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Enterprise education: Towards a framework for effective engagement with the learners of today

Jason Turner (Taylor’s Business School, Taylor’s University, Subang Jaya, Malaysia)
Gary Mulholland (Dundee Business School, University of Abertay, Dundee, UK)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine young learners’ attitudes towards enterprise education within the context of a university led initiative to construct a sustainable framework which benefits identified stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

The research used self-completed questionnaires with 117 business studies students in Stages S4-S6 from secondary schools across Dundee and business students from Years 1-4 at one university in Dundee, Scotland.

Findings

The research reveals that respondents positively engage with enterprise education and felt that their project management, creative thinking, communication skills and confidence were enhanced by the activity of real-world business challenges. The findings support the notion that an enterprising spine embedded in the academic curriculum better equip the learner with the necessary hard and soft skills required for the employment market but not necessarily to be entrepreneurial.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this research was the sample size, which although representative of the pupil and student cohorts associated with the various stages of education being studied at the particular time of data collection, and is suitable for an exploratory study, the research would have benefited from being both larger and complimented by more of a qualitative component beyond the inclusion of open-ended questions.

Practical implications

As an exploratory study which informs a wider comparative study into enterprise education, the research examines learner’s perspectives and the measures they feel are required for effective engagement with enterprise education activities in schools and universities. The findings should assist education providers to deliver a better learning experience and the learners with improved enterprising and social skills, particularly the building of confidence.

Social implications

As an exploratory study which informs a wider comparative study into enterprise education, the research examines learner’s perspectives and the measures they feel are required for effective engagement with enterprise education activities in schools and universities. The findings should assist education providers to deliver a better learning experience and the learners with improved enterprising and social skills, particularly the building of confidence.

Originality/value

The research should prove useful to educational establishments who are considering the implementation of, or further engagement with, enterprise education and involvement with the business community and how such activities impact on their learners.

Keywords

Citation

Turner, J. and Mulholland, G. (2017), "Enterprise education: Towards a framework for effective engagement with the learners of today", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 36 No. 6, pp. 801-816. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMD-09-2016-0176

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited