Entrepreneurship and Innovation Toolkit
Lee Swanson, University of Saskatchewan
Pub Date: 2017
Conditions of Use
I thought the text covered many areas of entrepreneurship that are important, however seems as though a deeper explanation on many topics could have read more
I thought the text covered many areas of entrepreneurship that are important, however seems as though a deeper explanation on many topics could have enhanced a lecture or classroom discussion. I recognize that even though entrepreneurship is a very broad topic and there have been many texts devoted to the creation, launch and building of a business that was not the goal of this text.I took the text to the literal explanation that there would be exercises or activities to explain or reinforce the concepts of entrepreneurship. The text did a good job of actually explaining the history and gestation of the modern day entrepreneurship concepts with very strong specific examples of entrepreneur quotes and stories. I would rate the overall comprehensiveness as a 3 for the reason that I would have enjoyed more depth in the actual examples offered. This book is designed in my mind as valuable tool for the instructor to use as a lecture guide.
I thought the accuracy of content and the cited research was good for a text that focused on theory of entrepreneurship. I reviewed some of the citations and know of some of the authors that were referenced and believe the author select professors who are leaders in their field and certainly will enhance the credibility. I think the author validates the importance of entrepreneurship in today's higher education curriculum.
The text content is timeless, meaning that the building blocks and foundation of the content will be relevant for a long time to come. I believe it will be easy to add and update new findings in entrepreneurial research and pedagogue as more research and examples can be used as references. Many of the examples used to support theory are ideas and examples I currently use in the classroom with other text. That being said for the concept of OER materials I thought this text covered the topic with a good foundation and the knowledge a student derives from this text will provide a good starting point in the concept and ideas of entrepreneurship
I think there are some opportunities to write clearer content either for the Canadian market or the US market, but one text does not fit well in both markets.I found the text to read in format not content like a published paper. I think it needs to be more reader friendly. Perhaps a listicle format chunking the content into smaller sections would be more appealing to a university student. I don’t think students today will read all the content in the current format. Even though headers are used effectively I think using different color headers, or font size could add to the appeal and engage the reader with more relevant examples. The use of single spacing also seems like a deterrent to read in sections and add to the readers comprehension.
I liked the titles of each chapter, however I would recommend moving chapter 9 Innovation and Entrepreneurship close to if not following chapter two Design thinking. I might even suggest Chapter 9 Innovation and Entrepreneurship precede chapter 2 Design Thinking. I also thought some of the chapters were very light on explanation for terms and concepts. An example of this comment is reflected in Chapter 2 Opportunity recognition and Design Thinking. There is only a paragraph or two that tries to explain Design Thinking. Even though Design Thinking is a very lengthy concept with many steps if I was a student I would be asking for more relevancy of the concept and perhaps even some examples. I also note throughout the text that there are papers cited by Baron and Karatko who I find very reliable and credible resources in the area of entrepreneurship. I might use this text in my foundation of entrepreneurship class and would more than likely move Business Models chapter 4 more toward the end of the 10 chapters. I could then use as a capstone project building on the previous topics.
There are ten chapters presented and the content fits neatly into the titles. The traditional 15 week semester would be better served with perhaps 14-15 chapters and the depth of content being much more granular. I do like the use of “tools” and might suggest that more be added . Approach the content with the goal to engage and draw in the students through asking them to use experiential activities to demonstrate the theory and content. I might also suggest adding graphics with more either color or shape to better explain the tools. I thought there could be better explanations of some of the tools. Consider this could be used as an entry level text and the student may have little knowledge of terms in the early part of the semester. Terms, concepts and theory needs a laddering process in order to scaffold and build a students schema in the principles of entrepreneurship
This topic has been covered in my previous remarks that would be reviewed as the consideration of restructuring the chapters might provide a better experience for the students.
I thought the text could use more color, definition or utilization of graphics to get the tools, charts and graphs to stand out. Suggested previously that the use of headers with larger font, or additional colors could enhance the readers experience.
I thought the grammar was a little confusing switching from terms and thoughts a US reader might be familiar with and then seeing some English/ Canadian spelling. I could not find any inconstancy in use of concepts that both audiences might understand
I could not find any bias or reference to culture on the topic of entrepreneurship in the text.
I enjoyed reading the text and look forward to consideration of this resource for my classes.
As a lecturer in Innovation Management, I was keen to read this text. A toolkit can be a helpful reference guide to dip in and out off and this text read more
As a lecturer in Innovation Management, I was keen to read this text. A toolkit can be a helpful reference guide to dip in and out off and this text did not disappoint in this way. It covers a wide range of topics in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship. Many topics were however mentioned but then not covered in much depth. For example, I was interested in the area of Design Thinking, which was listed in the heading of chapter 2 along with Opportunity Recognition but then featured as only three short paragraphs at the end of the chapter. It is difficult to cover all areas of innovation but I would have expected more of the stages of the innovation process to be captured, for example selecting the innovation and implementing as well as sourcing and capturing value. More also on collaborative models of innovation e.g. open innovation/innovation networks could also be covered.
