The research focus the Hunter Centre is to develop a better understanding of how entrepreneurs can more successfully create new value for both business and society, and to provide practical recommendations to business leaders, policy makers, and entrepreneurship-support organizations.
The centre’s recent transformation from a cross-faculty teaching unit to a fully-formed research-oriented department has been facilitated by strategic investment in new staff which has resulted in a comprehensive portfolio of experts in high-growth, international, corporate, technology, family, rural, social and female entrepreneurship, who as a team are increasingly gaining recognition as a leading international centre for entrepreneurship research.
Entrepreneurship and new creative ways to generate value for business and society are central to the national economic policy agenda, and participation in national and international research consortia help to ensure that the research is evidence-based, useful, and impactful for business leaders and policy makers.
Nationally, partnership in the ESRC co-funded Enterprise Research Centre (in collaboration with Warwick, Aston and Imperial business schools) recognizes the group’s expertise in applied, policy oriented research, and enables us to accelerate research in the areas of business start-up, growth and the economic well-being of entrepreneurial households. Further, our partnership in the ESRC co-funded Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy (in collaboration with Cass, Edinburgh, Kent and Southampton business schools) highlights the centre’s commitment to researching the creation of both business value and social value. Both of these projects also demonstrate the centre’s success in generating funding for new innovative lines of entrepreneurial enquiry.
Internationally, building on longer-term experience in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (entrepreneurial conditions and activity in 69 economies), the centre is now engaged in both GUESSS (entrepreneurial career decisions of students at 500 universities in 26 countries; led by University of St Gallen, Switzerland) and STEP (trans-generational family business case-study development in 37 nations; led by Babson College, USA). In addition, Hunter Centre researchers also participate in a range of internationally research projects which are funded by the EU (business start-up and growth rates) as well as funding councils in Norway (enterprise diversity, farm-based innovation, and family business succession) and in New Zealand (entrepreneurial philanthropy).
The centre’s international research impact is further evidenced though our publications in, invited reviews for, and editorial contributions to internationally-ranked entrepreneurship research journals, for example, Journal of Business Venturing (4*), Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice (4*), Small Business Economics (3*), and International Small Business Journal (3*). In addition, the academic staff and PhD students regularly present their work at international entrepreneurship conferences such as the Babson Kauffman Entrepreneurship Research Conference, the ECSB Research in Entrepreneurship and Small Business (RENT) conference, the European Academy of Management conference and the Academy of Management conference.Finally, the centre’s development and increasing international importance is also reflected in the growth of its postgraduate research programme, which granted its first PhD in 2006 and currently has 18 enrolled PhD candidates and 8 graduates who are now academics in the UK and at international universities (Denmark, Israel, Malaysia, US). On-going efforts to boost the successful completion and employability of our entrepreneurship PhD graduates include context-specific PhD-level classes on Entrepreneurship Research and regular collaborative workshops with other entrepreneurship research groups in Scotland and the UK.
The international character of our centre is also reflected in the international heritage of many of our academic staff (Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, US) and of our PhD students (Botswana, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Portugal, Russia). In addition, our academic staff and PhD students regularly engage in shorter-term university research exchanges outwith the UK (US, Germany, France, New Zealand) and also enjoy longer-term visiting professorships (Norway).