Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation, and Innovation Centre
Faculty of the Professions
I commenced my professional career in 1979 in mechanical engineering as a trainee with John Lysaght (Australia) Ltd, in Port Kembla, NSW. To support my studies I purchased a business at age 18 years. After leaving John Lysaght, I spent two years working as a professional musician, teaching and performing to support myself through Jazz studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Upon returning to engineering, I worked primarily in the small and medium enterprise sector developing and introducing new products, entering new markets, and expanding sales and business opportunities in both established and new business environments, primarily in the mechanical services (ventilation equipment) industry. As an accomplished Regional Sales Manager, I also commenced my own product and consulting businesses. Coupling practical industry experience with academic credentials, I now lecture in strategic opportunities and managing strategy and growth. Between 2008 and 2016 I had oversight of the Master of Applied Innovation and Entrepreneurship degree program at the University of Adelaide. Apart from the school of hard knocks, my academic qualifications in entrepreneurship include a Master in Enterprise Innovation and a PhD in the field of entrepreneurship education and public policy for economic development. My research involves inquiry at the intersections between entrepreneurship, innovation and socioeconomic development.
My research seeks to leverage my experience with SME management, business start-up and consulting (including product, market, industry, and innovation development) to examine the intersections between entrepreneurship, innovation and socioeconomic development. My main teaching interests are in the assessment of business opportunities, entrepreneurial strategy and developing research skills. Since 2012 I have co-authored the leading Asia Pacific entrepreneurship text book, 'Entrepreneurship: Theory, Process and Practice', with Professors Howard Frederick and Donald Kuratko.
In 2014/15 I led the development of the Australian Cluster Observatory and embarked on pioneering research into the entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Australia. My growing portfolio of more than fifty research publications including internationally peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters, conference papers, and research reports, stand as testament to the significance of my research agenda and contribution to the entrepreneurship research field. Since joining the Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre in 2008, I have regularly raised grant and consulting income to ground various research projects that have led to research reports for government and other stakeholders. In application, my research is designed to inform policy-makers, regional development agencies and the practicing entrepreneur with respect to creating and managing the resources necessary to foster and develop innovation and entrepreneurship. My research experience includes working with public and private sector organisations and serving as project manager, researcher and co-author for the Westpac Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Australia project in 2004 and 2005.
Date Position Institution name 2008 - 2016 Academic Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Post Graduate) The University of Adelaide 2007 - 2008 Entrepreneurship Lecturer Swinburne University of Technology 2000 - 1997 Sales Manager - Victoria Chemical Fume Handling Equipment 2000 - 2008 Executive Consultant / Managing Director Systems, Marketing & Enterprise Innovations 1996 - 1997 Sales Engineer / Sales Manager Directflo Air Distribution 1994 - 1996 Managing Director Fans & Systems Components 1987 - 1994 Sales Engineer / Victorian Sales Manager / Regional Sales Manager / Sales Manager Pitstock Pty Ltd / Howden Fan Company 1980 - 1987 Musician (Teaching and Performance) Self-employed 1978 - 1985 Inspector / Trainee Mechanical Engineer / Mechanical Draftsperson John Lysaght Australia
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Amount 2015 Award Dean’s Commendation for Excellence in Research University of Adelaide 2014 Award Dean’s Commendation for Excellence in Research University of Adelaide 2009 Research Award Best Paper (Runner-up) using Qualitative Methods AGSE Regional Research Exchange 2006 Research Award Best Paper in Entrepreneurial Education AGSE Regional Research Exchange 1999 Recognition Most Outstanding Student in 'Innovation, Creativity & Leadership' Swinburne University of Technology 1999 Recognition Best Student in 'Product Development & Life Cycles Swinburne University of Technology
Date Institution name Country Title 2003 - 2009 Swinburne University of Technology Australia PhD Swinburne University of Technology Australia Master of Enterprise Innovation Swinburne University of Technology Australia Graduate Diploma in Airconditioning Swinburne University of Technology Australia Graduate Diploma in Management
Date Title Institution name Country 2013 Academic Leaders University of Adelaide Australia 2010 Teaching @ University University of Adelaide Australia 2010 Exploring Supervision University of Adelaide Australia
Year Citation 2018 du, K. & O Connor, A. (2018). Entrepreneurship and advancing national level economic efficiency. Small Business Economics, 50, 1, 91-111.
