Search results

1 – 10 of 13
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Naomi Birdthistle

Because entrepreneurs operate in a world of uncertainty, the ability to analyse a situation, extract the important and ignore the superfluous, compare potential outcomes…

Abstract

Purpose

Because entrepreneurs operate in a world of uncertainty, the ability to analyse a situation, extract the important and ignore the superfluous, compare potential outcomes, and extrapolate from other experiences to the current one is vital. Researchers have identified several skills an entrepreneur requires to operate their business and the purpose of this paper is to examine if the training and support necessary for entrepreneurship to occur within ethnic communities exists in Ireland.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was carried out among established ethnic entrepreneurs and representatives from support agencies in Ireland. A quantitative research methods approach was adopted using online surveys. Responses from 36 ethnic entrepreneurs and eight support organisations were received.

Findings

Targeted programmes offered by service providers included programmes in foreign languages; providing literature in foreign languages; and specially designed seminars for ethnic entrepreneurs. Of the established ethnic entrepreneurs, the majority indicated that, although they have deficiencies in their skillset they did not avail of programmes because they were unaware of them.

Originality/value

Irish service providers need to provide additional services to ethnic entrepreneurs to be on par with their EU counterparts. Irish service providers need to provide general and targeted training programmes through minority languages. If Ireland wants to continue being known as the “land of a hundred thousand welcomes” and be able to support the much-anticipated asylum seekers who may choose entrepreneurship as a career option, it needs to consider the adoption of the recommendations of this study and provide better tailored services for the ethnic entrepreneur.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 61 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Naomi Birdthistle

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, the paper aims to identify and explain the behaviour and intentions of students in their decision to start entrepreneurial…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, the paper aims to identify and explain the behaviour and intentions of students in their decision to start entrepreneurial activities and establish an enterprise. Second, the paper aims to identify whether students in tertiary level institutions in Ireland display the personality traits of an entrepreneur, which are necessary to found an enterprise.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to implement the study linkages with Ireland's Network of Teachers and Researchers in Entrepreneurship was utilized in the formation of a database. This resulted in a stratified random sample of tertiary level institutions being collected. Data were collected from 248 randomly chosen third‐level students.

Findings

The study presents some encouraging findings concerning the intentions of students to start a business. Some 82 per cent of respondents have had some thoughts or have started with the realisation and founded a business. This indicates that even at a young age Irish people are creative in their thinking and also see self‐employment as a career option. The study further examined the personal background for entrepreneurial activities of the respondents. In applying aspects of personality to the respondents, the findings indicate that the majority are extroverted; they are highly compatible and conscientious and highly stable in terms of their emotions. These findings are quite heartening as these personality traits are important for entrepreneurs when establishing and running a business.

Research limitations/implications

The study identifies areas of improvement such as the development of selling skills; making students aware of the sources of funding available in Ireland and the incorporation of non‐business students into the entrepreneurship classroom.

Originality/value

This paper presents original findings in a highly relevant, but under‐researched field, that being tertiary level students and their intention to establish their own business.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 50 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Naomi Birdthistle, Yvonne Costin and Briga Hynes

The purpose of this paper is to examine the creation of realistic, engaging entrepreneurial competencies in second-level students in the Republic of Ireland through the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the creation of realistic, engaging entrepreneurial competencies in second-level students in the Republic of Ireland through the Student Enterprise Awards (SEA) programme. The focus of the paper will be on the interaction of teachers with the programme.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed-methods approach was adopted, with an email questionnaire fully completed by 101 of the population 300, resulting in a 34% response rate, which was regarded as acceptable. The qualitative approach was 29 semi-structured interviews with teachers and 9 Principals/Head Teachers.

Findings

The findings suggest that there was strong endorsement by the teachers of the benefits accruing to students in all three areas of knowledge, skills and attitudes. This clearly reinforces the strength of the SEA programme which will become increasingly important for students who are facing uncertain career paths. The programme will help engender students with increased self-confidence, better communication and presentation skills. Better skilled students make them more employable. This programme was primarily delivered by teachers and completed by students who did it on a voluntary basis and have no official recognition of participation.

Research limitations/implications

The research has identified a notable lack of enterprise-related teacher training in the current education system in the Republic of Ireland. Such training is necessary to ensure effective teaching of entrepreneurship and could bring consistency to the quality of enterprise education received by students in different schools. Students enjoy participating on the programme and see lifelong benefits from doing it, therefore it would be beneficial to incorporate it as a mandatory subject in the curriculum.

Originality/value

Integrating the theoretical principles underpinning entrepreneurship education, which were presented in the paper, with the empirical teacher findings leads to a number of recommendations that can be adopted by the teacher, Principal/Head Teacher and School Board.

Details

Education + Training , vol. 58 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Naomi Birdthistle

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether small and medium‐sized family businesses in Ireland have the potential to be classified as learning organizations.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether small and medium‐sized family businesses in Ireland have the potential to be classified as learning organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology adopted for this study is that of multiple‐case studies. In this research, personal interviews were selected as the data collection method. On the basis of Eisenhardt's premise that a study of between four and ten cases is suitable for qualitative studies, a total of six owner‐managers of family small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) were interviewed.

