Applying Delphi method for strategic design of social entrepreneurship
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This paper aims to examine the strategic design for entrepreneurial activity. This study examines and evaluates a qualitative Delphi methodology used in a research for the strategy development needs of entrepreneurship counselling and education. The strategic design presented may well apply to non-profit organisations due to the fact that limited resources in funding of non-profit organisations exist. Design/methodology/approach – This paper introduces methodological considerations of applying the Delphi method to the strategy development for an entrepreneurship counselling design, taking Ensimetri – an entrepreneurship counselling organisation in Finland – as a case study, and the potential in applying this strategic design projects to libraries and information management centres. Findings – The research provides a framework on entrepreneurial strategic design. The top ten items that emerged from this research may provide the framework for the development of entrepreneurial strategic design. They may be used to further examine our understanding for the strategy development needs of entrepreneurship counselling and education, as very limited research has taken place on this issue. Issues of culture are discussed. Findings illustrate that respondents would appreciate guidance on the initiation of entrepreneurial activities from the university that are associated with programmes and services provided that may help them on the initiation of entrepreneurial activities. Libraries may use the integrated information systems they employ. This exploratory study found that cultural values may influence entrepreneurship intention. Gender issues are also discussed in regard to the strategic design of entrepreneurial activity, adding to the existing literature for gender differences in attitude. The research provides a framework on entrepreneurial strategic design, and the role of universities with the use of integrated information systems and library services to the initiation of such entrepreneurial activities. Practical implications – Findings of this research may well apply in non-profit organisations such as libraries and information and communication sectors, where in periods of economic crisis, social entrepreneurship can be adopted so that these organisations become profitable. Education has also a role to play in the development of entrepreneurship. Originality/value – The application of the Delphi method to entrepreneurial research, and the use of this design to seek intention and attitudes by and for information professionals and marketers, may in fact contribute to the implementation of social entrepreneurship. Very limited research has taken place to explore entrepreneurial intention. The paper discusses a new methodology which can also be used outside Finland and is of relevance to the information profession. This research makes a theoretical and practical contribution on social entrepreneurial potential and its strategic design. Implications for social entrepreneurship are provided. The implementation of information and communications technologies, the role of social media networks and issues associated with culture are discussed for strategic communication.
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