Developing entrepreneurial learning triggered by factory tours

Angelo Bonfanti (Dipartimento di Economia Aziendale, University of Verona, Verona, Italy)
Paola Castellani (Dipartimento di Economia Aziendale, University of Verona, Verona, Italy)
Elena Giaretta (Dipartimento di Economia Aziendale, University of Verona, Verona, Italy)
Federico Brunetti (Dipartimento di Economia Aziendale, University of Verona, Verona, Italy)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Publication date: 24 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the content dimensions and methods of accelerating the entrepreneurial learning (EL) triggered by participating in learning events, such as factory tours. It particularly focuses on the Italian case of Open Factory – an open-doors event of industrial manufacturing culture.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted a qualitative approach using the “Gioia” methodology. Data were mainly collected through semi-structured interviews with firms participating in and organising Open Factory.

Findings

The dimensions of EL are learning from critical reflection, experience and external sources, while the enablers of EL (factors that accelerate learning) are varied and connected to organisational learning in the form of individual-, team- and institutional-level learning. Based on these results, this paper proposes a model for developing EL triggered by participating in learning events.

Practical implications

This research suggests developing appropriate organisational conditions inside firms, especially by entrepreneurs. These conditions are connected to sharing organisational values to foster learning, such as trust, commitment, involvement, awareness, sharing of experiences, exchange, autonomy and freedom. In addition, this study suggests ways that the EL model proposed in this research can be adapted to other learning events.

Originality/value

This is the first study to connect factory tours to learning events and EL. It highlights the ways that participating in the Open Factory event created the chance to develop learning across organisational levels inside firms.

Keywords

Citation

Bonfanti, A., Castellani, P., Giaretta, E. and Brunetti, F. (2019), "Developing entrepreneurial learning triggered by factory tours", The Learning Organization, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLO-08-2018-0133

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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