HOW DO GREAT IDEAS MATERIALIZE? SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS AMONG SEVERELY CHALLENGED ENTREPRENEURS

Winson-Ng

Warmest greetings to the research website of Prof. Wilson Ng! 

I research and teach entrepreneurial processes in designing & developing severely challenged enterprises. Important contemporary examples of these enterprises are “disabled ventures”, which are formed by physically and/or mentally impaired entrepreneurs to exploit social & commercial opportunities that arise from their disabilities. I research how disabled entrepreneurs design & develop successful social & commercial ventures based on their ideas, leadership, adaptability, & enterprise.

My current research explores comparative processes of opportunity formation among visually impaired entrepreneurs (who are registered as blind people) in the USA, UK, and European Union. This research focuses on improving the daily lives of physically impaired people. I seek to do so by disseminating knowledge of diverse ways in which “disabled” people draw on their visible & invisible disabilities as powerful resources to overcome economic & social barriers of our sighted & able-bodied world.

What may be learned from this research?

A crucial outcome of my disabled research is for businesses, social organizations, entrepreneurs, and students to understand how they may launch successful ventures without having to endure the typical experience of failure when they first bring new ideas to the market. In our world that disabled entrepreneurs share, they have much less room for failure- because of their disabilities- than many other entrepreneurs. How then can non-disabled entrepreneurs learn from disabled entrepreneurs & cut out our failures? Impossible? One of my first lessons is how disabled entrepreneurs have to cut out failure in order to survive. Moreover, I explain how visually-impaired entrepreneurs have created a series of successful ventures because of their disabilities [See “Disabled” Entrepreneurs Section],

A further example of my interest in challenged enterprises is in my continuing research of long-lived businesses that were formed out of extreme social and economic challenges faced by their founding families. Most of the family businesses that I have written about remain owned and/or controlled by their founding families. My interest here is in understanding the persistence of family control in long-lived businesses that no longer face the extreme challenges of their founders.

I am a Visiting Professor in Entrepreneurship & Family Business at Regent’s University London. I was appointed in June 2018 to lead the launch and development of Regent’s Entrepreneurship and Family Business Centre. I am also contracted by the University to contribute my research and publications to this Research Centre. Furthermore, I continue to supervise five PhD students, including students I brought over to Regent’s from my previous university.

In addition to my role at Regent’s, from October 2019 I was appointed an Adjunct Professor of Corporate Finance at Emlyon Business School in Écully, France. My principal responsibility at Emlyon is to teach a core module in corporate finance to graduate students on the International MBA program.

This personal website has two, equal purposes:

  1. To present my research, teaching, and consulting activities, with links to a number of my recent publications on challenged entrepreneurs and their enterprises, &
  2. To offer novice researchers a convenient, preliminary guide in conceiving, developing, and operationalizing their research, from scratch.

My personal profile is posted here: See Profile.

Research Projects:

My principal research projects are set out in the following sections on:

  1. Opportunity formation processes among physically-challenged entrepreneurs [See “Disabled” Entrepreneurs Section],
  2. The nature and practices of family-owned and/or controlled enterprises [See Family Businesses Section], &
  3. Environmentally and/or technologically-challenged organizations [See Large Technology Organizations Section].

My research publications and my work-in-progress for publications are posted here: [See Publications].

All my research outputs, comprising my publications and successful funding, & my history of academic roles & services are posted on my ORCID webage: <https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2079-4747>.

Where am I presenting my research?

From October 2020, I will be presenting my research at the following principal events. More events will be added as I confirm my participation. Except where indicated, all events will be virtual because of the current pandemic:

  1. October 22-23: Colloquium organised by IDRAC Lyon & DMU Leicester Castle Business School in Avignon, France. I will be giving a keynote talk on visually impaired entrepreneurs (published work & new, unpublished data collected with Félix Arndt at University of Guelph, Canada, & Dianne H.B. Welsh at University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA). Additionally, I will be presenting a paper on “Soft” Family Influence without Ownership: Consanguineous Management without “Hard” Shareholding Control in a Large Family Firm” (in collaboration with Natalia Vershinina at Audencia Business School, France).
  2. November 12-13: Third Annual Diversity & Inclusion Research Conference (<dirc20.org>) to be held in New York, USA. I will be giving a keynote talk at this now-virtual conference about my research on opportunity formation among visibly & invisibly impaired entrepreneurs.

