ACERE Conference the place to be

If you want to meet great minds in entrepreneurial thinking, then the ACERE conference is definitely the place to be. For me, the conference was a real shot in the arm. It got me out of my workplace and engaged with people from around the world doing really interesting research and bringing challenging and thought-provoking ideas. The range of papers gave me the chance to get a bit better acquainted with aspects of entrepreneurship and innovation that lie outside my field, and gave me a couple of research ideas to develop over the coming year.

I enjoyed the social program and the chance to talk to very experienced, as well as very new researchers. It was instructive to learn how life is for other entrepreneurship academics, and good to get some more ideas about research approaches and methods, as well as a couple of contacts for future collaborative research. The plenary sessions were a real bonus; the keynote speaker, Saras Sarasvathy, helped me to learn something about the intersubjective and interpersonal in entrepreneurship and certainly gave me something to think about; especially as the question of how entrepreneurs arrive at financing arrangements is an area I hadn’t thought much about.

In addition, the session with Journal editors, Dean Shepherd and Per Davidsson, was really practical and motivating, and I came away with a list of categories of papers and exemplar papers which is helping me to think more clearly about research and publication planning.

The real bonus for me was the paper development session. I’m very grateful that I had the chance to take part in this. The insightful and incisive critiques helped me to work out how to properly frame my paper in relation to the theory, and also gave me the idea of a “template” that I’m applying to a couple of research ideas that I was having difficulty in nailing down. That was a really valuable session that finished the conference on a very high note and sent me home re-motivated and re-energised!

Many thanks to Peter Balan from the University of South Australia for contributing this story.

The next ACERE conference is to be held in Sydney, Australia.  4 to 7 February 2014.   For more information look out for posts on the ACERE website

… and The Winners are


The ACERE main conference program was recently held in the newly established $230 million Science and Engineering Centre in the heart of our CBD QUT Gardens Point campus. 5-8 February 2013.

ACERE participants also had the pleasure of enjoying the stunning views of Brisbane River, Kangaroo Point cliffs and the City Botanic Gardens at the ACERE Awards Dinner held at Room Three-Sixty.   Brisbane’s newest premier venue, Room Three Sixty epitomises sophistication and elegance and was a very fitting venue to announce the winners of the 2013 ACERE awards.  

From left to right:
Dean Shepherd, Saras Sarasvathy, Sylvie Chetty, Rene Bakker, Martin Bliemel, Dorothea Werhahn & Per Davidsson.

The award for Outstanding Paper on International Entrepreneurship was awarded to Sylvie Chetty and Tamara Gulkina for their paper: ‘Effectual networking during the internationalization process of SMEs‘.  This award was sponsored by IE-Scholars.

The award for Outstanding Paper on Small Enterprise Research was awarded to Rene Bakker for his paper: ‘Alternative Modes of Entrepreneurial Opportunity Exploitation: The Case of Inter-Organizational Projects ‘.  This award was sponsored by Small Enterprise Association of Australia & New Zealand (SEAANZ).

 The award for Best Empirical Paper using Qualitative Methods was awarded to Martin Bliemel for his paper: ‘On the Resource Foundations and Triggers of Lucky Events ‘.  This award was sponsored by the University of Adelaide.

The award for Best Empirical Paper using Quantitative Methods was awarded to Dorothea Werhahn and Malte Brettel for their paper:  ‘The Interplay of CEO Self-Efficacy, A Firm’s Effectual Orientation and Performance’.  This award was sponsored by the Queensland University of Technology.

Congratulations to our winners !  

Sylvie Chetty & Tamara Gulkina, Rene Bakker, Martin Bliemel, Dorothea Werhahn & Malte Brettel.

and many thanks go to the 2013 award sponsors: SEAANZ, University of Adelaide, IE-Scholars and QUT.

Click here for more information about the ACERE Conference.


Learning Journeys Connect to Research

The inaugural Academy of Management Africa Conference was held from the 7 to 10th January 2013, at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, a campus of the University of Pretoria, in Johannesburg. This was the first time that the Academy of Management had been held in Africa. The 2013 conference was focused around four themes.

