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EAWOP Member Achieves Global Recognition with Entrepreneurship Research Award


The Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research is the most prestigious prize in entrepreneurship research. The award is bestowed to “a person who has produced scientific work of outstanding quality and importance, thereby giving a significant contribution to theory building concerning entrepreneurship and small business development, the role and importance of new firm formation, and the role of SMEs in economic development.” (more information here and here). 

To our knowledge, this is the first time the award was given to psychologists, marking an important milestone. Furthermore, it is  also the first time that entrepreneurship research in Africa is put into the international spotlight as a result of this award, given that a large part of Prof Frese’s empirical work on entrepreneurship has been done in Africa. 


Moivation for the Award

Professor Robert Baron and Professor Michael Frese have spearheaded groundbreaking research aimed at answering a set of fundamental questions about human psychology and entrepreneurship. Through collaboration and the adoption of different approaches to psychology, they have set out to answer pivotal questions in the domain of entrepreneurship research. These questions include why certain individuals decide to engage in entrepreneurship while others do not; how they recognize, assess, and act upon new opportunities; and what factors contribute to varying degrees of success in pursuing these opportunities.

Professor Baron’s work has been instrumental in establishing the theoretical linkages between findings from socio-cognitive psychology and entrepreneurship. His work delves into understanding the factors that determine who becomes an entrepreneur, elucidating the motivations behind entrepreneurial behavior, and exploring the cognitive and social psychology mechanisms that foster entrepreneurial success. Some of his most significant contributions concern the nature and role of pattern identification in the entrepreneurial opportunity recognition process, and how a set of heuristics, cognitive biases, and psychological states can have both positive and negative effects on entrepreneurial success. Professor Baron has applied broad approaches from cognitive psychology, social psychology, and judgment and decision-making to develop the field’s socio-cognitive perspective.

Professor Frese has applied a proactive, action-based approach to exploring and clarifying the origins and effects of personal initiative, self-regulated action in the entrepreneurial process, and the success factors of entrepreneurs. By engaging in multiple large-scale meta-studies, Professor Frese has successfully identified and explained the relationships between psychological factors, entrepreneurial action, and entrepreneurial success. His contributions have injected new life into the discussion surrounding personal characteristics and their role in entrepreneurship. His scholarly work has been accompanied by consistent efforts to educate and train prospective and practicing entrepreneurs, particularly in the challenging context of developing and emerging economies.

Beyond these theoretically grounded contributions, the prize winners’ evidence-based approaches to the study of entrepreneurship have led to the creation of innovative tools and strategies for educating and training entrepreneurs across economies at various stages of development.

As long-standing ambassadors for the study of the psychological foundations of entrepreneurship, Professor Robert Baron and Professor Michael Frese have inspired a new generation of researchers to engage with the questions of why, how, and with what effect some individuals choose to pursue entrepreneurship. The pioneering, engaged, and practically relevant scholarship for which they have been recognized is of critical importance for the continued development and success of entrepreneurship research.

Prof. Michael Frese's Google Scholar profile is available here. 

Biography of Prof Michael Frese is available here.


More information about the 2024 recipients of the award is available here.