WORKSHOP: ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION- ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND RECOVERY THROUGH INNOVATION

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1 USASBE_2011_Proceedings-Page1257 WORKSHOP: ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION- ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND RECOVERY THROUGH INNOVATION Charles R. B. Stowe MBA, JD, Ph.D. Lander University 320 Stanley Ave Greenwood, SC Robert J. Lahm, Jr., Ph.D. Western Carolina University ABSTRACT AACSB International Task Force on Business Schools and Innovation released Business Schools on an Innovation Mission in April This workshop covers the five recommendations. The goal is to stimulate discussion and ideas on how business schools and entrepreneurship programs can promote economic development through innovation education. Each panelist will offer and solicit from attendees specific activities, programs and strategies for implementing the AACSB s recommendations. Entrepreneurship educators, pracademics (those who have been successful entrepreneurs), and representatives from commercial organizations that market innovation training bring extraordinary insight into how economic development can be promoted through innovation education. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY No single topic has been cited more in the discourse of reinvigorating the global economy than the role of innovation. Politicians including President Obama and many of his economic advisers; business organizations like the Business Roundtable and the US Chamber of Commerce; and media commentators raging from Lou Dobbs to Steve Forbes have cited the importance of unleashing innovation to stimulate the economy. Innovation is more than just scientific and technological developments. Innovation encompasses the process of economic and social management. In 2010, the AACSB released a report by its Task Force on Business Schools and Innovation titled Business Schools on an Innovation Mission. The Task Force was commissioned by the Board of Directors of the AACSB in part because our premier accrediting agency for management education was not invited to the table on the issue of harnessing innovation as a strategy for economic recovery and economic development by politicians, trade/industry organizations, or by media. Headed by Dean Robert S. Sullivan, at the Rady School of Management at University of California, San Diego, the report listed five specific recommendations.

2 USASBE_2011_Proceedings-Page1258 This workshop is devoted to exploring the implications of these recommendations featuring speakers who bring exceptional understanding of business education and/or the process of harnessing innovation in organizations. Presenters will address the role that educators and practitioners can play in helping to develop new business leaders who will be effective innovators. The report presents three broad recommendations advocating that business schools should: (1) develop and regularly evaluate their contributions to innovation in society; (2) develop an approach for creating value at the intersection of different perspectives; (3) and advocate for their role in innovation. On the role of AACSB, the task force made two recommendations: (1) that AACSB should determine the appropriate balance of collective pressure and support such that business schools advance innovation in society; (2) and AACSB should determine the nature and extent of its advocacy role, especially as it relates to business schools support for innovation in society. The core of most successful entrepreneurship is innovation and creativity. As such, entrepreneurship faculty both academic and pracademics have experience and special insight on innovation. However, many operate under the larger umbrella of business schools. During this workshop we will present examples of how to promote innovation for economic development and that can form the basis for a reexamination and improvement of the existing business education curriculum. Attendees will be solicited for specific ideas on the implications of the AACSB report and will be invited to actively participate in the discussion on how innovation might be advanced as a topic of academic study.

3 USASBE_2011_Proceedings-Page1259 WORKSHOP: ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION- ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND RECOVERY THROUGH INNOVATION Drucker titled one of his books Entrepreneurship and Innovation bearing witness to the reality that innovation and successful entrepreneurship are totally intertwined (Drucker 1985). The entire process of creating a new firm with the hope of realizing wealth requires coming up with a business product or service that exceeds the value or quality of competitive offerings. Being able to come up with such a product or service and implementing a strategy to bring that product or service to market is usually going to require innovation. Entrepreneurship professors either by academic training, or by experience as entrepreneurs or as venture capitalists, or both, are well positioned intellectually to comprehend and participate in the emerging debate over how to stimulate economic recovery (or economic development). During the current recession, politicians of both political parties, media representations from both mainstream and new media bloggers and commentators, and organizations representing business such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Roundtable, have all cited innovation as central to our economic recovery. This national dialogue about harnessing innovation encompasses all sorts of business activity from health care to energy to high technology products and services. Much to the dismay of the leadership of the AACSB International, the premiere accrediting agency for business education, they have been totally left out of the dialogue. As a result of not being consulted on matters of how to unleash innovation or how to manage innovation, the Board of Directors launched a task force on business schools and innovation. Dr. Robert S. Sullivan, Dean of the Rady School of Management at University of California, San Diego, was selected to head the committee charged with initiating research on the implications of the nation s debate over economic recovery and economic development and innovation and the role of both business schools and the AACSB. The report was released in April The report offers a definition and a discussion on the nature of innovation and points out that innovation and entrepreneurship are not equivalent. They state that: Innovation is The implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method or a new organizational method in business practices, workplace organization or external relations (Sullivan 2010). The committee felt that innovation should not be confined to for-profit organizations nor to simply describing technological or scientific innovation or invention, but rather management activity that brings creativity to a process, product or service that enhances quality, features or lowers costs, or all the above.

