Yrittäjyyden arvottaminen akateemisten nuorten argumentoinnissa

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Title: Yrittäjyyden arvottaminen akateemisten nuorten argumentoinnissa
Author: Tonttila, Kirsti
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2010-11-05
Belongs to series: URN:ISSN:1798-9051
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-10-6611-5
Thesis level: Doctoral dissertation (monograph)
Abstract: Evaluation of entrepreneurship in the speech of academic students and newly qualified young academics a summary of a qualitative attitude study. In Finland very few university students plan to become entrepreneurs. The aim of this research was to examine entrepreneurial attitudes expressed in speech. The material was gathered from interviews with university students and newly qualified young academic adults. The interviewees commented on twelve different sentences with claims formulated using research literature and views that have appeared in public discussions. The interviewees were divided into three different groups based on their self-expressed entrepreneurial intentions. The method of qualitative attitude research (Vesala & Rantanen 1999, 2007) was used in the interviews. The research material was studied using two interpretative theories: (1) The planned behaviour theory (Ajzen 1985, 1991a, b), which makes it possible to focus on the separate elements (attitude towards an act, subjective norms and perceived feasibility) necessary for intentions to develop; and (2) The theory of the two images of entrepreneurship (Vesala 1996), where individualism and relationism can be seen as resources for evaluating entrepreneurship. The subject of the research was how university students and newly qualified young adults viewed entrepreneurship as a general phenomen and in relation to the academic world. A second focus was on the attitudes expressed toward entrepreneurial university education and the possibility of combining entrepreneurship and academic knowledge. Of interest were also questions such as whether academic studies, knowledge and the university itself are resources or barriers to entrepreneurial intentions and entrepreneurship whether university students received any support for their entrepreneurial ambitions from the university and their fellow academic students. The problems tackled by this research were thus the following: How was entrepreneurship seen, both as a general phenomen and in an academic context, when it was evaluated positively, negatively or neutrally by the interviewees? In what way was entrepreneurship constructed in the interviewees attitudes? How were entrepreneurship and the academic world related in the interviewees attitudes? What kind of role did the university as an academic context play in the interviewees attitudes for example were university education and academic knowledge seen as resources or barriers to their entrepreneurial intentions. Traditional attitude studies claim that attitudes are a stable property of an individual. In contrast, rhetorical social psychological and qualitative attitude studies emphasize the contextual and linguistic aspects of attitude, and they offered an alternative viewpoint for this research. The study was based on two general assumptions: attitudes have objects and are evaluative. Here attitude was defined as an evaluative interpresentation made towards an object; adopting an attitude is a contextual process in the sense that attitudes are always concerned with the action context of the persons presenting them. Entrepreneurship, both as a general phenomen and in an academic context, was specified as the object to which an attitude was taken. From a theoretical point of view, qualitative methods suited the general structure of this research well. In a particular, qualitative approach which emphasized contextual elements proved to be both empirically valid and useful for avoiding the problematic assumptions associated with traditional attitude study. The subject of the analysis was the argumentative speech produced by the interviewees. The results of the study show the subjects responses to three main ways of viewing entrepreneurships. The first was an individualistic, ideal image of entrepreneurship. This was mostly evaluated positively and gained wide approval especially among interviewees who included entrepreneurship among their employment choices. Entrepreneurship was seen as the decision to earn one s living independently. In this individualistic image of entrepreneurship, the social context was hardly ever mentioned. Elements