In the past 18 months, I have presented my research principally at the following events:

  1. September 2-4, 2020: The British Academy of Management (BAM’s) annual conference in Manchester, UK. I presented an accepted paper at this conference with the title: “Do-It-Yourself Laboratories as Integration-based Ecosystems”(in collaboration with Félix Arndt & Tori Huang). The open, non time-limited recording of my presentation for this conference is available at: <https://vimeo.com/444648241>. This theory-building paper was submitted to the innovation management journal, Technological Forecasting & Social Change (TF&SC), for a Special Issue of this journal on “The Rise of Do-It-Yourself Laboratories: Implications for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy”. Following an invitation to revise & resubmit, on August 7, 2020 the paper was unconditionally accepted for this Special Issue of TF&SC & is now published: <https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040162520310751?dgcid=author>.
  2. August 7-11, 2020: The Academy of Management’s 80th Annual Conference to be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. On August 9 at 16.00 EDT I presented an accepted paper at this virtual conference with the title: “Soft” Family Influence without Ownership: “The ‘Goodness’ of Consanguineous Managers following a Loss of ‘Hard’ Shareholding Control” (co-authored with Natalia Vershinina & Matthew Cadbury). The open, non time-limited recording of my presentation for this conference is available at: <https://youtu.be/LEX8nKd4Kb8>. Following internal reviews, this paper has been submitted to an entrepreneurship journal. Additionally, a second, spin-off paper with the same data has been developed for another US journal.
  3. March 6, 2020: Digital Transformation & Circular Entrepreneurship Conference (Co-sponsored by the University of Falmouth & the British Academy of Management), University of Falmouth, Cornwall, England, where I presented an early draft of the paper cited immediately above & which was then titled: “Do-It-Yourself Laboratories as Enablers and Beneficiaries of Social Change: A Multi-dimensional Perspective (in collaboration with Félix Arndt & Tori Huang).
  4. September 3-5, 2019: The British Academy of Management Annual Conference in Birmingham, UK, where I presented my Journal of Business Venturing Insights (JBVI) (published in June 2019) on visually impaired entrepreneurs: “Leveraging Extreme Challenges for Successful Venture Creation” (co-authored with Félix Arndt). An earlier version of the article was accepted as a full paper for presentation at this Conference. The paper won the 2019 Best Paper Award in the Entrepreneurship Track of this Conference.
  5. August 7, 2019: Seminar at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, where I presented the same JBVI article to faculty members and students of the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics.
  6. February 28 to March 2, 2019: The Organization Science Winter Conference in Phoenix AZ, USA, where I presented my working paper titled: “Venture Creation among Visually-impaired Entrepreneurs” (co-authored with Félix Arndt) at this invitation-only meeting hosted by the FT45-ranked journal, Organization Science.

The photograph at the top left of this webpage shows the paper’s co-author, Professor Félix Arndt (University of Guelph, Canada), & me at BAM’s 2019 Annual Conference with our Best Paper Award in Entrepreneurship.

At this conference, I also presented a discussion paper on “The Nature and Effects of ‘Soft’ Family Influence in the Success of an Iconic, Long-lived Enterprise”. This paper, which will be presented at the Academy of Management’s Annual Conference in August 2020, is based on original data gained from deep access to stakeholders and archives of one of Britain’s oldest firms, Cadbury. This firm with an iconic brand-name was owned and/or controlled by founding family members for almost 180 years.

The Cadbury paper is co-researched & co-authored with Professor Natalia Vershinina (Audencia Business School) & Dr Matthew Cadbury (University of Hertfordshire). Matthew is a member of the fifth generation of the founding Cadbury family and worked for over 11 years as a senior manager in the formerly family-owned firm.

Data for this paper were also obtained from Cadbury family and corporate archives at Cadbury’s corporate HQ in Bournville, Birmingham. Further information on the paper is set out below [See Family Businesses & Other Closely-controlled Enterprises Section].

Teaching:

My teaching is principally based on the knowledge that I derive from my research & consulting activities (my consulting work is set out in the section immediately below this.) I teach doctoral, MBA, MSc, Executive, and UG classes in both research-led and teaching-intensive Higher Education Institutions. I continue to lead all of the classes I teach, mostly in entrepreneurship and innovation management. This teaching is based on a creative approach to student learning, involving interactive class experience of core topics in entrepreneurship and innovation, and internships in SMEs in EU (for UK students) and UK (for EU students). Classwork in the UK involves regular interaction, in real time, with participants in the same class in Emlyon and UNICA Sardinia where I also teach.

