Eric A. Morse
Executive Director, Western Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship Powered by Ivey
Morrissette Chair in Entrepreneurship
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- Entrepreneurial Strategy
- Entrepreneurial Cognition / Expertise
- Corporate Venturing
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Eric Morse is the Executive Director of the Western Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship Powered by Ivey Business School. Eric is a Professor of Entrepreneurship and also holds the Morrissette Chair in Entrepreneurship. He currently serves as Special Advisor to the President and Director of Entrepreneurship at Western University. In this position, Eric also serves as Chair of the Western Entrepreneurship Steering Team. Eric served as Associate Dean Programs for a six-year term, which ended in 2014. Prior to his service as Associate Dean, Eric served as the Inaugural Director of the Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship, a post he returned to July 1, 2015. Dr. Morse is the founder of and the Academic Director for, Ivey and KPMG Enterprise’s QuantumShift Program for Exceptional Entrepreneurs. Over its twenty-year lifetime, the QuantumShift Program has inspired over 600 of Canada’s best and brightest entrepreneurs onto even greater success.
Eric’s research has been published in top journals around the world including: the Academy of Management Journal, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, the Journal of Business Venturing, the Journal of Management, The Strategic Management Journal and the Sloan Management Review. In the most general sense Eric pursues research questions with three foci: the entrepreneur, the venture and the venture context. However, his emphasis has been on the entrepreneur, and Entrepreneurial Cognition is his main area of study. Dr. Morse was an early participant in this area of study within the entrepreneurship field.
Eric’s work with business leaders has been widely cited by CBC News, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Financial Post Magazine, Vancouver Sun, The South China Morning Post, Chatelaine, and Cosmopolitan (HK).
Eric has served on the board, been an advisor to, founded, or been an investor in a variety of entrepreneurial start-ups. Dr. Morse actively consults with both private and public enterprises across Canada and around the world. He has worked with a diverse range of corporate clients on strategy, strategic planning, growth and innovation.
- ENT 422 - Entrepreneurship: Creativity, Opportunity and Expertise
- ENT 432 - The Entrepreneurial Manager
- MBA 557 - Mini module and IPE design and delivery
- HBA 300 - Entrepreneurship Mini Module and IPE design and delivery
- ENT 420/620 - New Venture Project
- ENT 580 - Mini module on entrepreneurship 6 classes across 4 sections
- IEMBA - JDI Cohort - Innovation
- Executive Education
Recent Refereed Articles
Lim, D. S. K.; Morse, E. A.; Yu, N., 2020, "The Impact of the Global Crisis on the Growth of SMEs: A Resource System Perspective", International Small Business Journal, September 38(6): 492 - 503. Abstract: In this commentary, we examine both the positive and negative potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We conceptualise the firm as a system of various resource components (strategic, physical, financial, human and organisational resources) and firm growth as the expansion of this resource system. Based on qualitative data drawn from Canadian high-growth SMEs, we discuss the potential impact of the crisis on these resource system components. We demonstrate how virtuous growth spirals of these resources co-evolve through various feedback and feed-forward loops. Furthermore, we discuss how a temporary growth setback, due to the crisis, can in fact provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to realign, and regain the balance and fit within their firm’s resource system. This realignment enables the firm to take on the next phase of growth.
Link(s) to publication:
Lim, D. S. K.; Celly, N.; Morse, E. A.; Rowe, W. G., 2013, "Rethinking the Effectiveness of Asset and Cost Retrenchment: The Contingency Effects of a Firm’s Rent Creation Mechanism", Strategic Management Journal, January 34(1): 42 - 61. Abstract: This paper posits that the efficacy of different retrenchment strategies depends upon the firm’s core rent creation mechanism. We focus on two distinct mechanisms of rent creation: Ricardian rent creation based on the exploitation of resources and Schumpeterian rent creation based on explorative capabilities. We argue that cost retrenchment may have detrimental effects on firms with a relatively high Schumpeterian rent focus. On the other hand, asset retrenchment may erode the basis for future rent creation for firms with a higher Ricardian rent focus. Our findings based on a sample of large non-diversified Japanese firms highlight the differing degrees of fragility and recoverability of the two rent creation mechanisms in the context of different retrenchment strategies.
Link(s) to publication:
Lim, D. S. K.; Morse, E. A.; Mitchell, R. K.; Seawright, K.; Kristie, K., 2010, "Institutional Environment and Entrepreneurial Cognitions: A Comparative Business Systems Perspective", Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, May 34(3): 491 - 516. Abstract: In this study, we investigate the relationship between institutional elements of the social environment and entrepreneurial cognitions, which lead to the individual's venture creation decision. Employing a sample of 757 entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs from eight countries we examine the extent to which institutions influence venture creation decisions, where entrepreneurial expert scripts act as a mediator. Results show that various institutional elements, such as legal and financial systems, affect venture arrangements and willingness scripts. Venture arrangements scripts, in turn, have the most significant impact on an individual's venture creation decision.
