Bridging the fields of entrepreneurship and education: The role of philosophical perspectives in fostering opportunity identification

Mohammadreza Farrokhnia, Yvette Baggen, Harm Biemans, Omid Noroozi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)


The number of entrepreneurship education (EE) programs that aim to foster opportunity identification (OI) as a key entrepreneurial capability has grown considerably in the past few decades. However, these EE programs mostly lack a robust theoretical framework that could help educators and researchers select teaching approaches in line with their philosophical perspectives. This study proposes a theory-driven framework for fostering OI by bridging entrepreneurship and education fields, considering the ontological and epistemological assumptions that exist in both fields. The proposed framework includes different philosophical perspectives on entrepreneurial opportunities and strategies for identifying opportunities coupled with the most relevant learning theories and teaching approaches for fostering OI. Based on this framework, behaviorism and cognitivism are the most consistent learning theories with the opportunity discovery perspective's philosophical assumptions, and social constructivist learning theory is more appropriate for developing EE programs based on the opportunity creation perspective. This framework suggests that for developing an efficacious EE program to improve individuals' OI performance, different perspectives on the emergence of opportunities and learning should be combined and integrated into a consistent, constructively aligned EE program. The paper concludes with implications for the theory and practice in the entrepreneurship education field.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10063220
JournalThe International Journal of Management Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes


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