Educating for enterprise
: exploring the role of the teacher. An interpretative phenomenological analysis

  • Chinthaka Aluthgama Baduge

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The dilemma of how to teach entrepreneurship continuous to be an ongoing debate at all levels of education. In the UK in particular, the current higher education practices of developing entrepreneurs are being questioned due to low numbers of graduates becoming entrepreneurs.

In higher education, there is limited research concerning the styles and roles of teaching, and the voice of the teachers of their teaching styles. Hence, the aim of this study is to explore and gain an in-depth understanding of the role of entrepreneurship educators, particularly the different styles of teaching and their student entrepreneurial development support.

The research draws on the literature that critically examines the teaching/pedagogy related key concepts and theoretical constructs in higher education in general (Kember, 1997; 2009), and business and entrepreneurship education (Gibb, 2002; 2015).

The experiences of eleven UK based lecturers in entrepreneurship were explored through semi-structured interviews. The qualitative study was conducted using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). IPA’s fundamental tenets of phenomenology, hermeneutics and idiography provided an innovative framework for a detailed exploration of experiences of lecturers and the way they give meaning to their experiences.

The findings of the study produced a greater comprehension into the differences of individual lecturers’ styles of teaching and the multidimensionality of the roles entrepreneurship educators play during the education process. Lecturers’ individual preferences also perform a vital part in designing and delivering education experiences. These findings portrayed that educators employ diverse recipes of teaching in this education context. This is demonstrated through the eight master themes emerged, which are: one recipe does not fit all; co-creating the education experience; handholding throughout, not just support; teacher enriches learning; focus is on students’ business initiatives; broaden student mind-set; prepare students for a journey; setting up the learning environment. Moreover, the research found that the diverse roles educators play in the education process are equally important as their styles and methods of teaching.

The key implications of this research concern the role of lecturers co-creating the education experiences and the importance of handholding students through the process of entrepreneurship. This offers a novel framework for teaching, in both the theory and practice of entrepreneurship education. The incorporation of IPA produces knowledge of a new approach to research to gain an in-depth understanding of teaching styles.
Date of Award18 Oct 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Abertay University
SupervisorGary Mulholland (Supervisor) & Khalid Hafeez (Supervisor)

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