This study describes the process of developing and validating an instrument that measures students’ innovation capacities as a higher education outcome. We introduce an interdisciplinary theoretical framework used to generate items and cover extant literature drawn primarily from the fields of higher education and entrepreneurship studies. We further discuss our use of latent trait theory and item response models to guide instrument development and measure scoring. We then provide the results of a second-order confirmatory factor modeling procedure, which indicated robust model fit. We close by discussing findings and offering implications for both higher education scholars and institutional researchers.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179–211.
Ajzen, I. (2002). Perceived behavioral control, self-efficacy, locus of control, and the theory of planned behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32, 1–20.
Antal, N., Kingma, B., Moore, D., & Streeter, D. (2014). University-wide entrepreneurship education. Advances in the Study of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Economic Growth, 24, 227–254.
Arum, R., & Roksa, J. (2011). Academically adrift: Limited learning on college campuses. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Arum, R., & Roksa, J. (2014). Aspiring adults adrift: Tentative transitions of college graduates. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Association of American Colleges and Universities. (2009). Creative thinking VALUE rubric. Retrieved from https://www.aacu.org/value/rubrics/creative-thinking.
Association of American Colleges and Universities. (2013). It takes more than a major: Employer priorities for college learning and student success. Washington, DC: Hart Research Associates.
Athayde, R. (2009). Measuring enterprise potential in young people. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33(2), 481–500.
Bae, T. J., Qian, S., Miao, C., & Fiet, J. O. (2014). The relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions: A meta-analytic review. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 38(2), 217–254.
Bagheri, A., & Pihie, Z. A. L. (2014). The factors shaping entrepreneurial intentions. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars.
Barbosa, S. D., Gerhardt, M. W., & Kickul, J. R. (2007). The role of cognitive style and risk preference on entrepreneurial self-efficacy and entrepreneurial intentions. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 13(4), 86–104.
Baron, R. A., & Markman, G. D. (2000). Beyond social capital: How social skills can enhance entrepreneurs’ success. Academy of Management Executive, 14(1), 106–116.
Baumol, W. J. (2004). Education for innovation: Entrepreneurial breakthroughs vs. corporate incremental improvements. Working Paper 10578, National Bureau of Economic Research.
Baumol, W. J. (2010). The microtheory of innovative entrepreneurship. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Binks, M. (2014). The crucial role of universities in promoting radical innovation. In D. Greenway & C. D. Rudd (Eds.), The business growth benefits of higher education (pp. 91–108). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Boyles, T. (2012). 21st century knowledge, skills, and abilities and entrepreneurial competencies: A model for undergraduate entrepreneurship education. Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, 15, 41–55.
Bruton, A. (2014). Innovating university-based entrepreneurship in order to inform innovation for the 21st century. Advances in the Study of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Economic Growth, 24, 145–170.
Cacioppo, J. T., Petty, R. E., & Kao, C. F. (1984). The efficient assessment of the need for cognition scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 48, 306–307.
Cardon, M. S., Gregoire, D. A., Stevens, C. E., & Patel, P. C. (2013). Measuring entrepreneurial passion. Conceptual foundations and scale validation. Journal of Business Venturing, 28, 373–396.
Chell, E. (2008). The entrepreneurship personality: A social construction (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.
Chen, C. C., Greene, P. G., & Crick, A. (1998). Does entrepreneurial self-efficacy distinguish entrepreneurs from managers? Journal of Business Venturing, 13(4), 295–316.
De Noble, A., Jung, D., & Ehrlich, S. (1999). Entrepreneurial self-efficacy: The development of a measure and its relationship to entrepreneurship. In P. D. Reynolds, W. D. Bygrave, S. Manigart, C. M. Mason, G. D. Meyer, H. J. Sapienza, & K. G. Shaver (Eds.), Frontiers of entrepreneurship research (pp. 73–87). Wellesley, MA: Babson College.
de Vaus, D. (2014). Surveys in social (6th ed.). New York: Routledge.
Duval-Couetil, N. (2013). Assessing the impact of entrepreneurship education programs: Challenges and approaches. Journal of Small Business Management, 51(3), 394–404.
Edwards, M. C. (2009). An introduction to item response theory using the need for cognition scale. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 3(4), 507–529.
Embretson, S. E., & Reise, S. P. (2000). Item response theory for psychologists. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Fisher, J. L., & Koch, J. V. (2008). Born not made: The entrepreneurial personality. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.
Fishman, R., Ekowo, M., & Ezeugo, E. (2017). Varying degrees: New America’s annual survey on higher education. Washington, DC: New America Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.newamerica.org/in-depth/varying-degrees.
Fosnacht, K., Sarraf, S., Howe, E., & Peck, L. K. (2017). How important are high response rates for college surveys? Review of Higher Education, 40(2), 245–265.
Gagne, P., & Hancock, G. R. (2006). Measurement model quality, sample size, and solution propriety in confirmatory factor models. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 41(1), 65–83.
