Professor Mike Wright (1952 – 2019)

Mike Wright was born in 1952 and completed his first Degree in 1973. This was followed by his MA from Durham and a PhD from Nottingham University. Later, he became Professor of Financial Studies at Nottingham University Business School and received a doctorate honoris causa from the Universities of Ghent and Derby. Mike was also a visiting professor at Erasmus University.

Mike was a prolific publisher; and his research was impactful for academics and practice, currently generating over 78000 cites with ‘h’ and g’ scores of 137 and 529, respectively. He published numerous books and well over 400 articles on academic, family, habitual and returning entrepreneurs, private equity, etc. in all the leading academic journals including Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Review of Economics and Statistics, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Management, Journal of Business Venturing and Research Policy.

Mike was ranked #1 worldwide for entrepreneurship publications in 2009, editor of Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, and Chair of the Academy of Management Entrepreneurship Division, receiving that division’s Mentor Award in 2009. He was a Fellow of the British Academy of Management and a member of the BVCA Research Advisory Board.

Mike held major research grants from financial institutions and national and international research agencies totalling some £4 million for studies in the areas of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial finance and governance.  These resulted in numerous reports for research funders, extensive media coverage (including Financial Times, The Economist and The Wall Street Journal). This year alone Mike had over 40 articles published and I  have just ordered his latest book, Student Start-Ups: The New Landscape of Academic Entrepreneurship (with Philippe Mustar and Don Siegel).

During his later career, Mike was Professor of Entrepreneurship at Imperial College, London and Director of the Centre for Management Buy-out Research. In addition, he joined the newly formed Enterprise Research Centre (with Steve Roper and Mark Hart) in 2013 with the aim of providing high quality, independent research and analysis to inform government policy on SMEs. Mike was an obvious candidate to lead the research theme on finance and governance, which he did with aplomb.

I think it was fitting that Mike’s work on the impact of private equity was recently selected by the Academy of Social Sciences for its booklet showcasing management research, “Making the Case for the Social Sciences”.  At Imperial College, where Mike worked up to his untimely death, his publications, according to Google Scholar, (as of 28 November, 2019) made him the 15th most cited academic; those above him worked exclusively in the Life Sciences. I think Mike made his case, brilliantly.

Mike supported and encouraged many people in his productive career. Whenever Mike’s pieces landed in my inbox, I knew they needed reading. You could learn a lot from studying his style and the clarity he brought to complex arguments. Amongst his many interests, Mike was a huge Bob Dylan fan. He will be sadly missed by all of us at ISBE.

Professor Nigel Culkin
ISBE Fellow


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