University of Twente Student Theses


Learning in networks : Community of Practice: a new approach to entrepreneurial learning

Schrooten, Gerrit (2009) Learning in networks : Community of Practice: a new approach to entrepreneurial learning.

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Abstract:Educational programs teaching entrepreneurial behaviour and knowledge are crucial to a vital and healthy economy. The concept of building a Communities of Practice (CoP) could be very promising. CoP’s are formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning in a shared domain of human endeavour (Wenger, McDermott and Snyder, 2002). They consist of a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. Normally CoP’s are rather homogeneous. Saxion institute Small Business & Retail Management (SB&RM) started a CoP with entrepreneurs September 2007. Typical in the this community, are the differences between the partners. The Community consists of students, entrepreneurs and members of an institution for higher education. They have different characteristics and they don’t share the same knowledge. Thus, building long-lasting relations can be complicated. Solid relations for longer periods are nevertheless inevitable in using CoP as a mean in an educational concept that takes approximately 4 years. After one year an evaluation took place on the main aspects of a lasting partnership. The central problem SB&RM in Deventer faces is to design the CoP in a way possible members will join and stay for a longer period and in a way it ensures entrepreneurial learning. This means important design characteristics have to be identified, and the CoP in Deventer has to be evaluated to assess whether it meets those design characteristics in an effective and efficient way. The main target of the evaluation is to determine which key factors are important to make sure continuity in partnership is assured and entrepreneurial learning is best supported. To solve the problem, an investigation on how a CoP works, what group dynamics take place, and how this can be measured has to be conducted. Furthermore using the CoP as a tool for entrepreneurship means key aspects of entrepreneurial learning have to be identified. After that the CoP in Deventer has to be examined on both aspects.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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