Gosling, S. D. (n.d.). A note on alpha reliability and factor structure in the TIPI. Retrieved from http://gosling.psy.utexas.edu/scales-weve-developed/ten-item-personality-measure-tipi/a-note-on-alpha-reliability-and-factor-structure-in-the-tipi/.
Gosling, S. D., Rentfrow, P. J., & Swann, W. B., Jr. (2003). A very brief measure of the big five personality domains. Journal of Research in Personality, 37, 504–528.
Groves, R., Fowler, F., Couper, M., Lepkowski, J., Singer, E., & Tourangeau, R. (2009). Survey methodology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Interscience.
Hambleton, R. K., Swaminathan, H., & Rogers, H. J. (1991). Fundamental of item response theory. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.
Kegan, R. (1982). The evolving self: Problem and process in human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Kegan, R. (1994). In over our heads: The mental demands of modern life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Kegan, (2009). What “form” transforms”? A constructive-developmental approach to transformative learning. In K. Illeris (Ed.), Contemporary theories of learning: Learning theorists…in their own words (pp. 35–52). New York: Routledge.
Keh, H. T., Foo, M. D., & Lim, B. C. (2002). Opportunity evaluation under risky conditions: The cognitive process of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 27(2), 125–148.
Kickul, J., Gundry, L. K., Barbosa, S. D., & Whitcanack, L. (2009). Intuition versus analysis? Testing differential models of cognitive style on entrepreneurial self-efficacy and the new venture creation process. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33(2), 439–453.
Kline, R. (2010). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. New York: Guilford.
Koestler, A. (1964). The act of creation. New York, NY: Macmillan.
Kolek, E. A. (2012). The silent majority: An examination of nonresponse in college student surveys. Doctoral Dissertation. Retrieved from ProQuest/UMI (No. 3545953).
Kuehn, K. W. (2009). Entrepreneurial intentions research: Implications for entrepreneurship education. Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, 11, 87–98.
Leung, K.-Y., Lo, C.-T., Sun, H., & Wong, K.-F. (2012). Factors influencing engineering students’ intention to participate in on-campus entrepreneurial activities. Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, 15, 1–19.
Liñán, F., & Chen, Y. W. (2009). Development and cross-cultural application of a specific instrument to measure entrepreneurial intentions. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 33(3), 593–617.
Mars, M. M. (2013). A cross-disciplinary primer on the meaning and primer on the principles of innovation. In M. M. Mars & S. Hoskinson (Eds.), Advances in the study of entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic growth (Vol. 23, pp. 65–81). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Mars, M. M., & Lounsbury, M. (2009). Raging against or with the private marketplace? Logic hybridity and eco-entrepreneurship. Journal of Management Inquiry, 18(1), 4–13.
Mars, M. M., & Rhoades, G. (2012). Socially oriented student entrepreneurship: A study of student change agency in the academic capitalism context. Journal of Higher Education, 83(3), 435–459.
Mattare, M. (2008). Teaching entrepreneurship: The case for an entrepreneurial leadership course. In USASBE Proceedings in San Antonio, TX (pp. 78–93).
Mayhew, M. J., Rockenbach, A. N., Bowman, N. A., Seifert, T. A., & Wolniak, G. C. (2016a). How college affects students: 21st century evidence that higher education works (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Mayhew, M. J., Simonoff, J. S., Baumol, W. J., Selznick, B., Vassallo, S. (2016b). Cultivating innovative entrepreneurs for the 21st Century: A Study of U.S. and German Students. Journal of Higher Education, 87(3), 420–455.
Mayhew, M. J., Simonoff, J. S., Baumol, W. J., Wiesenfeld, B. M., & Klein, M. W. (2012). Exploring innovative entrepreneurship and its ties to higher educational experiences. Research in Higher Education, 53, 831–859.
McGee, J. E., Peterson, M., Mueller, S. L., & Sequeira, J. M. (2009). Entrepreneurial self-efficacy: Refining the measure. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33(4), 965–988.
Mitchell, R. K., Busenitz, L., Lant, T., McDougall, P. P., Morse, E. A., & Smith, J. B. (2002). Toward a theory of entrepreneurial cognition: Rethinking the people side of entrepreneurship research. Entrepreneurship Theory and Research, 27(2), 93–104.
Moriano, J. A., Gorgievski, M., Laguna, M., Stephan, U., & Zarafshani, K. (2012). A cross-cultural approach to understanding entrepreneurial intention. Journal of Career Development, 39(2), 162–185.
Morris, M. H., & Kuratko, D. F. (2014). Building university 21st century entrepreneurship programs that empower and transform. Advances in the Study of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Economic Growth, 24, 1–24.
Morris, M. H., Webb, J. W., Fu, J., & Singhal, S. (2013). A competency-based perspective on entrepreneurship education: Conceptual and empirical insights. Journal of Small Business Management, 51(3), 352–369.
