College Students Use Hip-Hop Culture to Break Down Gen Z Entrepreneurship

Recent academic research into entrepreneurship in Hip-Hop culture, which was conducted by students from the Paul Dickinson College of Business faculty at the Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU), has been published in the Management and Economics Research Journal; allowing students around the country to utilize the case study.

Although it is very rare for undergraduate research to be published, students from the Paul Dickinson College of Business at the Oklahoma Baptist University have done just that with their recent research paper, “Hip-Hop Culture: A Case Study of Beats by Dre For Entrepreneurship.” Published in the Management and Economics Research Journal, the paper examines how Record Producer Jimmy Lovine and hip-hop icon Dr. Dre were able to turn a small sub-culture into a global, multi-billion-dollar business. 

Focusing on the Beats by Dr. Dre headphone range, the students, alongside their professor Dr. Daryl D. Green, looked at how within a decade the company was able to control over 70% of the headphone market and make Dr. Dre the first “hip-hop billionaire.” The research paper observes how Beats by Dr. Dre used exceptional marketing techniques to target the millennial age group, including the use of celebrities alongside incorporating customizable headphones for each popular figure. 

In 2018, Students (L-R: JoziRose Mayfield, Sinai Gomez Farias, Braden Dwyer, & Cade Lauck) worked on a class assignment.

The student authors who contributed significantly to the research are Braden Dwyer, Sinai Gomez Farias (graduated), Cade Lauck, and JoziRose Mayfield. While faculty collaborating with students at an undergraduate level in business is rare, the OBU believes it is an important factor in helping to raise the next generation of scholar-practitioners. By involving students in their research, faculty become mentors to the students. Faculty collaborating with students at the undergraduate level in business is rare. 

Dean David Houghton, OBU business dean explains, “Faculty collaboration with students is important in raising the next generation of scholar-practitioners. By involving students in their research, faculty become more than educators. They become mentors. Sometimes, undergraduate students lack relevant professional experience, which can make it more difficult to involve them in research projects. But Dr. Green is great at finding products, services, and issues that are relevant to the students and for which they have a meaningful experience.” Yet, these undergraduates were a special kind of students.

OBU students get their research published in an academic publication (L-R: Dr. Daryl Green, JoziRose Mayfield, Braden Dwyer, & Cade Lauck).

At the time, these students turned a class assignment into relevant research to benefit others. OBU senior JoziRose Mayfield found the case study interesting: “The biggest and most important thing that I took away from this case study is analyzing the importance of demographics and product placement. Dr. Dre and his team did an exceptional job of choosing the right techniques when it comes to promoting their new brand. He made an effort to include celebrities in his product and incorporate customizable headphones for each popular figure.” Cade Lauck, a marketing major, agrees that getting their research published was a difficult process: “While working on this case study, I learned that teamwork was going to become extremely important. The communication that we had played a huge part in the coming together of the case study. I also learned a lot of information about how the communication and culture at Beats helped the company succeed.”

This collaborative research between faculty and students is significant because little research has been done in this area of Hip-Hop culture and entrepreneurship. (L-R: Dr. Daryl Green, JoziRose Mayfield, Braden Dwyer, & Cade Lauck).

Speaking on the publication, student Braden Dwyer said, “The research we conducted can be used to show students that having a creative idea isn’t enough to be successful. To be successful, as Dr. Dre has been with Beats, there must be a differentiator between you and the competitors in your market to truly stand out. Seeing our work published gave me a sense of purpose for our project. Rather than the case study just being turned in for a grade, people will be able to use our research and gain knowledge for themselves, which is a fantastic feeling.”

The results of this study are available online now, helping to assist today’s universities to infuse the entrepreneurial spirit in the next generation of business professionals. 

To view the paper, visit;

https://merj.scholasticahq.com/article/9564-hip-hop-culture-a-case-study-of-beats-by-dre-for-entrepreneurship, while for information about this research or if you would like assistance with your organization, please contact Dr. Daryl Green at 405-585-4414 (daryl.green@okbu.edu).

About Paul Dickinson College of Business

The Paul Dickinson College of Business is part of Oklahoma Baptist University. This qualified and Christian-based education is addressed to those who want to pursue a bachelor degree in business. The university provides the skills needed by the business graduates in contemporary professional careers as a leader. The business degree programs of the Oklahoma Baptist University are accredited and acknowledged by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

For more information on the Paul Dickinson College of Business at OBU, visit www.okbu.edu/business.

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