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Teaching social entrepreneurship and innovation from the perspective of place and place-making

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

  • Michael B. Elmes
  • Scott Jiusto
  • Gail Whiteman
  • Robert Hersh
  • Greig Tor Guthey
Article number11
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Academy of Management Learning and Education
Issue number4
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)533-554
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


Business education for social entrepreneurship and innovation is an emerging area of study and practice. This article draws from literatures in geography and anthropology to offer a place-based perspective that we believe enriches our understanding of social context and provides new approaches to teaching the subject. We begin by considering the limitations of existing approaches to understanding social context and then present a four-frame model of place-based thinking (Gruenewald, 2003) with implications for teaching social entrepreneurship and innovation. Afterward we present a case study of a project-oriented, place-based learning approach to social entrepreneurship and innovation around water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) in the informal settlements of Cape Town, South Africa. We discuss how the use of place enriches our students' understanding of the WaSH-related innovations there. We also reflect on the successes, failures and place-based experiments. Implications for a new approach to teaching social entrepreneurship and innovation are also discussed.