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Dr Caroline Parkinson

PositionLecturer in Entrepreneurship
DepartmentSchool of Management
Telephone+44 (0)1274 234399

Research Interests (key words only)

Entrepreneurship - Social Entrepreneurship - Discourse and power - Communities - Young People - Family Business

PhD Supervision

Caroline is currently supervising PhD and DBA students in the areas of entrepreneurship, Students are currently researching institutional influences on youth engagement in entrepreneurship, organisational agility in social enterprises, gender and family business. To date, Caroline has supervised one PhD student to successful completion and welcomes prospective students interested in entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship and family business.

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities

Caroline teaches entrepreneurship across undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She has successfully supervised a number of MSc dissertations and MBA projects relating to entrepreneurship in different contexts, venture creation and feasibility analysis, NGO management and innovation.

Current undergraduate teaching includes lecturing and tutoring in:

  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Marketing & Entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Practice

Current postgraduate teaching includes:

  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation (MSc)
  • Team-Based Projects (Developing Entrepreneurial Opportunities) (MSc)
  • Entrepreneurship (MBA Distance Learning)

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Programme Leader: MSc Entrepreneurship and Applied Management
  • Module leader (UG and MSc)
  • Programme development and curriculum design for new entrepreneurship courses


Caroline joined the School of Management in 2013 as a post-doctoral enterprise research fellow before being appointed as Lecturer in Entrepreneurship in 2015. She holds an ESRC funded PhD in Management from Lancaster University. Prior to joining Bradford, Caroline worked in a research project management capacity for the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development at Lancaster University Management School, developing research and outreach in the area of social enterprise and social entrepreneurship. She has also conducted monitoring for University of Liverpool Management School. Previously Caroline worked in urban regeneration in London, Berlin and Paris.

Study History

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice with distinction - University of Bradford, 2017
  • PhD Management - Lancaster University, 2011
  • MA Urban Regeneration - University of Westminster, 1999
  • BA Hons Modern Languages - University of Exeter, 1994

Professional History

  • Urban Regeneration Consultant, Greater London Enterprise
  • Regeneration Manager for a London based housing developer
  • Project Assistant, Berlin State Department for Urban Development and Environmental Protection

Research Areas

From an interest in critical aspects of social and community entrepreneurship, Caroline has a broad interest in enterprise culture in different contexts and discourses of enterprise. Her PhD thesis ‘Enterprise in Deprived Areas: the crafting of an (un-)enterprising community’ examined attitudes to enterprise in the context of deprivation. Building on this, she is interested in entrepreneurial cultures in higher and lower income communities.

Caroline also has a research interest in informal enterprise activity, particularly changing attitudes to ‘cash in hand’ or ‘off the books’ working. Through collaborative research projects, she will be examining how attitudes to grey/informal activities are conditioned and the implications for enterprise in local economies.

Involvement with an international team of researchers working on the IRSES ‘Crossing Boundaries’ project is also looking at innovation in the rural context, particularly grassroots innovations in different national contexts.

Current Projects

Caroline is currently working to develop outputs from completed collaborative research/KE projects:

  • Next Generation Engagement Project, funded by the Institute for Family Business Research Foundation (co-investigator)
  • Youth and place-based entrepreneurial cultures research project, funded by ISBE RAKE fund (lead-investigator).
  • CrowdFunding Innovation and Future Entrepreneurs: Using a Crowdfunding for Entrepreneurship & Innovation project, Higher Education Innovation Funding, funded by Higher Education Innovation Funding/University of Bradford (co-investigator).
  • ‘Crossing Boundaries’, EU IRSES funded project on innovation across international boundaries (co-investigator).

Previously, Caroline was lead investigator on two projects on informal enterprise activity and entrepreneurial culture among young people for City of Bradford MD Council in 2013-15. She also led a research and knowledge exchange project with the West Cumbria Social Enterprise Hub.

Research Collaborations

Caroline is a member of collaborative research teams with colleagues at Liverpool University Management School and Lancaster University Management School.


Howorth, C., Parkinson C., Stead, V. and Leitch, C. (2016) Next Generation Engagement in Family Businesses, IFB Research Foundation: London, UK. ISBN 978 0 9551898 8.

Journal articles:

Parkinson, C., Howorth, C. and Southern, A.  (2016) 'The crafting of an (un)enterprising community: Context and the social practice of talk', International Small Business Journal. Online First 10.1177/0266242615621123.

Parkinson, C. and Howorth, C. (2008) ‘The language of social entrepreneurs’, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 20(3): 285-309.

Howorth, C., Smith, S. and Parkinson, C. (2012) ‘Social learning and social entrepreneurship education’, Academy of Management Learning & Education, 11(3).


Howorth, C., Parkinson, C. and Southern, A. (2009) ‘Does enterprise discourse have the power to enable or disable deprived communities?’ in D. Smallbone, H. Lanstrom and D.Jones-Evans (eds) Entrepreneurship And Growth In Local, Regional And National Economies, Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Howorth, C., Parkinson, C. and MacDonald, M. (2011) ‘Discursive chasms: an examination of the language and promotion of social enterprise’, in A. Southern (ed) Enterprise, Deprivation and Social Exclusion: The role of small business in addressing social and economic inequalities, New York: Routledge.

Southern, A. and Parkinson, C. (2011) ‘Conclusion: the role of enterprise in addressing social and economic inequalities’, in A. Southern (ed) Enterprise, Deprivation and Social Exclusion: The role of small business in addressing social and economic inequalities, New York: Routledge.

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