Portrait of Professor John Thompson Professor John Thompson

j.l.thompson@hud.ac.uk | 01484 472073


Position: Emeritus Professor of Entrepreneurship - The Business School
Qualifications: BA, MBA, PhD, FHEA

John Thompson is Emeritus Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Huddersfield. Whilst Director of the Business School Enterprise Network, he started the Huddersfield Business Generator and the on-campus Business Mine. The remit of the Enterprise Network was to practice, research, teach and promote entrepreneurship and enterprise.


Previous to this role he was Head of the Department of Management. He has been a Visiting Professor in Australia, Finland and Auckland, New Zealand.

He has extensive experience of working with senior and middle managers, having run a part-time MBA course for over 10 years and through involvement in knowledge transfer partnerships, in-company programmes and consultancy. He raised the initial funding for the Huddersfield Business Generator for embryo creative businesses, and much of the work of the Enterprise Network grew out of this.

John is particularly concerned in helping the UK produce more entrepreneurs and more enterprising managers in organisations everywhere and in 2004 he was funded by Yorkshire Forward to direct a DVD – It’s Up To Me – which is directed at young people and which features successful entrepreneurs telling stories about their early ventures and explaining how they would advise young people about being enterprising. John designed and is still involved with an undergraduate programme in Enterprise Development where students must start a real business in order to graduate and which has Theo Paphitis from Dragons’ Den as its lead Ambassador.

Research and Scholarship

John is recognised as one of the UK’s leading authors of texts on strategic management. His main textbook, Strategic Management, is now in its seventh edition and he has also written two strategy books which are popular with managers. These are Strategy in Action and Lead with Vision: Manage the Strategic Challenge. His book, Entrepreneurs: Talent, Temperament, Technique was co-authored with Bill Bolton and first published in 2000; the second edition was published in 2004 with the third edition published in 2013. Their follow-up book on entrepreneurs - The Entrepreneur in Focus - Achieve Your Potential had a publication date of December 2002. He also wrote Enabling Entrepreneurs which was published in 2006.

Johhn's research and case writing focuses on applied strategy and entrepreneurship, mostly in conjunction with organisations. He has published several articles, mainly on the topics of strategic competency, entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurship. His personal research focus is on identifying people with the potential to be entrepreneurs and, again in conjunction with Bill Bolton, he has been produced an on-line Indicator. In addition he has a special interest in social entrepreneurship and is on the editorial board of the Social Enterprise Journal.

Professional Memberships and Activities

John has been a Board member of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE), Enterprise Educators UK and UKBI – UK Business Incubation and remains on the board of the Case Centre (formally the European Case Clearing House (ecch)). He speaks at a number of seminars and conferences each year.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Morland, L. and Thompson, J. (2016) ‘New venture creation as a learning agenda : experiences, reflections and implications from running a venture creation programme’. In: Annals of Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy 2016. : Edward Elgar. pp. 200-225. ISBN 978-1784719159


Refai, D. and Thompson, J. (2015) ‘Where do graduates Develop their Enterprise Skills? The Value of the Contribution of Higher Education Institutions’ ContextIndustry and Higher Education , 29 (6), pp. 435-444. ISSN 0950-4222

Klapper, R., Feather, D., Refai, D., Thompson, J. and Fayolle, A. (2015) ‘Innovative pedagogy in entrepreneurship; introductionIndustry and Higher Education , 29 (5), pp. 321-325. ISSN 0950-4222

Refai, D., Klapper, R. and Thompson, J. (2015) ‘A Holistic Social Constructionist perspective to Enterprise EducationInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research , 21 (3), pp. 316-337. ISSN 1355-2554


Refai, D. and Thompson, J. (2014) ‘Using Enterprise Education to Prepare Healthcare Professional Graduates for the Real-worldIndustry and Higher Education Special issue: Enterprise Education and Entrepreneurial Learning , 28 (6), pp. 427-438. ISSN 0950-4222

Thompson, J., Scott, J. and Martin, F. (2014) Strategic management 7th edition . Awareness and change. Hampshire, UK: Cengage. ISBN 9781408064993


