July News from the ERC 

ERC would like to wish you an enjoyable break wherever you are. 

In this issue we highlight the latest publications and reports from the ERC
  • Innovation in Legal services report 
  • ERC Research papers
  • ERC at Venturefest West Midlands
  • ERC Case Studies 
  • Upcoming news 

Legal professionals are becoming more innovative in running their businesses but more is needed a new report indicates.

Findings from the largest ever study of innovation in the legal sector, commissioned by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the Legal Services Board (LSB), suggest that legal professionals, including solicitors and barristers, are becoming more innovative in the organisation and management of their business.

The study was undertaken on behalf of the SRA and LSB by the Enterprise Research Centre at Warwick Business School. Executive summary and download of the report available here 

Recent Publications 
Academic entrepreneurship:
Time for a rethink?

Research paper No 32
Academic entrepreneurship, which refers to efforts undertaken by universities to promote commercialization on campus and in surrounding regions of the university, has changed dramatically in recent years. Two key consequences of this change are that more stakeholders have become involved in academic entrepreneurship and that universities have become more “strategic” in their approach to this activity. We assert that the time is ripe to rethink academic entrepreneurship. Specifically, theoretical and empirical research on academic entrepreneurship needs to take account of these changes, so as to improve the rigor and relevance of future studies on this topic. We outline such a framework and provide examples of key research questions that need to be addressed to broaden our understanding of academic entrepreneurship.

Mike Wright
Imperial College Business School and University of Ghent
Donald S. Siegel
University at Albany, SUNY

Click here to download
Understanding the role of social entrepreneurship
Research paper No 33
There is a need to rethink and redefine the social value added of entrepreneurial activities to society. In this paper we develop five pillars on which the evolving social role of entrepreneurship can rest and have its impact: (1) connecting entrepreneurial activities to other societal efforts aimed at improving the quality of life, achieving progress, and enriching human existence; (2) identifying ways to reduce the dysfunctional effects of entrepreneurial activities on stakeholders; (3) redefining the scope of entrepreneurial activities as a scholarly arena; (4) recognizing entrepreneurship’s social multiplier; and (5) pursuing blended value at the organizational level, centring on balancing the creation of financial, social and environmental wealth.

Shaker A. Zahra
University of Minnesota
Mike Wright
Imperial College Business School and University of Ghent

Click here to download.  
Resources and innovation in family businesses:
The Janus-face of family

socio-emotional preferences.

Research paper No 34
Family business socio-emotional preferences are often Janus-faced:  Some strive to create a strong business they can pass on to offspring by building innovation-promoting resources such as human, relational and financial capital.  Other family firms cater to family desires for unqualified nepotism, altruism towards undeserving kin, and appropriation of firm assets to fulfill parochial desires that erode these resources.
We explore how some such preferences, together with their impact on resources and the innovation demands of their markets, shape the approach to innovation.

Danny Miller
HEC Montréal and University of Alberta
Mike Wright
Imperial College Business School and University of Ghent
Isabelle Le Breton-Miller
HEC Montréal and University of Alberta
Louise Scholes
Durham University Business School

Click here to download
Profiling UK university spin-outs
Research Paper No 35

This report presents the results of a comprehensive survey of UK university spin-out businesses. While various academic studies have examined university spin-outs (USOs) these have largely focused on a small sample of businesses, often within certain universities. These are useful and insightful studies in contributing to our understanding of the antecedents and determinants of USO success. They have not however provided a comprehensive overview of the characteristics of this population. In an effort to enhance our understanding of this sector, a database of 1044 active USOs was compiled from individual university records and internet searches, and matched to a published list of UK university spin-outs. Telephone interviews were conducted with USOs and a final sample of 350 was achieved. Non-response bias was tested for and weights were constructed to ensure that the findings were representative of the UK population of USOs.
Nola Hewitt-Dundas
Queen's University, Belfast

Click here to download

Venturefest  West Midlands

ERC Professors Mark Hart & Stephen Roper presented a session 'Investment 'Hotspots' in the UK at Venturefest West Midlands 2015 at the NEC on June 30th 2015.
The Enterprise Research Centre have been commisioned to conduct an evaluation of the event.
A series of focus groups looking in depth at the impact of Venturefest on different categories of participants will take place in September made up of people recruited from respondents to the email surveys.

ERC Developmental Case Studies 

ERC held a case study writing workshop for PhD students in November 2014. The workshop was run in partnership with staff from Warwick Create. As a result of the workshop ERC commissioned four PhD students to write cases for publication and these can be found below. Each case comprises a case study, teaching note and accompanying video. 

Case Study 1: Social Enterprise North West.

Simon Adderley, University of Birmingham 
Focuses upon a recent decision by the Department for Communities and Local Government to ‘clawback’ £1.4m of European Regional Development Funding which had been awarded to the infrastructure support organisation Social Enterprise North West (SENW).  
Case Study 2: Costin Paving:From Musician to Manager.
John Richmond, University of Warwick

Describes, examines, and analyzes the generational differences between the founder and successor, the challenges faced throughout the decades and as the business grew, and how strategies had to be implemented to survive the changing business landscape. 
Case Study 3: COMTEC- Your translation partner.
Isabella Moore, Aston Buisness School

Sets out the story of a women-owned service company. It describes the history of the company and the key milestones in the company’s development. From the body of information about the company students will learn about the key challenges of running a small business. 
Case Study 4: Behind the Taps - A case study of Thornbridge brewery.
Yazhou He, Warwick Business School

Examines the rapid growth as well as challenges a fast-growing brewery in Britain faces and evaluating and setting strategies to sustain long-term success,potentially divided into three parts and delivered in three stages, one after another, to enable students to explore and understand various macro-environmental factors that need to be considered whening small businesses.

We welcome comments or feedback on the cases which should be sent to
Other News
Latest ERC Project
ERC's Mark Hart, Stephen Roper and Karen Bonner have begun work on a new project commissioned by the British Business Bank – an Analysis of Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme. This short project is based on EFG CRM data linked to the UK longitudinal business demography database the ERC has constructed in the UK Data Service’s Secure Lab.  
Research Fellow Vacancy
SME Growth and Development (Global Perspective)

Birmingham City Business School
This research post will focus on developing global insights into SME growth and performance helping to inform the way smaller businesses work, grow and prosper in the economy.
Full Details here 
The next newsletter will be in August but you can keep up to date with all the ERC news by visiting and we are always happy to receive your views,comments and feedback.
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