Distinguished Researcher recognized for entrepreneurship expertise

Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Par for the course is putting oneself on the line, whether it be an employee suggesting new ideas to their employer, an individual starting up a business or the regulatory system fostering business development.

Personality traits, organizational dynamics and events in society — positive or negative — can impact entrepreneurial ideas and behaviours.

Professor of Management Dirk De Clercq is intricately familiar with the opportunities and challenges entrepreneurs encounter. He has written about these topics in more than 180 articles published in journals covering entrepreneurship, innovation management, organizational behaviour, human resource management and business ethics, among others.

For these and many other accomplishments, De Clercq has been awarded Brock University’s Award for Distinguished Research and Creative Activity.

“Dr. De Clercq has internationally recognized expertise in entrepreneurship, with a prolific publishing record, prestigious awards and numerous research grants,” says Brock Vice-President, Research Tim Kenyon. “His insights into the complex situations that employees, self-employed people and established corporations all experience are guiding entrepreneurs to resources that enable them to overcome hurdles.”

De Clercq’s research adopts a multidisciplinary approach to the study of entrepreneurship spanning a broad spectrum of topics, including:

  • The personal and organizational characteristics that determine employees’ entrepreneurial work behaviours, such as their creativity, idea championing and speaking up about company problems.
  • The distinct opportunities and difficulties that entrepreneurial firms encounter when they seek to internationalize or create social value, as well as when they are led by women or immigrants.
  • The role of the broader institutional environment in stimulating start-up activities, growth-oriented entrepreneurship and country-level innovation.

Entrepreneurs play a valuable role in society, says De Clercq.

“Entrepreneurship involves two important aspects: you want to change something and improve something,” he says. “You see a problem and you want to find solutions for that problem. Typically, that involves introducing something novel for the betterment of society.”

De Clercq says his research will continue to investigate the various challenges employees and others may experience in their entrepreneurial journeys, as well as how they can use their distinct capabilities and resources to address these challenges.

His publishing record and productive research collaborations with graduate students and junior professors throughout the world are among his major accomplishments the Distinguished Research award recognizes. He is on a list created by Stanford University of the world’s top two per cent of scientists with the most citations.

De Clercq received eight grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and was the recipient of almost a dozen Brock University awards.

The Award for Distinguished Research and Creative Activity, valued at $10,000, recognizes faculty in all disciplines whose distinguished research or creative activity demonstrates outstanding research achievements, contributions to the training of future researchers and strong performance in scholarly or creative performance.

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