Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 8-13-2022


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Professional Doctorate in Educational Leadership (ProDEL)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Rick McCown

Committee Member

Amy Olsen

Committee Member

Amy Mattila


Occupational Therapy, Emerging Practice, Social Entrepreneur, Community Practice, Occupational Therapy Education


The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to explore the relationship between emerging practice in occupational therapy and social entrepreneurship by examining the behaviors and skills used by occupational therapists who are engaged in emerging practice. Five occupational therapists who engage in emerging practice were recruited to participate. The occupational therapists completed two surveys related to behaviors and competencies of social entrepreneurs. The participants also completed a semi-structured interview regarding behaviors, competencies and the occupational perspective of their practice.

Quantitative data was analyzed through descriptive statistics. The quantitative data determined a relationship between the skills used by social entrepreneurs as reported in the literature and those used in emerging practice as reported by the occupational therapists. The quantitative data was also used to examine the competencies that were limiting or created boundaries to developing or practicing in emerging areas. The skills that the therapists felt less competent with related to business aspects of their work.

Qualitative data was analyzed using structural coding of the recorded answers to the semi-structured interview questions. Themes were identified using conceptual terms related to social entrepreneur elements and competencies. The qualitative data was used to triangulate the quantitative data and was found to support the identified behaviors and skills the occupational therapists utilized or felt less competent with. Each element is discussed as it relates to the emerging practice of the participants with supporting quotes from the participants included. The qualitative data was also analyzed for themes of occupational perceptive of emerging practice work utilizing conceptual terms from the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework 4th edition. All domains were identified as occupational perspectives of the participants work. Each domain is defined and supporting quotes were provided.

Limitations of the study, implications for occupational therapy curriculum to enhance competencies for emerging practice and recommendations for future research are shared.