Our main interest is how to understand the process in which social entrepreneurship from being a relatively new and unknown phenomenon becomes generally accepted and used as a framework for understanding new tendencies in and approaches to social work. And what happens to the innovative and entrepreneurial dimensions in social entrepreneurship, when these become objects for formal education? The overall question we raise is in which sense social entrepreneurship and innovation is institutionalised through formal education. Theories about institutionalism, organisational fields, isomorphism, translation, social entrepreneurship and innovation are central in our work and form the theoretical framework for analysing the empirical material.
The basic empirical material is a case study of a BA in Social Enterprise that is offered by University of East London. We have made a series of qualitative semi structured focal group interviews with teachers and students from the university in London. We have visited a community centre, Bromley by Bow, and visited and interviewed individual social entrepreneurs in East London. The interviews have been coupled with a range of papers about the BA Social Enterprise.
The analytical approach is built on the assumption that formal education can be understood as a part in the institutionalisation of social entrepreneurship as 1) formal education contributes to creation of an organisational field around social entrepreneurship 2) formal education within the field can support and enhance isomorphic tendencies and 3) a translation of social entrepreneurship is necessary if the innovative and entrepreneurial dimensions are going to be anchored in the institution.
And what did we learn from our case study? The students we met showed that they are entrepreneurial and innovative as they are all developing and managing social enterprises. Their teachers claim that a learning environment supporting innovation and entrepreneurship cannot be provided within a "normal curriculum". The curriculum has to be translated into a learning environment where the close connection to practice plays an important role.
|Place of Publication||Roskilde|
|Number of pages||111|
|ISBN (Print)||978-87-7349-682-4, 87-7349-682-0|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|