Former ACE postdoc wins research award

Former ACE researcher Rene Bakker, now an Assistant Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at Indiana University, has won the 2016 Kelley School of Business Research Award. The award recognizes Rene’s research performance over the past year, culminating in a set of publications in the leading management journals. The award is in part based on the work on the Australian mining industry which Rene undertook during his time at ACE.  Rene was with ACE from 2011 to 2015 first as a postdoc and later as a senior research fellow. You’ll find out more about Rene and the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research in this ACE Spotlight Interview conducted by Annelore Huyghe.

Links to some of Rene’s key articles can be found below.

Pull the plug or take the plunge: Multiple opportunities and the speed of venturing decisions in the Australian mining industry.   RM Bakker, D Shepherd.   Academy of Management Journal (Forthcoming)

Stepping in and stepping out: Strategic alliance partner re‐configuration and the unplanned termination of complex projects.   RM Bakker.   Strategic Management Journal 37 (9), 1919–1941


Position opportunity at QUT Brisbane, Australia

The School of Management at Queensland University of Technology’s triple accredited Business School is recruiting an Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship. We are seeking a research active academic leader and teacher. We are looking for someone who engages in impactful entrepreneurship research, works collaboratively and can lead inter disciplinary academic teams to solve problems with research users.  As a quality academic we expect you to share your excitement for and knowledge about entrepreneurship with students.

The position details are available on the QUT jobs website (and the position description is here). If you think this job is for you please talk to Professor Rowena Barrett, Head, School of Management ( or Professor Per Davidsson (, Director, Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research, QUT Business School. If the position isn’t for you, but you know someone it might suit, then please share it widely amongst your networks.

ACERE and the ACE Paper Development Bootcamp

The 2016 ACERE Conference was co-organised with Griffith University and held at their premises on the Gold Coast. The conference attracted 30 Delegates from more than 21 countries. We received over 180 submissions, 109 were accepted and scheduled for presentation. 20 of these papers were accepted to the Paper Development Sessions (PDS). The Doctoral Consortium (DC) was very popular with 28 participants. As usual we had an impressive line-up of keynotes: Saras Sarasvathy, Dean Shepherd, Bill Schulze, and Charlene Zietsma, who not only gave a keynote presentation each but also chaired “paper development sessions” and participated in the interactive closing panel. The conference was a great success and participants seemed particularly happy with academic contents as well as organisation and social events. Three best paper awards were granted at the Gala Dinner, namely: Best Paper on Social Entrepreneurship ‘Social enterprises: Exploring accountability in hybrid organisations’ by Gloria Astrid Guraieb Izaguirre, Belinda Luke, Craig Furneaux; Best Qualitative Paper ‘ The Role of Creativity in Entrepreneurial Ideation’ by Tobias Pret, Eleanor Shaw, Sara Carter; and Best Quantitative Paper ‘Fear of failure and behavior inhibition in early-stage entrepreneurs: regulation through passion and goal awareness’ by Silvia Stroe.

The 2017 Conference venue will be a little different to previous years. The main conference program will be held at NAB’s ‘The Village’– a new innovative space for business customers and community partners to connect, learn and work. We are proud to be co-hosting the 2017 conference with RMIT University and welcome The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at the QUT Business School, and The UQ Business School as award sponsors.   For the latest on ACERE, keep an eye out for upcoming e-newsletters and stay subscribed to our communication channels.

The conference was preceded by the Paper Development Bootcamp in December. This is a smaller event with about 30 QUT and external participants. Researchers and papers at all levels of development are helped to a suitable “next level” in intense discussion sessions chaired by invited international “star researchers”. This time the invested chairs were Michael Frese, Dean Shepherd (who is a formal adjunct to ACE and participates every year) and Wouter Stam. A bootcamp teaser can be found here.

Read more news from ACE here

Public launch of the CAUSEE data set

CAUSEE has been a flagship project for ACE over a number of years, including forming the basis for four completed PhD dissertations, eight journal articles (so far) and a range of other publications. With the help of funding from the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, the data set has been documented, confidentialised, and prepared for public access. This means this great data source can now be used by other researcher to address different questions from different perspectives. The data set and documentation are available here.

Thanks to the work of Professor Paul Reynolds, harmonised parts of CAUSEE also form part of the five-cohort, public data set that has been made available through ResearchGate.

Read more news from ACE here


After two years with ACE Professor Tõnis Mets’ will return home to Estonia as his Marie Curie Fellowship from the EU runs out. At ACE Tõnis has worked on a range of issues and particularly on entrepreneurial process in the high technology small firms, and published a dozen work including five journal articles, six book chapters, and a research reports.

Read more news from ACE here

Fail early, fail often – what research has to say

In a recent opinion piece in The Conversation, Professor Andre Spicer from Cass Business School takes issue with some aspects of Turnbull’s National Innovation & Science Agenda.

At this time I believe we have much more reason to celebrate the positives of Turnbull’s innovation agenda than to dissect the details that may be debatable. Further, it is perhaps not entirely correct to say that the idea of learning form failure is “at the heart” of the multi-faceted initiatives in the agenda. This said, Andre is right in suggesting that the evidence on entrepreneurs learning from failure is weak. I am myself currently involved in research following up on entrepreneurs who have recently experienced bankruptcy. Among other things, the results suggest—ironically—that the entrepreneurs who are most motivated to try again are those who have learned the least from the previous failure.

