Innovation or Entrepreneurship: Which Comes First? Exploring the Implications for Higher Education

Smart Products: Conceptual Review, Synthesis, and Research Directions

Innovation or Entrepreneurship: Which Comes First? Exploring the Implications for Higher Education

Angela Paladino

kHUB post date: September 29, 2022
Originally published: June 4, 2022 (PDMA JPIM • Vol 39, Issue 4 • July 2022)
Read time: 12 minutes

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Kahn's (2022) Catalyst article has posed some thought-provoking ideas regarding the distinction between innovation and entrepreneurship. While the article posits that there is a lack of clarity over what innovation and entrepreneurship represent and critiques the teaching of these ideals across universities, the author goes further to contend that these concepts do not overlap, despite research and teachings to the contrary. Moreover, he states that the skills needed for innovation are different from those needed to be an entrepreneur. This essay response challenges the notions put forward by Kahn. I proffer that while there is now a substantial body of research in innovation and entrepreneurship, they remain comprised of multi-definitional perspectives. This lack of cohesion and significant overlap in the scholarly community largely reflects the interrelatedness of these concepts in practice. As such, it impacts on the role of universities in how they define, position, and teach innovation and entrepreneurship. Indeed, it also has a substantial influence on the range of skills they help their students to develop. Are they to develop entrepreneurs or innovators? Or rather, do the courses offered to enable students to build the employability skills required to adapt to either area? This essay discusses some of these issues and extends a series of questions for further research.

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