The nature of participatory communication between stakeholders of the bhive university incubator
Within the field of development, participation has become the normative approach in the past two decades. For development projects to be sustainable, the communication must be participatory in nature. For development projects to be sustainable and to actually contribute to the development of communities, communication has to be based on the participatory approach of development communication. Dialogue, empowerment that leads to independence and cultural identity are some of the most important principles of the participatory approach. The importance of communication aimed at development first became apparent during the modernisation paradigm. Modernisation is considered an evolutionary shift from a traditional view to a modern society. Development is seen as synonymous with westernization, industrialization and economic growth. Universities are under pressure from both the government and the industry to help with economic development and deliver graduates that can make a positive difference in their field of expertise (Grimaldi & Grandi, 2005). A university business incubator (UBI) is a business incubator located within a university. University business incubators facilitate and develop conditions and support systems that ensure young entrepreneurs with new ventures will function successfully. Business incubators support these entrepreneurs by giving them access to affordable facilities and resources such as secretarial support and office furniture. The focus is on providing entrepreneurs with specialised support, training and assistance, including research and development, risk capital and networking opportunities (Lalkaka, 1990:25). A UBI uses the university‟s resources, personnel‟s time and knowledge toward economic development efforts, reaping the benefits from the commercialisation of the university‟s own research (Grimaldi & Grandi, 2005; Mian, 1997). The Netherlands Initiative for Capacity development in Higher Education (NICHE) launched a programme in South Africa in February 2009. BEEHIVE (Bridging Business and Education by Establishing a Hub of Innovative Ventures and Expertise) is the university incubator of the North-West University‟s (NWU) Vaal Triangle Campus, which started with the operational phase of the programme in May 2012. The name was changed in 2011 to Bhive for marketing purposes. Against this background, the following research question was investigated: to what extent is the communication between stakeholders of the Bhive UI participatory? The researcher used a qualitative research method in order to collect the data. A literature study was conducted to explore the premises of the nature of the participatory approach in development communication for social change. Interviews with different stakeholders were conducted to determine their perceptions regarding the Bhive UI. Lastly, the researcher observed the Bhive UI over a period of two years. The research findings reveal that within the larger paradigm of heteroglossia there is room for improvement. This study pointed out the various areas for improvement and offered theoretically grounded recommendations.
- Humanities 
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