Document Type : Review Paper


Department of Educational Sciences، Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran


Background and Objectives: The aim of the present study was analyzing the words and semantic units used to define entrepreneurship and describe the entrepreneur presented in the research articles on entrepreneurship education in higher education institutions.
Methods: This study is a synthesis research (systematic review), but in terms of analytical methods, it is an analytical-synthetic research. For this purpose, content analysis and text analysis techniques were used. All articles with the subject of ‘entrepreneurship education’ in higher education which have been indexed in the Islamic World Science Citation Database, were selected as the statistical population. Using the preferred search strategy, 137 articles were retrieved and after considering the study criteria, such as having peer review and discussing entrepreneurship education in the university, 92 articles remained for analysis. In this process, sentences which had been used to describe entrepreneurship or an entrepreneur were analyzed using the software of Textstat2, MAXQDA10, and Excel.
Findings: The findings of this study in the first level of analysis showed that the first ten descriptions ( that is, the first ten words) which are used more frequently for defining entrepreneurship  or describing an entrepreneur in the research texts in Iran respectively are: innovation (frequency 156 and 8.8%), source (frequency 100 and 5.7%), work/activity (frequency 75  and 4.2%), process (frequency54 and 3.1%), business (frequency 43 and 2.4%), risk-taking (frequency 43 and 2.4%) , economy (frequency 41 and 2.3%), creation (frequency 41 and 2.3%), and opportunity (frequency 38 and 2.2%). The findings of the second level of the study, that is, the analysis of the semantic units, showed that the most frequently used semantic unit at the level of analysis of the main components belongs to the description of ‘the features of an entrepreneur’. Among all the subcategories of semantic unit analysis, the ten semantic units which have received more attention than the others, respectively, are: the first level of priority, with 33 semantic units, belongs to the semantic unit of ‘Risk-taking’. The semantic unit of the entrepreneur being ‘an opportunist’ with 22 semantic units was the second level of priority and ‘innovation’ with 16 semantic units was the third level of priority. Other priorities, respectively, are as follows: ‘creating new business’ with 16 semantic units, ‘supplying new product to the market’ with 13 semantic units, ‘creativity’ of the entrepreneur with 13 semantic units, ‘having the ability of mobilizing the sources’ with 12 semantic units, ‘self-confidence’ with 12 semantic units, ‘improvement of the economic condition’ with 11 semantic units, and ‘supplying new service’ with 8 semantic units. Comparison of the two levels of analysis showed that in the first ten components of both analyses, there is a lot of overlap; however, by comparing the order of priority of the components, it can be seen that the researchers in Iran consider entrepreneurship as being more dominated by ‘risk-taking’ and ‘opportunist’ individuals and their ‘innovation’ feature is at the third order of priority whereas in defining and describing entrepreneurship, the word ‘innovation’ has had more application.
Conclusion: The results indicate that first, both at the level of semantic units and at the level of the words used, entrepreneurship education specialists in Iranian universities, in line with the experts of this domain, consider entrepreneurship as a driver of innovation leading to business and job creation. Second, since at both levels of analysis, the findings indicate that more attention is paid to the characteristics of the entrepreneur, so it can be concluded that entrepreneurship education specialists in Iranian higher education institutions consider entrepreneurship as an individual characteristic; that is why, somehow the characteristics of entrepreneurs are emphasized. Third and perhaps the most important result was that despite the extent and variety of concepts considered in the texts of entrepreneurship education in Iran, perhaps there are no approved and accepted curricula for teaching entrepreneurship to the students and in each of the implemented courses, a specific dimension on entrepreneurship is taught and many other topics are neglected or the required time for addressing them is not provided. The main limitations of the present study were the incompleteness of the collection of the sources required for the objective of this study as well as the extraction of the sentences from the /original text of the articles selected for analysis.


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