Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Discoveries: Make Me a Master Scholar in Management and Entrepreneurship

April 20, 2011

Professor Ron Mitchell records insights from top scholars and editors in entrepreneurship research for his newly published book.

by Katie Allen and Danielle Dunn

What does it take to become a top scholar in entrepreneurship research? How does a researcher get his or her work published in the top entrepreneurship journals - or in the top management journals, for that matter? Ron Mitchell, a professor of entrepreneurship and Bagley Regents Chair in Management in Texas Tech's Rawls College of Business, has heard these questions from up-and-coming scholars throughout his career in academia and decided to do something about it. As a major research initiative, he gathered the top scholars in the field, the editors of the top journals and recently published new scholars, to record their insights for a newly published book.

"The research field is like a craft - sort of like silversmiths or filmmakers - and you have to learn how each craft works," Mitchell said. "How you learn the craft of becoming an expert researcher is rather mystifying to a lot of graduate students and junior professors."

Released in March 2011, the book, "In Search of Research Excellence: Exemplars in Entrepreneurship," is co-authored by Mitchell and Richard Dino, associate professor and Northeast Utilities Scholar in Technological Entrepreneurship in the Department of Management at the University of Connecticut School of Business. Experts featured in the book include Howard Aldrich, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill; Jay Barney, The Ohio State University; Michael Hitt and Duane Ireland, Texas A&M University; Patricia P. McDougall, Indiana University; and S. "Venkat" Venkataraman, University of Virginia. The book is meant to serve as a "coach" and reference guide for scholars with an interest in getting their entrepreneurship research published in the most respected peer-reviewed outlets.

Mitchell said the editors and authors were flown to two, first-ever entrepreneurship research best practices conferences (the 2009 and 2010 Entrepreneurship Exemplars Conferences) for the interviews, keynote addresses and dialogue sessions, which were recorded and webcast. Mitchell and Dino then organized the data into 18 indexed, fully referenced chapters including theory, keynote and editor-author sections. The project took about four years from start to finish, cost about $400,000 and was funded by a consortium of universities that agreed to serve as sponsors of the initiative.

One of the great things about the book, Mitchell said, is that it is so transparent. It can help graduate students and their advisors, university administrators, potential academicians and policymakers across many social science disciplines and interests, to refine their expertise in conducting, publishing, administering and understanding the top-tier research process.

"I really don't know of any other compendium or gathering of this kind of coaching advice," Mitchell said. "Certainly for the fields of management and entrepreneurship, this is a remarkable resource for the next generation of top-tier scholars."

Ron Mitchell

Professor Ron Mitchell was chosen as a 2009 Integrated Scholar by the Office of the Provost for his outstanding teaching, research and service efforts.

Mitchell is a CPA, professor of entrepreneurship and holds the Jean Austin Bagley Regents Chair in Management at Texas Tech University. He directed the best-practices analysis of the "Possibilities Project" for the technology commercialization process and served on the Chancellor's Taskforce for Improved Efficiencies. He also has helped lead President Guy Bailey's Revenue Enhancement and Allocation Task Force that is leading the way towards a system of responsibility centered management for all academic units at the university. With then Interim Engineering Dean Jon Strauss, Mitchell launched Responsibility Center Management as Co-Chair of the President's RCM Council for the 2009-2010 academic year.

Read his Integrated Scholar profile.

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Video produced by Scott Irbeck, Office of Communications & Marketing