1. Introduction -
In the era of global economy, Brazil is actually transforming its socio-economical needs, creating a new base for local businesses that compete on the national and international markets. This global force is provoking pressure to local entrepreneurs in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. Considering that Brazil has, in the past, suffered many deficiencies; its socio-economical development profile is still showing many signs of weakness that seem to become latent .
The origins of a country are strongly related with the way it establishes and solidifies its educational base, and consequently, if it considers that education constitutes a clear determinant in which it may generate sustainable socio-economic development .
However, in a process of reorganization of education and in order to establish consistent educational practices that are promising for the future of our university students, from where emerges the importance of change? How is being elaborated a proper education program capable to introduce an entrepreneurial dimension? The first question is linked to the necessity of recognizing the importance of the entrepreneurial force in Brazil and not to accept in a simplistic way new educative norms to be implemented but. We then have to sow a ground reform of thinking, to create auto-consciousness within the educators and to provoke a multiplying effect of positive change.
The theory foundations refer to various fields of research. The first dimension deals about Globalization, Culture and Education. The globalization process stimulates access to information on a wide scale, providing disruption of the territorial borders. Through technology of information, access to knowledge is spread out in real time. Consequently, the era of information provokes time and space compression that makes viable interactions from all places of the planet.
The entrepreneurs, therefore, already perceive that the market must be analyzed in a global perspective. This fact requires that Brazilian companies have to become more efficient and effective to reach a superior performance, as a base of competitive advantage, to be suited to compete on a global scale.
As a socio-political entity, Brazil counts as the “Giant” of South America. Its internal diversity constitutes one of the strongest aspects of the Brazilian culture. As an economical entity, Brazil counts with a huge amount of micro and small businesses. This data demonstrates that the majority of the 88 million Brazilians who constitute the Active Work Force (PEA) works or has some kind of labor link with the Small and Medium Businesses (SMEs), showing that the Brazilian population is intensely entrepreneur .
At the beginning of the XXIst century, SMEs were currently the main generating factor of work force because the major companies, with their necessity of increasing productivity and with the new requirements of the market, tend to automatize each time more and thus, hire less. Unfortunately, the Brazilian micro and small business culture seems to have converged more toward interpersonal and social interactions rather than scientific and business performance, provoking alarming rates of business mortality in Brazil and demonstrating that the entrepreneurial Brazilian culture is showing an obvious of lack of core competency.
The most developed economic systems characterizes themselves as capable of generating constant innovation initiatives, which distinguishes them from any productive complex where technology spreads by incremental copy or imitation actions [5 – 7] In that context, Brazil has recently started to participate more actively in this debate, because its universe of innovative entrepreneurs has been growing in recent years. The urgency of training the entrepreneurs and forming new entrepreneurs that have the capacity of acquiring competitive knowledge merges with the necessary to re-think Brazil educational system.
The second dimension involves the importance of Change, Uncertainty, Learning and Innovation in the entrepreneur’s life. Morin refers to the necessity of reforming our way of thinking, in which the individual enhances his ability to “re-organize” knowledge, or “think”. Morin’s view basically constitutes a ground of educative transformation where cognitive stimulation offers a new dimension for the subject in a learning process and crucial in an educational context. Such pattern constitutes a key conceptual base for the making of a Pilot Training Course in Entrepreneurship. Morin’s view is that it is possible to guide the student thru a real journey of discovery, which does mean encounter new lands but, to have a different view of the world. Reforming our way of thinking may suggests, in a pedagogic perspective, that it is more accurate to train our student in a systemic perspective, with a broader intellectual view, able ling to reach the meaning of local culture, and also able ling to obtain a sufficient level of cognitive energy required to build an education that train generations capable of thinking .
A different perspective about education can suggest a permanent and constant process of review and actualization of learning. Consequently, it is possible to reconsider the concepts of student and teacher and review all levels of education without any absolute connotation . Such hypothesis can be characterized as a new paradigm of pedagogy, where usually in education; the actors actually do not allow themselves to be influenced by such a change of path.
