Entrepreneurial education is often action-oriented and uses pedagogy based on action rather than traditional academic knowledge acquisition. In his dissertation, "Experiential Entrepreneurship Education: Reflective Thinking as a counterbalance to action for developing entrepreneurial knowledge” Gustav Hägg has come to the conclusion that entrepreneurial students develop knowledge better if different types of learning are stimulated, ranging from traditional learning skills, practical skills obtained from action, to the ability to evaluate how and when knowledge and skills are to be used. The study also confirms that experience is transformed into knowledge through reflective thinking.
Gustav Hägg defended his dissertation 22 December, 2017 and is Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship's first doctoral student who has finished his studies within the framework of the centre. He started as a project assistant in 2012, and doors soon opened for a doctorate position led by Associate Professor Diamanto Politis and Professor Hans Landström. Hägg believes in academic research as a way of developing societies in an unpredictable future.
He became interested in the learning in entrepreneurship education when he, in the role as project assistant, came in contact with the students at the master's programme in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Gustav says: "In modern society, entrepreneurship has been promoted as the key to forming the 21st century citizen. I saw these very action-oriented master's students and began to think about how they really take on the theory we are trying to convey in our courses."
Gustav reasons that ‘reflective thinking’ in research has been addressed as a potential counterbalance to the action-oriented approach and therefore he began to investigate how reflective thinking can enable student entrepreneurs to gain entrepreneurial knowledge based on experience.