4 USASBE_2011_Proceedings-Page1260 As seen from a management education perspective the report states that when it comes to innovation, management education should focus as much on developing skills as transferring knowledge. And that managerial skills take on special importance because innovation activities involve ambiguity, change, and risk, which in turn amplify the need for leadership, communication and collaboration (Sullivan 2010). Their observation is that innovation requires more integrative thinking and integrated curricula. Further, people who are capable of thinking across knowledge gaps are also more capable in managing innovation. They cite as examples institutions that offer law and management degrees or medical programs that offer joint MBA degrees, or institutions where engineers are either taking business courses or even earning MBA degrees. The committee observed that programs that are oriented for executive education with openenrollments might be particularly well suited for innovation. To build intellectual capital within business schools the committee reported that too few schools were taking the risk to focus more on applied and pedagogical scholarship and admitted that most studies conclude that revolutionary management innovations have rarely originated from academia (footnote 45 (Sullivan 2010). The AACSB Report views innovation as a management skill set broader than entrepreneurship; as such, it is interesting that descriptions of activities described as promoting innovation are often sponsored by entrepreneurship faculty. Some examples of programs that promote innovation included business incubators, business plan competitions, idea competitions, community-based student consulting projects, commercialization of technology and research, and social entrepreneurship activities. An interesting assertion is that more sharing through networks translates into more innovation (Sullivan 2010). The Report offers five broad recommendations: business schools should develop and regularly evaluate their contributions to innovation in society; should develop an approach for creating value at the intersection of different perspectives; and should advocate for their role in innovation. On the role of AACSB, the task force recommends that AACSB should determine the appropriate balance of collective pressure and support such that business schools advance innovation in society; and AACSB should determine the nature and extent of its advocacy role, especially as it relates to business schools support for innovation in society. PURPOSE OF WORKSHOP The purpose of the workshop is to begin to develop: 1) an inventory of policies, activities and programs that promote innovation for the development of a national survey on how business programs might enhance the development of managerial skills in innovation; 2) a discussion of the research possibilities that entrepreneurship faculty might engage in to enhance the understanding of exactly how and what needs to be injected into business education curriculum; and 3) and to form a special interest group comprised of both entrepreneurship scholars and commercial organizations involved in training executives and business leaders in innovation management (either as an internal function or through external training and development resources).

5 USASBE_2011_Proceedings-Page1261 PROCEDURES A small panel will be moderated by Professor and Director of Outreach Initiatives, Lander University, Charles R. B. Stowe MBA, JD, Ph.D., who is one of the charter members of an AACSB discussion forum on innovation. A venture capitalist for 15 years, a SEE 7 participant (Babson s Symposium on Entrepreneurship Education), Dr. Stowe has taught entrepreneurship courses since 1983 and developed a minor and major in entrepreneurship at Sam Houston State University (SHSU). Also while at SHSU, Dr. Stowe founded the first four-year, two year, Entrepreneurship Institute in Texas, by brokering an agreement for collaboration and joint support between his institution and Lone Star Community College (Montgomery); he also founded Sam Houston State University s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Dr. Robert S. Sullivan will submit his comments asynchronously. Dean Sullivan was the chair of the AACSB International s Task Force on Innovation. He currently serves as Dean and Stanley and Pauline Foster Endowed Chair at the Rady School of Management at University of California, San Diego. He will report on what strategies or policy implications his committee s report may have on accreditation standards and the business education/entrepreneurship curriculum. He will share his perspective on the implications of the committee s report for the future of business education. Each participant will be offered the opportunity to download the full text of the committee s report and recommendations. Dr. Wilburn Clouse, Ford Chair of Entrepreneurship at Western Kentucky University and Professor Emeritus, Vanderbilt University, developed a curriculum called E-Spirit which incorporates creativity and humor with entrepreneurship at Vanderbilt and now at Western Kentucky. Under a grant from the Lincoln Trails Economic Development Association, Dr. Clouse he organized a group of facilitators to conduct an economic opportunity assessment involving over 100 entrepreneurs and local government officials. The purpose of the day-long meeting was to engage local entrepreneurs to identify potential business opportunities while forming new relationships. Participants were surveyed and it was discovered that many of the attendees did not know each other even though they had resided in the counties for many years. He will offer his insights into the issue of teaching innovation and creative thinking. Dr. Robert J. Lahm, Jr., is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Western Carolina University. His background prior to entering the higher education field includes experience as an account supervisor with an advertising agency that specialized in high technology clients, and as the founder of his own former advertising firm. He began his business career as a marketing manager for a Los Angeles based start-up computer peripherals manufacturer and distributor. Dr. Lahm is the owner of more than 185 domain names and has developed numerous Websites (both academic and commercial in nature). The underpinnings for many of his private sector career pursuits includes formal training in filmmaking, special effects, and other creative disciplines. Dr. Lahm will summarize key insights gained from more than two decades of experience in dealing with challenges from the cutting edge of innovation, and relate these to AACSB initiatives. Douglas Hall is a successful engineer and entrepreneur who is now engaged in operating Eureka Ranch (www.eurekaranch.com), which trains corporate executives and senior management in innovation engineering. The firm s stated purpose is to Develop and Deliver the World's

