Proposal of a Comprehensive Model of Teachable Entrepreneurship Competencies (M-TEC): Literature Review and Theoretical Foundations

Proposal of a Comprehensive Model of Teachable Entrepreneurship Competencies (M-TEC): Literature Review and Theoretical Foundations

Geraldina Silveyra, Angel Herrero-Crespo, Andrea Pérez-Ruiz
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5837-8.ch023
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This chapter presents a literature review of the term competency given the importance of the term in a wide variety of domains, specifically in the education and training. More specifically, the concept is analyzed within the entrepreneurship domain since it has used it as a framework to study entrepreneurs and their performance with new venture creation and later its growth. The chapter also presents a review of entrepreneurship competency models which have been proposed by previous research under the iceberg model. In the end, a model of entrepreneurship competencies is introduced, paying close attention to the behavioral level competencies which can be developed throughout education basing on past research and in the iceberg model.
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The assumption that formal education develops specific competencies in young people has rapidly increased the number of entrepreneurship programs and courses in universities around the world (Fayolle & Gailly, 2008; Oosterbeek et al., 2010; Bell et al., 2015; Edwards-schachter et al., 2015; Piperopoulos & Dimov, 2015; Hatt, 2018). In spite of it, and according to different researchers, the entrepreneurship education field is in its early stages since there is no universal theoretical framework nor best practice as to how to educate or train entrepreneurs (Vesper & McMullan, 1988; Gorman et al., 1997; Hills, 1988; Fiet, 2001; Gibb, 2002; Bechard & Gregoire, 2005; Kuratko, 2005; Matlay, 2006; Rasmussen & Sørheim, 2006; Fayolle & Gailly, 2008; Bruton, 2010; Bagheri & Pihie, 2011b; Albornoz, 2013; Fayolle, 2013; Gedeon, 2014; Ghina, 2015; Hatt, 2018).

Entrepreneurship education takes relevance under two assumptions. The first is regarding the fact that those entrepreneurs who create an enterprise within a university environment have a more significant impact on the economic development of their ecosystem (von Graevenitz et al., 2010; Wurthmann, 2013), and they perform much better (Shane, 2003; Godsey & Sebora, 2010). The latter is due to the fact that institutions provide entrepreneurs with skills, attitudes, and knowledge which allow them to be alert to business opportunities and create a business from them (Ali et al., 2012; Piperopoulos & Dimov, 2015). Besides that, it has been established that entrepreneurship education plays a fundamental role in the development of more and better entrepreneurs (Martin et al., 2013; Hatt, 2018). The second assumption affirms that entrepreneurs can be nurtured. This is, there is not entrepreneurial gen, one is not born an entrepreneur (Gorman et al., 1997; Kuratko, 2005; Neck & Greene, 2011). There is sufficient evidence that entrepreneurship can be taught or at least encouraged through entrepreneurship education (Solomon, 2007). Stating that entrepreneurs can be “made” (Sánchez, 2013) whether through formal education or training has significant implications. Amongst them, the theoretical framework of what should be taught and how should it be taught (Kuratko, 2005); even the place where it should be educated (Hindle, 2007).

In the context of the entrepreneurship education, one consistent stream of research focuses on how to develop competencies among students. In this regard, the competency-based approach has become more often a way to study the characteristics of effective entrepreneurs (Man et al., 2002). Explicitly, by competency, is understood all those attributes possessed by an individual which are suitable to perform a specific function (Chell, 2013). This way, if the feature concerns the creation of a company, then, the competencies a person should develop are those concerning entrepreneurship. The development of entrepreneurship competencies amongst youngsters would increase their perceived feasibility, therefore, their entrepreneurial intentions (Sánchez, 2011, Obschonka, 2017).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Competency: Multidimensional construct which represents what a person is capable of doing. It includes knowledge, skills, experience, abilities, values, attitudes, personality traits, among others.

Human Relations Competencies: Include the interactions that entrepreneurs generate throughout the process of creating a company. Since they recognize the opportunity, integrate their team, launch the project and seek investment, among others.

Behavioral Competencies: According to the Iceberg Model and the model proposed in this chapter, are the competencies which can be observed through the individual’s conduct. It is also relevant to mention that these competencies can be quickly developed through education or training.

Iceberg Model: It is a model which tries to explain the underlying characteristics of an individual at three levels: unconscious level, conscious level, and behavioral level.

Interpersonal Competencies: Determined by social skills related to effective communication with other people in the immediate environment.

Entrepreneurship Competencies: These are related to the creation, survival, and growth of a venture. These competencies refer to the ability an individual has in order to perform activities concerning entrepreneurship and solve the problems s/he will encounter along the way.

Managerial Competencies: These competencies are related to the formulation of the business strategy.

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