Entrepreneurship involves creation. This can include the creation of new opportunities and technologies, the creation of new firms, the creation of new products and markets within existing firms, or the creation of new and better ways of doing business. Entrepreneurship is foundational to the study of business management. Indeed, without entrepreneurship, there is no business to manage.

The Entrepreneurship group at Ivey is made up of faculty who research different elements of entrepreneurship at multiple levels of analysis, especially as it relates to understanding what leads entrepreneurs to be successful. This includes research on entrepreneurial cognition and decision making, new venture creation, entrepreneurial firm growth and performance, entrepreneurial strategy, innovation and the role of technology, family business, the economics of entrepreneurship and comparative international entrepreneurship.

*Please note that Entrepreneurship is a stream under General Management

Areas of Research Focus

  • Entrepreneurial cognition and decision making
  • New venture creation
  • Entrepreneurial firm growth and performance
  • Entrepreneurial strategy
  • Innovation and the role of technology
  • Family business
  • The economics of entrepreneurship
  • Comparative international entrepreneurship

Faculty in the Entrepreneurship group have regularly published in premier management, entrepreneurship and technology journals, including the Academy of Management Journal, the Academy of Management Review,Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Journal of Business Venturing, Management Science, MIS Quarterly, Small Business Economics, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, and Strategic Management Journal, among others.

Post-graduate Opportunities

The doctoral program in Entrepreneurship is designed for those interested in pursuing academic careers in entrepreneurship at top business schools. Typical courses in the first two years are listed below.

Program Requirements

Students have program requirements, put into place by the PhD office, and discipline requirements, which are governed by the student’s respective area group. On a case by case basis, some students may be able to waive out of particular required courses or substitute others. Such a course of action must be approved by the PhD director

All PhD students must complete the following requirements.

  • Attend “stats boot camp” (end of August at start of Year 1).
  • Pass 9702 Multivariate Analysis in Year 1.
  • Pass 9712 Special Topics in Statistics before end of Year 2.
    *The content of this course varies by year. Students are encouraged to take the course twice.
  • Pass 9704 Research Methods in Year 1.
  • Earn 80% or more on 9723 Summer Research Paper before start of Year 2 - Direct Entry Admissions only (i.e. admitted with only an undergraduate degree)
  • Pass at least two PhD-level courses outside of Ivey before the end of Year 2 or before taking comprehensive exams, whichever is first. It is strongly recommended that at least one of these courses is an econometrics course.
  • Shadow an Ivey professor for an entire undergraduate or MBA course. The associated professor must agree to make this a learning experience for the student (e.g. have conversations about pedagogy, be available for questions about curriculum etc.) and to provide written confirmation to the PhD office of attendance; OR
  • Complete at least 20 hours of courses, workshops etc. at Western’s Teaching Centre.

*In consultation with the student, the respective PhD coordinator shall determine which option better suits the student's needs.

Discipline Requirements

To be completed before the comprehensive exam unless otherwise noted.

  • 9770 Business Strategy I (0.5 units)
  • 9771 Business Strategy II (0.5 units)
  • 9826 (OB) Organizational Theory (0.5 units)
  • Two of the following GM field courses (1 unit total):
    • 9703 International Management (0.5 units)
    • 9773 Business Sustainability (0.5 units)
    • 9775 Non-market Strategy (0.5 units)
    • 9777 Entrepreneurship (0.5 units)
  • For the elective courses, students are required to take 1 unit of rigorous, graduate-level methods courses (e.g., econometrics) and 1 additional unit of other graduate-level electives (e.g., other GM fields courses, courses from other area groups or courses from main campus). The goal is to have students take a minimum of four courses a semester. Students should consult their PhD coordinator to help select these additional courses. All students should take rigorous quantitative methods to assure success on the methods portion of their comprehensive exams. To a certain extent, coursework may be customized to particular student needs and skills on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the respective GM PhD coordinator.
  • Econ 2150 or 2260 Undergrad.
    *Preferably completed before comps exam. Waived for students with strong econ background, granted by the student’s respective PhD Coordinator.


These milestones are designed to ensure students make forward progress. A student who does not achieve these milestones within the required timeline may have their funding partially or fully cut or be withdrawn from the program.

This exam will be completed within 22 months of entering the program (normally written between June 1 and July 15 of Year 2). If the student fails this exam, he or she has up to one year to retake the exam. A second failure will result in being withdrawn from the program.

A student will chose a supervisor within one month of passing the comprehensive exam and will communicate the choice in writing to both the PhD coordinator and the PhD office, copying the supervisor.

Between passing comps and sitting the “Thesis Proposal Exam” (below), the student must form a Thesis Supervisory Committee (commonly referred to as the Proposal Committee). This committee consists of a supervisor and at least one (but usually two or three) additional faculty member. Each must be a member of SGPS and a majority of this committee must be composed of faculty who have doctoral-level membership with SGPS. At least one member of this committee must be confirmed by Dec. 31 of Year 3. The names of this committee are to be forwarded to the PhD office. This committee “assists in the development of the candidate's research plan and thesis proposal, provides advice and criticism on the planning and writing of the thesis…” (more)

This exam is sometimes referred to as the proposal defence. Students must pass this exam within 12 months of passing the comprehensive exam. There may be no less than three months between passing the Thesis Proposal Exam and sitting for the Thesis Exam (below).

This is effectively the last hurdle for PhD students that is commonly referred to as the thesis defence. Students have six years to finish their degree.

Discipline Coordinator

Dominic Lim

Dominic Lim holds a Ph.D. degree in Business Administration from Ivey. He received his MBA from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom where he was a British Chevening Scholar, and BS (Computer Engineering) from Seoul National University, Korea.

Dr. Lim's research focuses on entrepreneurial firm growth, entrepreneurial cognition, and comparative international entrepreneurship, and has been published in top management journals such as Strategic Management Journal, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Small Business Economics, and the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. He is also a member of the Editorial Review Board of Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, International Small Business Journal, and Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences. His research programs have been continuously funded by multiple grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) since 2008.

Before returning to Ivey, Dr. Lim was an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Goodman School of Business, Brock University, and a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at USC Marshall School of Business. Prior to his academic career, he worked as a management consultant in Cambridge, UK, one of the most active entrepreneurial clusters in Europe, and counselled many university-based entrepreneurial ventures as well as several multinational companies including Vodafone and Samsung. He also co-founded NeoGenius. a B2B e-business venture in Seoul, Korea, and worked in the IT consulting industry in various capacities.

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