Muthén, B. O. (2008). Re: How MPLUS computes factor scores [Online discussion forum]. Retrieved from http://www.statmodel.com/discussion/messages/9/3778.html.
Nickels, A., Rowland, T., & Fadase, O. (2011). Engaging undergraduate students to be agents of social change: Lessons from student affairs professionals. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 17(1), 45–59.
Nilsson, T. (2012). Entrepreneurship education—Does it matter? International Journal of Business and Management, 7(13), 40–48.
Obschonka, M., Silbereisen, R. K., & Schmitt-Rodermund, E. (2012). Explaining entrepreneurial behavior: Dispositional personality traits, growth of personal entrepreneurial resources, and business idea generation. The Career Development Quarterly, 60, 178–190.
Oosterbeek, H., van Praag, M., & Ysselstein, A. (2010). The impact of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurship skills and motivation. European Economic Review, 54(3), 442–454.
Pache, A. C., & Chowdhury, I. (2012). Social entrepreneurs as institutionally embedded entrepreneurs: Toward a new model of social entrepreneurship education. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 11(3), 494–510.
Porter, S. R. (2011). Do college student surveys have any validity? Review of Higher Education, 35, 45–76.
Poysa-Tarhonnen, J., Elen, J., & Tarhonen, P. (2016). Student teams’ development over time: Tracing the relationship between the quality of communication and teams’ performance. Higher Education Research & Development, 35, 787–799.
Rae, D. (2009). Universities and enterprise education: Responding to the challenges of the new era. Journal of Small Business Enterprise & Development, 17(4), 591–606.
Rindskopf, D., & Rose, T. (1988). Some theory and applications of confirmatory second-order factor analysis. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 23, 51–67.
Samejima, F. (1997). Graded response model. Handbook of modern item response theory (pp. 85–100). New York: Springer.
Schmidt, J. J., Soper, J. C., & Facca, T. M. (2012). Creativity in the entrepreneurship classroom. Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, 15, 123–131.
Selznick, B. S. (2017). Higher education for undergraduate innovation. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, New York: New York University.
Shane, S. A. (2003). A general theory of entrepreneurship: The individual-opportunity nexus. Northampton, MA: Elgar.
Shane, S., Locke, E. A., & Collins, C. J. (2012). Entrepreneurial motivation. Human Resource Management Review, 13(2), 257–279.
Sharkness, J., & DeAngelo, L. (2011). Measuring student involvement: A comparison of classical test theory and item response theory in the construction of scales from student surveys. Research in Higher Education, 52(5), 480–507.
Shinnar, R. S., Giacomin, O., & Janssen, F. (2012). Entrepreneurial perceptions and intentions: The role of gender and culture. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 36(3), 465–493.
Smith, K. (2005). Measuring innovation. In J. Fagerberg, D. C. Mowery, & R. R. Nelson (Eds.), The oxford handbook of innovation (pp. 148–177). New York: Oxford University Press.
Souitaris, V., Zerbinati, S., & Al-Laham, A. (2007). Do entrepreneurship programmes raise entrepreneurial intention of science and engineering students? The effect of learning, inspiration and resources. Journal of Business Venturing, 22, 566–591.
Streeter, D., Kher, R., & Jaquette, P. (2011). University-wide trends in entrepreneurship education and the rankings: A dilemma. Journal of Entrepreneurship Education., 14(5), 75–92.
Thompson, N. A. (2009). Ability estimation with item response theory [White paper]. Retrieved from https://www.assess.com/docs/Thompson_(2009)_Ability_estimation_with_IRT.pdf.
Vanevenhoven, J. (2013). Advances and challenges in entrepreneurship education. Journal of Small Business Management, 51(3), 466–470.
von Graevenitz, G., Harhoff, D., & Weber, R. (2010). The effects of entrepreneurship education. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 76, 90–112.
Wagner, T. (2012). Creating innovators: The making of young people who will change the world. New York: Scribner.
Wilson, F., Kickul, J., & Marlino, D. (2007). Gender, entrepreneurial self-efficacy, and entrepreneurial career intentions: Implications for entrepreneurship education. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 31(3), 387–406.
Wu, S., & Wu, L. (2008). The impact of higher education on entrepreneurial intentions of university students in China. Journal of Small Business Enterprise & Development, 15(4), 752–774.
Zhao, H., & Seibert, S. E. (2006). The big five personality dimensions and entrepreneurial status: A meta-analytical review. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91(2), 259–271.
Zhao, H., Seibert, S. E., & Hills, G. E. (2005). The mediating role of self-efficacy in the development of entrepreneurial intentions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 1265–1272.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the Merrifield Family Foundation for its generous support in funding this research.
About this article
Cite this article
Selznick, B.S., Mayhew, M.J. Measuring Undergraduates’ Innovation Capacities. Res High Educ 59, 744–764 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-017-9486-7
- College Impact