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«A curriculum for entrepreneurial creativity and resourcefulness in New Zealand Raymond John Meldrum, BA, PGDipArts, DipTchg, MEd Submitted in ...»

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A curriculum for entrepreneurial

creativity and resourcefulness in New


Raymond John Meldrum, BA, PGDipArts, DipTchg, MEd

Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

Deakin University

January 2008




I certify that the thesis entitled    




submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy  is  the  result  of  my  own  work  and  that  where  reference  is  made  to  the  work  of  others, due acknowledgment is given.  I also certify that any material in the thesis which has been accepted for a degree or  diploma by any university or institution is identified in the text.              Full Name  RAYMOND JOHN MELDRUM  Signed 




I am indebted to a handful of very special people:

• Professor Terry Evans, my supervisor, for leaving me to roam, for speedy responses to emails, big-picture and picky feedback on chapter drafts, scholarly worldliness, and for being as excited as I have been

• My fourteen ‘participants’ for their candour and their passion, and for privileging me amazing stories and keen ideas: Bill Buckley, Brigid Hardy, Cam Calder, Daniel Batten, Debbie Duis, Glen Slater, John Alldred, Mary Taylor, Nancy Beck, Pete Rive, Petrena Miller, Robert Franich, Tony Falkenstein, and Tracey Kirwan

• Linda Keesing-Styles, my colleague and friend, for providing the most terrific encouragement, advice and support, and for doing her own and my job for nine weeks while I was at home writing Chapters Ten to Twelve

• Scott Morris, my trainer, for wicked humour, getting and keeping my body in shape, and helping me to hold the whole deal together

• Dr Peter Roberts and Dr Barbara Grant, outstanding teachers on the Master of Education program at the University of Auckland

• Dr Damian Blake, my associate supervisor, for an insightful reading of the penultimate draft

• Jeremy Upson for proof-reading and spotting things I still couldn’t see

• Karen da Silva for many odd jobs, some particularly odd

• RichardFlorida and Guy Claxton for getting me going, Henry Mintzberg for showing me I wasn’t imagining the problem, and William Doll and Ronald Barnett for inspiration

• All those who write about ‘the edge of chaos.’ It truly is an exciting and productive place to be.

This thesis is dedicated to my father, Leslie John Meldrum, twenty-one years dead but still always with us.

–  –  –



1.1 ‘Hic sunt dracones’

1.2 My story

1.3 Transformative learning

1.4 ‘The ticket’ from ‘the game’

1.5 Thesis overview

Chapter 2 THE PROBLEM 2.1 Introduction

2.2 The creative economy

2.3 Labour productivity

2.4 Growth and Innovation Framework

2.5 BetterbyDesign

2.6 Struggling with a fundamental shift

2.7 Entrepreneurship

2.8 GEM NZ 2001

2.9 Entrepreneurship and education

2.10 Entrepreneurship and cultural and social norms

2.11 GEM NZ 2002

2.12 GEM NZ 2003-04

2.13 GEM NZ 2005

2.14 Muddle

2.15 Definition: Entrepreneur

2.16 Education for entrepreneurs

2.17 Management education

2.18 Definition: Curriculum

2.19 Definition: Creativity

2.20 The global context

2.21 Conclusion: research question and aim

Chapter 3 RESEARCH DESIGN 3.1 Introduction

3.2 The researcher as traveller

3.3 The art of travel

3.4 The interpretive paradigm

3.5 Participants

3.6 In-depth interviewing

3.7 Hermeneutics

3.8 Ethics

3.9 Conclusion


4.1 Introduction

4.2 What entrepreneurs do

4.3 New entrepreneurs

4.4 Brigid Hardy

4.5 Daniel Batten

4.6 Glen Slater

4.7 Inventors

4.8 Nancy Beck

4.9 Pete Rive

4.10 Petrena Miller

4.11 Mature businessmen

4.12 Bill Buckley

4.13 Tony Falkenstein

4.14 Sole Traders

4.15 Mary Taylor

4.16 Cam Calder

4.17 Enterprising individuals

4.18 Tracey Kirwan

4.19 Debbie Duis

4.20 Associates of entrepreneurs

4.21 Robert Franich

4.22 John Alldred

4.23 Conclusion



5.1 Introduction

5.2 Research context

5.3 Entrepreneurs and creativity

5.4 Everyday, personal creativity

5.5 School and family backgrounds

5.6 Motivation

5.7 Fun and hard work

5.8 Risk

5.9 Chaos and complexity

5.10 Relaxation and slow

5.11 Flow

5.12 Meditation

5.13 Team work

5.14 Personal attributes

5.15 Ethnic and gender considerations

5.16 Conclusion


6.1 Introduction

6.2 The intellect and the undermind

6.3 Rigidity and the edges

6.4 Entrepreneurs and intuition

6.5 Feelings and emotions

6.6 Emotional intelligence

6.7 Generative and exploratory processes

6.8 Visualising

6.9 Gestalts

6.10 Diversity

6.11 Conclusion: confluence theories


7.1 Introduction

7.2 Literature

7.3 Knowledge

7.4 Business networking

7.5 Staff and customers

7.6 Persistence and patience

7.7 Enthusiasm and a dream

7.8 Simplicity

7.9 Recommended reading

7.10 Conclusion


8.1 Introduction

8.2 Schooling

8.3 The goals of learning

8.4 Learning as an acquisitional process

8.5 Learning as a practice-based community process

8.6 ‘The tycoon’ and the university

8.7 Mode 1 and mode 2 knowledge

8.8 ‘The accelerating organisation’

