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Unit information: Enterprise and Entrepreneurship in 2018/19

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Unit name Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
Unit code ECONM2036
Credit points 15
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Mrs. Nendick
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


Entrepreneurship is very much a current theme in economic, political and social commentary and entrepreneurship, once associated with maverick individuals, is now widely held to be an essential driver of innovation, economic growth and social change. The University of Bristol is involved in a variety of enterprising activities, such as the collaborative Engine Shed, which will be explored on the course via guest speakers and/or visits. Different organisational forms will also be explored, particularly social enterprises.

Students taking the course will develop an understanding of entrepreneurial behaviour, the process of enterprise creation and the issues that arise out of these activities, which enterprise policies attempt to address. It is debatable whether entrepreneurial behaviours can be taught so this will not be an aim of the unit, however, students will be expected to take a participative approach on the course to reflect the nature of the subject.

To examine the concept of enterprise and entrepreneurship and to develop a critical understanding in five areas:

  • The history and nature of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial behaviour
  • The processes of enterprise creation and development
  • Enterprise policies and the challenges associated with entrepreneurship
  • Family enterprises
  • Social enterprises

Intended learning outcomes

Students successfully completing the module should be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the historical developments in the study of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial behaviour, including; trait theories, behavioural theories and more modern social approaches that take account of diversity and which question a singular point of focus.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of setting up an enterprise. In particular students will learn about the industry wide practice of business planning and different forms of financial support.
  • Demonstrate an awareness and knowledge of the historical development and rationales of enterprise policies, including current policies and the political concepts behind them. Students will learn about current and historical reports, institutions and enterprise networks

Application and critical appraisal

  • Students should be able to identify and apply different approaches to the study of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial behaviour. By studying female entrepreneurs, ethnic entrepreneurs, habitual and serial entrepreneurs students will develop the ability to critically appraise traditional approaches to the subject.
  • Students should be able to evaluate the purpose, applicability and appropriateness of different methods in the practices and funding of setting up a business. They will be able to critically comment on industry wide practices and evaluate them in relation to their impact on different social groups and enterprise structures.
  • Students should be able to identify different policy themes and dominant debates, and be able to critically assess them in relation to current theoretical understandings of entrepreneurship and their impact on different social groups and practice.

Teaching details

2 hour weekly workshops to include normal lecture and seminar activities, but will also include collaborative group work during the first half of TB2. Teaching methods to include: lectures, case studies, article discussions, debates and presentations. Guest lectures and peer discussion groups.

Assessment Details

3 hour exam

Formative assignment in the first half of TB2, which will be group work with individual elements, and will involve active co-creation of knowledge and information on one of the 5 core topic areas. Groups will produce online (limited to Blackboard) reviews of current and historical materials in the 5 core topic areas, to include: identification of significant institutional players, writers, reports, articles and books; development and analysis of current themes and debates; critical commentary using theoretical framings.

This assignment is designed around gathering resources and reviewing and mapping the literature, and will enable students to gain an in depth knowledge of one area of the course. It is placed in the first half of the term to build student confidence in the subject area and to balance out workload peaks in the second half of the term which come from other units. It is an active and participative assignment to reflect the subject matter and encourage entrepreneurial behaviours. It will also help students to develop skills in preparation for their dissertations.

In summary, the formative assignment will expect students to produce 3,000 words in total in the form of written reviews. These will be shared and peer reviewed.

The summative assessment will be 100% essay based exam covering the 5 core topic areas covered on the course. The exam will complement the in depth, activity based, group assignment, as it will ensure that students cover the full scope of the course and will encourage development of individual academic writing skills. The exam will ensure that students know the theory and practice across the 5 subjects, and will expect them to demonstrate their ability to apply, understand and critique the historical developments and modern concepts in relation to entrepreneurial behaviour, enterprise policy and enterprise practice.

The exam will be 3 hours long. It will consist of a choice of 6 questions, of which the students will be expected to answer 3. The exam will make up 100% of the final mark for the unit.

Reading and References

Core Texts –

Entrepreneurship and Small Firms by Deakins and Freel 6th Edition (2012) McGraw Hill Understanding Enterprise: Entrepreneurship and Small Business by Bridge and ONeill 4th Edition (2012) Palgrave Macmillian

Supplementary Reading –

The Oxford Handbook of Entrepreneurship edited by Casson, Yeung, Basu and Wadeson (2008)

Oxford University Press The Social Entrepreneur Revolution by Martin Clark (2009) Marshall Cavandish Business