Entrepreneurs don’t really value entrepreneurship research? Is this true?

The recent BBC story about Zuru, a toy business based in Hong Kong but originating in New Zealand, is just one of a long list of media stories highlighting that entrepreneurs engage in experimentation and practice on their entrepreneurial journey. Many are not  ‘educated’ to be an entrepreneur, but do engage in self-learning for personal and business growth. In doing so, who and where do they get their information from? What role does entrepreneurial scholarship play? And what do they think about entrepreneurship scholars and scholarship in this regard?


First, it is worth noting that in questioning the role of entrepreneurship scholars and their engagement with practice, researchers acknowledge the impressive efforts of those in this community; indeed, the study of entrepreneurship is often informed by experiences of, or close interaction, with entrepreneurs/ship. Nevertheless, questions do remain about how valuable research is? How applicable is it? Do entrepreneurs have the time to expend on finding academic research, recognising its value to them and then applying it? And if they don’t, then whom are academics creating knowledge for? And why?


These are the kinds of question that Dr Ainurul Rosli, Reader in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship and Director of Business Engagement at Brunel Business School, and her co-author Dr Isla Kapasi, Lecturer in the Management Division and member of the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies, are seeking to explore. In the research project, ‘Entrepreneurship Scholars don’t know about Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurs do’, supported by funding from ISBE, Dr Rosli and Dr Kapasi will be taking an engaged scholarship approach to answering such questions. To that end, they will work with nascent, new and established business owners to understand this pressing issue. Building on several initial pilot engagements, this research will be informed by the following questions:

  • What is the applicability and practicality of entrepreneurship knowledge for entrepreneurs?
  • And why do they think this is the case?


Dr Rosli and Dr Kapasi want to explore the ideological and practical aspects of any challenges/resistance (if any) experienced by entrepreneurs.

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Dr. Ainurul Rolsi and Dr. Isla Kapasi

The researchers said:

“On reflection, these are intimidating questions; perhaps we are trying to investigate something that has been hiding under a heavy rock (or that we willingly ignore?). We are unsure if we are able to get under this heavy rock, but it is our ambition to help enlighten and broaden the debate on how entrepreneurship scholars present themselves in different contexts/boundaries beyond academia and better understand the value of our research practice and contributions.


Furthermore, with the rise in the rejection of, or boredom with, ‘experts’ or ‘intellectuals’, we need to inspect our social usefulness, and how important that is ‘beyond the academy’. As individual entrepreneurship scholars, and in our roles as Co-Chair of the Practice and Impact SIG with ISBE, we position this research as a call to conversation within the entrepreneurship scholarly community and hope you will join us at the ISBE conference in November to further discuss these topics. In addition, we have plans for a critical examination of this topic for early Summer 2020 hosted by Brunel University. Join us!”


About the researchers:

Dr Ainurul Rosli is a Reader in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship and Director of Business Engagement at Brunel Business School. Her current research interests include: university-industry collaboration, engaged scholarship, social impact, community entrepreneurship, and team entrepreneurship.


Dr Isla Kapasi is a lecturer in the Management Division and member of the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies. Her current research interests include: critical entrepreneurship studies, entrepreneurship motivations, low-income enterprise, and engaged scholarship.

Dr Ainurul Rosli and Dr Sharifah Alwi research helps to strengthen rural community capacity in Borneo

This project, in collaboration with Dr Jane Chang of Gritse Community Interest Company, contributes towards strengthening the capacity for the community to support the local economic and social development agenda in Sabah.

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The researchers work with 14 rural smallholders of Ulu Sapi community, in Beluran Sabah, Borneo to help them increase their resilience and build the community brand through entrepreneurship. The Ulu Sapi community in Sandakan, Sabah has been struggling to survive due to the fluctuation of prices in palm oil, and the lack of economic development in the area.

