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How do entrepreneurs learn?: the role of critical reflective practice
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 09:11 authored by Karl Lijun Qin
This thesis discusses the role of Critical Reflective Practice (CRP) in Entrepreneurial Learning. Education and entrepreneurship literature is reviewed and discussed in light of empirical findings from research into entrepreneurs’ learning experiences. Eight serial and portfolio entrepreneurs were interviewed in two-part semi-structured interviews. This study finds that experienced entrepreneurs use CRP in their learning, especially in the process of accumulating entrepreneurial knowledge and improving entrepreneurial capabilities. A set of reflective lenses are introduced and are found to be used in the entrepreneurial learning process. The qualitative data suggests three frameworks related to CRP and entrepreneurial learning. The first framework suggested is that entrepreneurial experience is accumulated through CRP; the second framework indicates that a lack of entrepreneurial experience in entrepreneurial activities such as problem solving and decision making triggers the CRP process; and the third framework links entrepreneurial learning and specific lenses in the CRP process, suggesting that the autobiography lens is the most important while being supported by other lenses. These three frameworks are used to interpret and explain behaviours in Entrepreneurial Learning, such as learning by doing, experience accumulation, and group learning. The research findings indicate that CRP may be an important process for entrepreneurial learning, and help entrepreneurs improve their entrepreneurial capabilities. CRP could also be a valuable part in entrepreneurship education. Further research on entrepreneurial learning that extends the exploratory findings of this thesis will help to better understand how entrepreneurs learn and how they might be taught or trained more effectively.