This course explores research on entrepreneurship, building on classic readings in an interdisciplinary framework. The course offers doctoral students an opportunity to study and develop scholarly theories of entrepreneurial behavior and outcomes. We will study theories of entrepreneurial behavior at the individual, small group, organization, industry and national levels of analysis.
We will approach entrepreneurship as a fundamental social process of vital interest to scholars in many fields. Entrepreneurial processes include imagining, assessing, and discovering opportunities, mobilizing human and material resources, and multi-level learning during the creation of a new venture. Although this course focuses on new business ventures as the mode of exploitation, entrepreneurship can occur in mature organizations as well as in the absence of an organization.
The course introduces major theories and substantive topics as well as different methodologies and paradigms. The course asks you to critique current work, tackle research challenges in this area, and integrate findings into your own development as a researcher. The variation across disciplines and levels of analysis presents a challenge but also enriches the discussion.
intended learning outcomes
The goals of this PhD course are that PhD students should be able to:
- Navigate the high-level contours of the research field of entrepreneurship, its topics, its methods, and its theoretical foundations.
- Identify the position of Nordic research in the global research context
- Read and analyze scientific texts within the field
- Use the course as a base for their individual dissertation plans.
The course is organized into two Parts.
In Part 1, we will meet in 12 sessions (90 minutes each) over 3 days. Each session will cover a theme in the entrepreneurship field and be anchored by 2-3 influential articles on the theme. The readings are analyzed and debated in class, and all students are expected to have read all assigned articles before coming to class. One student will present one paper each session, and the professor and other students acting as discussants. A list of presenters will be distributed as soon as the class list is completed.
In Part 2, we will meet for 4 sessions for 1 day (in person). Each student will have approximately 30 minutes (to be adjusted based on student enrollment) to present a research idea drawn from the seminar for discussion and feedback. The final session will be devoted to synthesizing the course takeaways and offering practice advice to students for conducting and completing their research projects.
Students will be required to prepare a written proposal for a research project using themes covered in the course and deliver a presentation of this proposal to the class.
The following is required before class:
As you read the articles, take notes on any insights you uncover and bring them to class. Find ways to link the concepts covered in the readings with your research ideas, current events, and other aspects of your daily lives. Summarize these notes into reading summaries (1-2 pages) for your own personal use. For students who will lead the discussion for their assigned articles, use the following questions to frame your opening remarks and subsequent engagement:
- What is the main idea or takeaways from the article?
- What is the puzzle, controversy, or counter-intuitive argument in question?
- How should we think about, study, or investigate the topic differently because of this article?
- What other articles have cited this work? For highly cited articles, why has it been cited so much?
Using the new insights gained from the Part 1 readings and discussions, generate a research-oriented proposal that will be valuable for your own scholarly development. The primary goal is to work on a substantive document that will advance your own research agenda. Examples include: preparing a research proposal or grant application, drafting a theoretical or modeling paper, preparing a literature review in which you draw on material in this seminar but advance your larger research development, or developing dissertation material related to this area.
Then for the short presentations, share a Project Snapshot of your research ideas and solicit group feedback. The topics to cover will be similar to the discussion questions from Part 1.
Besides the articles assigned for the seminar sessions, the following text is recommended as a resource, especially for new PhD students:
Huff, Anne Sigismund. 2009. Designing Research for publication. Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage.
Tentative Course Schedule and Partial Reading List