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Foundations of Entrepreneurship - 5 ECTS

Date and time

Monday 14 February 2022 at 09:00 to Monday 21 March 2022 at 16:00

Registration Deadline

Monday 14 February 2022 at 09:00


Room TBA, Campus TBA, 2000 Frederiksberg Room TBA
Campus TBA
2000 Frederiksberg

Foundations of Entrepreneurship - 5 ECTS

Event Description


Nicolai J. Foss (NJF), Professor, Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI), Copenhagen Business School

Ulrich Kaiser (UK), Professor, Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI), Copenhagen Business School

José Mata (JM), Professor, Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI), Copenhagen Business School

Ali Mohammadi (AM), Assistant Professor, Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI), Copenhagen Business School

Mirjam van Praag (MvP), Professor, Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI), Copenhagen Business School

Toke Reichstein (TR), Professor, Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI), Copenhagen Business School

Vera Rocha (VR), Associate Professor, Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI), Copenhagen Business School

Course Coordinator
José Mata (JM), Professor, Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI), Copenhagen Business School

Participants are expected to have basic knowledge of entrepreneurship, innovation theory, economics, and quantitative research methods such as econometrics and experiments. A basic understanding of core theories of organizations, strategic management, and the economic theory of the firm will be helpful but not mandatory. This is one of the specialized courses offered to SI doctoral students at CBS and is open to all Ph.D. students outside the department.

The main goal of the course is to increase familiarity with and develop an in-depth understanding of the key themes and empirical research methods of entrepreneurship. Emphasis will be put on empirical applications to test theories. Most of the course will be devoted to teaching how to do empirical research in the domain of entrepreneurship, broadly defined. Focus will be on the contributions making use of quantitative methods and data including experiments. Theories, frameworks, concepts, and controversies that collectively form the foundation for entrepreneurship research will be discussed. 

The course will aim to build capabilities in critically discussing and developing research questions/projects in entrepreneurship. Students will get acquainted with various methodological approaches employed in the field and learn to analytically review and evaluate academic articles from a diverse body of literature relevant to entrepreneurship research.

Course content

Entrepreneurship is a multidisciplinary research area with contributions from economics, psychology, sociology, geography, and management, just to mention a few. No other subject has attracted more scholarly, managerial, and policy attention than the phenomenon of entrepreneurship in recent years. From macro- and microeconomics to demography and organizational sociology, from finance and business studies to cognitive psychology, the quest for understanding its antecedents, sources, processes, and consequences has produced a large, vibrant, eclectic field. And with the growing advent of cross-disciplinary, multi-level work employing specialized panel data sets and more rigorous econometric techniques, initial concerns that the field lacked “a professional identity defined by a unifying theory” have abated.

The magnitude of academic interest in entrepreneurship is not surprising given its centrality for several key outcomes. Entrepreneurship has long been considered an engine of economic growth and regional development. Entrepreneurs have been shown to destroy established organizational competencies, shape evolutionary trajectories of technologies, cause substantial regulatory changes and create, enact and obliterate social topologies, organizational forms, markets, and industries. They have been placed at the heart of the theories of income inequality, social mobility, social welfare, and ethnic absorption, and they have been acknowledged to be a critical driver of the flow and distribution of resources across physical space. Research has also associated entrepreneurial acts with firm growth and performance, organizational revival, and global corporate expansion.

Foundations of Entrepreneurship is designed to offer an integrative view of how to do research to better understand why only some individuals but not others choose to become entrepreneurs, why only some persons but not others discover opportunities and exploit them, and why and how eventually only some ventures succeed and have a positive impact in society.

Teaching style

Lectures, student presentations, paper discussions, literature critiques.

In case of a new Covid-19 related lockdown, the teaching will take place online. Moreover, depending on who signs up for the course besides the PhD cohort at the Department of Strategy and Innovation, it is the intention to live-stream the sessions, so that remote participation will be possible.

