Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Dr James Cunningham

Biography Dr James Cunningham has been involved in the design and delivery of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching since 2009. He has worked for a number of universities in both Scotland and Germany. He is also external examiner at Lancaster University.

James is an active researcher in the field of entrepreneurship and is an internationally invited speaker on a number of topics, including: human resource development in family firms; entrepreneurial context; entrepreneurial collaboration in the creative industries; and the role of family and society in business.

Each year he supervises on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate theses on topics related to small business management, entrepreneurship, social enterprise and business strategy more broadly. He also supervises a number of PhD projects related to entrepreneurship and is an established PhD examiner.

He is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, while also sitting on the editorial review board of: Entrepreneurship and Regional Development; Journal of Family Business Management and the Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. His work has appeared in many entrepreneurship and small business based journals, such as: Family Business Review, Journal of Family Business Strategy, and International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation – along with more mainstream management journals: International Journal of Human Resource Management, Human Resource Development International and Group Decision and Negotiation.

James led the Small Business Charter accreditation of Aberdeen Business School (achieved in 2021) and coordinates the Small Business & Enterprise Research group within the school. James encourages PhD or research applications in the field of small business management and entrepreneurship and would welcome contact from anyone interested in such topics.
Research Interests James’ current research considers the social construction of entrepreneurial activity, with projects covering: leadership and identity in family business; the social status of entrepreneurs across cultures; and entrepreneurship in the creative sectors.

James also has a particular interest in the creative sectors. Creative and cultural entrepreneurs, such as artists, designers and gallery owners, impact on both the economic and cultural development of a region, this work investigates how these entrepreneurs are embedded both socially and economically. Specific studies of James' in this area include investigations into the entrepreneurial identity of artists and the role of collaboration in the craft beer sector. James is involved with consultancy projects throughout the School, particularly in the areas of social enterprise and business strategy. He is also a co-chair for the ISBE (Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship) Family and Community Business SIG and a reviewer for EURAM conferences.

Furthermore, James has been involved it two high-profile projects analysing leadership rhetoric. One focuses on the campaign imagery of Barack Obama, the other looks to the crisis communications of Jacinda Ardern during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Teaching and Learning James currently coordinates a number of modules in Aberdeen Business School, notably: Business Strategy (BS4104), Strategic Management in the MBA Programme (BSM218) and Family and Social Enterprise in the MSc Programme (BSM536); along with various contributions to research methods input throughout the School. James also contributes regularly to university’s Graduate School content, including lectures on philosophy and mixed methods, along with the stage-gate activities of research students.

Previously, James was programme lead for the BA (Hons) Management Programme and course leader for the BA (Hons) Management course.
Scopus Author ID 56964691900