which were seen to threaten this ideal image were evaluated negatively. When entrepreneurship was evaluated negatively using the individualistic image of entrepreneurship, it was mentioned that it forced one into a never ending cycle of work and uninterested duties. The relationistic image of entrepreneurship was used as a speech resource when the social context was constructed as an economic resource or a threat to the ideal image of entrepreneurship. In the second view, entrepreneurship was characteristically seen as being based on economics, which was seen as a threat to the ideal individualistic image of entrepreneurship. The risk of economic failure was seen as a limiting factor to entrepreneurial ambitions as it forced entrepreneurs to work around the clock. The third view concerned the relationship between entrepreneurship and the academic world. Entrepreneurship as an employment choice for university educated persons was evaluated as relevant, and thus positively, when university education was constructed as a resource for entrepreneurship - and irrelevant and thus negatively when it was construed as an obstacle, too wide, or when successful entrepreneurship was seen as being mostly based on an individual s personal characteristics. The interviewees with no entrepreneurial intentions expressed the view that academic education didn t provide the proper skills and knowledge for entrepreneurship. The interviewees also expressed interest in university entrepreneurship education, although none had experience on this. The interviewees emphasized the fact that the University didn t encourage them to consider entrepreneurship as a relevant employment choice. The assumption made by this study was that becoming an entrepreneur is a conscious decision, the environment may influence an individual s decisions on how to make a living as it tends to socialise people to act in accordance with cultural traditions. Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Attitudes towards entrepreneurship, Intentional behaviour, Entrepreneurial intention, University entrepreneurship education, Qualitative attitude research (Vesala & Rantanen 1999, 2007), Rhetorical social psychology (Billig 1986), The theory of entrepreneuship s two images: individualism and relationism (Vesala 1996 ), The planned behaviour theory (Ajzen 1985, 1991a, b)Mitä akateemiset nuoret tarkoittavat yrittäjyydellä arvottaessaan sen myönteisesti tai kielteisesti? Miten yrittäjyys rakentuu akateemisten nuorten puheissa yleisellä tasolla ja akateemisuuden viitekehyksessä? Minkälaisia asenteita akateemisesti koulututut nuoret ilmaisevat yrittäjyydestä sekä akateemisuuden ja yrittäjyyden yhteensovittamisesta? Onko korkeakoulutetuista nuorista yliopistokoulutus yrittäjyyden resurssi tai este? Arvioivatko akateemiset nuoret yliopiston yrittäjyyteen kannustavaksi? Tutkimuksessa perehdytään kvalitatiivisen asennetutkimuksen keinoin retorisen sosiaalipsykologian näkökulmasta siihen, millaisiksi asenteiksi yrittäjyys konstruoituu yliopistonuorten puheissa ja ylipäätänsä miten itsensä työllistämiseen asennoidutaan. Lisäksi tarkastellaan, onko korkeakoulutaustassa jotain millä voidaan perustella yrittäjyyden arvottamista myönteiseksi tai kielteiseksi ja tuoda näkökulmia siihen, miksi harva akateeminen nuori päätyy yrittäjäksi. Tarkastelun kohteina ovat akateemisten nuorten kannanotot ja niiden perustelut, ilmaistut yrittäjyysintentiot huomioidaan. Tutkimuksessa yrittäjyyttä tarkastellaan itsenäisyyden/vapauden (yrittäjyyden ideaalin) ja ulkopuolisista tahoista riippuvuuden näkökulmista. Lisäksi yrittäjyys määrittyy vastikkeelliseksi työksi, johon sisältyvään taloudelliseen riskiin asennoitumisessa on eroavuuksia. Yrittäjyys työllistymisvalintana arvioidaan akateemiselle relevantiksi, kun akateemisuus määrittyy yrittäjyyden resurssiksi (tuo uskottavuutta ja antaa valmiuksia) - ja irrelevantiksi, kun akateemisuus määrittyy yrittäjyyden esteeksi, tarpeettoman korkeaksi koulutukseksi tai kun yrittäjäksi ryhtymistä selitetään yksilön tekijöillä. Akateemisen yrittäjyyden esteiksi nousevat mm. ongelmat osaamisen tuotteistamisessa ja yrittäjyysperinteiden vähyys. Yliopiston väitetään sosiaalistavan akateemiset nuoret arvoille ja käytännöille, jotka eivät kannusta yrittäjyyteen. Opiskelijatovereiden ei niin ikään väitetä olevan kiinnostuneita yrittäjyydestä työllistymisvalintana. Tutkimuksen perusteella voidaan todeta yrittäjyyden olevan epätavallinen työllistymisvaihtoehto akateemisten keskuudessa.
Subject: sosiaalipsykologia
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