneurial self-efficacy played an important role in the development of students' intentions to become entrepreneurs, whereas – consistent with our findings – general self-efficacy was not related to entrepreneurial intentions. Our study has both limitations and strengths. First, our study was cross-sectional, which limits the degree to which we can make causal inferences. Future research should conduct longitudinal studies, or compare schools using a quasi experimental design. Second, variables were measured with a common method and source, which could be responsible, at least in part, for the observed relationships. Although research has shown that common method variance generally is not robust enough to invalidate research findings from studies with a single source and method (Doty & Glick, 1998), future studies should try to use several sources when collecting information. A strength of our study was that the outcome variable was behavioural. While many other studies measured entrepreneurial intentions or possible antecedents of emergence and success of entrepreneurship, our study focused on teachers' behaviour in the past year. Additionally, five different vocational schools participated in our study, which enhances the possibility to generalize our findings to other vocational schools. This study has been able to reveal several competencies that are related to teachers' entrepreneurial behaviour. By doing so, our study provides a competency framework that indicates how corporate entrepreneurship can be facilitated at school. Our findings have therefore also several practical implications for school administrations. Based on the competencies that were found to relate to entrepreneurial behaviour, teachers can be stimulated, developed, evaluated, and possibly rewarded. For example, schools could provide teachers with information on entrepreneurship through plenary meetings, or they could stimulate creative thinking through training. Additional procedures and practices, such as evaluation schemes, could be developed in order to provide insight into teachers' entrepreneurial activities. For instance, a multi source assessment might be conducted with teachers evaluating each other using a detailed description of relevant entrepreneurial behaviour. Also, reward schemes could be developed for rewarding teachers who exhibit these qualities. Together, these interventions might result in an increased understanding of what is meant with teachers' entrepreneurship, and in increased support for the adoption of entrepreneurial behaviour in school. It is expected that this support and stimulation of entrepreneurial competencies will also increase the strength of the entrepreneurial climate (Dickson, Resick, & Hanges, 2006). At the same time, the institutions that develop teachers for vocational education should include the development of entrepreneurial competencies (i.e., entrepreneurial knowledge and creative thinking), and entrepreneurial behaviour in their curriculum. In conclusion, this study has contributed to the view that a competency-based approach to entrepreneurship is a valuable way to fostering corporate entrepreneurship within organisations (cf. Hayton & Kelley, 2006). Whereas traditional trait-based approaches have focused on stable individual characteristics as predictors of entrepreneurship, a competency framework emphasizes the relevance of characteristics that are malleable and related to organisational effectiveness (e.g., Caird, 1992).