The learning process constitutes the result of our own recognition of the necessity of change, which happens when we allow space for reconstruction and maintain stimulus . Thus, the environment of the classroom can constitute an opportunity to the educator to recognize himself thru the stimulating experience of making decisions, of being responsible and of having his own liberty. His role is basically to assist in the analysis of the possible consequences of the decision being made.
The wisdom comes from the ignorance, being a process for constant overcoming through critical conscience . The role of the educator who opts for change consists in acting and reflecting together with the individuals with whom he interacts to acquire his own conscience together with them of the real difficulties of society.
This means the necessity of the educator to extend each time more its knowledge, not only under his own view of selecting such method and technique of action, but also thru the limits with which he faces in his activity.
The third dimension involves the issues of Context, Strategy and Leadership in teaching at the university. In order to be able to judge the quality of the development of an existing training program, a review of the literature from different author on Education has been realized. One refers to the concepts of training and experience [11,12] and other refers to pedagogy as a base for understanding educational contexts and learning strategy . This brief review shows the importance for the teacher to emerge with a reflection based on epistemological foundations on educational realities, referring to the notions of training, experience; or else tacit and explicit knowledge. It is also important to worry about the roles of the professor and the student; to develop teaching strategies that correspond best to the realities of the conveyed teaching project and, to recognize the essential character to work in an educational reality in order to develop projects of holistic character that responds to the needs of the students.
For example, see  educational model proposes a pedagogical situation evolving from a systemic pattern between the professor, the student, the contents and the problematic referring to the teaching, the methods and techniques of formation and the learning process. This model is considered as traditional in the field of Education. The role of the professor is to question the realities concerning the teacher, the potential environments of formation, the contents, and the problematic referring to the experiences and resources that the environments can offer the exchanges that connect the teacher to the environments and the methods and techniques used . This educational context constitutes the prism that permits to recognize the situation allowing the teacher to bloom while conforming to the norms prescribed in the exercise of his work. Also, the role of the student is to question the realities concerning the student, the potential environments of formation, the contents, and the problematic referring to the experiences and resources that the environments can offer, the supports that allow the student integration in the environments and the learning process as a strategy of acquirement of the knowledge.
This pedagogical context constitutes a prism that permits to recognize the situation allowing the student to bloom while conforming to the norms prescribed in the classroom. In a traditional model, the student is generally less involved and least aware of the pedagogical situation in which he evolves. The student shows a passive attitude, which is contrary to what is expected from a student learning in an entrepreneurial course.
The word student refers to the learners in quest of formation in an integrated process with the teacher [1,13]. The student’s learning platform becomes in itself the reflection of the one of the educator, constituting its own identity. This situation is important in an entrepreneurial educative situation. The participant happens to be the center of its own educational reality, putting in dynamics the context that position him in relation to the other actors. The student in entrepreneurship comes out of this positivist reality that outdistances him of the professor and the contents formation and, let free course to the passions that guide him in the process of learning.
The participant develops an attitude that implies a responsibility oriented to a process that he borrows. The actions that he achieves are at a time the result of personal initiatives, subject to a redefinition of his own contexts. This redefinition is hybrid, contaminated by the influence of the professor’s model and the learning contents proposed to the student. The student’s pedagogical context becomes symbiotic and dialectic with the role of the professor and the contents that are lavished.
The main author and his collaborators consider that the teacher of entrepreneurship becomes a model entrepreneur who detains the strategies and the leadership required to transform his class. The teacher is, in one hand, a researcher habilitated to identify and to interpret the theoretical foundations of the field of knowledge, and on the other hand, imprints himself of the entrepreneurial reality in order to allow the student to be able to integrate explicit and tacit knowledge in a constructivist way. He becomes an educator capable of guiding his student towards a world where interiority makes the difference, where people re-define themselves by their own vision, their passions, their expectations and their utopian horizons.