Lecture plan

Feb 14 (9 am - 12 pm) – Reading and Writing Scholarly Papers in Entrepreneurship (JM)

Feb 14 (1 pm - 4 pm) – Entrepreneurship: Key Discussions and Concepts (NJF) 

Feb 21 (9 am - 12 pm) – Entrepreneurship and Personnel (VR)

Feb 21 (1 pm - 4 pm) – Entrepreneurial Finance (AM)

Feb 28 (9 am - 12 pm) – Organizational Heritage and Entrepreneurs (TR)

Feb 28 (1 pm - 4 pm) – Founders and Founding Conditions (JM)

Mar 7 (9 am - 12 pm) – Entrepreneurship and Established Firms (NJF) 

Mar 7 (1 pm - 4 pm) – Field Experiments in Entrepreneurship (MvP)

Mar 14 ---------- (no lectures)

Mar 21 (9 am - 12 pm) – High-frequency data and entrepreneurship research (UK)

Mar 21 (1 pm - 4 pm) – Presentation and discussion of term papers (TBD)

Learning objectives

The course is organized around interactive lectures on specific topics. Professors will primarily discuss their own research to emphasize research strategies and challenges. Students are expected to prepare presentations and to actively participate in class discussion. Altogether, we make sure that a set of important topics is discussed and that classic contributions to the literature around these focal themes are included in the course as well. This course aims at developing the students’ ability to write research papers in the field of entrepreneurship.

During the course, students will have the opportunity to develop a short research paper (or a research proposal) on a topic of their choice within the field of entrepreneurship. In any of the cases, there should be developed a brief conceptual part (introduction, theory, and hypotheses). The (tentative) data and the methodology should also be discussed. The difference between a paper and a research proposal is that in the research proposal, the actual empirical application has not been done yet. Consequently, in the latter, the discussion and presentation of results will not be included. As a guideline, the final assignment should be about 5-6 pages long. The last session of the course will be run as a series of parallel workshops in which students will have the opportunity to present their papers/proposals, which will then be discussed by fellow students and by a faculty member.

Assessment will be “pass/no-pass” based on the paper/proposal submitted and presented at the end of the course.


Start date

End date




Course Literature

Session 1 - Feb 14 (9 am - 12 pm) – Writing scholarly papers in entrepreneurship (JM)

At the end of your Ph.D., you should be able to communicate your research through written papers to be published in peer-review journals. Ideally, you also want your papers to be read and, if possible, make an impact and be cited in subsequent articles.

In this session, we will discuss several steps towards that goal. We discuss how to read scientific articles efficiently, and this discussion should provide insights on what you should pay attention to when writing your own articles. We discuss the importance of writing at an early stage, what a finished paper should look like, and the process by which initial ideas develop into a finished paper. Most of the ideas are general and hold in different scientific fields, not only in entrepreneurship.

  • How to Read and Review a Scientific Journal Article: Writing Summaries and Critiques, Writing Studio, Duke University
  • Larry McEnerney 2013 The problem of the problem, the University of Chicago writing program
  • Shepherd, D.A. and Wiklund, J., 2020. Simple rules, templates, and heuristics! An attempt to deconstruct the craft of writing an entrepreneurship paper, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 44(3) 371–390

 Further Readings

  • Bacq, S., Drover, W. and Kim, P.H., 2021. Writing bold, broad, and rigorous review articles in entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing36(6), p.106147.
  • Wennberg, K. and Anderson, B.S., 2020. Enhancing the exploration and communication of quantitative entrepreneurship research. Journal of Business Venturing35(3), p.105938.

Not all research on entrepreneurship will be published in field journals. Although most of the essential goals and techniques for writing scientific articles are the same across many disciplines, conventions for writing and publishing scholarly research are somewhat different in different disciplines. Below you find some guidelines for different disciplines concerned with entrepreneurship.


