Implementing the Action-Research approach in the context of social entrepreneurship learning in Tunisia


  • Zohra Bousnina
  • Rim Bouhafa Chtioui Ecole supérieure de commerce (ESC Tunis)


Research-Action, Experiential learning, Social entrepreneurship, Effectuation, partnership.


Looking at the complexity of the post-revolutionary environment in Tunisia, this article proposes a model for renewal of teaching practices in social entrepreneurship in the framework of a partnership initiative between German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ ) and High Institute of Management-university of Tunis ( ISGT) as a case study  for the method of action research. The study embraces a conceptual framework inspired by effectuation theory. Our aim here is to provide an adequate model to the process of co-production of knowledge for SE learning triggered by the proposal of a training of trainers for teaching within the ISGT and a collaboration agreement with the GIZ.

This partnership initiative allows at the renewal of teaching in SE by rethinking the method of training to use an interactive education. Drawing from empirical and conceptual findings, the study shows (i) how the process of learning in social entrepreneurship is a reflexive process informed by the changes during the operation itself, and (ii) how actors interact to produce a transformative effect in the learning process. To this respect, our study grasps the micro-macro dynamics in a post-revolutionary context through which people shape what they consider suitable and actionable in their context. Therefore, adopting the effectuation theory to research action would foster an interactive process which is adaptable to a contingent environment.

Author Biographies

Zohra Bousnina

Associate Professor, PHD in Management from the University of Paris 1, teaches management and communication at the Higher Institute of Management of Tunis (ISGT). she has participated in several cooperation projects in the social and solidarity economy and activities support to social dialogue. Her research focuses on the development of social entrepreneurship ecosystem and social issues strongly linked to the economic situation of Tunisia.Research topics: the social economy, social entrepreneurship and social dialogue

Rim Bouhafa Chtioui, Ecole supérieure de commerce (ESC Tunis)

PHD student in Management at higher business school of Tunis (ESCT) teaches entrepreneurship and theories of organizations at the Higher Institute of Management of Tunis (ISGT). She currently works in the voluntary sector. Her research is interested in NGO management and institutional arrangement of development project. Research topics: Management of hybridity in the area of the voluntary sector