Teaching constitutes a unidirectional process between the professor and the student that permits a transfer of knowledge . In these terms, teaching requires a positivist approach. In an entrepreneurial perspective, teaching becomes an indefectible complement of the learning process. The works of Paulo Freire are explicit on this topic [2,15]. The author, in one of his various works, mentions that: 1) there is no professor without student; 2) teaching is not a transfer of knowledge; and 3) to teach is a human specificity. The author refers to a multitude of behaviors and attitude, which explains that teaching, can only exist if these educational values are put in evidence. The teacher, as a model, to the student’s benefit, deliberately frees the values.
Learning pulls its existence in its complement with this proposed process of teaching. More specifically, experimental learning constitutes an avenue of training that answers to the needs of the entrepreneur. See  helps to understand this reality. His approach enhances a redefinition of teaching strategies, which encourages a process of transformation (Figure 2); a process of change, based on the proper “history” of the student and the teacher. Caring about this incorporation of the daily problems and to join them to theory knowledge constitutes the most realistic solution in an entrepreneurial pedagogical reality.
The output involves the conceptualization of an entrepreneurial educational process, but also of a tool of thinking and a clear and realistic educative strategy. It must remain innovative by integrating various contexts of formation and by setting up new educational strategies. It must become communal to offer to the student different tools of valorization of the entrepreneurial culture. It must be associative to permit the implication of the teachers and the students in concrete projects, with an approach of renewed partnership. Finally, it must be holistic because the systemic implies a global and reconsidered view. Learning strategy in entrepreneurship education has to offer an approach more likely humanistic than organizational, with actions more integrated than divided. Basically, learning strategy has to create a path for a social dimension of the educational environment and enhance a phenomenon of transformation or change.
2. Brazilian educational background
The Brazilian reality shows that about 90% of domestic entrepreneurs do not engage in educational activities in higher education related to business venture . Most Brazilian entrepreneurs seek other organisations and institutions outside the universities to develop and guide their entrepreneurial skills, such as trade associations, chambers of commerce, industry associations, Brazilian Service of Support for Micro and Small Enterprises (SEBRAE), National Commercial Apprenticeship Service (SENAC), National Industrial Apprenticeship Service (SENAI) and Commerce Social Service (SESC).
Cultural specificities and diversities confer to Brazil its unique trait. Today, micro and small enterprises (MSEs) represent 99.2% of the Brazilian business sector with 4.9 million formal businesses, which accounts for 20% of the GDP and employs 56.1% of the formal labor force, and 9.5 million informal businesses, for a total of 14.5 million businesses . Brazil is already recognized as a country of opportunities, with intra-entrepreneur, who design and innovate within their work environment or, as new entrepreneurs, by creating their own business through an extension of their current work (Spin-off), either through the assistance and support of a business incubator, as new technological entrepreneur or as a manager of a small business .
In an educational context, Brazil faces severe difficulties in proposing quality solutions to entrepreneurs with high level of potential. Today, the Brazilian educational system counts for more than 1,500 institutions of higher education , which enhance the development of skilled professionals able to generate new projects and ventures, specifically those involving high technology. However, the low level of higher education in the country, combined with the traditionalist educational model of the leading universities, create realities that are clearly deficient in their ability to lead students to an entrepreneurial reality. Both universities and vocational courses, such as technical colleges, are geared towards the formation of a job applicant and do not to develop entrepreneurial skills and potential, through initiative and creativity .
Moreover, an inconsistency in research and development occurs between the expenses of research institutions and business needs. Most researches have kept a historical distance from the needs of the population, which creates a lack of knowledge for the entrepreneurs, limiting their ability to develop their products in a competitive market.
