Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research 1994

Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research


Abstracts from the 1994 Edition


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    DOCTORAL STUDENTS: HOW MUCH HAVE THEY INFLUENCED ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION AND PRACTICE?

    William D Bygrave
    Babson College
    Babson Park
    MA 02157-0310

    Telephone
    617 239 4567

    FAX
    617 239 5272

    Principal Topics
    The purpose of this study is to follow the careers of students who have attended Babson Research Conference Doctoral Consortia from 1985 through 1993. This study was primarily interested in the careers of those students who are, or intend to become, full- time academics. A secondary outcome of the research was information of former doctoral students who have left the academia.

    Method
    In January 1994, a 200-item questionnaire was mailed to 118 persons who had attended one of nine doctoral Consortia between 1985 and 1993. To guarantee confidentiality, the respondents were not asked for their names, The initial mailing produced 54 completed surveys; and a second mailing produced 10 more. Ten questionnaires were returned as undeliverable because the whereabouts of the addressee was unknown. Thus, the response was 59 percent for those whose current addresses are known.

    Major Findings
    The average age of students responding they attended Babson Doctoral Consortia was 37. Twenty-five percent of them were female and 75 percent were male. During the 10.5 years between graduating from baccalaureate programs and entering doctoral programs they earned substantial real world experience working in industry, teaching, consulting, government, military, and self-employment. The average cost of the doctoral studies is more than $60,000, and their average opportunity cost is almost $200,000. Hence, the total average cost is more than a quarter million dollars per student over the 4.9 years that it takes to earn a doctorate.

    About 80 percent of those reporting said that their doctoral research had a substantial entrepreneurship content. It is interesting to note that their post-doctoral research has shifted noticeably - albeit slightly - away from entrepreneurship toward other business disciplines. This, almost certainly because their appointments are not in entrepreneurship-only departments. Rather, they are in other departments, first and foremost management departments. Of the 21 who have completed their doctorates and now have full-time faculty appointments in the USA, not one is in an entrepreneurship-only department.

    However, they are teaching some entrepreneurship at the graduate and undergraduate level. Of the 4.16 courses they teach per year, 1.29 (31%) are listed in catalogs as entrepreneurship courses. About half of them are teaching an average of five days per year in executive education entrepreneurship programs. Almost 80 per cent of them that their dissertation is helpful for their teaching. In general, they appear to be woefully trained teachers. Sixty-one per cent received no teacher training whatsoever in their doctoral programs and the other 39 per cent averaged only 45 hours of training. They have disseminated their research, but more to other academics than practitioners. They have published 3.9 entrepreneurship and 4.2 non-entrepreneurship articles in academic publications; and they have presented 4 entrepreneurship and 3.1 non-entrepreneurship papers at academic conferences But they have published only 1.1 entrepreneurship and 1.2 non- entrepreneurship articles in practitioner publications; and they have presented only 1.6 entrepreneurship and 0.7 non-entrepreneurship papers at practitioner conferences. Forty one per cent of them have had their research cited at least once in textbooks. Together, they have published a total of 6 books based on their dissociation research and 7 books dealing with entrepreneurship in general. They have written a total of 13 chapters in practitioner entrepreneurship books edited by another person; and a total of 8 chapters in academic entrepreneurship books edited by another person some have gotten publicity for their entrepreneurship studies in the popular media, mainly print rather than radio and TV. But about half of them have never been quoted in any popular media.

    Of those who have completed their doctorates and have appointments in academia, their annual basic salary is $55,220 supplemented with $4,848 from additional teaching, $7,611 from executive education, and $5,431 from consulting, to produce an average total salary pf $72,019. The highest total salary is $140,000.

    For the 8 persons who left academia, the predominant occupation is consulting. The average salary of 7 of them is $64,857, with one outlier reporting a salary of $180,000.

    Implications
    Students who have attended Babson entrepreneurship doctoral consortia have disseminated the results of their research widely to fellow academics but not widely enough to practitioners. Those with full-time appointments in higher education are doing a little better financially than those who left academia for the "real world." Regrettably, it seems clear from this study that entrepreneurship has some way to go before it is a core academic discipline with "young" scholars dedicating essentially all their efforts to entrepreneurship alone.


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    Last updated November 19, 1996 by Cheryl Ann Lopez