Allan Discua Cruz
PhD Management, 2009
Country of origin: Honduras
Now a lecturer at Lancaster University Management School
Born into a business family, I was exposed to, and engaged in business creation and development from a young age. Practical experience raised my intellectual curiosity about entrepreneurship. Such experience was enhanced by international graduate education in the US and Canada, initially aimed at contributing to my existing family businesses (farming, entertainment, distribution and commercial real estate).
From the earliest and gradual business exposure and international academic experience, I became passionate about studying the intricacies of small family firms and decided to pursue postgraduate education in Europe. Such experience led me to search for the best places to pursue doctoral studies around the inseparable topics of family businesses and entrepreneurship. After a long search I was particularly attracted to the research calibre and interdisciplinary nature of entrepreneurship and family business research concentrated in the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development.
From my first year as a doctoral student on the PhD in Management at Lancaster I concentrated on the in-depth understanding of the theories underpinning entrepreneurship and family businesses. As a result, my doctoral research – under the supervision of Professor Carole Howorth and Dr Ellie Hamilton – concentrated on the entrepreneurial dynamics that lead to the formation of family business groups.
Academic publications were accomplished with the guidance and support of renowned researchers in the entrepreneurship and family business fields at Lancaster University and abroad. These publications were conducted with international research teams investigating the applicability of mainstream theories. Furthermore, I was strongly encouraged to present ongoing research findings at local and international academic conferences and practitioner seminars. This strong support allowed me to network with researchers and practitioners in different fields and entice me to be open to research that is meaningful to wider audiences.
In addition to research activities, I was able to develop experience as a teaching assistant in entrepreneurship, management and family businesses courses. My teaching style was influenced by mentoring from experienced members in the department and specialised training in higher education provided by programmes such as ATP (Associate Teacher programme) at Lancaster. The teaching training at Lancaster helped me to build confidence in myself and in students to develop critical thinking and engage actively in the world. The PhD experience at Lancaster was simply the best a PhD experience gets. No wonder it is considered among the best in the world.
Allan Discua Cruz is now a lecturer in the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development.