Elite entrepreneurship education: translating ideas in North Korea

Thomas Wainwright, Ewald Kibler, Jukka-pekka Heikkilä, Simon Down

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
278 Downloads (Pure)


The recent geographies of education literature have drawn attention to the role of elite business education in circulating new ideas. Our paper presents an ethnography based in North Korea to examine the introduction of an international business education for young generations of North Korean elites (‘donjus’). Drawing on extant literature on translation, our study shows how the translation of entrepreneurial ideas between market-orientated economies and North Korea’s political economy creates different legitimacy tensions within teaching space, and how those tensions are managed to help translate ideas, making them relevant for the local economy. In conclusion, we introduce new understanding into how business schools function as a hub of idea translation and foster the (re-)production of economic elites in an institutional space, where commercial entrepreneurship is still illegal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1008-1026
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number5
Early online date29 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Business education
  • geographies of knowledge
  • North Korea
  • elites
  • organisational learning


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