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Module PPP-3013:
Psychology of Entreprenuership

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Miss Rhiannon Willmot

Overall aims and purpose

What if you could predict the next product to become a household name, or know which new service will sweep across the nation? We can understand how strategies to meet ever-changing human needs can be devised, developed and marketed, by using insights from human psychology. Entrepreneurship refers to the process of setting up a business, taking calculated financial risks in the hope of making profit. Successful entrepreneurs don’t just reap financial rewards, but also play an important role in job creation, market innovation and economic and social wellbeing. Entrepreneurs can also use their skills to address newly developing issues, or resolve ingrained problems which face many members of society, including regeneration of local communities.

Becoming a successful entrepreneur takes more than a lucky lightning bolt of inspiration, or the ability to blag a sale. In fact, we all have the capacity to act in an entrepreneurial manner with the right skills and information. In this module, we will explore how to use psychology in entrepreneurial settings, including creativity and innovation, leadership and management skills, personality characteristics of entrepreneurs, transdisciplinary working, resilience in entrepreneurship, and marketing. A significant proportion of this module will also cover issues of corporate social responsibility, including the increasing importance of sustainability and workplace wellbeing in entrepreneurship. We will also explore how best to design research projects conducted organisational settings, or to identify ‘gaps in the market’ for new products and services, such as analysing consumer trends or investigating perceptions. As a whole, the purpose of this module is not only to enhance your theoretical understanding of entrepreneurship, but also to support you in developing the courage to practically apply this information to calculated risks.

After completing this course, you will have a better understanding of entrepreneurship from an evidence-based psychological perspective. You will develop skills, creativity, and confidence to pitch your own innovative ideas, take leadership roles, and support business management. Critically, you will use this knowledge as a unique asset in commercial industries, whilst taking into account important topical issues of sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and workplace wellbeing.

Course content

We will explore:

  1. Empirical evidence regarding entrepreneurship skills from a psychological perspective, covering core topics (e.g. leadership, personality, creativity). This will include analysis of theories, models and case studies.
  2. Empirical evidence regarding the implementation of techniques to support core topics (e.g. creativity, resilience) in the context of entrepreneurship. This will cover both academic and practical settings, with reference to a broad range of contexts.
  3. Evidence-based strategies for developing transdisciplinary and innovative content for application in entrepreneurial settings. This will include a 'tool-kit' of skills specifically designed to support the development of a 'common language' across a team, and creative ideation.
  4. Opportunities for self-reflection and development in relation to core content (e.g. personality, leadership skills) via journaling, active participation in research and personal application of tools and theories.
  5. Information regarding topical social issues related to entrepreneurship (e.g. sustainability, wellbeing) via the study of empirical models and theories and grey literature including case studies and news items.
  6. Information regarding research design and data collection in the context of entrepreneurship. This will cover issues specifically related to settings in which entrepreneurial research is commonly conducted, including how to capitalise on opportunities for high-quality research, and mitigate potential issues.

Assessment Criteria

excellent

A- to A+

Comprehensive and detailed knowledge of content, evidenced through convincing argument and original thought.

Highly developed critique of existing academic research, with extensive exploration of limitations and implications. Original and novel development of own research questions.

Strong application to applied settings, demonstrating insight, creativity, critical analysis and further reading.

good

B- to B+

Clear understanding of content, with some evidence of further reading.

Reasonable critique of existing academic research, with developed exploration of limitations and implications. Some development of own research questions.

Some application of theory to applied settings, and some use of strategies discussed in class.

threshold

C- to C+

Limited understanding of content with no evidence of further reading and poor application to applied settings.

Superficial critique of existing academic research. Poor exploration of limitations and implications. Little development of own research questions.

Weak or confused arguments for application of evidence, with little utilisation of strategies discussed in class.

Learning outcomes

  1. Communicate the key points of research and ideas effectively, and to non-academic audiences.

  2. Propose creative, evidence-based and strategic ideas in response to well-defined human needs.

  3. Critically evaluate psychological theory regarding core topics of entrepreneurship.

  4. Critically evaluate strategies to support transdisciplinary working and the development of innovative solutions.

  5. Critically evaluate research and research design in the field of entrepreneurship.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM Take Home Exam: Response and critical analysis of dramatic scenario solution.