8.9 A false dichotomy

8.10 Order versus chaos

8.11 Learning as a reflective process

8.12 Embodied co-emergent processes

8.13 Conclusion


9.1 Introduction

9.2 The university

9.3 Criticism of business education programs

9.4 Collaborative work

–  –  –


10.1 Introduction

10.2 What is curriculum?

10.3 William E. Doll Jr

10.4 Curriculum as an open system

10.5 Curriculum as a matrix

10.6 Ronald Barnett

10.7 Barnett and Doll, together

10.8 The role of the teacher

10.9 ‘Becoming’

10.10 Curriculum as architecture


11.1 Introduction

11.2 A curriculum vision

11.3 A curriculum of experience

11.4 ‘Work knowing on the fly’

11.5 Slow and flow

11.6 Business practitioners

11.7 Supervision

11.8 Apprenticeships

11.9 ‘Spark’

11.10 Networking and the agora

11.11 Generosity and imagination

11.12 ‘Scary’ graduates


12.1 Introduction

12.2 Currere

12.3 Complexity

12.4 Cosmology

12.5 Conversation

12.6 Community

12.7 Creativity

12.8 Conclusion

Chapter 13 CONCLUSION 13.1 ‘A call to arms’?

13.2 Stories for retelling

13.3 This proposal

–  –  –

APPENDICES 1 Plain Language Statement

2 Consent Form


–  –  –

This thesis asks: ‘How can tertiary education nurture entrepreneurial creativity?’ Entrepreneurship is considered to be a vital determinant of economic growth and the entrepreneur is understood as someone who innovates and commercialises their own innovation. The setting is New Zealand which is struggling to make the shift from relying on primary production to becoming a ‘creative economy.’ The creative individual has been identified as a new mainstream but it is argued that in New Zealand, education provision is inadequate for supporting the development of the practice of entrepreneurship. The problem is not unique. Various writers are critical of business education generally, and of the mismatch between the passion and chaos in entrepreneurs’ lives and the way education programs are typically organised as a linear sequence of discipline-based courses with prescribed content, activities and outcomes.

Rich data were gathered from in-depth interviews with twelve nascent, new or experienced entrepreneurs and two associates (one a marketer, the other a scientist). Each participant was drawn from a different area of economic endeavour. They were asked to share their stories and views about creativity, the connections between creativity and entrepreneurship, business success, formal and informal education, and ways to improve tertiary education programs.

The research found that a suitable environment for nurturing creativity will most likely have structure but will also enable chaos. It will present opportunities for experiencing diversity, and will stimulate unconscious and conscious mental processes. It will provide scope for hard work that is fun and involves authentic risk-taking, and will enable both individual and purposeful teamwork. The study also found that business success is not based on knowledge but is rather about being resourceful. The becoming of the creative entrepreneur thus includes developing capability to network with peers and mentors and Summary communicate with customers and staff, and developing passion for and resilience in the pursuit of a dream.

The findings suggest that in an age of uncertainty, nurturing entrepreneurial creativity and resourcefulness requires learning to be viewed as a practice-based community process where knowing and doing are interwoven with being. It is argued that this needs to align with Ronald Barnett and Kelly Coate’s (2005) notion of ‘a curriculum for engagement.’ It is suggested that an entire program might simply invite students to work collaboratively to identify and exploit an entrepreneurial opportunity by producing and commercialising an appropriate product/service innovation; to undertake this work as two separate projects – one within an existing organisation, and the other as a new venture; and to theorise their work. It is proposed that a suitable framework lies in William Doll’s (2002) advocacy for a curriculum based on a matrix of five Cs: ‘currere,’ complexity, cosmology, conversation, and community. To these, creativity is added as a sixth C.

Chapter 1: Introduction

–  –  –

1.1 ‘Hic sunt dracones’ ‘Hic sunt dracones’ marked uncharted territories on the 1507 Lenox Globe, and in his book New Zealand unleashed, Carden (2007) suggests: ‘To many of us in New Zealand, “Here be dragons” might be an apt description of how we feel about the future. It’s unknown and a little scary’ (p.16). Indeed, Carden says that he writes in response to questions about ‘how New Zealand can thrive in an uncertain future’ (p.16). He suggests the focus should be on ‘how New Zealand should be’ rather than ‘what New Zealand should do’ 1(p.17).

Carden notes Flynn’s finding that average IQ scores have risen significantly over the last century and that, for example, ‘a person whose IQ placed him in the top ten per cent of the American population in 1920 would today fall in the bottom third’ (p.28).

Flynn suggests the change has occurred because the mind has to deal with richer and more challenging environments, and from this possibility Carden looks closely at the complexity of twenty-first century life and the uncertainty of New Zealand’s future. He builds a compelling tableau from scores of examples of dramatic change in technology, business and society, and from ideas from scholars across a wide range of disciplines.

Some of the statistics he provides are indeed ‘scary’: 3.3 million white collar jobs in the US and $136 billion in wages will shift from the US to low-cost countries by 2015 (p.60); the number of high-income households in China will increase from forty-nine million in 2003 to ninety-five million by 2008 (p.61); India adds an additional twentyfive million to its middle class each year, and by 2025 over half of its population will be middle class (p.61). Amidst this turbulence, ‘New Zealand is sitting on the wrong side of the growth equation’ (p.62) and this may get worse because ‘[f]or every [New Throughout the thesis, all emphases within quotations from written sources are as in the original unless otherwise stated.

Chapter 1: Introduction Zealand] person over sixty-five in 2005 there were just over five and a half workers toiling. By 2051, there will be just over two workers’ (p.63).

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