AOM Entrepreneurship Doctoral Consortium

An announcement from Andrew Corbett:

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2015 AOM Entrepreneurship Doctoral Consortium.

The Entrepreneurship Division will sponsor its annual consortium for doctoral students during the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management in Vancouver. The consortium brings together doctoral students and experienced faculty to discuss opportunities and challenges as scholars in the field. This year’s program will include panels and discussions on dissertation strategies, first job and career path considerations, the publication process, and a host of other topics. Students will also receive detailed and constructive feedback on their work from an accomplished researcher. The Consortium will begin at 9:00am on Friday, August 7, continue until 4:00pm on Saturday, August 8.  The consortium includes a reception Friday evening.  Admitted applicants are expected to attend the ENTIRE program all day on both Friday and Saturday.

The consortium is open to doctoral students who have completed approximately two to three years of their PhD program. The ideal candidate will have finished coursework and be engaged in preparing a dissertation proposal focused on some issue within entrepreneurship.

To apply, please follow the two steps below.

1) Submit the following information about you:

  1. A short (one page or less) biographical sketch for distribution to all participants.
  2. A brief statement (one page or less) of your research and teaching interests.
  3. A current CV.

2)  Submit a working paper. This paper must be on an entrepreneurship topic and should be the best paper that you are moving toward publication or a detailed overview of your intended dissertation research.  The paper should be on where you are the primary author not a second or third author.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The paper must NOT (a) exceed 35 pages (all inclusive), or (b) be an accepted-for-publication/published manuscript. The working paper is a key requirement for admission.

This information should be submitted through email to both Andrew Corbett ( and Dawn DeTienne ( Please do so by Monday, May 25, 2015, at 5PM and place “2015 ENT Doctoral Consortium” in the subject line.  Due to the large number of applicants and limited spots, incomplete and late applications will not be considered. No exceptions will be made.

The consortium will be limited in size; positions will be allocated based on application materials.  Questions should be sent to the Consortium Co-Chairs, Andrew Corbett ( and Dawn DeTienne (

Please note that acceptance into the consortium is via application only.

We look forward to meeting you in Vancouver!

Entrepreneurship, Financial Capital, and Social Capital

Two interesting new papers on entrepreneurship. The first deals with financial capital — specifically, the degree to which entrepreneurship (defined as self-employment) is constrained by credit availability. As regular readers know, I’ve been crusading against the idea that entrepreneurship consists of recognizing opportunities, in favor of the alternative idea that entrepreneurship involves putting assets at risk. The latter view directs our attention to how entrepreneurial activities are funded; rather than assuming that all positive-NPV opportunities are exploited, we should focus on the investor’s decision to allocate risk capital to one or another potential project. Put simply, “entrepreneurship is exercised not only by founders, but by funders.”

Funders care about collateral, which suggests that self-employment is constrained by the availability of durable personal assets like housing. In a new NBER working paper, “Housing Collateral and Entrepreneurship,” Martin Schmalz, David Sraer, and David Thesmar find a strong correlation between self-employment and house prices. “Our empirical strategy uses variations in local house prices as shocks to the value of collateral available to individuals owning a house and controls for local demand shocks by comparing entrepreneurial activity of homeowners and renters operating in the same region. We find that an increase in collateral value leads to a higher probability of becoming an entrepreneur. Conditional on entry, entrepreneurs with access to more valuable collateral create larger firms and more value added, and are more likely to survive, even in the long run.”

My Missouri colleague Colleen Heflin, along with Seok-Woo Kwon and Martin Ruef, have a new paper in the American Sociological Review on social capital and self-employment. Many papers have examined how an individual’s “social capital” — defined as networks of social and professional relationships — affects various economic outcomes, including the propensity to start a firm. Colleen and her colleagues focus at the community level and find that “individuals in communities with high levels of social trust are more likely to be self-employed compared to individuals in communities with lower levels of social trust. Additionally, membership in organizations connected to the larger community is associated with higher levels of self-employment, but membership in isolated organizations that lack connections to the larger community is associated with lower levels of self-employment.”

Of course, self-employment is only a crude proxy for entrepreneurship in the functional sense, but it is a widely used proxy in the empirical literature. I suppose entrepreneurship researchers, like other social scientists, resemble the drunk looking for his car keys under the lamppost. Who am I to complain?

Mokyr on Cultural Entrepreneurship

I am wary of adding yet another conceptual margin for entrepreneurial action but I highly recommend a new (and for the moment, ungated) paper in the Scandinavian Economic History Review by the distinguished economic historian Joel Mokyr on “cultural entrepreneurship.” Starting from a broadly Schumpeterian perspective, Mokyr focuses on individuals who introduce and disseminate novel ideas:

[E]ach individual makes cultural choices taking as given what others believe. It is not a priori obvious how that affects one’s choices. It may affect them positively because conformism implies that there is some social cost associated with deviancy, or because people may reason that if the majority believes a certain thing, there may be wisdom in it (thus saving on information costs). But there can be a reverse reaction as well, with non-conformists perversely rebelling against existing beliefs. What matters for my purposes is that for a small number of individuals, the beliefs of others are not given but can be changed. I shall refer to those people as cultural entrepreneurs. Their function is much like entrepreneurs in the realm of production: individuals who refuse to take the existing technology or market structure as given and try to change it and, of course, benefit personally in the process. Much like other entrepreneurs, the vast bulk of them make fairly marginal changes in our cultural menus, but a few stand out as having affected them in substantial and palpable ways.