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The rural smallholders learnt and defined the right and meaningful distinctiveness: of who they are – individually and collectively as entrepreneur(s), and what they stand for. Due to financial resources limitation, these rural, poor and less educated independent palm oil smallholders who rely on their community to survive, actually neglect the importance of branding, particularly their community.


On the 14th Feb, 2020, the researchers presented the results to a policy maker, the Honourable YB Assaffal P. Alian, Assistant Minister of Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Department.

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From left: Puan Rosnah, YB Assaffal P. Alian, Dr Rosli and Dr Alwi. Dr Chang was sitting
on the left with the audience. The assistant minister congratulates the researchers  and the Ulu Sapi villagers


In his speech, he expressed his gratitude to the team of researchers, and stated: “Whatever we are doing today with this project is correct and I will take this programme [project] and send our team from Sabah Tourism Board to come here [to Ulu Sapi] to evaluate for product update and do any plan on what we can do together to make this work. We are not supporting you, but working with you to take this forward to grow this place.”


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Left: Researchers site visit to brand the waterfall as part of the local community offerings
Right: Pak Jefri, feeding his school of fish, a project he developed while attending the programme

To know more about the project, visit: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Projects/Entrepreneurship-resilience-and-rural-community-branding

Government of Bangladesh show interest in Dr Bidit Dey’s work

The Government of Bangladesh has commended Dr Bidit Dey’s research findings on co-technology development in mobile telephone industry, and shown interest in applying it in their current and future policies in supporting the electric vehicle industry.


Dr Dey has been extensively researching and publishing on co-creation in mobile telephone industry. His articles published on Technological Forecasting and Social Change and Information Systems Frontier drew significant interest amongst the policy makers in Bangladesh, who are keen to boost the electric vehicle industry as part of their strategy to reduce dependency on fossil fuel.


Bangladesh is already one of the world’s most energy-poor countries, and there is a large gap between power supply and demand. In rural areas, only 42% of the population have access to electricity, and the Government has been struggling to boost production. As Bangladesh is also among the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, it has vowed to use 100% renewable energy by 2050. However, the country is off track to meet that target.


The Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources of the Government of Bangladesh is determined to change this. In this regard, Dr Dey’s research on ICTs and co-creation has strong potential to inform the implementation of policies in the energy sector. The State Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Mr Nosrul Hamid has expressed his keen interest to emulate the business ecosystem and co-technology development model suggested in Dr Dey’s published work.


More information about Dr Dey’s work, can be found here.

Dr Ainurul Rosli hosts panel on the gap between entrepreneurship research and practice

Dr. Ainurul Rosli is a Reader in Enterprise and Enterpreneurship and Director of Business Engagement at Brunel Business School. Her current research interests include: university-industry collaboration, engaged scholarship, social impact, community entrepreneurship , and team entrepreneuership. She has recently co-hosted a panel, alongside Dr Isla Kapasi, who is a Lecturer in Management at Leeds University Business School, and a member of the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies, to examine the gap between entrepreneurship research and practice.

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Dr. Ainurul Rosli (Left) and Dr. Isla Kapasi (right)


The panel, entitled “A gap between research and practice – Is it simply a question of means and methods?“, was organised as part of the activities of the Practice & Impact Special Interest Group, of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE).


In the UK, academics are certainly being encouraged to consider (and prioritise) the (positive!) impact of their research. This is as true for members of the Practice & Impact Special Interest Group, as it is for other UK academics. And in the case of entrepreneurship research, where significant discussion is occurring around the ‘practical’ outcomes that can arise as a result of our research, there is perhaps an inherent requirement and urgency to consider the value and impact of entrepreneurship research.


To that end then, where are the academic and practitioner entrepreneurship community on this journey? To better understand this question, the Practice & Impact SIG of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE)  hosted a day of events examining these issues at the most recent conference held in Newcastle on 14-15 November. Specifically, Drs. Rosli and Kapasi hosted a panel event with members invited from policy, practice and research to examine the statement: “Scholars don’t know about entrepreneurship; entrepreneurs do”. Panel presentations and subsequent discussions led to many useful insights and ‘top tips’ as summarised below.