2017 Acs, Z., Stam, E., Audretsch, D. & O Connor, A. (2017). The lineages of the entrepreneurial ecosystem approach. Small Business Economics, 49, 1, 1-10.
2017 Li, H. & O’Connor, A. (2017). The entrepreneurial influence on winery market performance – a mediation perspective. International Journal of Wine Business Research, 29, 2, 210-232.
2015 Li, H., de Zubielqui, G. C. & O Connor, A. (2015). Entrepreneurial networking capacity of cluster firms: a social network perspective on how shared resources enhance firm performance. Small Business Economics, 45, 3, 523-541.
2015 O Connor, A., Du, K. & Roos, G. (2015). The intellectual capital needs of a transitioning economy: a case study exploration of Australian sectoral changes. Journal of Intellectual Capital, 16, 3, 466-489.
2015 Roos, G. & O'Connor, A. (2015). Government policy implications of intellectual capital: an Australian manufacturing case study. Journal of Intellectual Capital, 16, 2, 364-389.
2014 Corral de Zubielqui, G., Lindsay, N. J. & O'Connor, A. (2014). How product, operations, and marketing sources of ideas influence innovation and entrepreneurial performance in australian SMEs. International Journal of Innovation Management, 18, 2, 1450017-1-1450017-25.
2013 Foley, D. & O'Connor, A. (2013). Social Capital and the Networking Practices of Indigenous Entrepreneurs. Journal of Small Business Management, 51, 2, 276-296.
2013 Burton, K., O'Connor, A. & Roos, G. (2013). An empirical analysis of the IC Navigator approach in practice - a case study of five manufacturing firms. Knowledge Management Research & Practice, 11, 2, 162-174.
2013 O'Connor, A. (2013). A conceptual framework for entrepreneurship education policy: meeting government and economic purposes. Journal of Business Venturing, 28, 4, 546-563.
2012 O'Connor, A. & Greene, F. (2012). Is there an association between business and entrepreneurship education and differing entrepreneurial groups in Australia?: Evidence from GEM Australia. Small Enterprise Research, 19, 1, 5-16. 2011 Hindle, K., Yencken, J. & O'Connor, A. (2011). An entrepreneurship policy framework for high-growth firms: Navigating between policies for picking winners and market failure. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 3, 4, 324-343.
2011 O'Connor, A. & Yamin, S. (2011). Innovation and entrepreneurship: Managing the paradox of purpose in business model innovation. International Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital, 8, 3, 239-255.
2007 O'Connor, A., Cherry, N. & Buckley, P. (2007). Defining entrepreneurship as a 'domain of practice': implications for theory and research for policy and education. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 4, 5, 654-678.
2007 O'Connor, A., Roos, G. & Vickers-Willis, T. (2007). Evaluating an Australian public policy organization’s innovation capacity. European Journal of Innovation Management, 10, 4, 532-558.
2007 Ramos, J. & O'Connor, A. (2007). Editors' Introduction. Journal of Futures Studies, 12, 2, 1-4.
2006 O'CONNOR, A. & RAMOS, J. (2006). EMPOWERING ENTREPRENEURSHIP THROUGH FORESIGHT AND INNOVATION: DEVELOPING A THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK FOR EMPOWERMENT IN ENTERPRISE PROGRAMS. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 11, 03, 207-231. 2006 O'Connor, A. & Ramos, J. (2006). Empowering entrepreneurship through foresight and innovation : developing a theoretical framework for empowerment in enterprise programs. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 11, 3, 207-231.
Year Citation 2015 A. O'Connor & G. Roos (Eds.) (2015). Integrating Innovation: South Australian Entrepreneurship Systems and Strategies. Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press.
Year Citation 2018 Daniel, L., Medlin, C., O'Connor, A., Statsenko, L., Vnuk, R. & Hancock, G. (2018). Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: Place-based transformations and transitions. In A. O'Connor, E. Stam, F. Sussan & D. Audretsch (Eds.), Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: Place-based transformations and transitions (pp. 21-44). 2017 O'Connor, A., de Zubielqui, G., Li, M. & Dissanayake, M. (2017). Supporting entrepreneurship in high cost economies: What can governments do. In Entrepreneurship: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications (pp. 629-731).
