Purpose – This paper is an empirical study which aims to investigate the development of social interaction and their impacts on developing learners’ entrepreneurial characteristics throughout their participation in an authentic enterprise activity. Design/methodology/approach – The sample of this study was drawn from the participants of an enterprise activity called the Teen Entrepreneurs Competition for the high school students in Hong Kong. With the use of a mixed approach involving both qualitative and quantitative methods for data collection and analysis, the development and impacts of social interaction of the participants were investigated during their venturing process in the competition. Findings – The findings showed that the participants’ entrepreneurial characteristics would be developed and enhanced through the four key types of social interaction, including the interaction with team members, instructors, schoolteachers and business stakeholders. However, the impact of social interaction was more direct on the development of task-oriented entrepreneurial characteristics, but less direct on the conceptual-oriented entrepreneurial characteristics. Research limitations/implications – This study provides useful insights into making a good use of social interaction in authentic enterprise education activities. Further studies can be conducted on studying the change in attitude towards entrepreneurship and the impacts of such change on the developing of entrepreneurial characteristics through social interaction in enterprise education. Practical implications – It is recommended that enterprise programmes and activities should be maximised with participants’ social interaction opportunities particularly with business practitioners and opportunities provided for participants to reflect on their social interaction from time to time in order to achieve better learning outcomes. Originality/value – The results complement the existing literature on enterprise education by extending the current focus on the experiential aspect towards the interactive aspect during the learning process. Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
CitationYu, C. W. M., & Man, T. W. M. (2009). Social interaction and the formation of entrepreneurial characteristics: A case study in authentic enterprise activity. Journal of Workplace Learning, 21(8), 595-613.
- Social interaction
- Hong Kong