A practitioner inquiry and framework for seeding entrepreneurial leadership as part of identity formation in teenagers

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Geyer, Sandra
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Doctorate of Professional Practice
Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology
Roodt, Henk
Kirkwood, Jo
Stemmet, Lehan
Doctoral Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
South Africa
New Zealand
entrepreneurial education
leadership development
identity construction
secondary students
Geyer, S. (2023). A practitioner inquiry and framework for seeding entrepreneurial leadership as part of identity formation in teenagers (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctorate of Professional Practice). Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology https://doi.org/10.34074/thes.6046
The research question addressed in this thesis queries how we might better prepare our future entrepreneurial leaders, in New Zealand and South Africa, earlier in their education. A possible resolution is explored by means of an early-life leadership preparation intervention to mitigate the current experiences of leadership for students within the high school environment. Thus, the presented thesis aims to create and test a prototype leadership intervention programme for first-year high school students to better prepare them for future leadership roles. Entrepreneurial leadership is proposed by the researcher, due to professional practice observation, as an endpoint all-encompassing leadership style for the research process to explore. Currently, there is limited information available on the impact of early leadership interventions on first-year high school students and on the impact of current student leadership structures within traditional school structures on future entrepreneurial leaders. The author does not assume that all students exposed to such interventions are headed towards a future entrepreneurial leadership role. However, practitioner experience and observation suggest that foundational self-awareness, self-leadership skills and the ability to positively influence others enhances the ability of all students to navigate their future career choices. To meet four research objectives, the research process used a mixed methods research design, guided by a pragmatic philosophy and research strategy, through two action research cycles. The autoethnographic journey of the researcher is captured using three practitioner perspectives in the reflectivity chapter of the thesis. Results provide insights into currently successful entrepreneurial leadership influences, such as self-awareness, and the first iteration of a Leadership Literacy for Life course has been developed and trialed in both countries. The second action research cycle culminated in the proposal of a new theory of leadership by means of a grounded theory progression.
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