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Professor Elizabeth Chell

Professor of entrepreneurial behaviour & research consultant, Small Business Research Centre, Kingston University.

Professor  Elizabeth  Chell Areas of expertise

Find out more about Professor Elizabeth Chell


What makes an entrepreneur, and do successful innovators possess a special skills set which sets them apart from the crowd?

Professor Elizabeth Chell has devoted most of her working life to addressing this question, and has published more than 75 papers, books and monographs in the process. Her research, in the current fraught economic climate, has never been more relevant. Indeed her book, "The entrepreneurial personaility: a social construction" was up-dated and re-printed in 2008, having first been published in 1991.

"I am interested in the entrepreneurial personality - what makes them tick, how do they progress from that first 'light-bulb moment' to the final point of market exploitation?" she says,. "Do such people have a special skills set, such as an ability to spot an opportunity, or the added drive needed to pursue an objective, that perhaps other business people don't?".  She is also interested in entrepreneurship at group and small business levels, and how some people are keener than others to take risks when setting up their own business.

One of her latest projects has seen her working alongside young people (aged 15-19) with NESTA ( the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) a non-government body set up to promote innovation in the UK. When it comes to innovative behaviour in this age group, Elizabeth says it's a question of identifying and nurturing potential. "Some students may already be running enterprises outside of school, but in general it's about having the ability to think creatively and spot opportunities, rather than turning them into actual enterprises," she says.

See to read the report.

Finally she is also interested in social entrepreneurship and business ethics. Why do some people set up enterprises which also have a social outcome - ie they earn a living out of their business but the ethos of their set-up is ultimately to produce something of social value? 


Year gained Subject
2008 Certificate in Occupational Assessment.
1977 PhD: Applied Social Psychology, University of Nottingham.
1974 M.Phil: Business Studies, University of Edinburgh.
1972 BA (with hons): Biology/Philosophy, University of Keele.

Career Highlights

Year Position held
2008 - Associate, Reading Business School.
2007 - Professor of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research Consultant, Small Business Centre, Kingston University.
2003 - 2006 Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Southampton University.
2000 - 2003 Rory Brooks Chair of Enterprise, UMIST.
2000 - 2003 Professor of Enterprise, University of Manchester.
1995 - 2000 Director of the Centre for the Study of Entrepreneurship, Newcastle University.
1994 Visiting Professor, Department of Industrial Relations and Management, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
1992 - 2003 Alcan Professor of Management, Newcastle University.
1992 - 1994 Head of the Management Division, School of Business Management, University of Newcastle.
1989 - 1992 Reader in Organisational Behaviour, University of Salford.
1988 - 1992 Director of the Centre for Small Busines Research, University of Salford.
1986 - 1989 Senior lecturer in Organisation Behaviour, Department of Business and Management Studies, University of Salford.
1979 - 1986 Lecturer in Organisation Behaviour, Department of Business and Management Studies, University of Salford.


BOOKS & MONOGRAPHS (all post 2000):

CHELL, E. (2001) Entrepreneurship: Globalisation, Innovation and Development. London: Thomson Learning.

CHELL, E, (2008) The Entrepreneurial Personality: A Social Construction, London: The Psychology Press/Routledge.

CHELL, E, (2009) The Identification and measurement of innovative characteristics of young people. Research Report, September, London: NESTA.

KARATAS-OZKAN M,  & CHELL, E (2010) Nascent Entrepreneurship and Learning Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.


FREESE, M, CHELL, E, KLANDT, H. (2000) (guest editors), The Psychology of Entrepreneurial Behaviour in European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 9, 1 complete issue

CHELL, E, NICOLOPOULOU, K, KARATAS-OZKAN, M (guest editors) (2010) 'Social Entrepreneurship: International and cross-cultural innovation', Special issue of Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 22 (6) whole number.

CHELL,E, Karatas-Ozkan (2013).  (Eds) Handbook of Research in Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Edward Elgar.


CHELL, E. (2000) Towards Researching the 'Opportunistic Entrepreneur': A Social Constructionist Approach and Research Agenda. European Journal of Work and Organisational Psychology, 9,1 (March) 65-82.

ALLINSON, C W, CHELL, E HAYES J., (2000) Intuition and entrepreneurial behaviour European Journal of Work and Organisational Psychology, 9,1 (March) 33-46.

CHELL, E, BAINES, S (2000). Networking, Entrepreneurship and Micro-business Behaviour, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 12, 2: 195-215.

DRUMMOND, H., CHELL, E. (2001) Life's Chances and Choices: A Study of Entrapment in Career Decisions with Particular Reference to Becker's Side-bets Theory. Personnel Review, 30, 2, 186-202.

