Theorising competitive enterprise education

BRENTNALL, Catherine (2022). Theorising competitive enterprise education. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Enterprise Education (EE) is a global phenomenon which is demanded at every stage of education and often called for on the basis that it will develop the skills, confidence and ‘can do’ attitude of students. Yet, simultaneously, it can be observed that many of the activities provided in practice are structured competitively, and this competitiveness, and the positive effects of structuring activities competitively, is taken for granted in literature and measurement focused effects studies. As such, this thesis proposes the concept of Competitive Enterprise Education (CEE), to make explicit the fundamental structure of activities, and uses the principles and resources of Realist Evaluation to develop a deeper understanding of what is happening in such programmes at secondary school level. Specifically, evidence relating to four layers of context proposed as important for programme practitioners to understand (Individual, Interpersonal, Institutional and Infra-structural) are organised to illuminate how effects are generated in Short Form (one day or less) competitions and Long Form (from eight weeks to almost an academic year) CEE. Analysis identifies what resources, already existing in the context, CEE programmes leverage to generate more positive effects as well as for whom programmes are not working so well. Thinking is extended towards understanding the ripple effects of CEE, and how programmes can change the context itself over time. Overall, this study contributes explanatory theorising about competitive programmes in EE and how negative, as well as positive, effects are generated, demonstrating the usefulness of Realist Evaluation and the importance of complementing measuring with thinking.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Palmer, Nicola [0000-0001-7916-139X]
Thesis advisor - Darabi, Fariba
Thesis advisor - O'Leary, Christine
Thesis advisor - Kerrigan, Kevin
Thesis advisor - Mcauley, John
Thesis advisor - Shearn, Katie [0000-0001-7209-8404]
Additional Information: Director of studies: Dr. Nicola Palmer / Supervisors: Dr. Fariba Darabi, Dr. Christine O'Leary, Prof. Kevin Kerrigan, Prof. John McAuley and Dr. Katie Shearn.
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2023 13:42
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 13:32

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