Episode 83 – Catherine Brentnall – Homogenization processes in entrepreneurship education: the case of Junior Achievement
Entrepreneurship Education (EE) programmes world-wide serve a highly standardized menu of activities for student consumption, such as pitching exercises, competitions and mini-companies. This situation has been called the McDonaldization of EE, where standard activities are adopted globally. In this paper we study the influence of Junior Achievement (JA) – the ‘original burger’ – to draw attention to the institutionalizing pressure it exerts on EE. We use data from JA organizational websites in England, Sweden and Denmark to describe JA as a global institution exerting homogenizing pressures on the field of EE. Five common dynamics are identified to explain in more detail how JA contributes to the homogenization of EE through: neutralizing ideology; propagating the mini-company template; evidencing strategically; facilitating communion and mythologizing success. New research avenues studying the influence of JA as a powerful institution and potential counter-actions to de-institutionalize EE are proposed. Junior Achievement has been studied before, but most investigations consider the impact of JA on individuals, in terms of effects on students’ knowledge and skills. The contribution of this study is in how it focuses on the homogenizing influence of JA as an institution on the system of EE.
Full article available on Taylor & Francis website: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08985626.2023.2279171