This paper outlines an approach to teaching enterprising competencies in the university setting of Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand. It is characterised by two features. First, it has an experiential component in the form of developmental exercises; forms of practice which are devised by the students themselves. Second, the exercises are research-based: students study academic articles and book chapters that give clues about how to practice the various competencies. The method is inspired by Gibb’s (1993, 1998, 2002a, 2002b) ideas about simulating the essences of enterprise in the learning environment. The approach used at Massey is outlined at the end of the paper. The paper begins with offering the rationales for the course. First, it provides arguments as to why enterprising competencies are becoming increasingly important for our students. Second, it is argued why, out of three approaches to competency, the behavioural approach is deemed to be the most suitable for the approach employed at Massey.
Third, in the debate about generic versus situation specific competencies, it argues for the relevance of generic competencies. The paper then describes entrepreneurship / small business (E/SB) research on competencies, and discusses why entrepreneurship research is often of little help for ‘how to’ approaches. Finally, the Massey approach is described in detail.
Van Gelderen, M. (2007). Research based yet action oriented: Developing individual level enterprising competencies. (Department of Management and International Business Research Working Paper Series 2006, no. 4). Auckland, NZ: Massey University. Department of Management and International Business.