Succinctly expressed: “cultural entrepreneurs are the creators of epistemic focal points that people can coordinate their beliefs on.”

Mokyr’s focus, like Schumpeter’s, is not entrepreneurship per se, but its effects, particularly on long-run economic growth, and his entrepreneurship construct is somewhat undertheorized. But he provides fascinating examples, ranging from Mohammed and Luther to Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and Adam Smith. He focuses in particular on Bacon and Newton, describing Bacon’s work as “the coordination device which served as the point of departure for thinkers and experimentalists for two centuries to come. The economic effects of these changes remained latent and subterranean for many decades, but eventually they erupted in the Industrial Revolution and the subsequent processes of technological change.” Newton and the Royal Society “raise[d] the social standing of scientists and researchers as people who should be respected and supported and [provided] them with a comfortable material existence.” (Mostly good.)

I’m not an expert on cultural theory or history and am not sure how much the “cultural entrepreneur” construct ads to our understanding of cultural change (other than relabeling, a frequent worry in entrepreneurship studies). But the paper is a great read, highly provocative and informative, and addresses big questions. Check it out.

[Cross-posted from Organizations and Markets]

Review of Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment

The forthcoming Autumn 2013 issue of Policy, published by the Centre for Independent Studies, features a nice review of my Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment (with Nicolai Foss).

Foss and Klein . . . focus on what the entrepreneur brings to economic production and the skills that must be exercised in creating a profit-making enterprise — the firm or organisation. Their contribution, and it is a major and well-argued one, is full of historical and theoretical detail that drives their theme of the entrepreneur as not just an “ideas” man or woman, but one who creates, when successful, an organisation that finds and orders the capital and processes appropriate to the tasks of producing goods and services at a profit.

Reviewer Barry Maley says the book explains “the essential intertwining of entrepreneurship with the firm” and offers, for the general reader, “an accessible insight into a subject central to economic production,” and is “relatively light on jargon and technicalities.”

Clusters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

That’s the title of a new review paper by Aaron Chatterji, Ed Glaeser, and William Kerr (a gated NBER working paper, unfortunately). Agglomeration has been a huge issue in the entrepreneurship, technology strategy, innovation policy, and economic growth literatures and it’s nice to have an up-to-date, not-very-technical review paper. (Hopefully there is an ungated copy out there somewhere.)

Clusters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Aaron Chatterji, Edward L. Glaeser, William R. Kerr
NBER Working Paper No. 19013, May 2013

This paper reviews recent academic work on the spatial concentration of entrepreneurship and innovation in the United States. We discuss rationales for the agglomeration of these activities and the economic consequences of clusters. We identify and discuss policies that are being pursued in the United States to encourage local entrepreneurship and innovation. While arguments exist for and against policy support of entrepreneurial clusters, our understanding of what works and how it works is quite limited. The best path forward involves extensive experimentation and careful evaluation.

[Cross-posted at Organizations and Markets]

Job Opening in Regional Economics

Missouri’s DASS and Truman School are looking for an assistant professor specializing in regional and spatial economics:

We seek applicants working in the modeling, integration, and assessment of regional economies to inform public and private decision-making.  Applicants’ substantive training and expertise may be in any discipline relevant to regional economics, including applied or agricultural economics, public policy, state and local public finance or similar fields. Applicants should have a strong scholarly record in spatial econometrics and regional analysis.  Dynamic simulation modeling methods for regional analysis is desirable.  The successful candidate will have a strong record of applied research and working collaboratively across policy areas as they affect regions, i.e., policies and their impacts on regions, regional governance, state and local public finance, infrastructure and the built environment, agriculture, environment and natural resources, food security, and public health, as examples.

See this link for full details and application instructions. Please circulate to potentially interested parties.

Capabilities and Strategic Entrepreneurship in Public Organizations

The current issue of the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal features a special issue on “Entrepreneurship in the Public Interest,” edited by Jay Barney, Anita McGahan, and Bennet Zelner. It features my article, “Capabilities and Strategic Entrepreneurship in Public Organizations” (with Joe Mahoney, Anita McGahan, and Christos Pitelis). Here’s the abstract:

Capabilities and Strategic Entrepreneurship in Public Organizations

Public organizations are relatively understudied in the strategic entrepreneurship literature. In this article, we submit that public organizations are usefully analyzed as entities that create and capture value in both the private and public sectors and that a capabilities lens sheds important new insights on their behavior. As they try to create and capture value, public organizations can act entrepreneurially by creating or leveraging bundles of capabilities, which may then shape subsequent entrepreneurial action. Such processes can involve complex interactions among public and private actors. For example, public organizations often partner with private firms to produce existing products, create new products, and establish new markets which, in turn, generate new capabilities for both public and private actors. Yet such coevolutionary processes are not guaranteed to create value, and capabilities acquired in the pursuit of public interests may, over time, enable activities that damage those same interests. We show how a capabilities approach helps explain the nature and evolution of public organizations and we apply this approach to a series of cases on the growth and diversification of public organizations, the private provision of public goods, and related issues.

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