E-Learning Solution for Enhancing Entrepreneurship Competencies in the Service Sector

E-Learning Solution for Enhancing Entrepreneurship Competencies in the Service Sector

Constanţa-Nicoleta Bodea (Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania), Stancu Stelian (Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania) and Radu-Ioan Mogos (Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0953-0.ch011
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Abstract

The chapter proposes an e-Learning solution for the entrepreneurship education, based on several simulation modules integrated into a classical learning management system. The originality of the approach is that the solution is domain independent and applied advanced IT technologies, such as agent-based simulations and extended graphical support. Using this e-learning solution, the students can learn how to choose characteristics/aspects for particular type of business and how important is each of them according specific criteria; how to set realistic values for different characteristics/aspects of the business, how a business scenario can be changed in order to fit better to the business context (business reality), modeled through by the scenario pattern and how to assess/evaluate business scenarios.
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Introduction

The increasing role of the service sector for the economic growth, competitiveness and employment was revealed by studies which were carried on in the last 10-15 years (de Jong, Bruins, Dolfsma & Meijaard, 2003; Howells & Tether, 2004; Tether, 2005; Jose Silva et.al, 2011). Considering the importance of this sector, it becomes important to identify the main factors of the innovative capability of the service organizations. Entrepreneurship, as a major source of innovation allows these organizations to undertake their role (Harper, 2003; Barth, Yago & Zeidman, 2006; Vicens & Grullón, 2011; Ragalie et al., 2007). The term of entrepreneurial innovative capability was introduced by Jose Silva et.al (2011) to integrate the various components arising from the innovation process, namely product innovation, process innovation, organizational innovation and marketing innovation. Entrepreneurial innovative capability varies from one organization to another, and is determined by a number of factors, the most important one being the individual competencies, as the application of knowledge, skills and abilities in order to achieve the desired results. Besides the individual competencies, there are team competencies, that address the collective performance of individuals joined toward a purpose and the organizational competencies, which address the strategic capabilities of a self-sustaining unit of people (IPMA, 2015).

By enhancing the individual competencies, the entrepreneurial education and training has a positive impact on the entrepreneurial mindset of young people, on their intentions towards entrepreneurship, their employability and finally on their role in society and economy (Audretsch & Thurik, 2002), (Valerio, Parton & Robb, 2014). E.U. (2012) concludes that the objectives of entrepreneurship education should be the improvement of the young people's entrepreneurial competences, and increasing the role of entrepreneurs in the economy and society at large. European Commission launched several official documents, such as Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan and Rethinking Education Communication, to emphasize the need of embedding the entrepreneurial learning in all levels and sectors of education, including the non-formal one. Before leaving compulsory education, all young people should benefit from a practical entrepreneurial experience (E.U., 2013).

The conceptual framework developed by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (Amorós & Bosma, 2014) includes the following key entrepreneurial conditions: entrepreneurship education and training (the extent to which competences for creating or managing business are developed by the education and training system at all levels), the availability of financial resources, the presence and quality of governmental programs, R&D transfer (the extent to which national research and development will lead to new commercial opportunities and is available to SMEs), commercial and legal infrastructure (the presence of property rights, commercial, accounting and other legal and assessment services and institutions that support or promote SMEs), market entry regulation (for assuring market openness and dynamics), physical infrastructure and cultural and social norms.

Although the need for entrepreneurial education and training is growing, there are still many obstacles to its development. One of these obstacles is represented by the controversy on the competences repository which should be taught in the entrepreneurship programs and courses and the extent to which they are really teachable. Entrepreneurship competences are often considered to be only a subset of managerial competences and, for this reason, extensive managerial subjects are included in the entrepreneurial educational programs. But, entrepreneurship can occur outside the corporate sphere, making the managerial competences as being in some context less important. Even if there are common elements, specific entrepreneurial competencies can be still identified and firstly considered by every educational program or course on entrepreneurship.

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