This discursive and experiential approach to learning is sensitive to cultural identities and local resources and seeks to build students’ understanding of people-centered processes in venture creation by contrasting the learning experiences of students from different social backgrounds. As a learning coach, I set out learning outcomes, and then facilitate external interaction among students and propose thought frameworks for them to explore their own pathways in achieving targeted outcomes.

My teaching record at PhD, Postgraduate, and Undergraduate levels are set out in my Profile page [See Profile] as well as in the Section on Supervision & Teaching [See Supervision and Teaching Section].

Consulting:

A key input of my research and teaching of challenged entrepreneurs is in my consulting activities. I currently perform the following non-executive, advisory roles in several UK-based technology start-ups:

  1. Advisory Board Member of a UK FinTech crowd-funding & crypto-coin venture, https://crowdforangels.com/our-team,
  2. Founding Director of a scientific R&D venture, based in Cambridge Science Park, UK, that is in the process of commercializing a recent breakthrough, discovered by the venture’s CEO, in High Temperature Superconductivity: <http://lausuperconductors.com>, &
  3. Founding Partner of a consulting venture offering valuation services for start-up enterprises, focusing on technology start-ups: <http://businessvaluationintl.com/our-hq-partners/>.

My consulting work in all three ventures is in advising on their strategic growth & corporate development as commercial entities in their respective industries.

Please feel free to email me with questions & comments on my research, teaching, & consulting work at: <NgW@regents.ac.uk> & <wilson.ng@ext.emlyon.com>.

My Skype address is: <kangtzu1>. I also use many other social media platforms through my UK and Italy mobile phones. Please email me for these numbers.

MY RESEARCH PROJECTS

Challenge-based Social and Commercial Entrepreneurs: Strategic Development of Family and Kin-owned and/or Controlled Enterprises, Opportunity Formation in Ethnic Minority Ventures, Social and Environmental Challenges of Technology-dependent Organizations, Processes of Venture Creation among Physically and Mentally-impaired Entrepreneurs.
Blind-Entrepreneurs

New Venture Creation among ``Disabled`` Entrepreneurs

My principal research is about building knowledge of opportunity formation processes among physically and mentally impaired entrepreneurs. What may be learned about these processes that may benefit non-disabled enterprises?…

Read More »

Family Businesses
Family Businesses & Other Closely-controlled Enterprises

My doctoral research (2000-2003) explored the persistence of family-controlled enterprises in several fast-developing economies of Southeast Asia…

Read More »

Environmental
Environmental & Social Challenges of Large Technology-dependent Organizations

Despite media interest in Britain’s nuclear industry, a key issue of public concern has been missing from discussion on and about issues in this industry..

Read More »

New-Venture-Development
New Venture Development among ``Disabled`` Entrepreneurs

My venture development activities for physically and mentally-impaired entrepreneurs will be channelled through an enterprise and research center…

Read More »

Professor Wilson NG
Doctoral Supervision and PG & UG Teaching

I supervise six PhD students who are at various stages of completion in the fields of small business studies, strategic management, and organization studies, including a University…

Read More »

MY RESEARCH PROJECTS

Challenge-based Social and Commercial Entrepreneurs: Strategic Development of Family and Kin-owned and/or Controlled Enterprises, Opportunity Formation in Ethnic Minority Ventures, Social and Environmental Challenges of Technology-dependent Organizations, Processes of Venture Creation among Physically and Mentally-impaired Entrepreneurs.
Blind-Entrepreneurs

New Venture Creation among ``Disabled`` Entrepreneurs

Most of my current research is about building knowledge of opportunity formation processes among physically and/or mentally impaired entrepreneurs…

Read More »

Family Businesses
Family Businesses & Other Closely-controlled Enterprises

My doctoral research (2000-2003) explored the persistence of family-controlled enterprises in several fast-developing economies of Southeast Asia…

Read More »

Environmental
Environmental & Social Challenges of Large Technology-dependent Organizations

Despite media interest in Britain’s nuclear industry, a key issue of public concern has been missing from discussion on and about issues in this industry..

Read More »

New-Venture-Development
New Venture Development among ``Disabled`` Entrepreneurs

My venture development activities for physically and mentally-impaired entrepreneurs will be channelled through an enterprise and research center…

Read More »

Professor Wilson NG
Doctoral Supervision and PG & UG Teaching

I supervise six PhD students who are at various stages of completion in the fields of small business studies, strategic management, and organization studies, including a University…

Read More »

PROFESSORIAL LECTURE