• Are the dominant teaching theories in higher education adequate to underpin teaching practices in enterprise and entrepreneurship context?

      Aluthgama-Baduge, Chinthaka; Mulholland, Gary; University of Derby (Routledge, 2018-11-08)
      It can be comprehended that the models and theories which are currently used to reinforce teaching depict the education practices of transmitting knowledge from teacher to students, which is more traditional, linear, input-output construction of teaching that has dominated adult education for decades including the last half century. As numerous studies (e.g. QAA, 2018) emphasizes that both the needs of learner and learning in enterprise and entrepreneurship education (EEE) context is different from other disciplines and mainstream higher education (HE). This requires further development of teaching methods and practices that can encourage the aspirations of the learner in this particular education setting. When investigating the theories and approaches that are used to examine teaching in HE, the relevance and adequacy of them to review teaching practices in this 21st century and EEE context is a question. Thus, the need of new theoretical models and frameworks can be clearly observed. For example, to investigate teacher’s role in EEE setting, there is a need of adopting more context specific, individual-focused research methods. When the recent outcomes associated with the UK higher education are taken into account, there is an emerging key debate; i.e. are universities actually turning off potential entrepreneurs. Whether these outcomes are due to teaching, learning environment or other activities within universities, is still largely a question, hence requires further research to find answers.
    • Developing graduate entrepreneurs: exploring the experiences of university entrepreneurs in residence

      Aluthgama-Baduge, Chinthaka; Rajasinghe, Duminda; University of Derby; University of Northampton (Nottingham Business School & Academy of Human Resource Development, 2019-06)
      This study aims to explore the coaching experience of entrepreneurs in residence in the UK higher education institutions. ‘The entrepreneurs in residence’ is a relatively new intervention. The individuals who hold these positions appear to claim that they coach the potential entrepreneurs to facilitate to acquire required skills to become successful entrepreneurs. However, this is a relatively under-researched area both within coaching and enterprise/entrepreneurship education. Therefore, we aim to explore individual experience of entrepreneurs in residence (provider of the service) and the students' (receiver) perspectives to develop a deeper understanding of how entrepreneurs in residence supports students to gain required understanding, skills and knowledge to become successful entrepreneurs in future. We ask: How entrepreneurs in residence make sense of their intervention / experience in coaching practice? Therefore, our main aim is to explore entrepreneurs in residences’ experience to address the previously highlighted research and practice gap. The student perspectives are used to develop additional understanding of entrepreneurs in residences’ sense-making. Considering the subjective and contextual nature of the study, and its interest in human experience and hermeneutics, the study is conducted adopting Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) as the research methodology. This is a working paper, therefore, there is no empirical data collected but the study aims to contribute to develop understanding of the role of entrepreneurs in residence in the UK universities, i.e. their role in developing future entrepreneurs. This study has potential in influencing policy while informing practice and the literature.
    • Researching entrepreneurship: an approach to develop subjective understanding

      Rajasinghe, Duminda; Aluthgama-Baduge, Chinthaka; Mulholland, Gary; University of Northampton, Northampton, UK; University of Derby, Derby, UK; AFG College with University of Aberdeen, Doha, Qatar (Emerald, 2021-04-29)
      Entrepreneurship is a complex social activity. Hence, knowledge production in the field requires inclusivity and diversity within research approaches and perspectives to appreciate the richness of the phenomenon. However, the dominance of positivist research in the field is visible, and the current qualitative research is also predominantly restricted to popular templates. This seems to have limited the understanding of entrepreneurship. This paper critically discusses the appropriateness of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) as an innovative qualitative research methodology that facilitates a fuller appreciation of the richness and diversity of entrepreneurship. This conceptual paper critically evaluates IPA's relevance for the stated purpose by reviewing both entrepreneurship and IPA literature. It discusses how IPA's philosophical underpinnings facilitate scholars to appreciate the wholeness of the phenomenon and provides literature informed data analysis guidance, thereby addressing some of the weaknesses of the qualitative research within the field. Critical evaluation of the literature suggests that IPA is an appropriate research methodology for entrepreneurship. It has the potential to address some interesting and timely questions to elaborate, deepen and qualify existing theory or to study relatively unexplored areas within the field. The laid-out guidance helps scholars to develop informed rationale for their research decisions and to ensure quality and rigour in qualitative research. This paper promotes the analysis of how people make sense of their experience as a valid way of knowing. IPA has a unique identity as it incorporates phenomenology, hermeneutics and idiography as a way to explore first-hand human experience to uncover qualitative understanding of entrepreneurship. The clear guidance and justifications in the paper promote scholarly confidence and address some preconceptions related to rigour, quality and validity of qualitative studies. Incorporating IPA into entrepreneurship, the paper also contributes to the demand for diversity, inclusivity and pluralism in qualitative research perspectives and approaches.