First and foremost, the panel identified that the core distinction between different communities, (research, practice and policy), is a question of means and methods. This is neatly summarised in the following idea that individual practitioners know how they do what they do, but the value that an academic brings is a meta-level perspective giving insights into how many entrepreneurs have approached a particular aspect of entrepreneurial activity.


Further, panel members identified dichotomies in language, roles and purpose, and across several areas of interest which are summarised below:



Know their business Know the process
Understand their markets Understand markets
Solve problems Suggest solutions
Know specific details Make ‘higher level’ observations
Do Explain


So how might we engage different parties? Here are six key considerations based on the contributions of panel and audience members:

  1. It’s not all about research. Relationship building is required and there is much complexity in the journey. A first meeting requires clarity that can create a foundation that balances the needs of both parties.
  2. Be motivated and passionate – and communicate this to practitioners! Have a hook that gets the ball rolling and builds a trusted relationship. Further, be clear on selling the (potential) benefits versus selling the research. (Warning: do not oversell as this leads to disappointment for both sides. It’s always better to undersell and over-)
  3. Build credibility as an academic who knows how to work with practitioners. Start small, be consistent and care about the actions taken and outcomes achieved. The more people hear about you, the easier it will be to convince others to collaborate.
  4. Be clear on roles and requirements – negotiate these roles early in the relationship. This will help to address concerns and the differences between academic research and practice.
  5. Translation and selectivity is required. As an academic it is tempting to try to consider all the information we have at our disposal; it is better to be selective and consider what is really relevant to the practitioners you are working with.
  6. Finally, when negotiating initial (or on-going) access try to focus on in-kind contributions, such as hosting meetings or being willing to share your research at events . Everybody is short of cash, and building a relationship is about what you are willing to put on the table beyond cash.


Drs Rosli and Kapasi conclude that there is significant good-will and energy regarding engagement between and across different communities that create and use research. For the academic community, it seems it’s a question of “GoDo” – go out and engage with new audiences for your research and build strong relationships so that your valuable research can have (positive) impact and reach its fullest potential. And in the case of practitioners and policymakers, whilst academics may tend towards the esoteric, there is value in engaging with their research, and the potential to make a positive impact in business and policy.


Dr. Ainurul Rosli can also be found on Twitter: @AinurulRosli.

Call for papers Special issue “MIGRATION ‘MANAGEMENT’: Tensions, Challenges, and Opportunities for Inclusion”. Deadline 1 June 2020.

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Tensions, Challenges, and Opportunities for Inclusion

Submission deadline: 1-June 2020

Guest Editors: Dimitria Groutsis (The University of Sydney); Joana Vassilopoulou (Brunel University & Rotterdam School of Management); Mustafa Ozbilgin (Brunel University & Dauphine University); Yuka Fujimoto (Sunway University Business School); Michàlle E. Mor Barak (University of Southern California); Royston Greenwood (University of Alberta), Junqi Shi (Sun Yat-Sen University).

The term ‘migration management’ (Ghosh, 1993; 2012) has grown from and been used at the macro policy level: drawing attention to the need to rationally adjust migration flows while evoking images of a controlled,linear and coordinated process and system of international mobility. This special issue focusses on acknowledging, critiquing and investigating the global challenges and opportunities surrounding (international) migration management, providing fertile ground for empirical and theoretical exploration and discovery at multiple levels of analysis and within multiple contexts and therefore taking a broader and critical view of the coupling of migration and management.

