Winning the Heart and Shaping the Mind with “Serious Play” : The Efficacy of Social Entrepreneurship Comics as Ethical Business Pedagogy

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441–465
Number of pages25
Journal / PublicationJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number3
Online published7 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023



Social entrepreneurship (SE) is gaining increasing legitimacy as a form of ethical business practice and a solution to various societal challenges. Despite the burgeoning interest in SE in the realms of ethical business scholarship and business ethics education, new pedagogical developments have been limited. To advance SE pedagogy, we produced a new multimedia-based tool consisting of two SE-focused comics and evaluated their efficacy in “winning the hearts and shaping the minds” of learners in an experimental setting. We tested the effects of the two comics individually. Comic #1, a story of a gambling addict who transforms into a social entrepreneur, was used to examine the effects of using a comic on learners’ engagement and cognitive enhancement, while comic #2, a story of a teenage academic misfit who finds her passion in crafting objects and establishes a social enterprise, was used to interrogate the effects of using a comic on the relationship among SE self-efficacy, SE intent, and entrepreneurial passion. We also collected qualitative feedback in the form of learners’ comments about the second comic. Our results supported the two proposed models and suggested that comics show promise in enhancing SE teaching and learning. Our new contribution consists of the theoretical relationships examined in the models, our insights into why comics can be beneficial to learners, the scholarly artistic contribution of the comics, and the use of an experimental approach. We end the article with suggestions for designing, implementing, and evaluating future multimedia-based pedagogy in SE and ethical business teaching and learning.

Research Area(s)

  • Business ethics, Comics, Education, Experiment, Social entrepreneurship

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