Title: Modelling self-regulated learning strategies in early-stage entrepreneurs: the role of intentionality and interaction

Authors: Deirdre O'Shea, Finian Buckley

Addresses: Department of Personnel & Employment Relations, Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland. ' DCU Business School, Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland

Abstract: This research investigates entrepreneurs from a psychological perspective, with a focus on the strategies entrepreneurs use to manage or self-regulate their learning, an area which has largely been ignored in past research with regard to entrepreneurs. The sample consisted of 11 nascent entrepreneurs and new business owners who had started ventures in the sectors of business or consumer services in the last two years. Participants were recruited from a variety of sources throughout Ireland, including university incubator centres, entrepreneurial network groups, enterprise boards, and information and support services for entrepreneurs. The entrepreneur|s self-regulated learning strategies were assessed using an in-depth, focused interview. Analysis of the results unravelled the complex network of strategies employed by entrepreneurs to manage their learning and knowledge acquisition in the early stages of a new venture. As such, this research demonstrates that entrepreneurial learning is self-regulated, and can be viewed along the dual continuation of: 1) the level of intentionality of the learning; 2) the level of interaction with other individuals or the environment. Although this research reports on an early-stage, preliminary investigation of a wider study, the examination of the self-regulation of learning and knowledge acquisition can provide valuable insights into the decision-making processes of entrepreneurs and of the process of venture creation more generally.

Keywords: self-regulated learning; self-regulation; entrepreneurial learning; informal learning; work-based learning; psychology of entrepreneurship; learning strategies; Ireland; university incubator centres; entrepreneurial network groups; enterprise boards; information services; support services.; knowledge acquisition; decision making

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2010.033050

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2010 Vol.10 No.1, pp.83 - 107

Published online: 07 May 2010 *

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