Entrepreneurship Research Conference Draws Participants from around the World

Posted: March 26, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jennifer Edgerly

It used to be that when you thought of an entrepreneur you pictured a small business owner. Today, however, being an entrepreneur is as much about being a leader, having innovative ideas and understanding the needs of the market as it is about starting and managing a business.

Mason has embraced the entrepreneurial spirit, and throughout the university, programs and courses support the growth of entrepreneurial thinking. It’s only fitting, then, that Mason should host the fourth annual Mason Entrepreneurship Research Conference (MERC). The conference will be held on Friday, March 28, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Student Union Building II on the Fairfax Campus.

MERC is a partnership between the School of Management (SOM) and the School of Public Policy (SPP). Conference facilitators Mahesh Joshi, associate professor of management, and Roger Stough, professor and associate dean of SPP and director of the Mason Enterprise Center, have organized the conference.

“We hope to create and build a community of researchers committed to furthering entrepreneurial studies and developing scholarly networks for research,” says Joshi. “By initiating collaborative research projects, we can explore trends, opportunities and challenges in entrepreneurship and related fields of study.”

This year, for the first time, the conference is open to presenters outside of Mason. Papers have been received from researchers both nationally and internationally. Some institutions that will be represented at MERC include Max Planck Institute for Economics, Clemson University, Drexel University, Duke University, Emory University, George Washington University, Queensland University of Technology, Singapore Management Institute, St. Louis University, University of Amsterdam and University of New South Wales.

“We firmly believe that research in entrepreneurship is not the domain of any one academic discipline,” says Stough. “Not only have we opened the conference up to outside presenters, we have also opened up participation for anyone interested in general topics of entrepreneurship, such as regional development and the role of government, social entrepreneurship and risk taking.”

Mason researchers from SPP, SOM, and the Departments of Economics, Public and International Affairs and Environmental Science and Policy will present at MERC.

Mason professors speaking at the conference include Nicole Darnall, Environmental Science and Policy, who will present her research on regulatory stringency, green production offsets and organizations’ financial performance. Zoltan Acs, SPP, will present his research on a theory of destructive entrepreneurship with his colleague Sameeksha Desai from the University of Missouri. Sidhartha Das and Joshi, SOM, will present their research on corporate entrepreneurship.

For a complete schedule of events, visit the MERC web site.

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