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Emotional Learning applied to extant entrepreneurs in Wales / Louisa Huxtable-Thomas
Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) Cardiff 2013
Swansea University Author: Louisa, Huxtable-Thomas
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ObjectivesThis paper provides a background summary of the research landscape at the interface between emotion, entrepreneurship education and leadership development. The paper presents the findings of an instrumental case study of emotional learning by owner-managers of small and medium sized busine...
|Published in:||Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) Cardiff 2013|
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ObjectivesThis paper provides a background summary of the research landscape at the interface between emotion, entrepreneurship education and leadership development. The paper presents the findings of an instrumental case study of emotional learning by owner-managers of small and medium sized business in Wales. The paper draws initial conclusions relating to leadership education specific to extant entrepreneurs as well as aspects of emotional learning by this somewhat under researched group.Prior WorkThe LEAD Wales programme, previously assessed by Henley and Norbury (2011) and developed from research by Kempster (2002, 2010), emphasises the importance of peer-to-peer learning by owner-managers of SMEs (extant entrepreneurs). The efficacy of peer-to-peer (P2P) learning in the workplace has been well established in the work of Gibb, Revans and others between the 1960s and 1990s. The LEAD Wales programme combines the peer-to-peer element with an integrated model of experiential (enacted), situated, formal and observed learning to encourage leadership skills development as described in Peters (2010).In parallel, work by Shepherd (2003, 2004) on the value of emotion in teaching entrepreneurship has been continuously developed and is now put forward as a key element in the portfolio of innovative practices needed for teaching entrepreneurship and in being an effective teacher (Cope, 2011; Mortiboys, 2011; Pittaway& Rose, 2006; Thorpe, 2009 and others).ApproachThe LEAD Wales programme provides a unique opportunity to observe a synthesis of two research strands in practice. The research comprises an initial critical summary of previous literature reviews to underpin the focus of a participant observation approach to understanding emotional learning as encountered in the experiential and social (peer to peer) elements of the programme. ResultsIt has been observed that the learning methods used in the LEAD Wales programme evoke strong emotional responses from extant entrepreneurs at various stages of the learning process. Such practices were observed to have profound impacts on changing the extant entrepreneur-learner’s self awareness of their emotional responses as a leader of a small firm. ImplicationsThe emotional aspect of learning by established entrepreneurs that forms the focus of this paper is under-researched in practice and suggestions from previous research have not yet been widely applied. Results from this research contribute evidence that established class-room based emotional learning theories can be applied in experiential and situated learning paradigms with extant entrepreneurs who are capable of using both negative and positive emotive stimuli to inform learning and in turn personal development. This is crucial in the development of small firms as often growth and change is directly correlated with the development of the individual founder and leader.ValueThis research provides evidence of the value of negative, as well as positive, emotions to promote learning and supports a better understanding of the use of emotion in learning outside of traditional classroom environments. However in framing the research a key point has been identified that should be addressed in small business policy: that the extant entrepreneur is distinct and divergent from the nascent entrepreneur and that pedagogies needs to be adopted that are specific to this group. This research is then of value to policy and practice in identifying the importance of stimulating new approaches to the design, delivery and assessment of development interventions aimed as the leaders of existing small firms
Emotion, Enterprise, Entrepreneurship, Learning, Pedagogy, Experiential, Entrepreneurial leadership
School of Management