Innovation and Entrepreneurship

PhD opportunities


The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is committed to delivering research that is academically excellent and adds social value by addressing some of the problems facing the world today. This type of research is relevant for all management studies scholars but particularly for those with a research interest in entrepreneurship and innovation.

London is one of the top cities in the world for business, finance and trade, and is a unique learning environment for students from the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to exploit.

Research areas

The Institute is able to supervise projects in the following research areas:

Business models

Led by Dr Yang Zhao, this area of research focuses on the following themes:

  • Business model innovation
  • Process thinking in business model design
  • Platform business model
  • Digital enterprises 
  • Online entrepreneurial activity
  • Digital innovation processes and outcomes

Corporate Governance

Led by Dr Anna Grosman, this area of research focuses on the following themes:

  • State capitalism 
    Corporate governance: board structures and processes
    Comparative corporate governance
    Top management team attributes and behaviours
    Corporate data responsibility and big data 
    Executive compensation, executive turnover and their impact on decision-making

Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation

Led by Dr Kun Fu, this area of research focuses on the following themes:

  • Innovative entrepreneurship
  • Formal and informal entry into entrepreneurship
  • University spin-outs
  • Contextual influences on strategic entrepreneurship 
  • Entrepreneurs’ re-entry decision and growth intention.
  • Drivers and growth potential of hybrid entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurship ecosystem
  • Innovation ecosystem

Family Businesses

Led by Dr Louise Scholes, this research area focuses on the following themes:

  • Innovation and entrepreneurship across generations in family businesses
  • Governance in family businesses, including boards, trustees, and family councils
  • Family versus non-family relationships (harmony/conflict)
  • Leadership and decision-making in family businesses
  • Family exit and management buy-outs
  • Internationalisation of family firms
  • Social entrepreneurship

Psychology and Entrepreneurship

Led by Dr Peggy Alexopoulou, this area of research focuses on:

  • Multitasking
  • Information systems
  • Organisation studies
  • Project teams
  • Psychology and entrepreneurship
  • Psychology and business communication (communication in a business context, the relationship between technology and business communication and how to resolve any issues) 
  • Wearable technology and its benefits

Smart Cities Technologies

Led by Dr Roy Meriton, this area of research focuses on the following themes:

  • Supply chain digitalisation
  • Disruptive innovations
  • Redistributed manufacturing
  • Maker spaces
  • Big data
  • Data-enabled capabilities
  • Internet of things
  • Creative industries business model innovation

Social Science and Enterprise

Led by Dr Angela Dy, this area of research focuses on the following themes:

  • Intersectionality and entrepreneurship 
  • Digital and online entrepreneurial activity
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Creative and cultural industries enterprise
  • Entrepreneuring on the margins

Society and Institutions

Led by Dr Justin Tumlinson, this area of research focuses on the following themes:

  • Team formation and teamwork
  • Incentives of discrimination
  • Culture in organisations and education
  • Consequences and drivers of inequality
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and environment
  • Economics of information and learning in institutions

Sustainability and Innovation

Led by Dr Tao Zhang, this area of research focuses on the following themes:

  • Government policies and firm innovation
  • Open innovation, specially the open innovation of Small Market Enterprises (SMEs)
  • Customer involvement and new product development
  • Sustainability, eco-innovation and energy
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and innovation


Led by Dr Surya Mahdi, this area of research focuses on the following themes:

  • Management of technological innovation
  • The behaviour of innovating organisations and individuals
  • Systems of innovation
  • High-technology entrepreneurship
  • New venture creation
  • New product/service development
  • Open innovation, open business model and open entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation in developing nations

Economics of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Led by Dr Ehsan Khavandkar, this area of research focuses on the following themes:

  • Economics of innovation, systems of innovation, evolutionary processes and S&T policy
  • Regional and macro-level determinants of entrepreneurship, institutions and network effects
  • Geography of innovation, innovation and knowledge ecosystems, and agglomeration studies
  • Co-creation models, open innovation, innovation intermediaries [particularly, in/and for micro and small enterprises]
  • Co-evolution mechanisms, collaborative and coopetition-based business models and sustainability [particularly, in/and for micro and small enterprises]
  • Knowledge diffusion, Intellectual capital management and dynamic capabilities

Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Led by Maya Cara, this area of research focuses on the following themes:

  • Organisational structure and Innovation
  • Intrapreneurship (corporate entrepreneurship)
  • Corporate Venture Capital
  • Government policies and entrepreneurship
  • Blockchain implementation in non-financial sectors

How to apply

Apply now All MPhil and PhD applications must be made online.

Applications for research should indicate the institute within which you would like to study and preferably the member(s) of staff whose research area is of most interest to you. If you’d like to make an application, we strongly recommend contacting your preferred supervisor in advance to discuss your research proposal in more detail.

To see a full list of academic staff within the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, please visit the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship staff page. Please use our online application portal to submit your research proposal, and clearly outline the question you intend to address. You should also include an overview of your subject area and proposed research methods.

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PhD facilities and support

As a PhD student with us, you will have 24-hour access to our dedicated research hub, stunning library and fully-equipped kitchen facilities.

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PhD fees and funding

Studying for a PhD is a significant but incredibly rewarding investment for your career and for your future. Visit our fees and funding pages to find out whether you are eligible for financial support towards your studies.

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