Summary of the 2010 Research Symposium on Marketing and Entrepreneurship

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1471-5201

Article publication date: 31 August 2010



Hansen, D.J. (2010), "Summary of the 2010 Research Symposium on Marketing and Entrepreneurship", Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 12 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Summary of the 2010 Research Symposium on Marketing and Entrepreneurship

Article Type: Summary From: Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Volume 12, Issue 2

The 2010 Research Symposium on Marketing and Entrepreneurship (“Symposium”) was held on 11-13 August, 2010, in Boston, Massachusetts (USA). The conference was organized, as it has been for the past 24 years, by Professor Gerald “Gerry” Hills of Bradley University (USA). As with past Symposia, attendees came from a number of predominantly English-speaking countries – Australia, Canada, England, Northern Ireland, USA and Wales – as well as several European nations – Finland, France, Italy, Germany and Sweden. Unfortunately, the economy had clearly taken its toll as the Symposium usually has even greater geographical representation. Missing this year were representatives from Africa, Asia and Central America, although there was one representative from Brazil. In fact, continuing the very international tradition of the Symposium, it was announced that next year’s meeting will be in Brazil. The date and specific location are yet to be determined, but likely will be in or around São Paulo in July or August.

One of the highlights of the Symposium, and what brings most people back each year, is the great collegiality. This year was no exception. The traditional “kick off” is an unofficial welcome reception on Wednesday night. It provided a chance for old friends to meet and new friendship to begin before the (slightly) more formal proceedings that would begin the following morning. For those unfamiliar with the Symposium, it is generally expected that everyone attend the entire meeting – it is not a conference in which one only attends one or two sessions. This helps to develop the collegiality that one quickly discovers upon their first time attending the Symposium. This familiarity and friendship also leads attendees to provide plenty of constructive feedback during the Q&A portion of each session. Attendees clearly want to see what is often early stage research develop to its full potential. Further supporting the goal of developing potential, a number of PhD students and junior faculty attended the Symposium with help of a scholarship funded with support from the Kauffman Foundation.

During Friday lunch, the second annual Gerald E. Hills Best Paper Award was presented. The award is presented annually to the author(s) of the best paper who have made a significant impact on entrepreneurial marketing research. The domain of nominated articles would be papers published in the previous ten years in any refereed publication, as long as the article significantly influenced the direction of the entrepreneurial marketing literature. This year the award went to Helena Yli-Renko for her paper with Erkko Autio and Harry J. Sapienza entitled “Social capital, knowledge acquisition, and knowledge exploitation in young technology-based firms” (Yli-Renko et al., 2001). The award is sponsored by the American Marketing Association Entrepreneurial Marketing Special Interest Group (AMA EM-SIG). The SIG’s Vice President for Research, Dr Can Uslay (Chapman University, USA), announced the award and Professor Hills, the namesake of the award, presented it.

As one would expect from a conference with both marketing and entrepreneurship in the title, there were plenty of papers that explored topics of the interface. Perhaps, the most common was a number of papers dealing with entrepreneurial and market orientations, along with a host of other orientations, such as learning, customer, innovation and entrepreneurial marketing. One paper, in particular, was an extension of an article published in this journal describing an EMICO framework (Jones and Rowley, 2009). There were also a number of papers on either entrepreneurial marketing or SME marketing.

There were two sessions focused on entrepreneurial marketing education. One involved a panel of speakers discussing their experiences of teaching entrepreneurial marketing, which was organized by emeritus Professor Dick Teach (Georgia Tech, USA). The experiences ranged from developing the course and teaching it for the first time, teaching it online (Jones and Iredale, 2009), writing a book, and the use of simulations. The other session included a report on teachers as role models and a teaching case.

Throughout the sessions, there were a wide variety of topics and methodologies. Topics included networks for innovation, indigenous entrepreneurship, finish metal bands as passionate and effectuating entrepreneurs, measurement issues in SME research, marketing success factors, contextual marketing, corporate entrepreneurship, value co-creation, branding, service dominant logic, business intelligence, intrapreneurship and elder entrepreneurs. The methods ranged from grounded theory, to case studies, to complex structural equation models using PLS as well as purely conceptual works. The Symposium clearly does not have a bias towards empirical or conceptual, nor qualitative or quantitative.

What some attendees described as their favorite session of the Symposium was a three-hour session devoted to advancing research at the marketing/entrepreneurship interface. The session was organized by Dr David J. Hansen (College of Charleston, USA) and Professor Claes Hultman (Örebro University, Sweden). The organizers designed the session to directly build upon what has become to be known as the “Charleston Summit” (Hansen and Eggers, 2010). The session began Friday morning with a 90-minute panel featuring eight leading marketing/entrepreneurship interface scholars. Each scholar gave a roughly ten-minute review of where they felt the future of interface research was headed. Following this, attendees were divided into six groups, each given a specific question to address. The questions were focused on what the interface is and how to move research forward. The questions included: what is the marketing entrepreneurship interface; what are the components of the interface; how can we define the interface; what perspectives of the interface can be identified; what are the theoretical foundations of the interface; and how can we position interface research for publication? One common theme among the groups was to view the marketing/entrepreneurship interface as more fuzzy than the traditional solid Venn diagrams. Hansen and Hultman will be collecting the summaries of each group and working on plans for the next step in moving research at the marketing and entrepreneurship interface forward.

David J. HansenDepartment of Management and Entrepreneurship,College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, USA


I would like to thank Fabian Eggers for his helpful comments.

About the author

David J. HansenAssistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at the College of Charleston, South Carolina, USA. His primary research focus examines the interface between entrepreneurial opportunity, product innovation and creativity. He is particularly interested in the conception and development of ideas into new products and businesses and researching in the context of sustainable/environmentally-focused business. David J. Hansen serves as an advisory board member for the Research Symposium on Marketing and Entrepreneurship and has co-edited several volumes of the symposium proceedings (aka “the blue books”). David J. Hansen can be contacted at:


Hansen, D.J. and Eggers, F. (2010), “The marketing/entrepreneurship interface: a report on the ‘Charleston Summit’”, Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 42–53

Jones, B. and Iredale, N. (2009), “Entrepreneurship education and Web 2.0”, Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 66–77

Jones, R. and Rowley, J. (2009), “Presentation of a generic ‘EMICO’ framework for research exploration of entrepreneurial marketing in SMEs”, Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 5–21

Yli-Renko, H., Autio, E. and Sapienza, H.J. (2001), “Social capital, knowledge acquisition, and knowledge exploitation in young technology-based firms”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 22, pp. 587–613

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