Enterprise education has been identified as suffering from fluctuating policy, inconsistent funding and faddish practice, thereby limiting the development of a sustainable community of scholar-practitioners. In view of these constraints, this article considers the position of the often-isolated enterprise educators, and focuses on the role networks play in supporting their sustainable professional development and hence the domain itself. A case–based analysis draws on social-constructivist concepts of networks and communities of practice to analyse a UK-based network, Enterprise Educators UK (‘EEUK’). It is argued that the member-driven nature of EEUK is unique and important for providing a sustainable forum through which enterprise educators can engage, share practice, find identity, develop ownership of and deliver sustained innovation in enterprise education. Generating a rich picture of the enterprise educator’s ecosystem, the article makes a methodological contribution to network research by undertaking a longitudinal analysis of a decade of ‘Best Practice’ events. It extends Community of Practice theory of peripheral participation and identity in professional associations, and derives practical implications for enterprise educator networks. Recommendations are made for future research and dissemination of enterprise educator practice at, between, and beyond events, to further the development of the international enterprise education domain.
Beresford, RichardBeresford, KateHandley, Karen
Oxford Brookes Business School\Oxford Brookes Business School\Department of Business and Management
Year of publication: 2018Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-10-12