It is great to read quotes at the start of each chapter that sets the scene. Often provided by a popularised author who has written many important texts on the subject and it really captures your attention to that topic area. However, in many cases the source of the quote was missing. The figure headings also sometimes contained website addresses as the source. It was also not always possible to find the sources from the details provided in the reference list. I would also say that a number of notable key authors in the field were missing. For example the originator of theory on Core Competencies. However, I cannot fault the accuracy of the actual content, the author navigates through many areas of innovation content within this area and very competently summarises some of the key theories and areas of innovative practice.
There content does look up to date, bringing in recent examples throughout such as the airbnb business model. The opening chapter providing a history of entrepreneurship, discussing key definitions and the evolution of the filed is excellent therefore will not date and will continue to be a useful resource. However, the business world is fast changing and new approaches to how we innovate will continue to appear as we react to this change and so the author will need to continue to keep this text updated as he has done so with the last few versions. The way the text is written will make it relatively easy to update bringing in new current examples to inspire students.
The topic areas sometimes felt like they were delivered in note form, with long lists and bullets but in a way as it is presented as a toolkit then this should be anticipated and on the other hand it enables students to dip in and out of it and look for more depth on each topic later. So it gives an overview and can easily be flicked through. Setting expectations of the book by providing more on ‘the content of the book’ when listing this text could help here, as very little is revealed in the book description.
I would say the text is consistent in terms of the terminology used. The style incorporates a number of questions being raised to the reader throughout, they are not always answered but it gives the reader a chance to think about the topic and question aspects of innovation. I also see this as a benefit for students considering a research question to explore, perhaps for an undergraduate or postgraduate dissertation.
The modularity of this text is great. Students or academics can refer to particular chapters or sections of the book. However, more signposting of the sections would be good as commented in the next section.
The order of the chapters with the exception of the first chapter seems a little random, for example chapter 9 Innovation and Entrepreneurship does not come until chapter 9. Navigating the different sections could be helped with the different subsections having numbered headings and present in the contents page. There are lots of headings and subheadings but you do not know about the content until you get through the chapter. For example, if you are interested in social entrepreneurship, you do not realise there is a section on it until you get to chapter 10 on The Entrepreneurial Environment. A glossary would also be useful. An opening preface by the author explaining the layout of the book, would also be helpful in a future revision.
There is a lack of consistency in the way that the figures are displayed e.g. black border around or not, less professional quality of photograph (sheen from light on it). Figures don’t always indicate source or have a label e.g. p45. P44 is blank. Some sections have a feeling of being unfinished e.g. p57/58. It is an informative text with lists and short paragraphs covering different topics and so flow in paragraphs content is not always linked but for the aforementioned reason.
Mix between American and British English used. There is a lack of critical discussion in this text but this is the style of the writing. Sometimes capitals are used at the start of each bullet point and sometimes not.
The text does not focus on a particular context i.e. it is not grounded in a particular international setting. Making references to particular races is not provided here. There is a section on social innovation which addresses the needs of individuals from areas of multiple deprivation, for example though community development organisations, it is good to see this inclusion here.
I really enjoyed reading this book and could see many applications for it, in terms of informing lecture material and also as previously mentioned, for students to refer to, to gain ideas for their research topics. A worthwhile book to read and gain insight into the field, very concisely presented for easy reading.
Table of Contents
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Toolkit
- Chapter 1 – Introduction to Entrepreneurship
- Chapter 2 – Opportunity Recognition and Design Thinking
- Chapter 3 – Evaluating Entrepreneurial Opportunities
- Chapter 4 – Business Models
- Chapter 5 – Business Planning
- Chapter 6 – Financing Entrepreneurship
- Chapter 7 – Business Set-Up, Start-Up, and Growth
- Chapter 8 – Strategic Entrepreneurship
- Chapter 9 – Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Chapter 10 – The Entrepreneurial Environment
The Language of Entrepreneurship
About the Book
This book is designed for upper year undergraduate students and graduate students studying fundamental entrepreneurship concepts.
About the Contributors
Dr. Lee Swanson is an Associate Professor of Management and Marketing at the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan. His research focuses on entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, Aboriginal entrepreneurship, community capacity-building through entrepreneurship, and institutional-stakeholder engagement. Dr. Swanson’s current research is funded through a Social Sciences Humanities Research Council grant and focuses on social and economic capacity building in Northern Saskatchewan and Northern Scandinavia. He is also actively studying Aboriginal community partnerships with resource based companies, entrepreneurship centres at universities, community-based entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurial attitudes and intentions. He teaches upper-year and MBA entrepreneurship classes and conducts seminars on business planning and business development.