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How to Encourage Social Entrepreneurship Action? Using Web 2.0 Technologies in Higher Education Institutions

Abstract

University students will be our future business leaders, and will have to address social problems caused by business by implementing solutions such as social entrepreneurship ventures. In order to facilitate the learning process that will foster social entrepreneurship, however, a more holistic pedagogy is needed. Based on learning theory, we propose that students’ social entrepreneurship actions will depend on their learning about CSR and their absorptive capacity. We propose that instructors and higher education institutions can enhance this absorptive capacity by exploiting Web 2.0 technologies. We tested our proposition with a sample of 425 university students using structural equation modeling and found support for the proposed relationships.

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Acknowledgements

This study was funded by the project from the Ministry of Economy, Industry y Competitivity ECO2017-88222-P, and by the Andalusian Government Project P11-SEJ-7988.

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Correspondence to Raquel Garde-Sánchez.

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Appendix: Questionnaire Items

Appendix: Questionnaire Items

Web 2.0 Strategic Support

Please indicate your degree of agreement or disagreement with the following statements, considering Web 2.0 as the Web 2.0 technologies used to teach and learn in the classroom or the learning process (Web 2.0 technologies from a professional rather than a personal perspective). The users are students (1 “Disagree completely”…0.7 “Agree completely”). My university:

  1. 1.

    Has established Web 2.0 communication networks for information users.

  2. 2.

    Is not interested in identifying the information needs of users (R).

  3. 3.

    Uses Web 2.0 technologies to facilitate decision-making by users.

  4. 4.

    Facilitates contact between users via technological platforms (Web 2.0).

  5. 5.

    Uses Web 2.0 technologies to receive frequently asked questions and to provide answers.

  6. 6.

    Involves users in the creation of new forms of communication, with each other, with teachers, and with the institution.

  7. 7.

    Uses Web 2.0 technologies to attract future students.

  8. 8.

    Uses Web 2.0 technologies to obtain feedback from students or other users.

  9. 9.

    Uses Web 2.0 technologies to outsource tasks to students or other users of the network.

Note: R: Reverse.

Web 2.0 Technology Use

Please indicate how often, or to what extent (1 “never”…0.7 “every time”), you use the following Web 2.0 technologies to learn (use of these technologies from a professional rather than a personal perspective):

  1. 1.

    Facebook

  2. 2.

    Microblogs (such as Twitter)

  3. 3.

    Video sharing (for example, via YouTube or TED talks)

  4. 4.

    LinkedIn

  5. 5.

    Blogs (such as Blogger or Xanga)

  6. 6.

    Wikis (such as Wiki Spaces or Confluence Wiki)

  7. 7.

    Discussion forums

Absorptive capacity

Please indicate your degree of agreement or disagreement with the following statements (1 “Disagree completely”…0.7 “Agree completely”). As a result of using new technologies “in the educational context” (such as Facebook, microblogs, video sharing, LinkedIn, blogs, wikis, discussion forums):

  1. 1.

    I have obtained the ability to generate an environment of trust and to acquire information and knowledge in education-related issues.

  2. 2.

    I have obtained the ability to generate discussion, to communicate regularly with colleagues, and to assimilate research and education-related issues.

  3. 3.

    I have not acquired the ability to assimilate new concepts and knowledge in education-related issues (R).

  4. 4.

    I have obtained the ability to transmit important data to all concerned in education-related issues.

  5. 5.

    I have not obtained the ability to ensure that knowledge in education-related issues flows and is shared between different areas and users (R).

  6. 6.

    I have obtained the ability to exploit the information and knowledge obtained in education-related issues.

Learning CSR

Please indicate how often (1 “never”…0.7 “every time”) the following subjects are addressed in class.

  1. 1.

    CSR in information management and communication with stockholders: corporate social public and performance management systems; disclosure of corporate social duty information; communication and negotiation with stockholders.

  2. 2.

    Labour relations: labour relations and welfare; occupational training and study facilities; protection of female workers’ rights.

  3. 3.

    The market and participation in public welfare: public participation and donations; supply chain management and standards; combating bribery.

  4. 4.

    Environmental effects: environmental policy and effects management; contingency plans for environmental disasters; implementation of environmental and social responsibility policies; energy saving and carbon reduction.

  5. 5.

    Financial disclosure: disclosure of financial information; disclosure of other important information; tax liabilities.

Social Entrepreneurship

Please indicate your degree of agreement or disagreement with the following statements (1 “Disagree completely”…0.7 “Agree completely”).

  1. 1.

    Social innovation is not important to me (R).

  2. 2.

    I constantly seek new ways to increase my social impact.

  3. 3.

    I frequently come up with new ideas to solve social problems.

  4. 4.

    I am afraid to take substantial risks when a social purpose may be served (R).

  5. 5.

    Bold action is necessary to achieve my social mission.

  6. 6.

    I avoid taking the cautious line of action if this might put social opportunities at risk.

  7. 7.

    I aim to be at the forefront in making the world a better place.

  8. 8.

    I tend to be at the forefront in addressing questions related to social mission.

  9. 9.

    I typically initiate actions that other social entrepreneurs later imitate.

  10. 10.

    The goal of achieving my social mission precedes that of generating financial profit.

  11. 11.

    I focus strongly on partnerships with partners/colleagues and/or relevant institutions to ensure rapid, full accomplishment of my social mission.

  12. 12.

    I set myself ambitious goals regarding sustainability and incorporate them into my strategic decisions.

  13. 13.

    Becoming an entrepreneur within 5 years of graduating would be very advantageous for me.

  14. 14.

    Becoming an entrepreneur within 5 years of graduating would be good for my career.

  15. 15.

    I would enjoy becoming an entrepreneur within 5 years of graduating.

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García-Morales, V.J., Martín-Rojas, R. & Garde-Sánchez, R. How to Encourage Social Entrepreneurship Action? Using Web 2.0 Technologies in Higher Education Institutions. J Bus Ethics 161, 329–350 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-019-04216-6

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Keywords

  • Learning CSR
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Web 2.0 strategic support
  • Web 2.0 technology use
  • Absorptive capacity