  • Bellemarey, Marc F. 2020, How to Write Applied Papers in Economics, mimeo
  • Dudenhefer, P. 2014 A Guide to Writing in Economics, Duke University





A few years ago, the Academy of Management Journal published a series of notes titled “FROM THE EDITORS: PUBLISHING IN AMJ". The insights in these notes are relevant for management research in general, including that in the field of entrepreneurship. The complete list of notes are as follows:

  • Colquitt and George (2011), Vol. 54, No. 3, pp. 432-435; Bono and McNamara (2011) Vol. 54, No. 4, pp. 657-660; Grant and (2011) Vol. 54, No. 5, pp. 873-879; Sparrowe and Mayer, (2011) Vol. 54, No. 6, pp. 1098-1102; Zhang and Shaw, (2012) Vol. 55, No. 1, pp. 8-12; Geletkanycz and Tepper, (2012) Vol. 55, No. 2, pp. 256-260; Bansal and Corley, (2012) Vol. 55, No. 3, pp. 509-513; George (2012) Vol. 55, No. 5, pp. 1023-1026

Session 2 - Feb 14 (1 pm - 4 pm) – Entrepreneurship: Key Discussions and Concepts (NJF) 

Over the last three decades, entrepreneurship has emerged as an essential and expanding part of management research. In this lecture, we survey and discuss various contemporary approaches to entrepreneurship in management research, focusing on issues such as: What is the proper unit of analysis for entrepreneurship research? Is entrepreneurship best thought of as the discovery of opportunities or rather creating new business plans dedicated to meeting customer preferences under uncertainty? Is entrepreneurship a behaviour or an occupation? Is it uniquely related to start-ups, or can we think of entrepreneurship in established firms? Etc.  


  • Shane, S., & Venkataraman, S. (2000). The Promise of Entrepreneurship as a Field of Research. Academy of Management Review, 25: 217-226.
  • McMullen, J., & Shepherd, D.A. (2006). Entrepreneurial Action and the Role of Uncertainty in the Theory of the Entrepreneur. Academy of Management Review,
  • Foss, N.J. & Klein, P.G. (2005). Entrepreneurship and the Theory of the Firm: Any Gains From Trade?, in Agarwal, R., Alvarez, S.A., & Sorenson, O. eds., Handbook of Entrepreneurship: Disciplinary Perspectives, Berlin: Springer.

Further Readings

  • Knight, F.H. (1921). Risk, Uncertainty and Profit. New York: Augustus M Kelley.
  • Kirzner, I.M. (1973). Competition and Entrepreneurship. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Foss, N.J. & Klein, P.G. (2012). Entrepreneurial Judgment and the Theory of the Firm. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Session 3 - Feb 21 (9 am - 12 pm) – Entrepreneurship and Personnel (VR)

Founders and startups get most of the coverage in academic, public, and policy debates. However, for every founder, one or several early employees often take nearly equal risks by joining an early-stage company. At the same time, hiring for startups is a particularly challenging process fraught with constraints and high uncertainty. This lecture will discuss some of the most recent research on the interplay between founders and joiners in new ventures, the selection of personnel for startups, and the career implications of working for a startup firm. Given the emergent nature of some of these questions, this session will also discuss potential research avenues in this area and the empirical challenges often faced when studying these questions, while having an overview of different methods that can tackle some of those issues.


  • Honoré, F., Ganco, M. (2020). “Entrepreneurial teams’ acquisition of talent: Evidence from technology manufacturing industries using a two-sided approach”, Strategic Management Journal,
  • Rocha, V., van Praag, M. (2020), “Mind the gap: The role of gender in entrepreneurial career choice and social influence by founders”, Strategic Management Journal, 41(5), 841-866.
  • Sorenson, O., Dahl, M. S., Canales, R., Burton, M.D. (2021), “Do startup employees earn more in the long run?”, Organization Science, 32(3): 587-604. 

Further Readings

  • Lazar, M., Miron-Spektor, E., Chen, G., Goldfarb, B., Erez, M., Agarwal, R. (2021), ”Forming entrepreneurial teams: Mixing business and friendship to create transactive memory systems for enhanced success”, Academy of Management Journal
  • Rocha, V., Carneiro, A., Varum, C. (2018), “Leaving employment to entrepreneurship: The value of coworker mobility in pushed and pulled-driven startups”, Journal of Management Studies, 55(1): 60-85.
  • Sauermann, H. (2018) “Fire in the belly? Employee motives and innovative performance in start-ups versus established firms.” Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 12(4): 423-454.

