Professor Harry G. Barkema has initiated and is involved in a range of research programs in broadly two domains: 1) how entrepreneurs, including social entrepreneurs, in emerging economies, become successful over time, unravelling the key role of learning, social networks, ecosystems and incubators, in projects in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa; 2) how employees in large organisations, such as female teachers, shape their work in meaningful ways; what enables them to do so, and how and when it increases their organisation’s social impact, in projects in India and Bangladesh. We also develop new, more valid measures of social impact. Firstly, we conduct qualitative research to enable the development of new theory that is valid in a local context, next we complete rigorous econometric testing (rather than ‘impose Northern theory on Southern settings’).
Harry is also the Founding Director of LSE’s Master’s in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and of the Innovation Co-Creation Lab on Social Innovation. Prior to his appointment at the LSE (2007), he was a full professor of Corporate Strategy at Tilburg University, The Netherlands. Over the past 10 years, Harry was the first recipient (Principal Investigator) in Management of the EU’s Advanced ERC grant for senior researchers (1.2 Mil Euro), on better understanding effective individual action in organizations aiming at social impact, and received grants from Leverhulme and the Dutch National Science Foundation in the same research domain.
He was on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Management, and the first European associate editor of the leading general journal in Management, the Academy of Management Journal. He also led and co-edited this journal’s first special issue on research on management in the Asian context (together with Anne Tsui, Yadong Luo, Xiao Ping Chen, and Gerry George). He has extensively published in top management journals, most frequently, in the Academy of Management Journal and the Strategic Management Journal.
Over the past 15 years, he has trained and facilitated several dozen teams and intrapreneurship projects of multinational companies and NGOs building social business models, in programs and series of workshops in the field, in South Asia (India and Bangladesh); West Africa - (e.g., Nigeria), East Africa - (e.g., Uganda, Kenya) and Southern (e.g., South) Africa, and Latin America (mostly, Brazil). Prior to that, he trained and facilitated 100+ teams of companies in a broad range of industries in Europe and North America in designing business model innovation projects. Harry has also led monitoring, evaluation, and learning projects for organizations (companies, NGOs) aiming to improve their social impact initiatives, in terms of what target groups have reason to value (cf. Amartya Sen). He has also taught in a range of executive, summer, and master’s programs on social business model innovation and design at leading business schools in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
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Organisational Behaviour Faculty Research Group