Entrepreneurship education in fashion study programs: The instructor's perspective

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Schrimpf, Emily M.
Major Professor
Niehm, Linda
Eike, Rachel
Mueller, Brandon
Committee Member
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Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management
Entrepreneurship education (EE) has evolved into a prominent area of interest among academics and students alike. Even though EE has experienced growth, class offerings are still commonly limited to business colleges. This creates a knowledge gap in EE curricula, specifically between business and non-business students. Furthermore, research has examined the impacts of instructors on student outcomes but has not examined the university's impact on instructors. To bridge this gap, this a mixed-methods exploratory study, framed by the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), explored the impacts of universities' perceived confirmation regarding EE on instructors' attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and their intention to include EE into their fashion studies course(s). A survey was distributed to a purposive sample of instructors to assess the status of EE in fashion studies programs. Then, interviews were conducted to further expand on the survey results. This exploratory study found that university confirmation does not appear to moderate the predictive relationship between instructor attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, and intentions. This may be due to the lack of awareness that instructors perceive the university to have on the scope of fashion studies programs. However, instructor’s attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, and university confirmation did have a predictive relationship with intentions to implement EE in their courses. These findings illuminate that EE is an emerging curricular focus among fashion studies programs, with most instructors recognizing the importance of its inclusion. However, they are frustrated by the lack of guidance on how to effectively integrate EE in their curricula. Findings further aid in establishing a framework for EE in fashion studies programs and assist in identifying key areas of needed instructor support. Planned future research will focus on the relevance of EE from fashion studies students' perspectives.