  • Track 1: Navigating Institutions: Business, Government, and Civil Society
    Title: Building a Nation: Cross-Sector Innovation and Constraints
  • Track 2: Emerging Market Firms and MNCs: Characteristics and Global Aspirations
    Title: From Natural to Created Assets: Emerging Multinational Companies in South Africa
  • Track 3: The Base of the Pyramid: Emerging Market Consumers, Workers, and Managers
    Title: New Markets New Mindsets: Formal and Informal Business Channels at the Base of the Pyramid
  • Track 4: Cultural Diversity and Transformational Societies
    Title: A Country that No Longer Exists: Leading Institutions through the Wounds of History

Around 450 participants from universities around the world came together to present academic papers, and engage in seminars, workshops and research conversations. Each participant also had the opportunity to spend one and a half days directly experiencing the contexts and environments of local South African businesses and organisations around areas of their research interests. These learning journeys involved participants going out into the community to gain first hand a better understanding of the challenges facing entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial scholars in Africa.  Plenty of time was built into the program for informal discussion and the combination proved to be a very productive learning experience.

Carol Dalglish and Judy Matthews from ACE presented a paper, titled:  Micro-credit is necessary but not sufficient for ensuring the success of micro-enterprises at the bottom of the pyramid’, in the special interest group: The Base of the Pyramid: Emerging Market Consumers, Workers, and Managers.  This research examined the factors affecting the successful provision of micro-credit to people at the bottom of the pyramid and discussed the activities required to support entrepreneurial activities in a peri-urban African setting. The findings enable us to better understand why micro-credit, though useful, is only part of the solution, in a setting characterized by extreme resource constraints with an institutional fabric lacking the infrastructure that assists market development.  Further information about this paper will be presented in a future ACE Research Vignette.

Many thanks to both Carol Dalglish and Judy Matthews for contributing this story.


Congratulations to Henri Burgers

ACE is increasing its influence on the premier journal on entrepreneurship, Journal of Business Venturing. ACE Adjunct Professor Dean Shepherd is the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, while ACE Director Per Davidsson is one of the Field Editors (in Management). Based on his excellent performance as ad hoc reviewer, Senior Lecturer Henri Burgers has now been appointed to the journal’s Editorial Board, thus joining ACE Deputy Director Paul Steffens, who is already a member of that board.

Click here to see and hear Professor Dean Shepherd talk about his vision and philosophy for the Journal of Business Venturing.


Young Aussie Entrepreneurs head to Moscow!

The Enterprise Network for Young Australians plans to send 20 top young entrepreneurs to the meetings in Russia that will develop a policy document for the G20 Political leaders, comprising recommendations to enable young entrepreneurs to better contribute to economic growth, job creation, innovation and social change.

ENYA are also encouraging all young Australian entrepreneurs to apply at to be part of the Australian delegation and be in the running for a $5,000 business grant thanks to the support of Forming Circles and awarded by the ENYA expert panel.

One of the 20 will receive free return flights to Moscow and will be chosen via an online poll on the ENYA website from 18 – 28 February.  The other 19 participants will be chosen by public vote and a panel of Australian business leaders including Dr Tom McKaskill & Kerry Chikarovski.  

The call for nominations comes as we continue our planning for the 2014 G20 YEA Summit which is expected to attract 500 of the world’s leading young entrepreneurs to Australia in the middle of next year.  


Family business succession: When death takes a hand

The series of ACE research vignettes is aimed at sharing current and interesting research findings from our team of international Entrepreneurship researchers.  In this vignette, Dr. Mervyn Morris considers the impact on family business operations due to the sudden and unexpected death of a key family member.

Family business dominates the economic activity of the majority of countries. Often family businesses are conceived of in terms of generations, from start-ups to families able to trace their beginnings back for centuries. One issue which is common across time and space is the question of succession: that is who will succeed the current family members occupying managerial roles?

There is much known about succession and family business. Key findings are:

  • More than 50 percent of family businesses all agree succession is important, yet do virtually nothing about it
  • the lack of successors can reslt in the business being removed from the control or ownership of the family
  • Those who are succeeded are often the greatest barrier to successful succession plans
  • Succession processes can cause considerable conflict within families with more than one generation involved in the running of the business
  • The emotional links between and among families can be both a competitive advantage and a source of extensive conflict

The purpose of this research was to examine the impact on business operations due to the sudden and unexpected death of a key family member. The model of succession in family business is well enough known.   Read more