Students will put themselves in the role of a CEO and be presented with a choice of several hypothetical dramatic scenarios, to which they must respond using insights from human psychology discussed in class. Students will choose one topic from; sustainability, workplace wellbeing, corporate social responsibility. Students will outline their solution to the dramatic scenario, state evidence used to develop their solution, and provide a critical analysis of its strengths and weaknesses.

45
REPORT Reflective Report

Students will be asked to write a brief report in which they reflect on their own strengths and limitations in the context of entrepreneurship, using models of personality, creativity and leadership skills discussed in class. Students will also be required to discuss one evidence-based strategy they could use to address identified limitations in enhancing their potential as an entrepreneur, and the strengths and weaknesses of this approach.

20
GROUP PRESENTATION Small Group Poster

Students will be asked to create a poster which summarises their understanding of a human need, and their idea for a business solution to address it. Needs will have a focus on those related to regeneration in the local community, and students should also incorporate issues of sustainability amongst their proposal. Students will also be required to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of strategies they have utilised to support transdisciplinary working. It will be up to individual groups to assign and define duties within the team, and workload should be shared evenly even though roles may be different. Students will be required to include a description of how work has been allocated in their poster.

25
VIVA Small Group Poster Presentation

Students be asked to verbally present their poster, verbally communicating their understanding of the written content presented. Students will also be required to vebally reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of their transdisciplinary working strategies. All students must give a three minute presentation of one part of their poster, and answer one question.

10

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Seminar

Students will attend weekly hour long seminars in a workshop style format. This will provide an opportunity to practically apply content discussed in lectures, and allow students the opportunity to self-reflect in the context of entrepreneurial skills. There will be no seminar in week 5 to allow students time to prepare for the mid-term examination, and the seminar in week 12 will operate as a poster presentation session.

10
Private study

Students should spend 200 hours working on this 20 credit module, 153 of which should be dedicated to private study.

Students should use this time to carry out activities including but not limited to: • Reviewing lecture material • Self-reflection using module material • Preparing for the take home exam • Planning and completing their assignments (written report, poster presentation)

153
Lecture

The module organiser will present one two-hour lecture per week. The topic of this lecture will relate to the accompanying seminar each week, where content will be practically applied. There will be no lectures in weeks 5 and 11 as these weeks will instead feature drop-in sessions held in the module organiser’s office to allow students the opportunity to ask questions about the module and/or upcoming assignments. Additionally, the lecture in week 12 will be replaced with a poster presentation session. Some lectures will involve presentations from the owners of local businesses, or those involved in commercial regeneration, such as councillors.

18
Study group

In addition, the module organiser will hold weekly 1-hour drop-in sessions throughout the semester to support students’ general understanding of course content upon request. These sessions will be supplemented by the four hours of additional drop-in sessions in weeks 5 and 11, in lieu of the scheduled lectures.

Students may ask questions about the module and/or assignments and exam. Students may obtain feedback on essay outline/plans, but may not ask the MO to read or provide feedback on a full draft assignment.

16
Seminar

In week 12 students will give poster presentations to accompany their written report. Students will deliver their presentations in small groups and actively participate as audience members for their fellow students. Students will be expected to attend all presentation sessions (~3 hours).

3

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  • Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in oral form.
  • Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Engage in effective teamwork for the purpose of collaborating on psychological projects.
  • Be sensitive and react appropriately to contextual and interpersonal psychological factors.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
  • Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.

• Respond thoughtfully and sensitively to organizational issues. • Successfully employ tools for transdisciplinary working.

Resources

Resource implications for students

N/A

Talis Reading list

http://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/ppp-3013.html

Reading list

A non-exhaustive reading list is provided below:

Ariley, D. (2009). Predictably Irrational. Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 978-0-00-725653-2

Baum, R.J., Frese, M. & Baron, R.A. (2014). The Psychology of Entrepreneurship. Psychology Press. ISBN12: 978-0-415-65266-7

Brown, T. (2009). Change by Design. Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 978-0— 06—2333738-2.

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: