ACE Research Seminars

  Dean and Saras seminar workshop

ACE is an active, international research environment.  One expression of this is the ACE research seminar series.  So far this year we have had five research seminars with presenters from France, Germany, Slovenia, Sweden, and the USA. For more info on these seminars and more visit ACE events

Social Entrepreneurship ‘National Expert’ in our own backyard !

OECD report


Jo Barraket, Associate Professor in the QUT Business School, was acknowledged as a national expert on social entrepreneurship by the OECD and consequently invited to provide expert services and an address to them in Trento, Italy on the role of the social economy and social entrepreneurship in job creation. As a result of this work, Australia was included in comparative research on the issue undertaken by the OECD. The report ‘JOB CREATION THROUGH THE SOCIAL ECONOMY AND SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP’ has just been released and is now available.

You can also click here to view short video interviews about key issues discussed at the OECD LEED capacity building seminar “Getting the long-term unemployed back into work – New finance and delivery mechanisms”.

Congratulations to Dr Scott Gordon

ACE Research Fellow Scott R. Gordon received a QUT Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Awards for his thesis “Dimensions of the venture creation process: Amount, dynamics, and sequences of action in nascent entrepreneurship”, which was completed in 2012.  Gordon’s research question is “Why are some venture creation attempts successful while others are not?” To address this question he uses data from the CAUSEE project. In the most original part of the thesis he applies true process perspective, examining whether the specific order in which a venture creation process is executed affects the outcomes of the process. Previous attempts in this direction have only found a confusing lack of order among a large number of tangible “gestation activities”.  Gordon applies a higher degree of abstraction, classifying time-stamped behaviours undertaken in the process as either dealing with “discovery” (conceptual development of the venture and its mission) or “exploitation” (implementation of the imagined new venture). Further, he uses optimal sequencing analysis for the first time ever to entrepreneurship studies. This allows him to find meaningful patterns which  inform a core debate in entrepreneurship research: could/should start-ups follow a rational process of pre-planned implementation, or should entrepreneurs rather  rush out and “do things” in the market and then adapt according to market feedback? The results clearly suggest that those who follow a “rationalistic” sequence of “completed discovery” followed by linear “exploitation” are not the most successful. However, neither are those whose process shows similarity with random sequences. Instead, the most successful pattern is one where exploitation starts early with a gradual development from discovery-dominance to pure exploitation at later stages. The full thesis is available here. We congratulate Scott on this fine achievement! 

Below: Dr.Scott Gordon (second from right) celebrates this prestigious award with his ACE colleagues.

 Scott Gordon Doctoral Thesis Award group pic

Does firm location make a difference to the export performance of SME’s?

Does firm location make a difference to the export performance

This series of research vignette is aimed at sharing current and interesting research findings from our team of international Entrepreneurship researchers.  This vignette – ‘Does firm location make a difference to the export performance of SME’s?‘, based on a research article from 2011 by Styles and Lawley, deals with export capacity of Australian SMEs. This collected data from an expert panel of government trade advisors, as well as managers of SME exporters in regional and metropolitan areas in Queensland.

The Anatomy of New Business in Australia

The ACE Research Briefing Paper Series issues practitioner-oriented research reports from ACEs own research projects. The primary emphasis on interesting questions and results. That is, compared to purely scholarly reports there is less emphasis on reviewing related work, theory, methods description, complex analyses, and academic referencing. Although they are based on solid research data the reports are written in an accessible style and use relatively simple, easy-to-follow analyses, which are often presented in graphical form. 

Anatomy paper

The most recent paper to be added to this series is an oldie but a goodie.   ‘The Anatomy of New Business in Australia’ was first released in 2008 but is still generating interest if the number of downloads is anything to go by.   This report was the first released from the CAUSEE project which is now just about to start a fifth wave of data collection with the support of Department of Industry and Innovation.

Read this and other breifing papers from ACE here.

New Persepctives on Firm Growth

ACE Director Per Davidsson has published a new book, New Perspectives on Firm Growth, together with Professor Johan Wiklund of Syracuse University, USA. The issue of how firm growth is achieved and managed, and what consequences it has for different stakeholders is both theoretically interesting and practically important. The book contains a series of studies that extend previous research by providing stronger theoretical underpinnings and using longitudinal databases that can separate in time the firms’ growth from its presumed causes. The studies also break new ground by examining the causes and effects of different forms of growth, such as sales growth vs. employment growth, and organic growth vs. acquisition-based expansion. Further, the studies take a critical look at under what circumstances high growth is associated with high profitability. Not least this latter issue is something that should be of great interest also to practitioners. The researchers’ main finding on this issue is that sound, profitable growth usually starts with attaining high profitability at lower rates of growth. Firms that expand at low levels of initial profitability do not generally become more profitable as a result of their increased size. Instead, these firms are often found to have low growth as well as low profitability in the period following a growth spurt.