The terms ‘migrant’, ‘refugee’ and more recently ‘self-initiated expatriate’ are loaded with multifaceted and multilayered imagery which has an ambiguous reality around the individual desire for economic and social opportunity, freedom and safety; the organizational drivers for capitalizing on skills, exploiting vulnerabilities and managing multicultural teams and ethnic minority differences; and the national and supranational drivers for regulating the number and quality of flows or mobilities of workers (migrants or refugees), while driving either social/organizational exclusion or social/organizational inclusion (de la Chaux et. al., 2018; Mor Barak, 2018; Villadsen & Wulff, 2018). These considerations capture aspects of questions raised by business and management scholars examining various dimensions of migration and inclusion from sociological, oraganizational and managerial perspectives (Al Ariss & Ozbilgin., 2010; Al Ariss et al., 2013; Mor Barak, 2017). However, the management of the opportunities and the barriers experienced by migrant women and men, remain poorly understood (Kofman et. al., 2015; Pio & Essers, 2014), particularly the agency and voice of migrants at work, the role of organizations and various institutional stakeholders in the process of migration management, and the role of stakeholders in the process of workplace inclusion. Each of these focal points remains largely limited to a single level of analysis (Mor Barak, 2018).

Notably, our scoping of extant scholarship highlights that migration and management are rarely studied together, particularly in terms of business and management scholarship. In rare instances when this is done, the examination often remains at a single level of analysis (see for instance O’Connor & Crowley- Henry, 2019), neglecting the deeper and broader complexities, interconnections, challenges and paradoxical dualities that are involved in examining multiple levels of analysis. Given that migration remains poorly understood from the perspective of management and organizations, and that extant theory may be limited as a basis for guiding further understanding, this special issue aims to use empirical exploration and abductive approaches to provide a basis for down-the-road theorizing on this important topic. Additionally, this special issue aims to transcend a single level treatment of migration management and to empirically capture the complexity and rational irrationality of the phenomenon from multiple perspectives. Accordingly, in the spirit of AMD we welcome contributions which engage in ‘exploratory research at the pre-theory stage of knowledge development’ as a way of surfacing and understanding critical migration-related phenomenon, and/or developing insights that might contribute to an enhanced understanding of the implications of migration and migration management for organizations and their members.

Furthermore, as we see it, the process of, and approach to, migration management also involves investigation of the opportunities and challenges surrounding inclusion. This includes paying attention to: individual/experiential aspects of migration; organizational/management issues associated with the migration process, migrant absorption/integration, socialization and adjustment; and policy-level issues associated with the management of migration including labor-market issues and questions relating to business policy and strategy.

Accordingly, we invite manuscripts which approach the topic of migration management and the prospects for inclusion from multiple levels of analysis (micro, meso and macro level) and perspectives with a broad and innovative range of methodological and theoretical choices. Within these multiple and intersecting levels of analysis lie the cross-cutting tensions between inclusionary and exclusionary approaches to migration management (Mor Barak, 2018). For example, whose interests do management interventions serve? How is migrant voice and agency considered and empowered? What are the implications of cultural differences, ethnic-minority status, identity and belonging? Partly due to the obvious and urgent crises and contradictions of globalization, inequalities have resurfaced as key concerns of organizational enquiries over the past few years. Most recently, the question of how the interplay between differences and inequalities is structured by political agency and discourses has risen on the agenda. For example, studies have examined migration regimes, focusing on the impact migrants have on the multicultural and multiracial dimensions of the receiving country labor market (Vassilopoulou et. al., 2014; Groutsis et al, 2015; van den Broek et al, 2016). Politics plays a crucial dual role here where, on the one hand, countries voice the humanitarian and cosmopolitan politics of inclusion of migrants, demonstrated by a plethora of integration and social inclusion policies, while on the other hand, these same societies and workplaces practice exclusion. Within such a context, managing migration in its broadest sense potentially incorporates activities that reinforce and maintain the current social and economic order, with profound visible and invisible implications at the workplace level.

