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Kelley School of Business

George Vlahakis
University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, October 13, 2011

IU Kelley School of Business professors honored as 'thought leaders' for their entrepreneurship research

Oct. 13, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Two professors at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, Dean A. Shepherd and Herman Aguinis, recently were honored at the Academy of Management annual conference for their respective research articles.

The Entrepreneurship Thought Leader Award is presented for recently published research papers that demonstrate the most promise for lasting impact and demonstrate thought leadership within the field of entrepreneurship.

Shepherd, the Randall L. Tobias Chair in Entrepreneurial Leadership and professor of entrepreneurship, published an article titled "Cognitive Processes of Opportunity Recognition: The Role of Structural Alignment," in the March/April 2010 edition of Organization Science. The article was co-authored with Denis A. Grégoire and Pamela S. Barr from Georgia State University.

The article focused on understanding not only what factors facilitate the recognition of opportunities, but also why these factors play such a role in opportunity recognition. The authors studied the reasoning strategies that individuals mobilize for recognizing opportunities. Their study found that different kinds of mental connections play different roles in the process of recognizing opportunities, with different consequences.

By drawing attention to the cognitive underpinnings of opportunity recognition, the study provided a useful basis for exploring the factors that explain why some individuals/organizations are able to recognize opportunities that others simply fail to see.

Organization Science is ranked among the top journals in management by the Social Science Citation Index in terms of impact and is widely recognized all over the world in the fields of organization theory, entrepreneurship, strategic management, sociology, economics, political science, history, information science, communication theory and psychology.

"I am thrilled that the Academy of Management believes that future research will build heavily on this paper's theoretical model and empirical approach to gain a deeper understanding of the cognitive processes that underlie opportunity recognition," Shepherd. said. "This is reflection of the high caliber of entrepreneurship research emanating from the Kelley School."

Herman Aguinis

Herman Aguinis

Print-Quality Photo

Aguinis, the Dean's Research Professor and professor of organizational behavior and human resources, also was a recipient of the Thought Leader Award with his article titled "Using Experience Sampling Methodology to Advance Entrepreneurship Theory and Research," published in the January 2010 edition of Organizational Research Methods. His co-authors were Marilyn A. Uy of the University of Victoria and Maw-Der Foo of the University of Colorado.

In the article, the authors proposed the use of experience sampling methodology (ESM) as an innovative methodological approach to address critical questions in entrepreneurship research. ESM requires participants to provide reports of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors at multiple times across situations as they happen in the natural environment. Thus, ESM allows researchers to capture dynamic person-by-situation interactions, as well as between- and within-person processes, improve the ecological validity of results and minimize retrospective biases. The authors discussed implications of ESM-based research for entrepreneurs, business incubators and entrepreneurship educators.

Organizational Research Methods (ORM) is sponsored by the Academy of Management Research Methods Division and is the premier journal dedicated to research methodology in the organizational sciences. Based on objective data on research impact regarding how often scholarly articles are cited by other researchers, ORM is among the top 5 percent most impactful journals among all management and applied psychology scientific journals in the world.

"My colleagues and I are delighted and honored to have received this award from the Academy of Management. Although we were recognized for this particular article, our work is just one example of the many high-quality and high-impact research projects conducted by faculty at Kelley," Aguinis said.