Morse, E. A.; Fowler, S. W.; Lawrence, T., 2007, "The Impact of Virtual Embeddedness on New Venture Survival: Overcoming the Liabilities of Newness", Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, March 31(2): 139 - 159. Abstract: In this article, we examine the impact of virtual embeddedness - the establishment of inter-organizational connections through the use of electronic technologies - on the likelihood of new venture survival. We explore the effects of recent technological and social changes on traditional conceptions of the liabilities of newness. We argue that virtual embeddedness positively affects new venture survival by decreasing the liabilities of newness associated with a new venture's need to create and manage new roles and systems, lack of extant trust relationships, lack of social capital, and lack of economic capital. This argument has important implications for both the study and management of contemporary new ventures.
Mitchell, R. K.; Busenitz, L. W.; Bird, B.; Gaglio, C. M.; McMullen, J. S.; Morse, E. A.; Smith, J. B., 2007, "The central question in entrepreneurial cognition research 2007", Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, January 31(1): 1 - 27. Abstract: In this article, we take note of advances in the entrepreneurial cognition research stream. In doing so, we bring increasing attention to the usefulness of entrepreneurial cognition research. First, we offer and develop a central research question to further enable entrepreneurial cognition inquiry. Second, we present the conceptual background and some representative approaches to entrepreneurial cognition research that form the context for this question. Third, we introduce the articles in this Special Issue as framed by the central question and approaches to entrepreneurial cognition research, and suggest how they further contribute to this developing stream. Finally, we offer our views concerning the challenges and opportunities that await the next generation of entrepreneurial cognition scholarship. We therefore invite ( and seek to enable) the growing community of entrepreneurship researchers from across multiple disciplines to further develop the 'thinking doing' link in entrepreneurship research. It is our goal to offer colleagues an effective research staging point from which they may embark upon many additional research expeditions and investigations involving entrepreneurial cognition.
Lawrence, T. B.; Morse, E. A.; Fowler, S. W., 2005, "Managing your portfolio of connections", MIT Sloan Management Review, December 46(2): 59 - 65. Abstract: To conduct business with customers, suppliers, partners and other external parties, companies have three options: arm's-length, socially embedded and virtually embedded ties. Arm's-length ties are connections that exist solely for a particular business transaction. The problem with arm's-length ties is that they have difficulty handling transactions that are uncertain, complex or opportunistic. Embedded ties are connections that overcome the weaknesses of arm's-length ties by inserting the transaction in a supportive context, either social or virtual. With a socially embedded tie, trust, sharing of proprietary information and joint problem solving form the foundation for an economic relationship to minimize the risk of transactions. In a virtually embedded tie, an economic relationship is facilitated and maintained through the use of electronic technologies that help minimize the risk of transactions through increased transparency, widespread information sharing and community-based problem solving. Companies in different environments are likely to benefit from the use of different combinations of those types of connections.
- Mitchell, R. K.; Busenitz, L. W.; Lant, T.; McDougall, T.; Morse, E. A.; Smith, B., 2004, "The Distinctive and Inclusive Domain of Entrepreneurial Cognition Research", Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, December 28(6): 505 - 518.
Fowler, S. W.; Lawrence, T.; Morse, E. A., 2004, "Virtually Embedded Ties", Journal of Management, October 30(5): 647 - 666. Abstract: The Internet and other communication and information technologies have not only increased the efficiency and effectiveness of existing forms of interorganizational connection, but have also made possible the emergence of a new form - 'virtually embedded ties'. Such ties have two essential features: first, they utilize electronic communication and information technologies second, the use of those technologies allows them to overcome the exchange-related problems previously addressed through the formation of socially embedded ties. We argue that virtually embedded ties offer an important alternative to socially embedded ties in industries that are characterized by high levels of dynamism.
Mitchell, R. K.; Morse, E. A.; Sharma, P., 2003, "The Transacting Cognitions of Nonfamily Employees in the Family Businesses Setting", Journal of Business Venturing, January 18(4): 533 - 551. Abstract: This paper identifies the thinking patterns necessary for non-family employees to work effectively within family businesses. Herein, we use Transaction Cognition Theory (Mitchell, 2001, Mitchell & Morse, 2002) to systematically identify the extent of cognitive complexity experienced by non-family employees, and thereby highlight factors within the cognitive situation that can improve family non-family compatibility and effectiveness. We conclude with a discussion of the Transaction Cognition Theory contribution to theory building.