2015 Roos, G. & O'Connor, A. (2015). The idea of integrating innovation: Entrepreneurship and a systems perspective. In G. Roos & A. O'Connor (Eds.), Integrating Innovation: South Australian Entrepreneurship Systems and Strategies (pp. 3-32). Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press.
2015 O'Connor, A. & Roos, G. (2015). Innovation and entrepreneurship: Building the systems and strategies for South Australia. In G. Roos & A. O'Connor (Eds.), Integrating Innovation: South Australian Entrepreneurship Systems and Strategies (pp. 357-379). Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press. 2015 Li, H. & O'Connor, A. (2015). Do clusters matter to the entrepreneurial process? Deriving a conceptual model from the case study of Yalumba. In G. Roos & A. O'Connor (Eds.), Integrating Innovation: South Australian Entrepreneurship Systems and Strategies (pp. 119-158). Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press.
2015 O'Connor, A. (2015). Questioning the ethics of university entrepreneurship curriculum. In S. Hoskinson & D. Kuratko (Eds.), The Challenges of Ethics and Entrepreneurship in the Global Environment (pp. 79-107). United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing.
2015 Corral de Zubielqui, G., O'Connor, A. & Seet, P. -. S. (2015). Intellectual capital system perspective: A case study of government intervention in digital media industries. In G. Roos & A. O'Connor (Eds.), Integrating Innovation: South Australian Entrepreneurship Systems and Strategies (pp. 277-302). Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press.
2014 O'Connor, A., Corral de Zubielqui, G., Li, H. & Dissanayake, M. (2014). Supporting entrepreneurship in high cost economies: What can governments do?. In G. Roos & N. Kennedy (Eds.), Global Perspectives on Achieving Success in High and Low Cost Operating Environments (pp. 290-392). Hershey, PA: Business Science Reference.
2014 Balan-Vnuk, E., Dissanayake, M. & O'Connor, A. (2014). Policy analysis for entrepreneurship education in necessity-based contexts: a Sri Lankan case study. In J. Brewer & S. Gibson (Eds.), Necessity entrepreneurs: Micro-Enterprise and Economic Development (pp. 160-182). United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Year Citation 2016 Kassichieh, S., O'Connor, A., Menu, S. & Ito, T. (2016). Designing the Measures of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems. ACERE Regional Research Exchange. Queensland, Australia. 2015 Li, H., O'Connor, A. & Corral de Zubielqui, G. B. (2015). Modes of Innovation and links to entrepreneurial management in the Australina wine industry. Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship (ACE) Research Exchange Conference 2015. Adelaide. 2015 O'Connor, A. & Reed, G. (2015). Promoting regional entrepreneurship Ecosystems: The Role of the University sector in Australia. ACERE Regional Research Exchange. Adelaide SA. 2014 O'Connor, A. & Sim, T. S. (2014). How do capabilities of the entrepreneurs vary across the different stages of the firm? Evidence from the literature. Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange. Sydney, Australia. 2013 Dissanayake, M., O'Connor, A., Corral de Zubielqui, G. & Li, H. (2013). How do capabilities of the entrepreneurs vary across the different stages of the firm? Evidence from the literature. Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange Conference. QUT Gardens Point. 2012 Gregson, G., Cooper, S. & O'Connor, A. (2012). Entrepreneurial development and capacity building in a university Pre-Incubation Program. International ACERE DIANA Entrepreneurship Conference. Fremantle. 2012 O'Connor, A. (2012). The Dynamic Mechanism of Industrial Clusters for Entrepreneurial Opportunities and Entrepreneurial Behaviour: Deriving a Conceptual Model. Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange Conference (ACERE). Fremantle. 2011 O'Connor, A., Seet, P. S., Ahmad, N. & Mukhtar, D. (2011). Business incubation and entrepreneurial competencies: an exploration of relationships. Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) International Entrepreneurship Research Exchange. Melbourne, Australia. 2010 Powrie, I. & O'Connor, A. (2010). Institutional policies for innovation to achieve sustainable development: an analysis of the Australian wine industry. Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) International Entrepreneurship Research Exchange. Sunshine Coast. 2010 Xu, T., Lindsay, N. & O'Connor, A. (2010). Towards the development of an 'ESE' scale for Chinese villagers. Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) International Entrepreneurship Research Exchange. Sunshine Coast. 2009 O'Connor, A., Ramos, J. & Hayward, P. (2009). Foresight, social innovation, and entrepreneurship: Some issues for education. The History & Future of Social Innovation Conference. Adelaide. 2009 O'Connor, A. & Cherry, N. (2009). An analysis of government policy communication on entrepreneurship education in Australia: Spanning macro and micro economic implications. AGSE. Adelaide. 2009 Balan, P., Lindsay, N. & O'Connor, A. (2009). Innovation capability: contrasting a service industry with the manufacturing sector. Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) International Entrepreneurship Research Exchange. Adelaide. 2009 O'Connor, A., Burnett, H. & Hancock, G. (2009). Converging Entrepreneurship education with business incubation: An exploration of the development process for entrepreneurs. Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) International Entrepreneurship Research Exchange. Adelaide. 2007 O'Connor, A. & Greene, F. (2007). 'Does entrepreneurship education support Australian enterprise?'. Small Enterprise Conference, (Auckland, New Zealand). Auckland NZ. 2007 Hayward, P., Ramos, J. & O'Connor, A. (2007). Towards Human and Social Innovation: Not Wanting to Know in Order to Create. AGSE Entrepreneurship Research Exchange. Brisbane, Queensland. 2006 O'Connor, A. & Roos, G. (2006). Developing a conceptual schematic to evaluate organizational innovative capacity. The R&D Management Conference Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in R&D Management. Taipei and Hsinchu, Taiwan. 2006 Yencken, J., O'Connor, A. & Hindle, K. (2006). Encouraging high expectation entrepreneurship: the implications of Australian policy practices. International Council for Small Business World Conference ICSB). Melbourne, Vic. Australia. 2006 O'Connor, A. & Campbell, A. (2006). Exploring the effects of failure and learning on non-linear thinking. International Council for Small Business (ICSB) World Conference. Melbourne, Australia. 2006 O'Connor, A., Mawson, F. & Langworthy, L. (2006). Embedding Entrepreneurship in a Regional Milieu through Youth Enterprise Programs. Institute for Small Business & Entrepreneurship Conference, International Entrepreneurship (Cardiff, Wales, UK). Cardiff, Wales, UK. 2006 Langworthy, L., Mawson, F. & O'Connor, A. (2006). Are We Fostering The Skills of our Future Entrepreneurs? A Study of Young People in Education in the Outer East of Melbourne. International Council for Small Business. World Conference. Melbourne, Victoria. 2004 O'Connor, A. & Ramos, J. (2004). From social foresight to social entrepreneurship: pathways to sustainability. Regional Entrepreneurship Research Exchange (Melbourne, Vic. Australia). Melbourne, Vic Australia. 2002 O'Connor, A. (2002). Innovation and the Corporate Sector: Engaging the Corporate Sector in the Development of a Flexible Growth Orientated Economy.. Commercialise 2002 Conference. Innovation and the corporate sector. Werribee, Australia. 2002 Yamin, S. & O'Connor, A. (2002). Discovering the Nexus between Entrepreneurship and Innovation : A Grounded Theory Approach. International Research Conference on Quality, Innovation and Knowledge Management (6th : 2002 : Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia. 2001 O'Connor, A. (2001). Valuation of Technology Businesses. Commercialise 2001 Conference. Innovation and the corporate sector. Werribee, Australia.
Year Citation 2015 O'Connor, A., Dissanayake, M. & Roos, G. (2015). How does a Government business support program influence business growth?The case for a business model innovation program in Australia. ACERE Regional Research Exchange,. Adelaide, SA. 2006 O'Connor, A., Cherry, N. & Buckley, P. (2006). Defining entrepreneurship as a 'domain of practice': Implications for theory and research for policy and education. AGSE Regional Research Exchange,. Auckland, New Zealand.
Year Citation 2016 Du, K. & O'connor, A.; (2016); Entrepreneurship & Economic Eficiency Catch-Up: Evidence from Conditional Nonparametric Frontier Analysis; 2015 Kassicieh, S. K., O'Connor, A. J., Menu, S. & Ito, T.; (2015); Measures of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: Why Do We Need Them, Who Will Need Them, and What Will Be Done with Them?;
• O’Connor, A. & Reed, G. 2014/15 Study of the Adelaide Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for SA Department of State Development ($15,000 awarded).