6 USASBE_2011_Proceedings-Page1262 Most Reliable Systems for Creating, Communicating & Commercializing Meaningfully Unique Ideas. Mr. Hall s firm and its accomplishments have received widespread business media attention, and have been the subject of coverage in Inc., Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNN and other outlets. Reflecting on his engineering background, Mr. Hall has aggregated considerable data on innovation, which he shares with his corporate clients to help them seize opportunity in the sea of chaos. As a recognized expert in systematizing innovation processes, Mr. Hall will relate the means by which AACSB might foster similar processes in business education. After a brief presentation, Dr. Stowe will moderate guided discussion questions which will be shared with the participants. The questions will be directed to enable a follow-up report addressing the following major themes: 1) in what ways can AACSB institutions promote innovation; 2) depending on the participation, could we assemble an inventory of policies, activities and programs that promote innovation; 3) explore the utility of a national survey on how business programs enhance the development of managerial skills; 4) a discussion of the research possibilities that entrepreneurship faculty might engage in to enhance the understanding of exactly how and what needs to be injected into business education curriculum; and 5) the launching of an interest group for scholars and commercial organizations involved in training executives and business leaders in innovation management. As part of the workshop, participants will be asked to fill out a survey to compile an inventory of how their respective programs advance innovation education, what activities contribute to that objective, what research opportunities the faculty believe they can offer. Unfortunately, many if not most AACSB institutions face a period of constrained or declining resources. The issue becomes how to develop pragmatic approaches to implementing AACSB s broad and somewhat vague recommendations. Participants will be invited to continue their discussion through the AACSB Exchange, which hosts an Innovation Discussion Group. SO WHAT? This panel should ignite a discussion on what strategies business schools should consider in addressing the AACSB Task Force s recommendations. The published recommendations are broad and non-specific as to exactly what steps a business school should take to support innovation education. While the report provides a very useful discussion of the Task Force s definition of innovation (and the observation that teaching innovation is teaching business skills and not just knowledge), there is a huge opportunity and challenge for business and entrepreneurship educators relative to discerning how and what to teach. The major obstacle for business schools is that faculty will be called upon to teach what they have never been taught themselves. While many business faculty have a plethora of experience (including that which is practical in nature), relatively few are specialists in installing innovation systems and processes or managing innovation! If faculty members have not had formal education in innovation skills, and if they have not experienced innovation management skills, then how are we going to deliver on teaching innovation? While the AACSB report attempts to divorce or at least distinguish innovation from entrepreneurship and technological developments or inventions, their examples of teaching

7 USASBE_2011_Proceedings-Page1263 innovation come from universities that have formal programs and activities in entrepreneurship. It is therefore extremely important that entrepreneurship faculty take the lead in debating what innovation skills are, how we can integrate innovation into all disciplines, and how to best promote innovation as a set of skills that business schools can research and promote. Most faculty involved in teaching entrepreneurship or in directing entrepreneurship centers have much more intellectual capital in the field of innovation than a typical professor of finance, economics, or statistics, for instance. This panel on innovation will be one of the first of its kind to stake a claim on behalf of entrepreneurship scholars, asserting that we have something if not the most relevant insights to contribute. For example, the AACSB s report observes that innovation requires cross disciplinary approaches. The fact is that many entrepreneurship faculty have gained direct experience in offering their courses to non-business majors in arts, medical science, engineering, English and other social sciences. Entrepreneurship is truly the liberal arts of the business curriculum in that we integrate knowledge and theory from many disciplines. The specific goals of the panel will be to lay the foundation for the following: 1) further research on what activities and approaches are currently offered by universities; 2) lay the groundwork for a bibliography of research from many disciplines on innovation to better identify exactly what knowledge we currently have on teaching this management skill; 3) set in motion an interest group to develop an inventory of teaching models that are used by other disciplines to teach, coach, or foster creativity; 4) harness some of the transferrable research on how institutions can foster innovation and creativity; and 5) increase the involvement of entrepreneurship faculty, who can facilitate and deliver innovation where it is ultimately needed the most (especially at this particular juncture) in our nation s economic history: in the hands of future business and entrepreneurial leaders! REFERENCES Drucker, P. F., Ed. (1985). Innovation and Entrepreneurship, HarperBusiness. Sullivan, R. S. (2010). Business Schools on an Innovation Mission. A. International. Tampa, AACSB International.

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