Session 4 - Feb 21 (1 pm - 4 pm) – Entrepreneurial Finance (AM)

Start-ups face “financing constraints” and financial decisions may profoundly influence future options and choices. In this session, we first focus on theoretical differences between entrepreneurial finance and corporate finance in general.  We then dive into different sources of financing (i.e., Venture capital and crowdfunding) and their impact on entrepreneurial ventures.


  • McKenzie, David. "Identifying and Spurring High-Growth Entrepreneurship: Experimental Evidence from a Business Plan Competition." American Economic Review, 107 (8): 2278-2307.
  • Amit, Brander, Zott, 1998: “Why do Venture Capital Firms Exist? Theory and Canadian Evidence,” Journal of Business Venturing 13, 441-466.
  • Shai Bernstein, Xavier Giroud, Richard R. Townsend, 2016. The Impact of Venture Capital Monitoring, Journal of Finance. 71( 4): 1591-1622.
  • Shafi, K, Mohammadi, A. and Johan, S. A. (forthcoming): Investment Ties Gone AwryAcademy of Management Journal
  • Song Ma, The Life Cycle of Corporate Venture Capital, The Review of Financial Studies, , hhz042,

Further Readings

  • Kaplan, S. N., & Stromberg, P. 2003. Financial contracting theory meets the real world: An empirical analysis of venture capital contracts. Review of Economic Studies, 70(2): 281-315.
  • Mohammadi, Ali and Shafi, Kourosh, How Wise Are Crowds? A Comparative Study of Crowds and Institutions in Peer-to-Business Online Lending Markets (August 15, 2016). Swedish House of Finance Research Paper No. 17-10; Available at SSRN:
  • Chemmanur TJ, Loutskina E, Tian, X. 2014. Corporate venture capital, value creation, and innovation. Review of Financial Studies 27(8):2434 –
  • Xavier Walthoff-Borm, Armin Schwienbacher, Tom Vanacker, 2018, Equity crowdfunding: First resort or last resort?, Journal of Business Venturing,Volume 33, Issue 4,2018.
  • Kaplan, S. N., Sensoy, B. A. and Strömberg, P. (2009), Should Investors Bet on the Jockey or the Horse? Evidence from the Evolution of Firms from Early Business Plans to Public Companies. The Journal of Finance, 64: 75-115. doi:1111/j.1540-6261.2008.01429.x

Session 5 -Feb 28 (9 am - 12 pm) – Organizational Heritage and Entrepreneurs (TR)

Entrepreneurship research is growingly giving more attention to the behaviours and practices installed in the newly started firms. Decisions about such management practicalities may or may not be taken consciously. Regardless of how these decisions are made, there is an underlying assumption that newly established firms are fonts of their parent firms. Entrepreneurs are assumed to draw heavily on their experience when deciding on the organizational practices that will be installed in their start-up. Organizational heritage has implications for our understanding of why specific practices tend to be adopted broadly in a particular context and not so much in others, why the variations in organizational practices are relatively limited, and our knowledge on the operations and performances of startups. The session on organizational heritage will discuss the mechanisms that precipitate organizational heritage, provide an account of the theoretical contributions on the topic, list challenges in studying organizational heritage, and itemize the implications of the organizational heritage hypothesis.


  • Feldman, M. P., Ozcan, S., & Reichstein, T. (2019). Falling Not Far from the Tree: Entrepreneurs and Organizational Heritage. Organization Science, 30(2), 337-360.
  • Sørensen, J. B., & Fassiotto, M. A. (2011). Organizations as fonts of entrepreneurship. Organization Science, 22(5), 1322-1331.
  • Dencker JC, Gruber M, Shah S (2009) Pre-entry knowledge, learning, and the survival of new firms. Organ. Sci. 20(3):516–537.

