Alacrity Foundation, Alacrity House, Kingsway, Newport, NP20 1HG

Introducing our research collaboration with Katherine Parsons, Cardiff Business School

“It’s not purely academic”

… bringing business and research together….


Katherine has previously worked in Management Development and Organisational Learning roles across both the public and private sector, delivering higher education learning programmes to SMEs in the Heads of the Valleys and teaching at undergraduate and post graduate level at Cardiff Business School. She is currently undertaking a PhD at Cardiff University to understand more about the people in start-up organisations. Her current research interests relate to understanding more about identities within start-up organisations and she is using the Alacrity programme and our spin-out companies as the focus of her research. We are looking forward to collaborating with Katherine so that we can benefit from insights from her research. We will use these to inform our training programmes and the development of our Founders and their future companies.

Katherine has just completed a 9 month research project entitled; “I am who I say I am? – identity negotiation in an entrepreneurship development programme” with our 2018/2019 cohort, studying how an entrepreneur’s sense of who they are and who they are becoming changes during the entrepreneurial process. The research raised questions such as: what forms of rationality or logics were driving the nascent entrepreneurs’ behaviours and decision-making in constructing their identities throughout the process? and what strategies did they use to manage and negotiate who they were now and who or what they hoped to become?  A summary of the key findings from the research will be posted with a response from the Alacrity team which sets out the practical implications this research has had on how we design and deliver the Alacrity programme in light of these findings. One example of which is a closer monitoring of the Founders’ changing perceptions of their personal entrepreneurial journeys. A Founder’s narrative (the story they tell of who they are), is a window into the entrepreneur’s ‘being. The Foundation assists Founders identity management strategies so that they have control of who they considered they were, they are now and who they want to be to help alleviate the stress and strain of otherwise conflicting identities, thus improving their personal well-being.

The Alacrity programme value this opportunity to connect academic research with reflexive practice that allows the Foundation’s Leadership Team to explore their agency in the programme, challenging the idiom “it’s purely academic” by welcoming collaboration with Cardiff Business School through this research project which can bring practical implications for how we develop start-ups at the Alacrity Foundation.

Watch this space for further insights from Katherine’s forthcoming research for her PhD project which looks at the implications on collective identity negotiation where a start-up team is built around addressing a grand societal challenge as well as her upcoming blog series responding to ‘five challenges’ we face on the Alacrity programme.

To learn more about Katherine’s current research project, please do connect via:-



Twitter; @pars_katherine

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