Thus, the scenario of entrepreneurial education demonstrates the low level of ability of the national educational institutions to adapt their curricula to the changing needs of the labor force . Entrepreneurship education enhances training that focus on the individual who may be interested in an opportunity or either for whom is in a prior stage before creating a new venture . It is also relevant for whom who are already in the process of developing a project and even for those who are concerned about their strategies to stay active or expand the business. The inclusion of entrepreneurship education in Brazil is recent. It is in the 80s that it emerged at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation in São Paulo, with the development of a New Business Venture discipline in the Business Administration course and in the technology related disciplines, from a market pressure and the growing importance of the Brazilian micro and small business. The main initiatives in support to entrepreneurship education in Brazil are known by the scientific community as Instituto ENDEAVOUR and Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). Instituto Endeavour is a private organization, headquartered in the United States, which stimulates the mobilization of public and private organizations in the sharing of tacit knowledge through its network, strengthening the entrepreneurial culture in Brazil. One case is the consolidation of a digital platform that enables educators in entrepreneurship and innovation, which provides educational content for the Brazilian professors, named Educação Empreendedora Brasil. The other initiative is with the FGV and its Center for Entrepreneurship and New Business, whose mission is to build a culture of entrepreneurship. Among the main projects of the Center is a participation in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report, in which the FGV act as an institutional partner of the Brazilian Institute for Quality and Productivity (IBQP), enriching the content of research with scholarly analysis and business plan competitions .
However, the logic of teaching, nevertheless its structure or pedagogical strategy, still presents “closed model” obstacles that follow an “informative” path instead of a “training” one, giving no incentive to a student to analyze and learn to be “pragmatically critical”, with the ability to understand the organisation contexts as a whole through the use of flexible mental models and tools . Since it is understood that the search for new strategies and pedagogical alternatives capable of meeting the demands from the turbulent market becomes necessary to attain the expectations of the student in the evolution of the practice of entrepreneurship education, their education related terms, such as techniques, methods and procedures do represent an “application of the available means in order to achieve their goals” .
In a Brazilian perspective, the education institutions still compartmentalize the areas of knowledge for the purpose of teaching, even though some key Brazilian authors have already introduced thoughts and means that could allow such transformation [2, 9, 10, 15]. Such type of education would require training focused on a local social perspective, which includes the necessary skills to solve local organizational problems. Any learning strategy of entrepreneurship education requires the development of a more humanistic approach, based on a systemic perspective, which includes the involvement of the levels of a local community. It could either integrate established education schemes and strategies created by real institutional reforms, but it must keep in mind the necessity to stimulate the understanding of the conduct of a business development process, once organized and committed to a common local objective, the transformation of the student’s mind to an engine of pro-activeness.
Consequently, there is a need to broaden these horizons of research, which involves themes and experiences of the local Brazilian entrepreneurs mixed with rigorous consolidated administrative contents.
3. Tools for entrepreneurial education
Teaching cases, as defined in an educational context, are stories that may include reports of situations in organizational life, built with specific educational purposes, thus constituting an inductive method of teaching and learning. In a perspective of entrepreneurship education, their main objectives are to enhance the development of skills and attitudes considered as key for achieving managerial success; and allow familiarity with the organisations and their environment in a social, economic and environmental perspective.
This tool for entrepreneurship education is based on the construction of a case-problem method, which has been used for about a hundred years in the North American Business schools and more recently in Europe and Asia. This Case Method was developed by Harvard Business School and established to enable participants to identify and solve managerial problems and dealing with risk factors. Indexed Journals that publish teaching cases give preference to cases-problem, although they may accept other cases to be used as complementary.
Teaching cases are stories that resemble to factual journalism, including a substantial content of facts and testimony, mostly presented in a chronological order. Its goal is to provide a well-informed discussion of the case in the classroom. In a case, there is no narrator advocating an idea or opinion, or even analyzing practice-based theory, as in an academic text. Nor is there room for rhetoric and ideology, because the purpose is not to persuade the reader, but allow the emergence of different interpretations emerging from the discussion of probabilities and approaching the factual reality.
See  introduces a list of the ten most important characteristics of good cases, which are summarized below: a) it must contain one or more management issues to be confronted and selected through debate; b) it must deal with topics relevant to the geographic area; c) it must provide a journey of discovery that separate the symptoms of some more fundamental problems; d) it must raise controversies providing different interpretations, decisions and action plans; e) it must contain contrasts and comparisons; f) it must allow participants to generalize lessons and concepts underlying the case for other situations; g) it must contain accurate data such as product description, the industry and markets; h) it must exhibit a personal touch with a dialogue and the description of the formal and informal organizational processes; i) it must be reported and well structured, and; j) it must be short, for a maximum of 10 pages.