Further Readings 

  • Agarwal R, Campbell BA, Franco AM, Ganco M (2016) What do I take with me? The mediating effect of spin-out team size and tenure on the founder–firm performance relationship. Acad. Management J. 59(3):1060–1087.
  • Chatterji AK (2009) Spawned with a silver spoon. Strategic Management J. 30(2):185–206.
  • Ruef M. (2005) Origins of organizations: The entrepreneurial process. Res. Sociol. Work 15:63–100.

Session 6 - Feb 28 (1 pm - 4 pm) – Founders and Founding Conditions (JM)

The conditions in which firms are founded lead to some initial decisions which may profoundly affect the characteristics of the firms. These conditions may imprint firms and the influence of initial conditions may persist even if the conditions are subsequently changed. An essential element of these founding conditions is the founder or the founding team. This session discusses the influence of founders and environmental founding conditions and the changes in these conditions upon the performance of firms.

  • Cabral, L. and J. Mata, 2003 “On the Evolution of the Firm Size Distribution: Facts and Theory” American Economic Review, 93 (4), 1075–1090, 2003.
  • Geroski, P. A., J. Mata and P. Portugal 2010 “Founding Conditions and the Survival of New Firms”, Strategic Management Journal, 31, 510–529, 2010.
  • Aoun, A., J. Mata and A. Schatt 2022 Founder CEOs in R&D alliances, mimeo

Further Readings

  • Choi, J.; N. Goldschlag; J. C. Haltiwanger; and J. D. Kim 2021 “Founding Teams and Startup Performance”, NBER, Working Paper 28417
  • Tzabbar, D. and J. Margolis 2021 “Beyond the Startup Stage: The Founding Team’s Human Capital, New Venture’s Stage of Life, Founder–CEO Duality, and Breakthrough Innovation, Organization Science 28(5):857-872.

Session 7 - Mar 7 (9 am - 12 pm) – Entrepreneurship and Established Firms (NJF) 

Starting from the notion that entrepreneurship is a behaviour that is not limited to start-ups, we link entrepreneurship to the established firms and their organizational design. We will also consider the role of external knowledge sources in the entrepreneurial process, forging a link to the open innovation literature (Foss, Lyngsie & Zahra), and the role of gender in explaining entrepreneurial outcomes (Lyngsie & Foss).  Finally, we consider the role of top management in the entrepreneurial process, linking to the literature on intrapreneurship, corporate venturing, etc. (Barney, Foss, & Lyngsie)


  • Foss, N.J., Lyngsie, J. & Zahra, S. (2013). The Role of External Knowledge Sources and Organizational Design in the Process of Opportunity Exploitation. Strategic Management Journal, 34: 1453–1471.
  • Lyngsie, J. & Foss, N.J. (2017). The More, the Merrier? Women in Top-management Teams and Entrepreneurship in Established Firms. Strategic Management Journal, 38: 487-515.
  • Barney, J.B, Foss, N.J. & Lyngsie, J. (2018). The Role of Senior Management in Opportunity Formation: Direct Involvement or Reactive Selection? Strategic Management Journal, 39(5): 1325-49 (2018).

Further Readings

  • Baumol, W. (2010). The Microtheory of Innovative Entrepreneurship. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Session 8 - Mar 7 (1 pm - 4 pm) – Field Experiments in Entrepreneurship (MvP)

In this session, we discuss various field experiments in entrepreneurship. Huber et al, (2020), Lindquist et al. (2015) and Karlan et al. (2015) are related to the question: Can entrepreneurship be taught? This question has been subject to heated debate for many years. The sharp increase in the number of entrepreneurship education programs offered suggests that the consensus has become that entrepreneurship can indeed be taught. From a policy perspective, this is an appealing thought. The possibility that entrepreneurship can be taught creates a window of opportunity for (educational) policies to enhance entrepreneurship. Two more field experiments in entrepreneurship are discussed in this session: one about risk and loss attitudes of entrepreneurs (Koudstaal et al., 2016) and one about the valuation of earlier entrepreneurial failure by investors (Zunino et al., 2022).


