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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Research encourages universities to nourish entrepreneurial spirit in Generation Z

Speaking to a packed crowd at the 2019 ACBSP Conference, Dr. Daryl D. Green from the Oklahoma Baptist University, revealed that recent research shows Generation Z students are not only the most diverse and inclusive yet, but also the most ambitious. Making up nearly a quarter of the American population (some 74 million young adults), they shun the traditional employee route of their predecessors, with 72% of them wanting to start a business with 61% preferring to be an entrepreneur rather than an employee.

This high percentage reflects the differing work ethic of these students. Having never known a world without social media or smartphones, 84% of participants in a recent study by Forrester showed they regularly multitask with an internet-connected device when watching TV, whilst 66% believe technology makes anything possible. Not just digitally savvy, these students are driven to set themselves apart with nearly 50% participating in internships during high school for the purpose of advancing themselves professionally and 26% currently volunteering in their spare time. 

Therefore if Universities want to continue to attract the best students, it is important for them to adapt their teaching practices for Generation Z. Dr. Green broke this down into seven suggested practices;

  • Creating an academic environment that fosters creativity and entrepreneurial thinking
  • Setting clear expectations and boundaries
  • Engaging students digitally in the classroom and beyond
  • Breaking work assignments into smaller, manageable segments
  • Communicating regularly to provide frequent feedback
  • Being relevant and providing practical application and business role models
  • Incorporating a fluidic frequent reward system

Summing up, Dr. Green said “For the first time in history, there are now 5 generations coexisting in the work place and Generation Z, with its diversity and ingenuity, may be the best of all. This is why it is so important for universities and places of higher learning to encourage the natural entrepreneurial spirit of the most tech savvy, pragmatic and diverse generation yet; enabling them to join the workforce ready to hit the ground running and perhaps inspire businesses to adapt to the future.”  

Event Photos:

unnamed-6Caption #1:  Dr. Green presents “Wire for Life: Inspiring Generation Z to Be Entrepreneurial Leaders.”

unnamed-5Caption #2:  Dr. Green engages the audience of academics.

unnamed-4Caption #3:  Dr. Green unlocks the mystery related to GEN Z.

unnamed-3Caption #4:  Dr. Green discusses 5 generations in the workplaces.

unnamed-2Caption #5:  The audience listens as Dr. Green breaks down GEN Z traits.

unnamed-1Caption #6:  Dr. Green reunites with a former classmate from his doctoral program.

unnamedAbout Oklahoma Baptist University/Dr. Daryl D. Green: 

With its campus in Shawnee, and locations in Oklahoma City and Broken Arrow, OBU offers 10 bachelor’s degrees with 88 fields of study and 5 master’s degree programs. The Christian liberal arts university has an overall enrollment of 2,073, with students from 40 states and 35 other countries. OBU has been rated as one of the top 10 regional colleges in the West by the U.S. News and World Report for 25 consecutive years and has been Oklahoma’s highest rated regional college in the U.S. News rankings for 23 consecutive years. OBU is one of the three universities in Oklahoma and the only private Oklahoma University listed on Great Value College’s rankings of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest. Forbes.com consistently ranks OBU as a top university in Oklahoma, and the Princeton Review has named OBU one of the best colleges and universities in the western United States for 12 consecutive years.

Dr. Daryl Green, assistant professor of business at Oklahoma Baptist University and Dickinson chair of business.  He is an award-winning author with more than 30 books. He and his wife Estraletta have several years of social and competitive ballroom dance experience, competing in Georgia, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Dr. Green has taught social dancing classes and is a former president of the Knoxville Chapter of USA Dance Inc.