Findings

The findings of the case studies support the argument that family businesses have the potential to be learning organizations. However, the extent to which these family businesses are potentially learning organizations depends on the size of the family business and the structure imposed on the business. Micro family businesses struggle to be classified as learning organizations due to the lack of a learning orientation. These businesses lack systems for the monitoring of information and lack the ability to be reactive to market changes. Small family businesses have the potential to be classified as learning organizations. This is due to the fact that small family businesses have learning at the core of their business and systems in place to deal with a learning orientation. Medium‐sized family businesses also have the potential to be learning organizations, although they need to ensure that systems are in place to allow learning to occur.

Originality/value

This paper presents original findings in a highly relevant, but under‐researched field – the family SME as a learning organization.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 15 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Naomi Birdthistle, Briga Hynes and Patricia Fleming

The aim of this paper is to examine the perceptions and attitudes towards enterprise education at secondary level[1] in Ireland from a multi‐stakeholder perspective. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to examine the perceptions and attitudes towards enterprise education at secondary level[1] in Ireland from a multi‐stakeholder perspective. The key stakeholders involved in enterprise education are teachers, principals, pupils and parents. The examination encompassed profiling the Irish educational system and the evolution of enterprise education, appraising the role of the teacher in enterprise education and the identification and evaluation of the various programmes for enterprise at secondary level.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology adopted for this study was a subject‐specific questionnaire personally administered to 95 respondents comprising teachers, principals, pupils and parents.

Findings

The research findings suggest that tangible and intangible learning is obtained from such programmes, which create awareness of the possibilities for self‐employment, encourage more enterprising behaviour and result in important personal skills and competency development. It also indicates very positive feedback for the need and continued development of such programmes as an important intervention in creating a more entrepreneurial mindset in students.

Originality/value

The research findings add value to the empirical base of research at secondary schools by addressing a number of stakeholders. The findings highlight and provide the rationale for the need by policy makers to consider the mainstreaming of enterprise education at secondary level. Furthermore, commitment by the Irish government to the provision of increased resources, the development of programme material and teacher training are fundamental to the effectiveness of these programmes. To encourage greater participation by teachers and pupils, there is a need for formal recognition and accreditation of such programmes within the curriculum. Finally, greater awareness of the benefits of the programmes needs to be communicated to parents for them to encourage their children to participate in such programmes.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 49 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Naomi Birdthistle

The purpose of this paper is to examine the training and learning strategies adopted by family businesses in Ireland.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the training and learning strategies adopted by family businesses in Ireland.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to implement the study a database of family businesses was compiled. A number of sources were used to compile the database. Primary data from a stratified random sample of independent unquoted businesses were collected. Data were collected from 121 family businesses using a postal questionnaire.

Findings

The key findings of this study are that family SMEs appear to prefer an informal learning strategy than a formal strategy and family SMEs are hindered by the lack of financial resources so as to enable learning and training to occur within the business.

Research limitations/implications

This study used a single‐respondent, self‐administered questionnaire. Future research should incorporate analysing other members of the family business – family and non‐family members – so as to get a “wider” understanding of learning and training in family businesses in Ireland.

Originality/value

This paper presents original findings in a highly relevant, but under‐researched field – family businesses in Ireland, the issue of learning and training of family businesses.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Briga Hynes, Yvonne Costin and Naomi Birdthistle

The purpose of this paper is to propose a practice‐based entrepreneurship education programme which enhances collaboration between educational institutions and the small…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a practice‐based entrepreneurship education programme which enhances collaboration between educational institutions and the small business community as a means of producing a more employable, well rounded and skilled graduates.

Design/methodology/approach

A case description of the business consulting programme operated at the University of Limerick.

Findings

The findings highlight how a practice‐based learning module brings real business learning into the classroom and simultaneously attends to the needs of different internal and external stakeholders by producing a more flexible and employable professional graduate. Furthermore, it creates a more meaningful relationship between education institutions (knowledge producers) and industry (knowledge users).

Research limitations/implications

Educators need to evaluate the benefits of practice‐based learning programmes from the external stakeholder perspective as a basis of identifying more innovative practice‐based learning options.

Originality/value

The paper draws attention to the need for, and suggestions on how educational institutions can be more outward focussed and responsive to the needs of industry when designing educational programmes.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Naomi Birdthistle and Patricia Fleming

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how a learning organisation can be created within the framework of the family SME in Ireland.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how a learning organisation can be created within the framework of the family SME in Ireland.

Design/methodology/approach

No comprehensive list of independent family businesses in Ireland was available. To overcome this problem a pragmatic approach was taken in the construction of a sampling frame for this research. Primary data from a stratified random sample of independent unquoted businesses were collected. Data were collected from 121 family SMEs using a postal questionnaire.

Findings

The results indicate that micro, small and medium‐sized family firms display some of the characteristics of a learning organisation, but not all of them. Therefore, with strategic review, systems development and cultural change within family SMEs in Ireland, they have the potential to be learning organisations.

Research limitations/implications

This study used a single‐respondent, self‐administered questionnaire. Future research should incorporate analysing other members of the family business – family and non‐family members – so as to get a “wider” understanding of the family SME.

Practical implications

A major contribution of this research is the identification of an existing and suitable theoretical background that can be applied to the study of the family SME, thereby providing a frame‐of‐reference for the analysis of family SMEs as learning organisations.

Originality/value

This paper presents original findings in a highly relevant, but under‐researched field – the family SME as a learning organisation.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 29 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

Keywords

Content available
Article

Abstract

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Content available
Article

Abstract

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

1 – 10 of 13