Dissertation

Where are the risk takers? Using the entrepreneurial orientation construct to identify innovative and proactive teachers

Entrepreneurs in education have altered the services and the delivery of services that the public expects to receive from traditional school systems. Many current innovations require teachers to be more entrepreneurial. Research indicates that entrepreneurial characteristics that contribute to success in other professions may predict success for entrepreneurs in education. Yet, most personality profiles of teachers reveal they do not share entrepreneurs' risk taking propensities. Thus, promising educational innovations may not be realized because there are insufficient numbers of entrepreneurial teachers to implement them. This quantitative study of 729 California teachers adapted an Entrepreneurial Orientation instrument, widely used in management research, to determine whether teachers in charter, traditional public, and private schools differ along scales of innovativeness, proactiveness, and risk taking. Data from this sample revealed non-significant differences in innovativeness; significantly higher scores among traditional public school teachers and female teachers in proactiveness.

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