In seeking to produce a new generation of entrepreneurial managers, it is not sufficient for students to merely complete a few courses or workshops on entrepreneurship. Because the ultimate objective is to instill within the student an entrepreneurial ethic, the means by which we succeed in such an endeavor is to completely immerse the student within an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Despite the emerging recognition of its socio-economic significance, contemporary institutes of higher learning tend to incorporate entrepreneurship in an isolative capacity, yet, by its very nature, “entrepreneurship is not an isolated activity. It is embedded in larger structures. Even if conceived narrowly as solely a business practice, entrepreneurship ultimately is unintelligible without knowledge of the interlocking and reinforcing systems of law, economics, politics, finance, and cultural values that make it plausible and thereby foster it. Moreover, because entrepreneurship has a practical focus, its study naturally and easily demonstrates how ideals and theories—so called “pure” knowledge—actually affect behavior. Indeed, entrepreneurship’s focus on the pragmatic can channel the ambition and talent of young people away from fanciful speculation and toward concrete projects. As a magnet for the authentic integration of varied fields of learning and as a bridge between theory and practice, entrepreneurship is a superb vehicle with which to achieve the aims of the broad, effective, and integrated learning that marks a strong college education” (Kauffman, 2006).

In order to educate students within a unique, entrepreneurially integrated learning environment, the Abu Dhabi School of Management will create and sustain an entrepreneurial ecosystem through:

Entrepreneurial Curriculum

General Education - A student’s general education is the nucleus of his or her learning experience. After establishing a solid inter-disciplinary general education foundation, the student builds upon and continues to draw from this foundation for the remainder of not only his or her learning journey, but also for the duration of his or her life. It becomes imperative, then, to utilize the general education core as the initial mechanism for entrepreneurial indoctrination as “Entrepreneurship is ideal for general education because it is a practice that applies to many fields and because it provides a revealing lens for studying how cultural values, social institutions, economic policies, and legal practices interrelate to shape human behavior. Entrepreneurship naturally and authentically draws together subjects usually taught and studied separately” (Kauffman, 2006).

Achieving curricular integration of entrepreneurship into Abu Dhabi School of Management’s General Education Core, then, requires each general education course to be colored with an entrepreneurial hue. This integration is clearly illustrated in the 2006 report of the Kauffman Panel on Entrepreneurship Curriculum in Higher Education as

The relevance of entrepreneurship to studies in business and economics goes without saying. But courses in history or literature could focus on entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial themes. The study of the impact of government policies on entrepreneurship easily fits within political science or economics. Entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly relevant in nursing and the delivery of health care. The broad area of environmental studies and sustainability is rich with entrepreneurial possibility. Religion and political science offer interesting options to explore the power of entrepreneurial activity outside the realm of business. A very promising area that may well become fundamental to entrepreneurship education builds on research in psychology and sociology. This area of learning analyzes and teaches the traits that correlate with entrepreneurial achievement, such as creativity, innovation, and self-efficacy.

Entrepreneurship in American Higher Education, 2006 Report from the Kauffman Panel on Entrepreneurship Curriculum in Higher Education

Management Core - To further harmonize entrepreneurship within the Abu Dhabi School of Management’s curriculum, the cluster of courses which constitute the Management Core will also be molded by entrepreneurship. Arguably, it is of even more importance to shape these particular courses with entrepreneurship as the courses comprising the Management Core represent the specific corpus of knowledge within the discipline. And since

The major is likely the most influential component of students’ learning, it is the logical context in which they can explore and experience what we might call the entrepreneurial move from intelligibility to innovation. An entrepreneurial approach to the major might stress both the mastery of basic information and insight into the new ideas that have altered a field of learning over time. While the major conventionally gives students extensive exposure to a subject, its structure often does not address systemic innovation in a field. Thus, students cannot always see how change and progress have affected their own learning and thinking. An articulated emphasis in the major on how a field has improved analysis, advanced understanding, and implemented change could help students learn to innovate about what they know and thereby make innovation itself more a part of their educational experience and discourse.

Entrepreneurship in American Higher Education, 2006 Report from the Kauffman Panel on Entrepreneurship Curriculum in Higher Education
Entrepreneurial Co-Curricula

Signature Learning Experiences - ADSM’s undergraduate Signature Learning Experiences (SLEs) provide students with an opportunity to experience the full Business Cycle, from start to harvest, through action learning. Specifically, the SLE’s:

Allow students to experience Entrepreneurial Thought and Action;
Give relevance and context to primary course material;
Are supported by Just-in-Time self learning modules that build practical knowledge and skills;
Demonstrate the interdisciplinary nature of business; and
Develop soft-skills such as team work, interpersonal communications, formal presentations, time management                 motivation.

ADSM’s MBA program incorporates Signature Learning Experiences (SLEs) into the curriculum to develop entrepreneurial leaders. These education experiences occur throughout program, giving students the opportunity to integrate the knowledge gained in the classroom and apply it to entrepreneurial decision making. The focus is not only on the development of the business skills necessary to be successful in an ever changing global environment, but also to give the students the skill sets necessary to manage self and others in this context. The SLEs also emphasize the importance of strong communication skills, an ethical and societal approach to decision making, all in the context of a global economic environment. The MBA program curriculum transforms students into entrepreneurial managers through:

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship - The essence of entrepreneurship is the transformation of the intangible to the tangible. It is not enough for students to simply gain entrepreneurial theory- to truly apply entrepreneurship, students must have a vehicle to put their ideas into action. As such, the Abu Dhabi School of Management’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will provide students with a hands-on venue for mentorship, networking opportunities, research and entrepreneurial incubation. Modeling the latest trends within leading global universities, the function of this center will be to assist university students or faculty, or even local entrepreneurs in the formation and growth of new companies and to provide mentors and networks, including access to angel and venture capital investors.

Entrepreneurial Management

The final piece of the entrepreneurial ecosystem is management of ADSM itself, where the academic and administrative practices of the School promote and enhance a genuine entrepreneurial environment. On a macro-level, the School will incubate entrepreneurial activity through the Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, as described above. On a micro-level, ADSM will encourage and reward its faculty and academic support departments to become entrepreneurs themselves through their instructional methodology, curricular innovations, business processes, business culture creation, etc. By providing incentive structures, the School will encourage the faculty and academic support departments to consistently implement methodologies which promote originality and creativity in the classroom and within business practices- a genuine entrepreneurial ecosystem.

© 2013 Abu Dhabi School of Management. All rights reserved.