The distribution of the Harvard cases happened in Brazil during the 70s, by the establishment of a Brazilian Cases Center, with three poles of diffusion in three specific universities, cataloging and regulating its distribution in parts of the Brazilian territory . The system worked until the 80s and was then disabled. Ultimately, there seems to be a resurgence of the use of cases in business Faculties, albeit incipient, through the interest of some professor and educational institutions, which research, develop and utilize local teaching cases.
However, most new cases used in Brazil are of foreign origin, some translated into Portuguese, with the permission of Harvard Business School and other institutions, the others are mostly passed on to students in English . The local relevance of the case is crucial to the interest of the students in a discussion because it promotes the identification of micro and macro-environmental variables that affect the analysis to resolve conflicts and problems presented in the case .
4. An endogenous vision of the Brazilian cases for education
Teaching cases are based on empirical research. Most of the “remembered” organizational stories are relevant. For the teacher, the starting point is usually the identification of educational goals and the choice of a topic within their discipline program. The teaching case is usually made up of three central blocks plus teaching notes. The first part presents a historical context by introducing the characters, the location and the overall situation of the problem. The second block develops the narrative of the history of the organisation and the description of the context and the situation. The third part introduces the problem, which establishes a cutoff for the beginning of an argumentation and discussion activities. The teaching notes serve to guide and direct alternative case analysis, discussion questions and recommended literature for the reasoning.
The reading and discussion of a teaching case brings the reader to remind similar events that happened to him in the past (cognitive domain), which are normally accompanied by personal memory feelings (affective domain). Such context allows the opportunity to use endogenous educational situations, through data written in a Brazilian perspective, to specifically cognitive abilities, such as: i) problem analysis; ii) reasoning organizational aspects, and; iii) analyzing and reviewing the literature on the basis of the evidence presented in the case of education. From an emotional standpoint, it enhances the student’s ability to: i) question the decisions; ii) communicate ideas to the group; iii) argue and persuade about the position of the different characters, and; iv) accept the point of view of the other participants during the discussion.
The traditional teaching methods, mainly based on lectures, are not infrequently criticized for neglecting the pragmatic training and development of the experimental spirit among students . A teaching case facilitates the development of student skills since it uses situations that require analysis or management decision, within a specific context, without risk in a classroom. It is expected to lead to the development of analytical reasoning skills, examination and evaluation of data, problem solving and decision making, among other objectives . Therefore the skills reached by the student by learning through case study is to present alternative solutions to the initial questions, by building and adapting descriptions, elements, and situations encountered in macro and micro environment, and by taking into consideration the local conditions.
In Brazil, truly national and endogenous teaching cases are still at an incipient stage of development, and are done by very few research groups. But it is growing and the key to this growth factor was the implementation of Workshop Case for Teaching Administration who was created in 2007 from the idea of preparing students in Masters of Science programs, such as COPPEAD, from Rio de Janeiro, and the Graduate Program of Administration of the University of Caxias do Sul, Brazil.
This course came from a regional necessity, aligning theory and practice, and is embedded within the Department of Business and Operations Management (Master and Doctorate Degrees in Administration). Moreover, was initiated in 2006 under coordination of Prof. Dr. Eric Charles Henri Dorion and the responsibility of Prof. Dr. Pelayo Munhoz Olea and the collaboration of Professor Dr. Sylvia Maria Azevedo Roesch.
The proposed method has formed more than 150 students in the MSc program and 40 PhD students; producing more than 90 Brazilian cases for teaching in management that currently make up the cases data bank of the Program. More than 10% of them have been published in Indexed Journals, International Journals, the Brazilian WebQualis system or some scientific Conferences abroad. As a result, one of the most important Brazilian Scientific Journal - Revista de Administração Contemporânea – which covers the area of business administration, presented a paper from the research group on a bibliometric analysis for the period 2007-2011, where it evaluated the number of articles published in the National Association of Graduate Studies and Research in Administration (EnANPAD) .
