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Society/business UGCE Research Center

Topics we work on

On the Use of Imagination by Entrepreneurs
Collaborators: dr. Arjan Frederiks, prof. dr. Basil Englis, dr. Michel Ehrenhard, prof. dr. Aard Groen

The use of imagination is important to entrepreneurs. Many entrepreneurship scholars state that entrepreneurs use imagination to identify opportunities and develop strategies, among others. However, what imagination is and how entrepreneurs use their imagination continue to be left unexplained. In this research project we study what imagination is, how entrepreneurs use their imagination, what they use their imagination for, and how entrepreneur can use imagination effectively. To study the use of imagination we use multiple methods. We interview entrepreneurs, we study the diaries that entrepreneurs have kept for over a year, and we conduct experiments. Results of these research projects have been published in the Journal of Business Venturing, Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research and a doctoral dissertation.

Entrepreneurship in rare disease space
Collaborators: prof. dr. Aard Groen, dr. Olga Belousova, Aniek Ouendag MSc

Orphan, or rare, diseases are defined as those that affect fewer than 200,000 (USA criteria) or fewer than 50,000 (UK criteria) people. However, for nearly 7000 rare diseases, there are only 400 treatments developed, with only 9 such drugs being profitable. Parents and patients are increasingly taking matters into their own hands in an effort to accelerate research and attempt to discover a treatment for their disease. This is where we want to contribute with our research.
Studying the processes that people went through, we want to know what hurdles they face, in order to raise awareness of the problems and develop tools to overcome them. We want to know how these entrepreneurs create, organize and use their collaborations, and where there could possibly be an improvement. We want to know how these entrepreneurs learn about the science behind the drug development, or about the business side to raise finance and bring the solution to the market, in order to develop support programs and help future initiatives advance faster.

Cognitive processes underlying opportunity recognition by entrepreneurs
Researcher: dr. Sílvia Fernandes Costa

Sílvia’s projects focus on different areas of entrepreneurial psychology. She is interested in understanding how entrepreneurs think, act and learn. Specifically, in understanding the cognitive processes underlying opportunity recognition by entrepreneurs and how these cognitive processes can be learned and replicated by potential entrepreneurs.

PhD projects

Strategic renewal in family firms and its antecedents
PhD student: Tejas Hargudkar MSc. Advisory team: dr. Olga Belousova, prof. dr. Aard Groen

Family firms are the most common form of enterprise in the world, contributing to the majority of employment and economic growth. Unfortunately, these firms have a low survival rate. This low survival rate can be attributed to the inability to adapt to environmental change due to their desire to preserve non-financial attachments known as socioemotional wealth. Socioemotional wealth is the primary differentiator between family and non-family businesses. Strategic Renewal, a phenomenon in the corporate entrepreneurship literature, involves the alteration of a firm’s primary value creation process and contributes to a company’s long term survival and prosperity. Engagement in strategic renewal is one way for family firms to adapt to changes in their dynamic, external environment and increase their survival rates. My research investigates the construct of socioemotional wealth and other core business values common in family firm’s potential antecedents of strategic renewal in these enterprises.

The entrepreneurial mind-set and its relation to corporate entrepreneurial behaviour
PhD student : Dagmar Holm MSc. Advisory team: dr. Olga Belousova, prof. dr. Aard Groen

To date, the need for organizations to survive fast-paced changes has increased enormously. An entrepreneurial focus appears to be a given solution that has been set in motion. Grounded in social entrepreneurial theories, this dissertation aims to identify a tangible trainable predisposition, named the entrepreneurial mind-set, that will aid organizations in balancing exploitation and exploration. In this dissertation, the concept of an entrepreneurial mind-set will be explored and defined and tangible tools will be provided in order to use the entrepreneurial mind-set in a corporate setting. The entrepreneurial mind-set and its relation to corporate entrepreneurial behaviour will be explored by means of several multi method studies.  

Last modified:07 October 2020 3.28 p.m.