Refai, D. and Thompson, J. (2013) ‘Utilising Enterprise Education to Prepare Healthcare Professional Graduates for the Real-world’. In: ISBE Conference - Escape Velocity: Entrepreneurship in an Internationalising Environment, 12-13 November 2013, Cardiff, Wales

Thompson, J. and Scott, J. (2013) ‘Social enterprise or social entrepreneurship - which matters and why?’. In: Social Enterprise: Accountability and Evaluation around the World. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 13-27. ISBN 978-0-415-62609-5

Bolton, B. and Thompson, J. (2013) Entrepreneurs: talent, temperament, opportunity . London, UK: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-63187-7


Thompson, J. and Scott, J. (2012) ‘Issues in measuring the performance of social enterprises’. In: Social Entrepreneurship: How Businesses Can Transform Society. London, UK: ABC-CLIO. . ISBN 978-0-313-39341-9

Thompson, J (2012) ‘Incredible Edible: Social and Environmental Entrepreneurship in the Era of the Big SocietySocial Enterprise Journal , 3 (1). ISSN 1750-8614

Thompson, J., Scott, J. and Downing, R. (2012) ‘Enterprise policy, delivery, practice and research: Largely rhetoric or under-valued achievement?International Journal of Public Sector Management , 25 (5), pp. 332-345. ISSN 0951-3558


Refai, D. and Thompson, J. (2011) ‘The Significance of Problem-Based Learning in the Development of Enterprise Skills for Pharmacy Students in UK HEI’. In: ISBE Conference 2011 Sustainable Futures: Enterprising Landscapes and Communities, 9-10 November 2011, Sheffield, UK

Thompson, J (2011) ‘Reflections on social enterprise and the Big SocietySocial Enterprise Journal , 7 (3), pp. 219-223. ISSN 1750-8614

Morland, L. and Thompson, J. (2011) ‘Action learning: engaging the budding entrepreneur’. In: 6th International Conference on Organisational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities: Making Waves, 11th-15th April 2011, University of Hull Business School

Thompson, J (2011) ‘Learning by doing and learning from doing: the development of a new degree in Enterprise Development’. In: Paper presentations of the 2010 University of Huddersfield Annual Learning and Teaching Conference. Huddersfield: University of Huddersfield. pp. 65-74.


Thompson, J (2010) ‘'Entrepreneurship Enablers'-Their Unsung and Unquantified Role in Competitiveness and RegenerationLocal Economy , 25 (1), pp. 58-73. ISSN 0269-0942


Pittaway, L., Hannon, P., Gibb, A. and Thompson, J. (2009) ‘Assessment practice in enterprise educationInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research , 15 (1), pp. 71-93. ISSN 1355-2554


Thompson, J. and Bretherton, P. (2008) The Koorana Crocodile Farm ECCH

Thompson, J (2008) ‘Social enterprise and social entrepreneurship: where have we reached?: A summary of issues and discussion pointsSocial Enterprise Journal , 4 (2), pp. 149-161. ISSN 1750-8614


Thompson, J (2007) ‘The entrepreneur enabler: identifying and supporting those with potentialJournal of Small Business and Enterprise Development , 14 (3), pp. 528-544. ISSN 1462-6004


Thompson, J. and Doherty, B. (2006) ‘The diverse world of social enterprise: a collection of social enterprise storiesInternational journal of social economics , 33 (5/6), pp. 361-375. ISSN 0306-8293


Thompson, J. and Martin, F. (2005) Strategic Management: Awareness, Analysis and Change (5th edition) . : Cengage Learning (formerly Thomson Learning). ISBN 9781844800834


Thompson, J (2004) ‘Innovation through peopleManagement decision , 42 (9), pp. 1082-1094. ISSN 0025-1747

Thompson, J (2004) ‘The FACETS of the entrepreneur: identifying entrepreneurial potentialManagement decision , 42 (2), pp. 243-258. ISSN 0025-1747

Thompson, J., Frederick, H. and Mellalieu, P. (2004) ‘New Zealand perspectives of international entrepreneurship’. In: Handbook of Research on International Entrepreneurship. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 533-548. ISBN 978 1 84376 069 6

Bolton, B. and Thompson, J. (2004) Entrepreneurs: talent, temperament, technique . London, UK: Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-7506-6128-7