Mitchell, R. K.; Busenitz, L. W.; Lant, T.; McDougall, P.; Morse, E. A.; Smith, B., 2002, "Toward a Theory of Entrepreneurial Cognition: Rethinking the People Side of Entrepreneurship Research", Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, December 27(2): 93 - 104. Abstract: The failure of past 'entrepreneurial personality'-based research to clearly distinguish the unique contributions of the entrepreneurial process of entrepreneurs as people, has created a vacuum within the entrepreneurship literature that has been waiting to be filled. Recently, the application of ideas and concepts from cognitive science has gained currency within entrepreneurship research, as evidence by the growing accumulation of successful studies framed in entrepreneurial cognition terms. This article reexamines 'the people side of entrepreneurship' by summarizing the state of play within the entrepreneurial cognition research stream. It is believed that the constructs, variables, and proposed relationship under development within the cognitive perspective offer research concepts and techniques that are well suited to the analysis of problems that require better explanations of the contributions to entrepreneurship that are distinctly human.
Mitchell, R. K.; Smith, B.; Morse, E. A.; Seawright, K.; Peredo, A. M.; MacKenzie, B., 2002, "Are Entrepreneurial Cognitions Universal? Assessing Entrepreneurial Cognitions Across Cultures", Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, July 26(4): 9 - 32. Abstract: In this study, 3 research questions concerned with entrepreneurial cognition and culture are examined: 1. Do entrepreneurs have cognitions distinct from those of other business people? 2. To what extent are entrepreneurial cognitions universal? 3. To what extent do entrepreneurial cognitions differ by national culture? In answer to question one, it is found that individuals who possess professional entrepreneurial cognitions do indeed have cognitions that are distinct from business non-entrepreneurs. In answer to the second question, further confirmation of a universal culture of entrepreneurship is reported. And in answer to the third question, observed differences were found on 8 of the 10 proposed cognition constructs and the pattern of country representation within an empirically developed set of entrepreneurial archetypes does indeed differ among countries. These results suggest increasing credibility for the cognitive explanation of entrepreneurial phenomena in the cross-cultural setting.
Mitchell, R. K.; Smith, J. B.; Seawright, K.; Morse, E. A., 2000, "Cross-Cultural Cognitions and the Venture Creation Decision", Academy of Management Journal, December 43(5): 974 - 993. Abstract: Theories of social cognition, information processing, and expertise provided the foundation for a cross-cultural model of venture creation. Using data from 7 countries, support is found for the cognitive model. Arrangements, willingness, and ability scripts were found to be associated with the venture creation decision some 2-way interactions involving arrangements scripts were significant and individualism and power distance were associated with willingness and ability scripts and with the venture creation decision, through interaction with arrangements scripts. Results support and extend theory and provide preliminary evidence of consistency in congnitive scripts across cultures.
Morse, E. A.; Mitchell, R. K.; Smith, J. B.; Seawright, K., 1999, "Cultural Values and Venture Cognitions on the Pacific Rim", Global Focus, December 11(4): 135 - 153. Abstract: This study investigates the relationship between cultural values and venture cognitions in seven Pacific Rim countries to answer the question: What influences the manner in which individual entrepreneurs perceive strategic resources? Using responses to scale items confirmed in a factor analysis from 371 venture formation experts in Australia, Canada, Chile, mainland China, Japan, Mexico, and the United States, we examine how cultural values are reflected in expertiseschema-based cognitions that have been shown to affect entrepreneurial intentions. We also discuss the effects this level of cultural understanding might have for portions of the resource advantage chain' and the importance of the strategic resource attribute imperfect imitability.' Our results show that cultural values have profound and very specific effects on venture cognitions, which has strategic implications for the globalization of emerging business.
Sorenson, R. L.; Morse, E. A.; Savage, G., 1999, "A Test of the Motivations Underlying Choice of Conflict Strategies in the Dual-Concern Model", International Journal of Conflict Management, December 10(1): 25 - 44. Abstract: Dual-concern models suggest that concern about self' and concern about other' motivate individuals to choose conflict-handling strategies. Those assumptions are tested with a study of the cognitions associated with the choice of conflict strategies. Consistent with dual-concern model conceptualizations, regression analyses that account for up to 41% of variance indicate that concern about self and concern about other and avoiding, compromising, and integrating strategies are not consistent with conceptualization in dual-concern models. Results suggest the need for a conflict-handling model with dimensions that account for more of the variance in the choices to avoid, compromise, and integrate.
- Associate Dean - Programs, Ivey Business School (Present - )
- Director Driving Growth through Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cross Enterprise Centre (2005-2008)
- J.R. Shaw Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Owned Business; Executive Director of the Pierre L. Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship - Ivey Business School, Western University (2002-2008)
- Assistant Professor Faculty of Business, University of Victoria (1998-2002)
- Visiting Lecturer Faculty of Business, University of Victoria (1996-1998)
- Entrepreneurial Cognition
- Entrepreneurial Expertise
- Entrepreneurial Strategy
- Corporate Venturing
- Sustainability of the Entrepreneurial Firm
- International Entrepreneurship