• O’Connor, A. & Corral de Zubielqui, G. 2014/15 Development of the Australian Cluster Observatory for SA Department of State Development, ($150,000 awarded).
• O’Connor A., Omarova, A. & Elsey, B. 2014 Evaluation of the South Australian Servitisation Program for SA Department of Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy ($10,000).
• O’Connor, A., Corral de Zubielqui, G. Li, H. & Dissanayake, M. 2012/13 Report preparation and delivery for Department of Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy, on ‘Entrepreneurial Characteristics Filters and Determinants’ ($23,000).
• O’Connor, A. 2009/10 Department of Trade and Economic Development, ‘Creative Industries Course Development’ ($30,000)
• O’Connor, A. 2009 Onkaparinga Council, The Status of Social Enterprise ($3,000 awarded)
• P. Seet, A. O’Connor & V. Kangaslahti 2009 Business School Ngee-Ann Adelaide Education Centre Research Grant. The Impact of Business Incubation on Entrepreneurial Competencies – A Comparative Study ($10,000)
• O’Connor, A. & Buckley P. 2007/8 ‘Teaching entrepreneurship across disciplines’ funding from the Learning and Teaching Performance Fund.
• Langworthy, A., Cunningham, E. & O’Connor, A. 2006, ‘Enterprise and student aspirations in the outer east’, Swinburne Strategic Initiative Grant. Research conducted in conjunction with the Centre for Regional Development as an Associate Investigator.
• Contributed to the high growth business policy study commissioned by the GEM Global Executive team conducting the Australian qualitative data collection and reporting in 2005.
• Hindle K. & O’Connor, A. 2004 and 2005, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Australia. Managed and conducted the Australian quantitative and qualitative research and co-authored the Australian GEM reports. Reports available at: www.gemaustralia.com.au
• O’Connor, A. 2004 ‘Recognising our Potential’ program stage and development evaluation and profile paper. Project with the Victorian government Department of Treasury and Finance.
• O’Connor, A. & Yamin, S. 2004, Swinburne Synergy Grant, 2004. Industry sponsored quantitative research on organisational innovation. • O’Connor, A. & Ramos, J. 2003 Developed and delivered an innovative one week youth program on entrepreneurship, innovation, and commercialisation for Questacon, the National Centre for Science and Technology, Canberra.
Program Management Experience
- Graduate Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (UOA)
- Graduate Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation (UOA)
- Graduate Diploma in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (UOA)
- Master of Applied Innovation and Entrepreneurship (UOA)
- Master of Applied Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Advanced) (UOA)
Course Teaching/Convener Experience (Courses are Postgraduate studies unless otherwise indicated):
- ‘Project in Entrepreneurship’
- ‘Managing Strategy & Growth’
- ‘Entrepreneurial Strategy and Resourcing’ (Undergraduate)
- ‘Opportunity Assessment’ (Both Postgraduate and Undergraduate)
- ‘Opportunity Evaluation’(Both Postgraduate and Undergraduate)
- ‘The Business Plan and Business Unit Strategy’
- ‘Management and Innovation’
- ‘Managing the Growing Business’
- Qualitative research techniques within a project course
- ‘New Venture Development and Management’ (Undergraduate)
Teaching Publication (Major text book)
- Frederick, Howard H., O’Connor, Allan J. & Kuratko, Donald F. (2016), Entrepreneurship Theory, Process, Practice, 4th Asia-Pacific Edition., Cengage Learning , South Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
- Frederick, Howard H., O’Connor, Allan J. & Kuratko, Donald F. (2013), Entrepreneurship Theory, Process, Practice, 3rd Asia-Pacific Edition., Cengage Learning , South Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
Date Role Committee Institution Country 2014 - ongoing Member TCI Oceania TCI (The Competitiveness Institute): The global practitioners network for competitiveness, clusters and innovation Australia 2009 - ongoing Member Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange (ACERE) Queensland University of Technology Australia
Date Role Editorial Board Name Country 2015 - ongoing Editor Small Business Economics: Special Issue on Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, Australia 2011 - 2015 Editor Integrating Innovation: South Australian Entrepreneurship Systems and Strategies Australia 2006 - 2007 Editor Special Issue Journal of Futures Studies, on Foresight, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Australia
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