Thompson, J (2004) ‘The facets of the entrepreneur: identifying entrepreneurial potentialManagement Decision , 42 (2), pp. 243-258. ISSN 00251747


Thompson, J (2003) Hornby Hobbies: swimming against the tide ECCH

Thompson, J (2003) Air New Zealand ECCH

Thompson, J (2003) P&O Princess, Royal Caribbean and Carnival: only two can play ECCH


Thompson, J (2002) ‘The world of the social entrepreneurInternational journal of public sector management , 15 (2), pp. 412-431. ISSN 0951-3558

Bolton, B. and Thompson, J. (2002) The entrepreneur in focus: achieve your potential . : Cengage Learning. ISBN 9781861529183


Thompson, J (2001) The Turnaround at Clarks' Shoes ECCH

Thompson, J (2001) The Sony Playstation 2 ECCH

Thompson, J (2001) Strategic management (4th edition) . : Thompson Learning. ISBN 9781861525871

Thompson, J (2001) Understanding corporate strategy . : Thompson Learning. ISBN 9781861527554


Thompson, J., Lees, A. and Alvy, G. (2000) ‘Social entrepreneurship – a new look at the people and the potentialManagement decision , 38 (5), pp. 328-338. ISSN 0025-1747


Thompson, J (1999) P&O Princess and the International Passenger Cruise Industry ECCH

Thompson, J (1999) ‘The world of the entrepreneur – a new perspectiveJournal of workplace learning , 11 (6), pp. 209-224. ISSN 1366-5626

Thompson, J (1999) ‘A strategic perspective of entrepreneurshipInternational journal of entrepreneurial behaviour & research , 5 (6), pp. 279-296. ISSN 1355-2554


Thompson, J (1998) Thorn EMI ECCH

Thompson, J (1998) ‘Competency and measured performance outcomesJournal of workplace learning , 10 (5), pp. 219-231. ISSN 1366-5626

Thompson, J (1998) ‘Strategic crisis aversion: the value of a “style audit”The learning organisation , 5 (1), pp. 36-46. ISSN 0969-6474

Thompson, J (1998) ‘Competence and strategic paradoxManagement decision , 36 (4), pp. 274-284. ISSN 0025-1747


Thompson, J. and Cole, M. (1997) ‘Strategic competency - the learning challengeJournal of workplace learning , 9 (5), pp. 153-162. ISSN 1366-5626


Thompson, J (1996) ‘Strategic and competitive success: towards a model of the comprehensively competent organizationManagement decision , 34 (2), pp. 5-19. ISSN 0025-1747

Thompson, J (1996) ‘Strategic effectiveness and success: the learning challengeManagement decision , 34 (7), pp. 14-22. ISSN 0025-1747


Richardson, B. and Thompson, J. (1995) ‘Strategy evaluation in powerful environments: a multi-competence approachLeadership & organization development journal , 16 (4), pp. 17-25. ISSN 0143-7739


Thompson, J (1993) ‘Empowerment in retailingInternational journal of retail and distribution management , 21 (2), pp. 23-31. ISSN 0959-0552


Thompson, J (1991) British Tourist Authority (BTA) ECCH

Thompson, J (1991) London Zoo (B) ECCH

Thompson, J (1991) The National Trust ECCH

Thompson, J (1991) London Zoo (A) ECCH

Thompson, J (1991) The Natural History Museum ECCH


Thompson, J (1987) The Optica ECCH

Thompson, J (1987) Luton Town Football Club: a case study in the Management of Change ECCH

Thompson, J (1987) The Norman Aeroplane Co. ECCH


Thompson, J (1986) Tottenham Hotspur PLC ECCH


Thompson, J (1984) The 'Windancer' case ECCH


Thompson, J (1983) Dearne Valley Foundry ECCH

Thompson, J (1983) The Dearne Valley Foundry: a management buy-out opportunity ECCH


In 2009 John received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion.

Enterprise Activities

John has worked with the University’s Enterprise Network team to capture the learning from their entrepreneur enabling work – the publication of this work has led John to be asked to speak on the subject at various events in the UK and abroad. His paper on Entrepreneur Enabling, written with Dr Ron Downing of the DTI, won the Best Practical Paper award at the ISBE (Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship) conference in 2006.