In 2007, the National Association for Research in Administration (ANPAD) accepted its first teaching cases on the conference program (EnANPAD proceedings). At that time, the cases represented 2.5% of all accepted papers for presentation and subsequent publication in the proceedings of the event. At the EnANPAD Conference of 2008, the volume fell to 1.8% of the total number of presented articles and worsened in 2009, with a decrease to 1.5%. Since then, the number of cases still is incipient, compared to the total number of article, with only 1% in 20111.
With regard to the authors of the published cases, more than 230 academics signed the 107 cases produced, and 35 have authors have produced and published more than one case. The main two group of research that lead such activity in Brazil are the COPPEAD Institute of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and the Graduate Program of Administration of the University of Caxias do Sul, which incentivizes the development and publication of cases for teaching.
See [28, 29] also corroborate the importance of developing teaching cases with focus on Brazilian companies for Brazilian teachers; to have at their disposal cases that portray the reality of their students, since one of the main criticisms directed to the case teaching method is precisely that the scenario depicted in the cases does not correspond to a Brazilian reality.
The importance of teaching about the national situation through case teaching transcends elements of relevant teaching and learning. Since the concept of teaching - learning is taking importance in Brazilian schools, the act of teaching through “teaching cases” promotes “science put into practice” by a method of rediscovery, which enhances questioning for alternative responses, experiments that allow a real transformation of the student that goes beyond formation [24,25]. With these assumptions, the courses that bring a practical-local concept serve different functions for different conceptions of the role of education and the way of learning.
The case of education in Brazil shows a state of radical change. In a national perspective, education is now perceived with a different angle from the stakeholders of economic development and draws e new profile between business and universities. The reality about entrepreneurship education, as an economic development tool, raises a lot of interrogations about the necessity of systemizing before acting. The pedagogic perspective of teaching as a context, nor a process, seems to bring a solution to the obvious lack of results, permitting to establish the bases to develop the adequate vision for the entrepreneurial reality and to shows a context of action. This combination, thru an innovative educative strategy enhances both the necessity to establish new parameters in function of both context and strategy.
An endogenous pedagogical perspective becomes relevant when any pedagogical thinking establishes itself in a systematic way. Based on the Brazilian thinkers and practitioners, an entrepreneurship education pattern arises through the multidisciplinary aspects related to the realities of Brazilian entrepreneur, their business and socio-economic realities, in which teaching and learning must have a distinct dynamic. The development and application of such pedagogy takes force in the intersection of the importance of realism as the basis of educational thinking, and the importance of research as a source of evaluation of the educational process.
In general, Brazilian universities are not prepared to develop accurate training for entrepreneurs. As exposed previously, the field of entrepreneurship has a particular complexity, involving multidisciplinary aspects, which cannot be accomplished neither by traditional universities or foreign partners. Pedagogies in the classroom must be developed on the basis of a local reality.
All together, the contributions of the chapter will offer rich avenues of realistic reflection, practice and review for all actors involved in the teaching of entrepreneurship. The result, we believe, is a chapter that promises to put students, practitioners, teachers, and researchers in an insight that is a lot more than proper luxury, but real necessity. Re-thinking the effort of teaching in entrepreneurship, with the aim of achieving a transformation process of the student is vital to entrepreneurship education. It raises the importance of generating education results thru a process of change and action in an entrepreneurial context, but in a truly Brazilian perspective.
- Some content of this introductory chapter is based on an article produced by Eric Dorion, one of the authors of this book chapter, and presented at the Roundtable on Entrepreneurship Education for Scientist & Engineers (REELA): Stanford, USA. Reference Notes: Dorion, E. Entrepreneurship Education: Innovative Strategies and Contexts Research. In: Roundtable on Entrepreneurship Education for Scientist & Engineers, 2006, Guayaquil. Roundtable on Entrepreneurship Education for scientists & Engineers. Stanford, USA: 2006. Available in: < http://web.stanford.edu/group/ree/archives/archive06/latinamerica/presentations/REELA2006_9_EricDorionPaper.pdf >