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Otago appoints new Professor of Entrepreneurship

Two students in front of the Clocktower

Monday 18 June 2012 8:26am

Chetty SylvieProfessor Sylvie Chetty

The University of Otago has appointed leading marketing researcher Professor Sylvie Chetty as its next Professor of Entrepreneurship and Director of its Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Professor Chetty has been researching the growth and internationalisation of small and medium size enterprises in New Zealand and other countries for more than two decades. She is currently a Professor of Marketing at Massey University’s Albany campus and a Research Associate at Uppsala University in Sweden.

She will take up the Dunedin City Council (DCC) Chair in Entrepreneurship in August.

The professorial Chair was made possible by a $1m endowment to the University of Otago by the DCC. As part of the University’s Leading Thinkers Initiative, the DCC gift attracted matching funding from the Government under the Partnerships for Excellence scheme.

Announcing the appointment, Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne says that Professor Chetty is an excellent choice to pursue research and provide academic leadership that will enhance the University’s contribution to regional and national business development.

Professor Chetty has previously worked in Iran, South Africa, and Swaziland and at Canterbury and Victoria universities in New Zealand. In 1994 she earned a PhD in
Business Administration from the University of Canterbury. Her other qualifications include a Master of Science in Business Administration from the University of Edinburgh.

Her research interests are in the internationalisation of firms, export performance, business networks and social capital. She has published widely in leading international journals in her field and has had a number of visiting professorships at universities in Finland, Sweden and Scotland.

In 2009, Professor Chetty and her Otago co-author Professor Colin Campbell-Hunt won the American Marketing Association’s prestigious Hans B. Thorelli Award. The Award was for a 2004 article published in the Journal of International Marketing that has made the most significant and long-term contribution to international marketing theory. The article focused on internationalisation strategies and was based on a study of 16 in-depth case histories of New Zealand firms.

Otago Business School Dean Professor George Benwell also welcomed the appointment of such an internationally respected researcher to a key academic position at the School.

“This Chair is important in that it furthers our commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship and the creation of regional and national businesses. We are encouraged by the international academic research calibre of Professor Chetty and believe she will make a significant and positive impact on business innovation, particularly the international aspects of entrepreneurship.”

Professor Benwell says it is important for New Zealand that new business creation is given prominence in a contemporary business school.

“At the Otago Business School, with support from the DCC and government, we endeavour to make a positive contribution to New Zealand’s economic growth,” Professor Benwell says.

Professor Benwell says the Centre of Entrepreneurship, which Professor Chetty will lead, offers the business community academic research and a Master of Entrepreneurship that is producing new and vibrant young business leaders for tomorrow. This course is offered in Dunedin and Queenstown.

Professor Chetty says she is delighted to be appointed to the Chair and as Centre Director.

“This role provides the opportunity to consolidate my research, teaching and national and international research linkages to develop a world-class hub for entrepreneurship research. I look forward to taking up leadership of the Centre and working at Otago, which is a research led and well-organised university.

“Since entrepreneurship is of considerable importance to grow the New Zealand economy at the local, regional, as well as national level, the Centre will play a critical role in providing the research infrastructure to facilitate this,” Professor Chetty says.

Professor Chetty says she also intends to engage with entrepreneurship scholars across the University’s divisions as this field of research does not only take place in the Business School.

The inaugural appointee to the Chair, Professor Brendan Gray, is returning to the University’s Department of Marketing following his completion of a five-year term in the role.

For more information, contact:

Simon Ancell
Communications Adviser
University of Otago
Tel 64 3 479 5016

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