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Entrepreneurial learning: a process of co‐participation

David W. Taylor (Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and an Associate Member of the Centre for Enterprise based at the Strategy and Entrepreneurship Group, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, Manchester, UK)
Richard Thorpe (Professor of Management Development at Leeds University Business School, Leeds, UK and a Visiting Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



Applying social concepts to the social relations that the entrepreneur maintains, this research seeks to identify the impact of these relationships, and the learning that might result from them, on the decision‐making process. A social and conversational model of experiential learning is put forward, where learning and influence are seen to emerge as part of an ongoing negotiated process. This argument complements Kolb's “fundamentally cognitive” theory of experiential learning, by challenging the view that the learner should be viewed as an “intellectual Robinson Crusoe”, and stating that even when an individual reflects and theorises their thoughts have a social character. Data were collected using critical incident technique through one‐to‐one in‐depth interviews over several weeks. The paper goes some way to confirm the importance of networks in the business development process, helping further to define how networks exist. The learning identified, is understood therefore as part of an ongoing negotiated process within a complex network of domestic, voluntary, commercial and professional relations.



Taylor, D.W. and Thorpe, R. (2004), "Entrepreneurial learning: a process of co‐participation", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 203-211.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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