A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

Entrepreneurship education – paradoxes in school–company interaction

Open Access publication

Publication Details
Authors: Sommarström Kaarina, Oikkonen Elena, Pihkala Timo
Publisher: Emerald: 24 month embargo
Publication year: 2020
Language: English
Related Journal or Series Information: Education and Training
ISSN: 0040-0912
eISSN: 1758-6127
JUFO-Level of this publication: 1
Open Access: Open Access publication
Location of the parallel saved publication: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe2020040110027



The purpose of this paper studies the role of paradoxes in the adoption of
entrepreneurship education (EE) in schools.


Qualitative research methods were used, and the data were collected via
semi-structured interviews with Finnish teachers and principals.


Paradoxes are an important factor slowing the adoption of EE. Paradoxes
appear to arise from teachers' misunderstandings, high personal standards of
pedagogy and an unwillingness to change their routines. In schools, principals
still regard EE as a newcomer that is easily abandoned should any difficulties
emerge. The principals show unwillingness to take responsibility for managing
EE or to establish relationships with companies.

Research limitations/implications

The study represents Finnish practice in basic education. Due to the
qualitative methodology applied, the generalizability of the results is
limited. Quantitative research on the teachers' and principals' behaviour
related to paradoxes in EE is needed. Furthermore, the pedagogical
prioritization related to the introduction of EE warrants more research.

Practical implications

The results suggest good opportunities exist in training to prepare
teachers and principals to anticipate the difficulties of EE.


The study introduces a new understanding of the difficulties in the
adoption of EE. Paradoxes are important factors to take into account in the
promotion of EE. Paradoxes stem from teachers' misunderstandings,
misconceptions and their unwillingness to change. Principals seem unwilling to
assume their responsibilities in managing EE. The study highlights
opportunities for managing the emergence of these paradoxes by preparing
teachers and principals better on the difficulties and unexpected outcomes of

Last updated on 2020-01-04 at 11:02