The following questions are indicative (but not exhaustive) of the areas of focus for this call for papers.

a) Micro level:

  • How do individuals from diverse backgrounds experience migration? How do the diversity categories intersect with each other and the management of migration?
  • How do migrants manage their aspirations, challenges and struggles as individuals and in collectives as part of trade unions, teams and solidarity networks?
  • How do migrants manage the process of migration and labor market inclusion given the different migration pathways available to them including for instance: skilled stream migration, temporary visa arrangements and family reunion?
  • How does migration affect individuals in terms of their choices and chances of career, work-life interface; well-being; and identity formation for instance; and how does migration link to stigmatized work and workforces? How are these forces managed?
  • How does the agency of migrants manifest at work and in the management of migration?
  • Whose responsibility is it to manage migration? Who are the change agents and how do they affect change in the process of managing migration at the organizational level?

b)  Meso level:

  • How do organisations manage the absorption, integration and socialization of migrants and their workplace adjustment?
  • How is migration managed at the work/human capital interface? What are the implications of migration on enterprises’ human capital and talent management strategies?
  • How do organizations manage the inclusion of migrants at the workplace? What HR policies and practices are more effective at boosting migrant inclusion and facilitating migrant absorption and adjustment?
  • What are the complexities, challenges and dualities that stakeholders at the meso level of analysis must address in the process of migration management at the organizational level?
  • Are the processes of inclusion/exclusion and stigmatization in the study of the work trajectories of migrant women and men different in different institutional and organizational contexts? How do these processes converge and diverge in different contexts?
  • What is the nature of migrant entrepreneurship and how are migrant’s entrepreneurial experiences unique?


c)  Macro level:

  • What are the differences in the nature and implications of macro level frames such as legal vs. illegal/documented vs. undocumented migration; internal vs. international migration on the management of migration at the organizational level?
  • What is the role of global recruitment agencies? How do they operate in perpetuating inclusionary or exclusionary forms of controlled and managed migration?
  • What is the role of governments and international organizations in the management of migration at the organizational level?
  • How can we formulate global migration management policies in organizations, such as for example in MNCs?
  • How do national policies surrounding social integration impact on and shape workplace integration, inclusion and interactions between organizational members?

Prior to submitting your manuscript, please ensure that it is consistent with the mission of the journal by reviewing AMD’s guidelines for authors (http://aom.org/Publications/AMD/AMD-Information-for- Contributors.aspx). To submit a manuscript, please make sure that visit http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/AMD When submitting, please remember to select Manuscript Type as Special Issue: Migration from the drop down menu. Manuscripts should be formatted according to the AMD Style Guide.

For a list of the sources cited in this Call for Papers, please contact Dimitria Groutsis <dimitria.groutsis@sydney.edu.au>

Paper Development Workshop Special Issue: MIGRATION ‘MANAGEMENT’

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Paper Development Workshop


Tensions, Challenges, and Opportunities for Inclusion




10:00 am – 3:00 pm






DIRECTIONS TO CAMPUS: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/about/finding-us


AMD and Brunel Business School, Brunel University London invite you to a unique opportunity for management scholars to develop their work for possible publication in AMD. During this workshop for the forthcoming special issue on Migration Management, participants will meet with AMD Editor Prof Peter Bamberger and three of the seven Guest Editors Dr Joana Vassilopoulou, Prof Dimitria Groutsis & Prof Mustafa Ozbilgin to discuss their preliminary work.


For questions please contact joana.vassilopoulou@brunel.ac.uk


As space is limited, preference will be given first to those whose extended abstracts are being discussed in the roundtables. Additional spots will be allocated on the basis of first come, first served.

  • Those who wish to have their paper ideas discussed should submit an extended abstract (between 5 and 10 pages of text) by *6-January 2020*
  • The abstract should provide a synopsis of the research question, its relevance and significance, a statement relating to the limited ability of extant concepts and/or theory to provide a coherent response to that question, the empirical approach, and the implications of the findings for future theorizing.
  • Extended abstracts should be about 5 – 10 pages, double spaced, excluding tables, figures and references.
  • Those who wish to participate in the workshop without submitting a paper for review and discussion need only register (Select “Attending without submitting an abstract” on the form).
  • Paper feedback sessions are open to all, but discussions will revolve around papers submitted and accepted for discussion at the workshop.

