Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship Seminar Series

Artificial Intelligence and Big Data in Entrepreneurship: A New Era Has Begun


Associate Professor Martin Obschonka


Director of Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research (ACERE), Queensland University of Technology Business School. International Faculty Fellow at MIT Sloan School of Management.

Time & Place

Mon, 13 May 2019 10:00:00 NZST in Room 236, Meremere

All are welcome


While the disruptive potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data has been receiving growing attention and concern in a variety of research and application fields over the last few years, it has not received much scrutiny in contemporary entrepreneurship research so far. I will present some reflections and a collection of papers on the role of AI and Big Data for this emerging area in the study and application of entrepreneurship research.

While being mindful of the potentially overwhelming nature of the rapid progress in machine intelligence and other Big Data technologies for contemporary structures in entrepreneurship research, I will put an emphasis on the reciprocity of the co-evolving fields of entrepreneurship research and practice. How can AI and Big Data contribute to a productive transformation of the research field and the real-world phenomena (e.g., “smart entrepreneurship”)?

I will also discuss, however, ethical issues as well as challenges around a potential contradiction between entrepreneurial uncertainty and rule-driven AI rationality. The presentation gives scholars and practitioners orientation and showcases avenues and examples for concrete research in this field. At the same time, however, it is not unlikely that we will encounter unforeseeable and currently inexplicable developments in the field soon. The presentation will therefore conclude with a discussion on how entrepreneurship scholars, educators, and practitioners could proactively prepare for future scenarios.


Dr. Martin Obschonka is a psychologist working in the research fields vocational development, entrepreneurship, economic culture, social and economic change, and applied personality psychology. He has an interest in interdisciplinary projects, cross-cultural perspectives, innovative data and data collection methods, and also in the practical application of new scientific knowledge. He has published his research in psychology journals (e.g., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Personality, European Journal of Personality, Journal of Vocational Behavior, European Psychologist), entrepreneurship journals (e.g., Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, Small Business Economics), economics journals (e.g., European Economic Review, Industrial and Corporate Change), economic geography journals (e.g., Regional Studies, Environment and Planning A), finance (Journal of Baning & Finance), and interdisciplinary journals (e.g., PLOS ONE).

His research has received international media attention, with Altmetric attention scores for his first-authored studies currently ranking in the top 3 of three journals (Journal of Vocational Behavior, Small Business Economics and Journal of Business Venturing Insights), with a Nr. 1 Altmetric score for media coverage in news outlets of all studies published in the top 20 innovation and entrepreneurship journals (Google Scholar journal ranking). Media outlets that covered his research include The Times (UK), Harvard Business Review, The Times of India, The Boston Globe, Forbes, The Atlantic, Inc. Magazine, The BBC, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Huffington Post, Popular Science, Time Magazine, SpiegelOnline, FocusOnline, Handelsblatt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Tagesspiegel. Recently, Springer Nature selected his entrepreneurial personalities in political leadership study as one of 2018’s most influential studies published by Springer Nature.

He is currently Director of the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research and Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship in the QUT Business School, Brisbane, Australia (School of Management) as well as International Faculty Fellow at MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, MA, USA. He is Chair of the Academic Committee of the annual ACERE conference (Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange) and Associated Editor of Small Business Economics and International Journal of Psychology.