Social Imaginaries of Entrepreneurship Education: The United States and Germany, 1800-2020

R. Daniel Wadhwani*, Christoph Viebig

*Corresponding author for this work

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    While conventional historical narratives of entrepreneurship education focus on its rise in business schools since the 1970s, this paper traces its roots to the early nineteenth century and chronicles its evolution within the field of higher education more broadly. Using a comparative-history design, we show how changing social imaginaries of entrepreneurship education in Germany and the United States were based on divergent and evolving justifications of entrepreneurial autonomy and its relationship to the common good. Our narrative explores how these social imaginaries shaped the moral and political legitimacy of entrepreneurship and the aims, practices, and organizational forms of entrepreneurship education. We draw out the implications of this deeper history for entrepreneurship education today, including: (a) its current social imaginary, (b) the character of entrepreneurial knowledge, and (c) its relationship to the modern university.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAcademy of Management Learning and Education
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)342-360
    Number of pages19
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


    • History of management education
    • Entreprntreneurship education

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