  • Rosendahl Huber, L., Sloof, R. & van Praag, C.M. (2014), The Effect of Early Entrepreneurship Education: Evidence from a Field Experiment  The European Economic Review, Vol. 72, 11.2014, pp. 76-97
  • Lindquist, M., Sol, J. & van Praag, C.M. (2015), Why do Entrepreneurial Parents Have Entrepreneurial Children?  Journal of Labor Economics,  Vol. 33, No. 2, 4.2015, pp. 269-296
  • Fairlie, R., D. Karlan and J. Zinman, Behind the GATE Experiment: Evidence on Effects of and Rationales for Subsidized Entrepreneurship Training, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 7(2), 125-161
  • Koudstaal, M., Sloof, R. & van Praag, M. (2016), Risk, Uncertainty and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from a Lab-in-the-Field Experiment  Management Science,  Vol. 62, No. 10, pp. 2897-2915
  • Zunino, D., G. Duschnitsky & M. van Praag (2022) How do investors evaluate past entrepreneurial failure? Unpacking failure due to lack of skill versus bad luck in the context of equity crowdfunding, forthcoming Academy of Management Journal.

Mar 14 --- (no lectures) Research papers/proposals are due on this date

Session 9 - Mar 21 (9 am - 12 pm) – High-frequency data and entrepreneurship research (UK)

This session will discuss recent advances in exploiting publicly available, real-time, high-frequency business register data for entrepreneurship research. Relatedly, we will discuss what the availability of such data implies for economic policy and strategic management. The work of Scott Stern’s group will be our point of departure and our journey will take us to three main applications: (i) the geography of entrepreneurship, (ii) performance forecasting and (iii) the Covid19 pandemic. In addition, ongoing research based on both Danish and Swiss business register data will be discussed in this session.   


High-frequency data and entrepreneurship research  

Application (i): High-frequency data and the geography of entrepreneurship 

  • Andrews, RJ, C Fazio, Y Liu, J Guzman, and S Stern. 2020. The Startup Cartography Project: Measuring and Mapping Entrepreneurial Ecosystems;

Application (ii): High-frequency data and performance forecasting 

  • Kaiser, Uand Kuhn, JM. 2020. The value of publicly available, textual and non-textual information for startup performance prediction, Journal of Business Venturing Insights 14;

Application (iii): High-frequency data and the Covid19 pandemic 

Further readings

High-frequency data and entrepreneurship research  

  • Bayard, K,Dinlersoz, E, Dunne, T, Haltiwanger, J, Miranda, J and Stevens, J. 2018. Early-Stage Business Formation: An Analysis of Applications for Employer Identification Numbers, NBER working paper;
  • Guzman, J and Stern, S. 2017.Nowcasting and Placecasting Entrepreneurial Quality and Performance;

Application (i): High-frequency data and the geography of entrepreneurship 

  • Guzman, J. 2018. Go West Young Firm:  The Benefits of Startup Relocation to Silicon Valley;
  • Guzman, J and S Stern. 2020. The State of American Entrepreneurship? New Estimates of the Quantity and Quality of Entrepreneurship for 32 US States, 1988-2014, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. 12 (4): 212-43;

Application (ii): High-frequency data and performance forecasting 

Application (iii): High-frequency data and the Covid19 pandemic 

Session 10 - Mar 21 (1 pm - 4 pm) – Workshop for paper development (TBD)

This last lecture will be run in parallel sessions with three students and a faculty member and will be devoted to discussing term papers/proposals. Papers/proposals are due on March 14. During the workshop, each student will make a 20-minute presentation of his/her own paper/proposal. On March 15 each student will receive the other papers to be presented in the same session and should be prepared to make a 5-minute discussion of each paper/proposal during the session. The faculty member will also provide feedback on the different papers.

Event Location

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Organizer Contact Information

CBS PhD School
Nina Iversen

Phone: +45 3815 2475

Organizer Contact Information

CBS PhD School
Nina Iversen

Phone: +45 3815 2475