Dr. Ronald K. Mitchell
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Dr. Ronald K. Mitchell is a Professor of Entrepreneurship, who holds the Jean Austin Bagley Regents Chair in Management in the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University. From July 2000 through May 2005, he held the Francis G. Winspear Chair in Public Policy and Business at the University of Victoria. Dr. Mitchell is also the recipient of the Faculty of Business Board of Advisors Distinguished Educator Award. In addition, during the period September 2001 through August 2004, he held a joint appointment as both a Professor in the Faculty of Business at the University of Victoria (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) and also as a Professor in the Strategy and Public Policy Department of the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University (Beijing, Peoples Republic of China). His academic career centers on three areas of research, teaching, and service: (1) better understanding the pathways to new value creation, (2) supporting the development of individual and organizational moral reasoning and ethical capacity, and (3) assisting with the effective engagement among actors within the global business community. Accordingly, he is a specialist in entrepreneurial cognition, global entrepreneurship, venture management, command to market system transition, stakeholder theory, and technology transfer systems; and he researches, consults, and lectures worldwide.
Dr. Mitchell earned his CPA in 1978 and received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 1994. He won the Academy of Management's 1995 Heizer Award (see also "Heizer Dissertation Abstracts" below) for his entrepreneurship dissertation:The composition, classification, and creation of new venture formation expertise. His interests center on increasing economic well-being in society-both domestically and internationally-through the study of entrepreneurs, the further development of stakeholder theory, and the introduction and development of transaction systems theory.
As noted above, the research conducted by Dr. Mitchell is focused on the identification of strategies for increasing economic well-being in society—both domestically and internationally—through the study of entrepreneurs (domestically and within the cross-cultural setting), the further development of stakeholder theory, and the development of transaction systems theory. For example, he is interested in increasing global human value-creating capacity through the study and development of multiple theoretical perspectives that support entrepreneurship across multiple levels of analysis.
Specifically, this involves:
1. The application of entrepreneurial cognition and organization theory to the problems of value creation, especially to the enhancement of entrepreneurial expertise in individuals, through innovative methods (such as the development and implementation of entrepreneurial expert assistance methods and computer technology) to increase their sustainable competitive advantage;
2. The exploration of strategy-based frameworks for increasing value creation through improving the success of organizations; and
3. The application of stakeholder, organizational, and transaction systems theory to the governance of firms as it relates to the sustainable engagement by the firm of the primary actors in its industry environment, and to addressing critical governance issues at the economy and society levels of analysis.
His research has resulted in publications in the top journals of both management and entrepreneurship, and in other respected outlets. During the period 2002 - 2007 Dr. Mitchell serves as the lead editor for the Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice three-volume special issue series on information processing and entrepreneurial cognition. As an active entrepreneurship researcher, Dr. Mitchell has undertaken an ambitious research agenda (see "Current Research Projects" below) to investigate the entrepreneurial domain at multiple levels of analysis: the individual (entrepreneur), the firm (venture), and the economy (marketplace), including the systematic investigation of cross-level implications.
Dr. Mitchell is also the co-designer of the transaction cognition-based University of Victoria Entrepreneurship Program, which has won both the Academy of Management Entrepreneurship Division's "Innovation in Pedagogy Award 1999," and the US Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) "Model Undergraduate Program Award 2000." He also co-designed the UVic MBA 3-course module in Global Entrepreneurship, which the magazine "Canadian Business" has named Canada's #1 MBA Program in Entrepreneurship. Dr. Mitchell has introduced a Global Entrepreneurship course based on this award-winning model into the IMBA curriculum of Peking University, Beijing, PRC.
Professor Mitchell is also an exceptionally effective, committed, and philosophically-driven teacher. Because of his deep commitment to a student-centered teaching philosophy, (as detailed more fully in his Teaching Dossier ), Dr. Mitchell values: (1) each student as an individual with unique interests and capabilities; (2) comprehension, appreciation, and creative expression of human knowledge; (3) the encouragement and expectation of analytical, critical and strategic thought; (4) the acquisition of new knowledge and its subsequent dissemination to others (especially those who have traditionally had limitations on their access to this knowledge), (5) service to the set of students who passionately desire to possess the knowledge base and problem solving methods used by expert entrepreneurs, and (6) extended (life-long) learning: making knowledge relevant, and as practically applicable as possible in the career of each student (please also see "Courses Taught" below).
Additionally, Professor Mitchell was instrumental in the founding and operation of The International Centre for Venture Expertise (the ICVE). The mission of the ICVE is to be the recognized leader in advancing expertise based entrepreneurship research, world-class curriculum design and delivery, and the creation of entrepreneurship technology and specialized programs, to improve the economic security and sustainability of venturing for entrepreneurs world-wide. The Centre strives to be a catalyst for renewed entrepreneurial spirit that emanates from Canada throughout the world, and furthers the goals of prosperity, humanity, and personal liberty in the global community. In its first five years of operation, the ICVE has had many research, teaching, and outreach accomplishments, and continues to inspire enthusiasm and commitment to its mission across a multitude of entrepreneurship stakeholders.
