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Neil Aaron Thompson is an Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship and Organization Studies. He received Msc degrees in International Economics and Business from the Utrecht University in 2009. In 2013 he received his PhD degree, based on a dissertation with the title Institutional Logics and Entrepreneurship – Struggling for legitimacy in the emerging bio-energy field.

His ongoing research covers topics about Entrepreneurship as Practice; Organizational Creativity; New Venture Creation; Sustainable Development; Organization Theory; Institutional Theory; Organizational Change; New Industry Development; Economic Sociology; and Historical Methods. Present research questions are; How do entrepreneurs experience and cope with anxiety through the entrepreneurship process? How has a global entrepreneurship ecosystem emerged and evolved? How can we best conceptualize and research entrepreneurial ecosystems? How does institutional work assist business historians in historiography? How is the imagination implicated in organizational creativity?


Current research projects are varied, reflecting Neil’s keen interest in developing new areas of scholarship. This includes, for instance, building a research community and conducting research that employs practice theory towards understanding entrepreneurial phenomena. Moreover, he examines the role of anxiety in the entrepreneurship process, its causes and how entrepreneurs cope with this emotion driven by uncertainty. His research also expands into developing historical approaches to entrepreneurship and organization studies by conducting studies on institutional work in the music industry and the historical development of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Finally, he has a passion for shedding new light on our understanding of organizational creativity by theorizing about the role of the imagination in the creative process.


Neil is the SBE faculty programme coordinator of the premaster programmes, which enables students from different backgrounds to be admitted to the faculty's Master programmes. He is also the coordinator of two core Masters courses in the Masters of Science Entrepreneurship programme – the entrepreneurial individual and social entrepreneurship. He also supervises several master thesis projects on topic related to his research interests. 

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Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth


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