Grounding and Confounding the Educational Entrepreneur: An Exploration of Entrepreneurial Educational Practice Under Market Policy and Discourse in New Jersey
48 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2015
Date Written: May 13, 2014
Purpose: This study explores the entrepreneurial behavior of public and charter school leaders in New Jersey as they contend with and are acted upon by the policy environment and develops a theory of the educational entrepreneur grounded in school leaders’ narratives.
Research Methods: The work reported here is the qualitative phase of a sequential explanatory mixed methods project. This phase of the study engages situational analysis, a postmodern approach to grounded theory that takes into consideration the situation of the phenomenon under investigation. As a result of theoretical sampling consistent with this approach, 16 school leaders of New Jersey public and charter primary and secondary schools were interviewed between October 2012 and January 2013.
Findings: Overall this study produced a grounded theory of an educational entrepreneur as researcher, synergist, and leader within the educational marketplace. These behaviors were mediated by global conditions, such as competition and policy change, and the extent to which the educational entrepreneur is acted upon by these conditions is related to organizational characteristics. As a result, public school educational entrepreneurs are more inward oriented, judging their performance and needs by the benchmarks established by other public schools within a district. Charter schools are more outward and forward oriented, establishing goals and comparing performance in relation to other charter schools and public schools within proximity.
Implications: The practical and research implications of this work point toward the creation of graduate programs and educational entrepreneurs empirically situated in continued research on educationally contextualized entrepreneurship theory.
Keywords: school administration, entrepreneurship, leadership, policy, grounded theory
JEL Classification: I21, M13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation