Andrew Hunt, BA, MA, PCAP
PhD Student, Durham Business School
Research TopicAndrew’s PhD will contribute to several current and emerging academic and policy/practitioner debates. A notable contribution will be a focus upon the entrepreneur as the unit of analysis throughout all stages of the entrepreneurial process and not solely the new firm formation stage. To promote national economic development and to reduce issues relating to social and regional inequality, practitioners are seeking to foster the job generation, wealth creation, innovativeness and the competitiveness contributions of owner-managed private firms. Practitioners seeking to promote enterprises are requesting an evidence base to guide their resource allocation decisions. The study will explore several gaps in the knowledge base. The following research questions will be explored using a quantitative methodology:
- What are the key attitudinal, resource, operational and strategic barriers facing owners of private firms?
- Does the provision of sponsored environments (i.e., premises) make a significant contribution to the reduction of market failures faced owners of private firms?
- How important is the role of ‘flexibility’ in premises for entrepreneur performance?
- Do entrepreneurs located on sponsored environments report superior business practices (i.e., entrepreneurial and market orientation and learning) than entrepreneurs located on non-sponsored environments?
- Do firms located on sponsored environments report superior levels of firm performance than those not located on sponsored environments?
- Are experienced entrepreneurs with prior business ownership experience (i.e., serial and portfolio entrepreneurs) significantly more likely to utilize the benefits of sponsored environments than inexperienced novice entrepreneurs?
- Do experienced entrepreneurs learn from prior business failure (and success) experience, irrespective of firm location type?
- Do experienced entrepreneurs report superior levels of firm performance than inexperienced novice entrepreneurs, irrespective of firm location type?
- Do experienced serial and portfolio entrepreneurs compensate for human capital weaknesses (and liabilities associated with prior business failure experience) by leveraging social capital to ensure superior firm performance, irrespective of firm location type?
- Do external environmental conditions moderate/mediate entrepreneur behaviour and firm performance?
- Is there a case to focus on entrepreneur ‘quality’ rather than solely entrepreneur ‘quantity’ (i.e. increase the number/pool of entrepreneurs)?
- Is there a need for customized support to each type of entrepreneur (i.e., novice, serial and portfolio with and without prior business failure experience) with regard to prior business ownership experience?