Trends in the Market for Entrepreneurship Faculty, 1989-1998



Date of this version


Document Type



The last decade has seen a dramatic rise in the number and status of entrepreneurship programs in schools of business and management. The popularity of entrepreneurship courses has increased dramatically among both graduate and undergraduate students. Alumni and external constituencies of schools of business have generally been supportive of the development of entrepreneurship programs, and in fact in many instances it has been the demands of these constituencies that have led to the creation or expansion of entrepreneurship programs within these schools. The growth in entrepreneurship programs has been fostered by an increase in the popularity of entrepreneurship, an increase in the status accorded entrepreneurs, as well as an increase in the recognition by the business press of the importance of entrepreneurship in the larger economy. Despite the increase in popularity within the field, there has also been considerable resistance from within the faculties of many institutions to the expansion of entrepreneurship programs. Faculty outside the field have been, and many remain, very skeptical about the validity of entrepreneurship as an academic field, the quality and rigor of entrepreneurship research and the need to hire academic faculty to teach and research in the field. The last decade has seen the confluence of these opposing forces.

This disparity has created the question of whether the external forces supporting entrepreneurship are overcoming the inertia inherent in academic institutions and succeeding in institutionalizing the study of entrepreneurship within schools of business and management. This study hopes to shed some light on which of these forces is winning by addressing the question of whether the field of entrepreneurship is moving toward or has been institutionalized as part of the curriculum and research within schools of business and management. It also examines the institutionalization of the field by analyzing the change in the number and level of entrepreneurship positions, the quality of the recruiting institutions as well as the number, level and training of entrepreneurship candidates during the years 1989–1998. Data was obtained from the Academy of Management Placement Roster and The Chronicle of Higher Education for the years 1989–1998. Previous entrepreneurship education researchers have examined the number of endowed chairs and professorships, conferences, journals, programs and various centers for entrepreneurial education, however sparse research, if any, has been performed on the trends and characteristics of candidates and positions in the field of entrepreneurship.

The results of this study are very encouraging. Both the demand for and the supply of entrepreneurship faculty have increased spectacularly during the last nine years. Between 1989/90 and 1997/98 the number of entrepreneurship positions increased 253% while the number of candidates increased by 94%. During this period the number of positions that list entrepreneurship as the primary field has increased ten-fold from 5 to 50 and the number of candidates that list entrepreneurship as their primary field has increased four-fold from 5 to 20. During the same period the number of secondary and tertiary positions have increased 116% and 78%, respectively, and the number of secondary and tertiary candidates have increased by 67% and 53%. The percentage of entrepreneurship positions listing entrepreneurship as the primary field has increased from 19% in 89/90 to 54% in 1997/98. Overall, the growth in the number of primary entrepreneurship positions is very encouraging.

In the end, the results of this study are very encouraging. Both the demand and the supply of entrepreneurship faculty have increased spectacularly during the last nine years. The field has clearly made significant progress toward being institutionalized. However, it is still too soon to conclude that the commitment to entrepreneurship by schools of business and management is irreversible. One clear indication of the tenuous status is that, unlike strategy and international business, there has been no mandate from the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business that entrepreneurship be incorporated into the curriculum of all accredited schools. Entrepreneurship remains an elective subject in most schools and therefore depends on student interest. The field has made great strides during the 1990s, but a couple of hurdles remain.

Published in

Journal of Business Venturing

Citation/Other Information

Journal of Business Venturing, vol. 16, issue 6, pp. 613-630.