This does not mean that measures to ease the stigma of failure are wrong; it just suggests that the motivation for doing so may not be the right one. A better reason for going softer on those who fail is that we live in a society which systematically punishes bad luck (and over-rewards good luck). This, in turn is due to a bias we all seem hardwired to succumb to unless we make considered efforts not to do so: the fundamental attribution error of ascribing actions and outcomes to characteristics of the agent (i.e., the entrepreneur) while under-estimating the importance of situational factors. By its very nature, entrepreneurial action often resides in the domain of the genuinely uncertain. Hence, failure is often due to factors that are genuinely unknowable at the outset, and does not predominantly occur because entrepreneurs do “stupid things”.

When it comes to “fashionable ideas”, Andre seems willing to help perpetuate exaggerations of the frequency and severity of entrepreneurial failure (see Exit is very common; failure with severe financial, psychological and social consequences is immensely less frequent. In our own large scale study, 76 per cent of nascent firms and 60 per cent of young firms report no loss upon termination of the venture. Only 13 per cent of terminating nascent founders and 6 per cent of young firm founders rated their experience as negative or very negative (see Moreover, a failed venture does not imply a failed entrepreneur.

As regards gaps in the innovation statement I think Andre identifies a more important one in suggesting “similar measures designed to support innovation in larger firms”. It does not appear to me that big business in Australia excels in investing in R&D or seeking collaboration with relevant research frontiers in universities. If we had more CEOs with a “Turnbull mentality” and fewer of “Abbott stock” we could likely look forward to a brighter future for Australia. Clever political re-arrangement of institutional conditions might facilitate such a transition.

Read more news about ACE here

Summing Up Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015

As usual, Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) was a busy time for ACE. On the Tuesday we co-hosted a breakfast seating 120 to discuss “Future Working: The Age of Entrepreneurship”—a fitting theme in Australia of today. ACE Deputy Director Paul Steffens introduced the topic, and four practitioners – Ran Heimann, Vanessa Garrard, Jeremy Liddle and Rebecca Wilson – shared their insights on immigrant, women, youth, and senior entrepreneurship. This was followed by a panel before participants got very active in workshop discussions. ACE Director Per Davidsson wrapped up the event, but the conversation carried on well after the official closing time as the guests did have plenty of ideas to foster entrepreneurship in Australia. Based on this success, ACE and QUT’s Real World Futures group will co-organize a similar event next year.

On the Thursday we continued with “No patent, no success? How to protect your business idea”—a topic of great interest to the “high end” of innovative entrepreneurship. A mix of practitioner and academic presenters gave a multi-faceted illustration of the world of intellectual property protection to 75 internal and external participants. Panellists Kevin Restrick, Matthew Rimmer, Brent Watts and Sam James shared their expertise and answered questions from the engaged audience. Again, Per Davidsson did the concluding wrap-up and the participants lingered and networked long after the official closing time. ACE Post Doc Annelore Huyghe—who also had a big role in organizing Tuesday’s event—did an excellent job in both organizing and leading this highly appreciated event.

Per Davidsson entered the stage for a third time on the Friday as opening speaker at the AIB-ANZ Symposium on International Business. Albeit not a GEW event as such, Per’s topic “The Entrepreneurial Opportunity Construct in the Context of Internationalization” should make it qualify for inclusion here. In all, it was a very well appreciated set of events which showcased ACE to external audiences and provided many potentially valuable contacts both for ACE and other participants.

Read more ACE news HERE


Top Journal Publication Success

Dr Rene Bakker has had great publication success with two articles. “Pull the Plug or take the Plunge: Multiple Opportunities and the Speed of Venturing Decisions in the Australian Mining Industry” (co-authored with ACE Adjunct Professor Dean Shepherd) was published online in July by the Academy of Management Journal. This was followed up in September by his sole-authored article Stepping in and stepping out: Strategic alliance partner reconfiguration and the unplanned termination of complex projects—also from Rene’s large-scale study of Australian mining—appearing in the Strategic Management Journal (SMJ). A more practice-oriented report on the same topic was highlighted in our previous newsletter.

These successes come on the back of Rene’s article in Organization Science last year, and fellow Dutch ACE researcher Henri Burgers recent article in SMJ, which we presented in the previous newsletter. This means ACE research has been very well represented lately in the most prestigious scholarly journals in mainstream Management.

In the previous newsletter we could also report three 2015 articles in the leading journals in Entrepreneurship, Journal of Business Venturing (JBV) and Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice (ETP). One of these, Per Davidsson’s Entrepreneurial opportunities and the entrepreneurship nexus: A re-conceptualization is currently the 4th most downloaded JBV article, topped only by two recent articles on the hot topic of crowdfunding and one “classic: from 1997.

Good Funding News!

Dr Jaehu Shim, our self-funded Post Doc, has received a grant worth almost
$ 200,000 from a Korean foundation! This is to be used towards a 3-year fellowship at ACE. We congratulate Jaehu on this great achievement and welcome his continued work for ACE in the years to come.

Take your PhD in an exciting and booming area: Entrepreneurship!

Entrepreneurship is increasingly recognized as a major factor in economic and societal development. As a result, Entrepreneurship has grown to become one of the major fields of inquiry within economic, organizational and management research. Further, there are many signs that policy, media, academic, and student interest in Entrepreneurship is rapidly rising in Australia today, not least due to the economic, technological, and environmental challenges and opportunities of the future. In short, it is an area within which advanced knowledge is likely to be in high demand.

The Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research (ACE) at Queensland University of Technology, Australia, is the national leader and internationally highly recognized in this field.  We feature strongly in leading scholarly journals, conferences, associations and collaborative research projects around the world, thereby providing an excellent environment for research and research training under engaged and competent supervision. ACE is situated within the QUT Business School, which is one of the largest and strongest business faculties in Australia and the first to achieve “Triple Crown Accreditation” (AACSB; AMBA; EQUIS).

ACE is now looking to recruit additional Ph.D. students for commencement in 2016. Read more