Engagement through boundary spanning: Insights from US entrepreneurship educators

Ethné Swartz, Dianne H.B. Welsh, Norris Krueger, Steven Tello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines how the institutional role of entrepreneurship educators influences how they span boundaries and engage students and communities. We examine boundary-spanning behaviours based on four types of orientations among individuals involved in higher education technicalpractical, socio-emotional, community and organizational. We used survey data to identify how entrepreneurship educators at higher education institutions engaged stakeholders before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings suggest that the institutional role appears to correlate with boundary-spanning orientation. Faculty reported involvement in boundary-spanning and engagement activities, albeit to significantly lower degrees than other participants involved in entrepreneurship education and administration. This paper summarizes the results of university engagement and the roles that had emerged in entrepreneurship education just before the COVID-19 pandemic. We propose a model for 21st-century engagement and document entrepreneurship education roles evolving in concert with the needs of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-300
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2024


  • Academic engagement
  • Entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Entrepreneurship education
  • Roles.
  • University entrepreneurship


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