Selected service commitments include the following:
August 2005 – August 2006: PDW Chair (Assistant Program Chair)
2006-07: Program Chair
2007-08: Division Chair Elect
2008-09: ENT Division Chair
2009-10: Immediate Past Chair
As Winspear Chair, Professor Mitchell was engaged in five entrepreneurship-related public policy service initiatives:
1st - A First Nations Economic Initiative (concluded) in the Northwest area of the province of British Columbia: to assist in enabling economic development and cultural well-being in 25 communities representing 9 First Nations in this region, through the introduction of a cognition-based private sector entrepreneurship model. This involved active participation in the First Nations Think Tank on Wealth Creation 1999 - 2002, and has resulted in the publication of Think Tank findings in the book: Masters in Our Own House: The Path to Prosperity. Key chapters include the following:
2nd - A Greater China Initiative (also concluded): to link new entrepreneurial cognition-based models of global entrepreneurial management into the East Asian economy: Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Mainland China. This has resulted in holding in the fall of 2001 a venture capital professional training seminar: "21st Century Venture Capital" at the National Administrative University in Beijing (attended by approximately 25% of the venture capitalists active in PRC at the time); in my successful introduction of a course in Global Entrepreneurship into the curriculum of the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University; and also in the development of curriculum for an International Executive MBA seminar with National Sun Yat Sen University in Taiwan, held annually at the University of Victoria 2001 - 2003.
3rd - The Venture Analysis Standards 2004-08 Initiative (being extended): to launch the "quality movement" in entrepreneurial management and the formation of new ventures. Beginning at USASBE in 1998, and in response to the question: "Why should 50 - 80% of new ventures fail?", a group of dedicated scholars, is pressing forward with an initiative to form a "venture analysis standards board" exploratory committee by the end of the year 2008, and to introduce new venture technology into the process of entrepreneurial management and the formation of new ventures. This has resulted in the preparation and dissemination of the web-accessible (password controlled) software: the New Venture Template method of new business screening (the NVT method), supported by the Venture Analysis Standards 2000 Workbook, through teaching to and involvement of students, and (in the early stages of proposal and application) in the West Texas Coalition for Innovation and Commercialization, where properly trained individuals can apply this demonstration methodology to improve venture screening results.
Preliminary effectiveness studies (Babson Paper and Journal of Private Equity Paper) suggest that in using a "known attributes" approach to new venture evaluation, the "hit rate" of venture capital decisions can be tripled in comparison to less-systematic approaches. Currently, the entrepreneurship programs of several universities teach the NVT method of venture screening using the VAS 2000 Workbook, and companion audio and video tapes as textual materials; and the noted venture capital conference convenor: The Wayne Brown Institute, Salt Lake City Utah, has used the NVT screening method successfully for several years, and through its Cooperative Venturing Network offers training in improved venture screening. Additionally, governmental, NGO, banking, and private entities use the NVT method and related demonstration standards to contribute to the accomplishment of their various goals, which has been effective in generating the trained and experienced professionals needed to begin the formation of the VAS 2004-08 Steering Committee contemplated in this initiative. The major remaining hurdle is the establishment of a perpetual endowment for the continual updating, dissemination, and perpetuation of the venture analysis standards movement.
Dr. Mitchell's lectures on the six fundamental principles can be found on the web by accessing the following:
4th - The Entrepreneurial Research Lab (ERL) Initiative (concluded): through funding from the Research Council of Sweden (2004 - 2006) to explore entrepreneurial cognitions, decision-making, mentoring, entrepeneurial learning, and entrepreneurial success and failure.
The ERL Initiative embraces, with the data analysis and research dissemination phases, the previously successful data gathering and measurement phases of the
7-year longitudinal UVic quasi-experimental study, which were completed in 2003.
5th - The Global Economic Literacy Initiative (underway): to explore the role of entrepreneurial cognitions and the principles of entrepreneurial cognitions-based management, as a learnable type of language whereby "entrepreneurial transfer" can occur across a wide range of human value creation activities, thus (for example) complementing "technology transfer," and/or assisting in economic problem solving in non first-tier economies.
Bagley Chair Initiatives:
As the Jean Austin Bagley Chair, Professor Mitchell is now engaged in meeting with a wide variety of Bagley Chair Stakeholders to obtain the input needed to establish a set of Bagley Chair Initiatives.
Preliminary indications suggest focus in the areas of reputation, entrepreneurial transfer, and economic infrastructure building
related to the Texas Tech community. In service of these objectives, Professor Mitchell has Chaired the Grass-roots Committee on Intellectual Property and the Technology
Transfer "Possibilities Project." With the help of these very stakeholders, the results have been to identify best-practices and produce a plan for campus-to-community coordinated effort to substantially
increase the effectiveness of value creation in West Texas.
Initially, with Professor David Wyrick, former Brian Pierce Bagely Chain in Engineering, Professor Mitchell introduced the cross-discplinary
CTE Program: the Certificate in Technology Entrepreneurship; where students from both Colleges of Engineering and Business worked toegether to enable the creation of
new value through combining product and business creation skills. Now, with the student-coaching and funding assistance of Mr. Marc W. Gunderson, Rawls College of Business Entrepreneur-in-Residence, and Vice-Chancellor
for Research, Commercialization and Federal Relations, Mr. Jodey Arrington, Dr. Mitchell supervises the Commercializaiton Class Initiative, where students create businesses around TTU technologies.
This website has been created and is maintained: (a) to provide transparency and accountability in the work of Dr. Mitchell as the Jean Austin Bagley Chair in Management in the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University, (and formerly to provide the same service to stakeholders in his role as the Winspear Chair in Public Policy and Business at the University of Victoria, BC, Canada), (b) to assist in the dissemination of Dr. Mitchell's research to fellow scholars, policy makers, and business practitioners, by making this work easily accessible, and (c) to highlight many of the teaching and venture analysis methods that Dr. Mitchell has found to be valuable as an educator and business advisor.
Dr. Mitchell respectfully acknowledges and thanks his family, his academic colleagues, Dr. Fritz Faulhaber, the Francis G. Winspear Endowment,
the Research Council of Sweden, and now the Jean Austin Bagley Endowment, for their generous assistance and support in helping to achieve his academic objectives.
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