Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship


J. Robert (Rob) Mitchell, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at Ivey in the Entrepreneurship group. He teaches undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship courses.  Prior to joining Ivey, Professor Mitchell taught entrepreneurship and strategy at the University of Oklahoma. He completed his doctoral studies in entrepreneurship and strategic management at the Kelley School of Business in Bloomington, Indiana. Before pursuing his Ph.D. at Indiana University, Professor Mitchell worked in a technology startup in Salt Lake City, Utah and was involved in emerging enterprise consulting in Victoria, British Columbia.

Professor Mitchell's research interests bridge entrepreneurship and strategic management in that he studies how cognitive, environmental, and behavioural factors lead to the creation of new value in new and existing firms. Professor Mitchell is the recipient of the NFIB Best Dissertation Award from the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management. His research has been published or accepted for publication in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Journal of Business Venturing, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal and Strategic Management Journal.


  • Creativity and Opportunity, HBA
  • New Venture Creation, HBA & MBA
  • Innovation Leadership, Ivey Executive Program
  • Social Enterprise, HBA

Programs Taught

  • PhD
  • Executive Education


  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Master of Business
  • Bachelor of Integrated Studies

Selected Publications

  • "A reconceptualization of fear of failure in entrepreneurship” with Gabriella Cacciotti, James Hayton and Andreas Giazitzoglu, forthcoming, Journal of Business Venturing.
  • "Capability development and decision incongruence in strategic opportunity pursuit" with Dean Shepherd, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 6(4): 355-381.
  • "Socially situated cognition: Imagining new opportunities for entrepreneurship research" (Dialogue) with Ron Mitchell and Brandon Randolph-Seng, 2011, Academy of Management Review, 36(4): 774-776.
  • "Erratic strategic decisions: When and why managers are inconsistent in strategic decision making" with Dean Shepherd and Mark Sharfman, 2011, Strategic Management Journal, 32(7): 683-704.
  • "To thine own self be true: Images of self, images of opportunity and entrepreneurial action" with Dean Shepherd, 2010, Journal of Business Venturing, 25(1): 138-154.
  • "Becoming the boss: Discretion and post-succession success in family firms" with Tim Hart, Sorin Valcea and David Townsend, 2009, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33(6): 1201-1218.
  • "Entrepreneurial scripts and the new transaction commitment mindset: Extending the expert information processing theory approach to entrepreneurial cognition research" with Brock Smith and Ron Mitchell, 2009, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33(4): 815-844.
  • "Inside opportunity formation: Enterprise failure, cognition, and the creation of opportunities" with Ron Mitchell and Brock Smith, 2008, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 2(3): 225-242.
  • "Untangling the intuition mess: Intuition as a construct in entrepreneurship research" with Paul Friga and Ron Mitchell, 2005, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 29(6): 653-679.

Honours & Awards

  • 2011, National Federation of Independent Business Award for Excellence in Research on the General Topic of Entrepreneurship - Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (with Dean Shepherd) for the paper: Afraid of Opportunity: The Effects of Fear On Entrepreneurial Action.
  • 2008, Stevens Institute of Technology Wesley J. Howe Best Paper Award - Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (with Mark Sharfman) for the paper: Adapting the Looking Glass: Factors Affecting Change in Entrepreneurs' Opportunity Images.
  • Winner, 2007 National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Best Dissertation - Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management.


  • Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Ivey Business School, Western University (2014-Present)
  • Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, Ivey Business School, Western University (2010-2014)
  • Assistant Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship, University of Oklahoma (2006-2010)
  • Associate Instructor, Indiana University (2002-2006)

Research/Course Development

  • Cognition and entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurial decision making
  • Opportunity creation
  • Innovation
  • Social entrepreneurship