CHELL, E, ALLMAN, K (2003) Mapping the motivations and intentions of technology oriented entrepreneurs, R&D Management, 33, 2, 117-134

CHELL, E & OAKEY R (2004) 'Knowledge creation its transfer and the role of science enterprise education in prompting this progress', Innovation: Management, Policy and Practice, 6 (3), 444-457

CHELL, E & TRACEY, P (2005) Development of a Model of Effective Interrelating Human Relations 58, 5, 577-616

CHELL, E (2007) Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship: towards a Convergent Theory of the Entrepreneurial Process Int. Small Bus J, 25, 1, 3-19 (lead paper)

CHELL, E, KARATAS-OZKAN, M, & NICOLOPOULOU, K (2007) Social entrepreneurship education: policy, core themes and development competencies, The International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, 5, 143-162.

CHELL, E (2008). The entrepreneurial personality - a few ghosts laid to rest? In Robert Blackburn, Candida G. Brush (Eds.) Small Business and Entrepreneurship, vol1, part 3, pp 246-258, Sage ISBN 9781412934374

CHELL, E (2008). Social enterprise and entrepreneurship: toward a convergent theory of the entrepreneurial process. In Robert Blackburn, Candida G. Brush (Eds.) Small Business and Entrepreneurship, vol2, part 4, pp 238-255, Sage ISBN 9781412934374

CHELL, E, KARATAS-OZKAN, M, NICOLOPOULOU, K & COX, J. (submitted). Collaborative partnerships in higher education institutions: a critical evaluation of 'The Partnership' British Journal of Management


CHELL, E., PITTAWAY, L. (2001) Entrepreneurship in the Service Sector Firm Life Cycle, in A Roper and Y Guerrier (Eds.) A Decade of Hospitality Management Research Threshold Press.

CHELL, E and ALLMAN, K (2002) The development of High Technology Enterprise from HEIs: Some Methodological Considerations, in R Oakey, W During, S Kauser (Eds.) New Technology-Based Firms in the New Millennium Vol. II, Amsterdam: Pergamon Press

CHELL, E (2003) 'The Critical Incident Technique' in The Encyclopaedia of Research Methods in the Social Sciences Eds. M Lewis-Beck, A Bryman, and T Futing Liao, Thousand Oaks, California: Sage

CHELL, E (2004) 'The nature of enterprise in a global economy: some critical observations from a socio-historical perspective', in PC van der Sijde, A Ridder & A J Groen (eds) Entrepreneurship and Innovation Essays in Honour of Wim During, Enschede: Dutch Institute for Knowledge Intensive Entrepreneurship, pp 33-51

CHELL, E (2004) 'Critical Incident Technique' in C Cassell, G Symon (Eds) Essential Guide to Qualitative Methods in Organizational Research, London: Sage, pp 45-60 (ISBN 0-7619-4888-0)

CHELL, E (2007), 'The Training and Development of Managers and Entrepreneurs: The role of integrative capability', in Mustafa Ozbilgin and Ayala Malach-Pines (Eds) Career Choice in Entrepreneurship and Management, London: Edward Elgar Press.

CHELL, E (2008) The Nascent Entrepreneur, Business Development and the Role of Human Resources' in R. Barrett and S. Mayson (Eds.) International Handbook of HRM and Entrepreneurship ch.2, pp 21-46; London: Edward Elgar

CHELL, E (2008) The Entrepreneurial personality: a few ghosts laid to rest? Ch15; paper reprinted from ISBJ, 3, 3 (1985): 43-54, in R Blackburn & C Brush (Eds) Title Sage publications, pp 246-258.

CHELL, E (2009) Introduction and overview to the entrepreneur and the entrepreneurial process, in Ateljevic, J & Page, S (Eds.) Progress in Tourism and Entrepreneurship: Global perspective Elsevier.

CHELL, E, KARATAS-OZKAN, M READ, R (2010) Exploring women academics' involvement in science entrepreneurship: a structuration view, in Özbilgin, M F & Malach-Pines, A. (Eds) Handbook of Research in Technology Entrepreneurship. PP 315-332 (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar).





Conference Highlights

Professor Chell has attended numerous conferences where she has presented papers and been a key-note speaker.

Professional Body Membership

Fellow of RSA (Royal Society for the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce)

Fellow of the British Academy of Management (Member of Council, member of the Policy Research sub-committee (to 06); representative re IFSAM Congress to 2003-06)

International Council for Small Business & European Council for Small Business (UK representative to 2000)

Institute for Small Business Affairs (formerly the UK Enterprise Management Research Association); resigned from the Board in 2000; member.

British Psychological Society & Occupational Psychology section member.

Member of the CMI Academic Advisory Group.

Contact us

General enquiries:

Journalists only:

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    Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3034
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Contact us

General enquiries:

Journalists only:

  • Communications team
    Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3034
    Email us