Submission Deadline: 6-JANUARY 2020.

Register and submit your extended abstract


Please note: Papers that are accepted to and developed through the workshop does not guarantee acceptance and publication in the AMD SI. These papers will need to go through the same peer review process as any AMD submission. However, it is our hope that the workshop experience will provide attendees with substantive feedback to improve their work.

Professor Balmer reaches milestone with 200,000 reads on Researchgate

Last month, a milestone was reached when Professor Balmer learned that there had been over 200, 000 reads of his work on ResearchGate. ResearchGate is a social networking platform for research professionals, where members can share their papers, read other researchers’ papers, ask and answer questions, or find research collaborators.

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Commenting on the above, Professor Balmer remarked:

“What is so uplifting about this news is to learn that there is interest in my published work from students, scholars and colleagues and its uplifting to discover that published work is being read.”


Research impact is a key measure of success of an academic’s work, and we are delighted to see that Professor Balmer’s publications generate so much interest among other scholars. Congratulations, Professor Balmer.

Isolation in Globalizing Academic Fields: A Collaborative Autoethnography of Early Career Researchers

Dr Marcia Christina Ferreira and her research group The Scrutinizers recently wrote an article on the problem of Academic Isolation among Early Career Researchers (ECRs). The group looked at how PhD students, post-docs and assistant professors may feel separated from the academic field to which they aspire to belong.


The Scrutinizers used Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) field as a context to discuss how academic isolation is a broader problem than is sometimes recognised, with important implications for well-being and productivity. Their research findings point to tactics that ECRs can use to better integrate into the CCT field. They also articulate the strategies that core actors in the field have used to facilitate ECRs’ integration and make CCT inclusive.


The article is available for download from the Academy of Management Learning and Education website: https://journals.aom.org/doi/10.5465/amle.2017.0329

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Here’s a short version of the article published on The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/overworked-and-isolated-the-rising-epidemic-of-loneliness-in-academia-110009

Meet our new colleagues: Dr Shona Paterson

Dr Shona Koren Paterson joined us as Brunel’s first Global Challenges Research Fellow. During her stay with us, Dr Paterson’s transdisciplinary research will focus on global flood risk and resilience.

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Dr Paterson’s work is driven by international frameworks such as the UN 2030 Agenda and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.


She holds a Ph.D. in Coastal Resource Management from East Carolina University, USA and received her MSc in Tropical Coastal Management from Newcastle University, UK.


Shona has extensive experience in the Caribbean, the Americas, and the UK where her research has focussed on numerous interlinked areas including coastal resource management, climate adaptation and adaptive capacity in urbanising coastal areas, governance and social justice, and the society-policy-practice nexus. She has spent her working career building partnerships and knowledge exchange networks with local communities and stakeholders to achieve mutually beneficial social and ecological goals.

MSc Marketing student, Kariem Ali, presents findings from his research at Future of Electric & Hybrid Vehicles conference

Kariem Ali, an MSc Marketing student at Brunel Business School, participated in the Future of Electric & Hybrid Vehicles conference, which took place at ExCel London, as part of the Battery Technology Show.

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Alongside two other experts, Kariem discussed the topic of ‘Driving Sustainability and Efficiency in the next generation electric vehicles’. Kariem’s talk derived from his MSc dissertation, which investigated consumer purchase intentions towards electric vehicles in the UK. Kariem shared some of the results from the survey that he developed for his dissertation, and which looked at consumers’ environmental concerns, their attitudes, the role of social influence and moral obligation, and the perceived benefits and barriers towards purchasing electric vehicles.

Brunel Business School’s MSc Marketing programme is designed for anyone wishing to become a marketing professional or planning to undertake marketing research in an academic or commercial setting. Those with little or no marketing experience will appreciate the breadth of management subjects covered in the degree, specifically how marketing fits within the overall organisation practice. The programme is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and also offers the option of a placement. Find out more about this programme here.