"Case-studies of Entrepreneurial Educators"
(Dr. Raffaella Borasi, Warner School of Education and Human Development)
Abstract: The University of Rochester definition of entrepreneurship as "transforming ideas into enterprises that generate economic, cultural and/or social value" suggests that having some entrepreneurial attitudes, skills and behaviors may empower most educators — not just those who want to start a new business in education — to better achieve their mission. However, currently very little is known about what it means to be an entrepreneurial educator. Building on the exploratory work conducted by the Kauffman Study Group on Entrepreneurship in Education (KSGEE hereafter) over the 2004-05 academic year, we propose to carry out five in-depth case-studies of educators who have demonstrated entrepreneurial qualities and behaviors in different domains of education. A rich set of qualitative data will be collected on each of these subjects to examine how they "transform ideas into initiatives that add value" as part of their job, what entrepreneurial attitudes, skills and behaviors have contributed to their success, and what characteristics within their environment may have supported or hindered being entrepreneurial. The primary goal of these case-studies is to gain a better understanding of what it means and what it takes to be entrepreneurial in the field of education, so as to eventually empower educators to be more effective at what they are doing by learning and using specific entrepreneurial skills and processes. These case-studies will also provide much needed instructional materials for courses on Entrepreneurship in Education and methodological contributions to the literature on entrepreneurship more generally.
"Examining Decision-Making Processes in Entrepreneurial Leadership"
(Dr. Deborah Erickson, Warner School of Education and Human Development)
Abstract: The hypothesis of this study is that entrepreneurial leaders who exhibit a high degree of adaptability, tolerance for ambiguity, sense of self-efficacy, associative thinking and ability to cope with life's challenges in an optimistic manner will exhibit decision—making processes using multiframe thinking as defined by Bolman & Deal (2003) and thereby be successful entrepreneurial leaders. While these individuals may have a natural preference for one frame of thinking, they have moved outside of their comfort zone and developed strategies in using a multiframe approach (Erickson, 1993). Since it is possible to teach individuals to use a multiframe thinking process (Bolman & Deal, 2003) future educational strategies can be developed to facilitate more successful entrepreneurial leaders, if this hypothesis is found to be supported through this research project.
This study integrates static characteristics of the entrepreneurial leader already defined in the literature with an examination of the dynamic processes of entrepreneurial decision-making. Examining the process by which entrepreneurial leaders make decisions using a multiframe analysis pattern is a beginning in the shift of the research from analyzing static characteristics and conditions of the successful entrepreneur to analyzing the process of entrepreneurship, and specifically in this research proposal, the process of decision-making in entrepreneurial leaders.
"Tolerance for Failure, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Performance"
(Dr. David M. Primo, College of Arts and Sciences; Dr. William Green)
Abstract: Entrepreneurship is widely considered to be vital for the success of any economy, yet a coherent body of theoretical and empirical research linking political, economic, and social institutions, entrepreneurship, and economic performance is sparse. We take a step toward remedying this lacuna by studying whether and how institutions which reflect a tolerance for failure affect economic performance by encouraging entrepreneurship. After presenting a theoretical perspective connecting failure and entrepreneurship, we will use data from the U.S. states to empirically examine whether state-level institutions which reflect a tolerance for failure (or lack thereof) explain some of the variation in economic performance across states. The results of this analysis will help us better understand what institutions help foster an "entrepreneurial culture."
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"Researching the Feasibility of Offering a Series of Online Entrepreneurial
Courses at the Eastman School of Music"
(Dr. Ramon Ricker, Eastman School of Music)
Abstract: This proposal will be used to fund qualitative research on the feasibility of offering a series of online entrepreneurial courses through the Eastman School of Music. Should the research indicate viability an online pilot course tentatively titled, The Entrepreneurial Musician: Business Fundamentals for Musicians would be developed. If successful this will clear the way for a series of entrepreneurial courses to follow.
Orchestral musicians are discovering that in today's economy they must be more entrepreneurial. Simply put, it is difficult to make a living by just playing in an orchestra. The 2005-06 salary and wage statistics from the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) reveal that, of the top 50 (biggest budget and number of weeks worked) orchestras in the US and Canada, only 20 have 52 week seasons. Thirty-five have salaries over $40K per year. Within that number (35) 8 have salaries over $100K per year. Clearly, in the world of professional orchestral music, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for musicians to support themselves and their families solely from playing in an orchestra.
Recognizing that the landscape is changing, the Eastman School currently offers courses to prepare its students to better meet these new and even future challenges. With the experience we have gained through our Arts Leadership Curriculum, the certificates and diplomas we currently offer through the Institute for Music Leadership, and following the identified trends indicated in our initial research, we believe the next logical step would be for us to offer courses to our students, alumni and other interested professional musicians. This pilot course coupled with the planned national research will enable us to better assess the future entrepreneurial needs of the orchestral community and how we might best serve them. We realize that musicians have erratic and changing schedules that limit their availability to come to Rochester. Our preliminary research indicates an online course would be perfectly suited for the population we are trying to reach, since it can be accessed at times of each participant's choosing.
"How do you Experience your Music? Enhancing the Digital Music
Experience through Embedded Data"
(Dr. David Headlam; Eastman School of Music; Dr. Mark Bocko; School of Engineering and Applied Sciences)
Abstract: The proposed study of entrepreneurship builds upon an ongoing technology project to develop methods for embedding information in music files, but the real point of the study is to explore how a worldwide virtual community forms and interacts to adopt and develop uses for new web-based technologies. Specifically, we are interested in exploring the basic features that enable a technology to "take off," (e.g. sites like "mySpace" or "YouTube"). More specifically, we may ask, how does "buzz" develop and how does the use of a new web technology spread? In this new model of entrepreneurship a single individual does not drive the process, but rather, value emerges from the collective activity of an on-line community. In fact, new web technologies may have uses and impact that were completely unanticipated by the technology inventors. A central research question is: how does an online community reach a consensus on the use of a new technology? Is the community a true open source democracy, or do multiple "experts" exert control over the community with the technology reaching the critical tipping point when the key experts reach agreement? We propose to study this process within the context of our music metadata system. Success of the project will not be measured simply by gauging the spread of the new technology but rather by the insights we hope to achieve by exploring the mechanisms by which a new web technology spreads through monitoring communication among the online communities and observing how this communication turns into consensus.
"Case-studies of Entrepreneurial Educators (Supplement)"
(Dr. Raffaella Borasi; Warner School of Education and Human Development)
Abstract: In 2005, the Warner School's Kauffman Study Group on Entrepreneurship in ducation (KSGEE hereafter) requested and was awarded the first RCE Faculty Research Grant to conduct a series of five in-depth case-studies of entrepreneurial educators — which we defined as educators with a record of transforming ideas into initiatives that add value to their institution and the clients they serve. The primary goal of these case-studies was to gain a better understanding of what it means and what it takes to be entrepreneurial in the field of education, so as to empower other educators to learn about relevant entrepreneurial skills and processes and use them effectively in the pursuit of their mission. Embedded in our original proposal was the expectation that, if successful in this first pilot project, we would seek to complement the original set of case-studies as needed to produce a book. Having essentially completed what we promised to deliver in our original project, and more than ever convinced of the value of a book summarizing what we learned from our in-depth studies of entrepreneurial educators, we are requesting a supplement that would enable us to (a) conduct four more case-studies, (b) extend our cross-case analysis to include these new case-studies, and (c) write a book to report on the results of these case-studies and their implications for education, targeted to a mixed audience of education practitioners and researchers.
"Risk, Improvisation, and Entrepreneurship in Unstable Environments"
(Dr. Daniel Reichman, College of Arts and Sciences)
Abstract: This study will analyze the entrepreneurial practices of Honduran immigrants to the United States, focusing on how members of this group conceptualize and manage risk. This research will add to our understanding of business risk as a cultural phenomenon. We will examine how and why migrant entrepreneurs who have returned to Honduras have succeeded at disproportionately high rates. Has the experience of migration transformed migrants' perspective on their place in society? How does the transformative experience of migration affect their success or failure as entrepreneurs? This study will fill a gap in the study of entrepreneurship by investigating the creation of enterprises that generate value in a highly unstable political, social, and economic environment. Rather than viewing extreme instability as a hindrance to entrepreneurship, we propose to view successful Honduran entrepreneurs as models of resourcefulness and improvisation.
"Environmental Entrepreneurship: How Environmental NGOs Adapt to Sustain Themselves"
(Lawrence S. Rothenberg, College of Arts and Sciences)
Abstract: Among our nation’s great entrepreneurs are the creators and leaders of environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These individuals have been at the vanguard of the environmental movement that plays an increasingly important societal role, as we move to a period where issues such as global warming, sustainability, and green living become more and more central to our lives. Yet, just as business entrepreneurs must appeal to venture capitalists, environmental entrepreneurs must win over those who control resources. However, environmental entrepreneurs face an unusual market—increasingly they have come to rely on foundation, rather than member, support, to keep their organizations afloat. Although this fact of life is widely recognized, what it might do to how these entrepreneurs operate their organizations is not well understood. I propose to specify a model and put together a database that will allow us to understand how NGOs and foundations match, with the eventual goal being able to infer whether environmental entrepreneurs must change their NGO’s focus to receive the funding that is their lifeblood.