Author: Dean Patton (Business School)
Alternative name suggestion: None
Brief theme summary: The theme provides a multi-disciplinary forum for researchers and practitioners in the field of entrepreneurship and small firm development and for those studying their impact upon local, regional and national contexts in which entrepreneurs emerge, innovate and establish the new economic activities which drive economic growth and create new economic wealth and employment.
Scope of theme: what is included?
- New Venture Creation
- Entrepreneurial Strategy and Organization
- Entrepreneurial Marketing
- Internationalization and International Entrepreneurship
- Regional, National and International Growth Studies
- Leadership and Entrepreneurial Behaviour
- Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting
- Government Policy related to Entrepreneurship and economic Growth
- Technology and Innovation
- Business Incubation
- Corporate Venturing
- Family-Owned Businesses
- Minority Issues in Small Business and Entrepreneurship
- Social Entrepreneurship
- Small Business Operations and E-Commerce
- Entrepreneurial skills and management Development
Scope of theme: what is excluded? It does not include enterprise when the term is used to indicate income generation activity from consultancy and other third stream activity that takes place within the public sector and, particularly, HEIs.
Which big societal questions are addressed by this theme? Entrepreneurship is all about the practices of exploration, experimentation and trial and error that lead to the development of new, novel and innovative practices, processes and products. As such the subject can lend itself to many of the big themes within society informing technological development and contributing to novel solutions that improve environmental performance, reduce energy usage, increase the quality of life for an aging population and make UK PLC more competitive. Therefore entrepreneurship is an overarching subject that lends itself to multi-disciplinary research that underpins growth and development in other disciplines.
How do these link to the priorities of the major funding bodies? Taking the RCUK themes there are some obvious parallels in the theme Living with Environmental Change the focus is on ‘understanding how people respond to environmental change, including economic responses via, among other things, new business models’. The theme on Digital Economy seeks to ‘understand how new technologies impact upon business and their processes’.
Within the ESRC there are obvious links between Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth with their identified themes relating to Technology and Innovation and the Global Economy and indirect links to Environment and Energy, Health and Well Being and Social Diversity
The EPSRC is more difficult to address but there are opportunities under ‘Better Exploitation’ and more indirect work might be undertaken within the themes ‘Digital Economy’ and Healthcare’.
How does this theme interlink with the other BU themes currently under consideration? There are various opportunities to link this theme with others identified as entrepreneurship can be applied across industrial sectors, can be undertaken on behalf, or by, individuals at various life-cycle stages and has the potential to impact upon the context and culture of communities. My own preference would be to focus the agenda upon the start-up and growth of firms that make a contribution to the economic development and societal welfare. As such I would view the research theme as having a focus upon business and economics and, therefore, relating to other business sectors, for example, ‘creative and digital economies’ and the ‘green economy and sustainability’.