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After 10 years in the property industry in consulting, contractor, and engineering roles Paul’s journey continued with the completion of a Master of Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship comprising time in Germany studying the dynamics of European and international business. With funding from the Employers and Manufacturers Association and Tertiary Education Commission Bright Futures scholarship scheme, Paul completed his PhD investigating ways entrepreneurial family businesses can be sustained across generations. He won an international research proposal award in recognition of his focus on sustaining entrepreneurial family businesses across generations.
Building on his PhD research he received three years funding to investigate “Innovation in New Zealand’s Traditional Industries.” These include primary, engineering, manufacturing, and services, including science and technology suppliers to those industries. Through this research we understand more about the characteristics and innovation practices of firms in traditional industries; perceived barriers towards innovation; and how these firms access, develop and apply knowledge and competence.
As well as lecturing at undergraduate level, including in a team-based learning environment, Paul advised MBA students through their capstone projects and lectured on the Master of Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship programme at the University of Auckland. Paul has also worked in two Centre’s of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and, besides international conferences and doctoral consortia, has been funded to visit leading universities and innovation labs including Cambridge (IfM, CfEL, Hauser Forum, CBR), Oxford (Entrepreneurship Centre, Venturefest), Copenhagen Business School (CIEL, CSE, Foundation for Entrepreneurship), Babson College, UC Berkeley, and Harvard Innovation Labs, to mention a few. These combined experiences have led Paul to have a rounded understanding of entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems.
Paul is also part of the National Science Challenge: Science for Technological Innovation, Kia Kotahi Mai: Te Ao Pūtaiao me Te Ao Hangarau. His involvement is on “Portfolio One: Building New Zealand's Innovation Capacity” which tackles two big weaknesses in the New Zealand innovation system – human capacity (people and skills) and relational capacity (the network between researchers and industry).
His interests are centred on entrepreneurship and innovation, particularly in family businesses and traditional industries. He also has a specific interest in winegrowing businesses stemming from his family heritage in the wine industry. Paul considers himself an entrepreneur and innovator enabler which is channelled through teaching, research and advisory roles.
Since 2002 Paul has been involved in a number of research projects including the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), entrepreneurship and human resource management text books, policy reports, case studies, and articles. His research aims to integrate interests across several broad research areas: entrepreneurship and innovation, family businesses, and traditional industries. He continues advancing his research by developing a platform that investigates drivers, barriers, and potential policy implications for entrepreneurship and innovation.