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Jean Clarke, PhD, Strategy & Organization


Professor of Entrepreneurship and Organization

Strategy & Organization

Jean Clarke’s research explores how language and other cultural resources are used by entrepreneurs to create meaning and develop legitimacy. This includes non-verbal resources (body, dress, space) used as part of behavioral displays and interactions. She also has an interest in socially situated and embodied cognition in the entrepreneurial context.



  1. 2004-2007 PhD, Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  2. 2003-2004 MSc in Occupational Psychology (Distinction), Institute of Work Psychology (IWP), University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
  3. 1999–2002 BSc in Psychology, Queens University, Belfast


Further Qualifications

  1. 2015 Babson SEE Programme for Entrepreneurship Educators
  2. 2010-2011 Teaching in High Education Award (Professional Standard 1)


  1. 2017-present Visiting Professor at Leeds University Business School
  2. 2014-2016  Professor Leeds University Business School (LUBS), University of Leeds, United Kingdom.
  3. 2011–2014 Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship and Organization (LUBS)
  4. 2008–2011 Lecturer in Entrepreneurship (LUBS)
  5. 2007–2008 Economic Social Research Council (ESRC) funded Post-doctoral Research Fellow
  6. 2005–2007 Research Assistant on Networking Northwest Regional Evaluation Project

Scientific CommitteesTop

  1. Senior Editor: Organization Studies
  2. Associate Editor:Journal of Management Inquiry


  1. Entrepreneurship and small business
  2. Multi-modal metaphor
  3. Visual methodologies
  4. Narrative and Identity
  5. Embodied cognition


  2. EGOS

Courses taughtTop

  1. PG30 Crafting the Entrepreneurial Story: Narrative and Persuasion in Entrepreneurship
  2. PG31 Psychology of Entrepreneurship: How Entrepreneurs Think

Research InterestTop

Journal Articles

Clarke, J., Cornelissen, J. and Healey, M. (2018). Actions speak louder than words: How figurative language and gesturing in entrepreneurial pitches influences investment judgements. Academy of Management Journal, doi.org/10.5465/amj.2016.1008

Clarke, J. and Holt, R. (2017). Imagery of ad-venture: Understanding entrepreneurial identity through metaphor and drawing. Journal of Business Venturing, 32(5), 476-497.

Clarke, J., and Holt, R. (2016). Vivienne Westwood and the ethics of consuming fashion. Journal of Management Inquiry. 25(2), 199-213.

Clarke, J., Holt, R. and Blundel, R. (2014). Re-imagining the growth process: (Co)-Evolving metaphorical representations of entrepreneurial growth.Entrepreneurship and Regional Development,26(3-4), 234-256.

Cornelissen, J., Clarke, J. and Cienki, A. (2012), Sensegiving in entrepreneurial contexts: The use of metaphors in speech and gesture to gain and sustain support for novel ventures.International Small Business Journal, 30(3), 213-241.

Clarke, J. & Cornelissen, J. (2011), Language, communication and socially situated cognition in entrepreneurship.Academy of Management Review, 36(4), 776-778. (Dialogue)

Clarke, J. (2011), Revitalizing Entrepreneurship: How visual symbols are used in entrepreneurial performances.Journal of Management Studies, 48(6), 1365-1391.

Cornelissen, J. & Clarke, J. (2010), Imagining and rationalizing opportunities: Inductive reasoning, and the creation and justification of new ventures.Academy of Management Review, 35(4), 539-557.

Clarke, J. and Holt R. (2010), Reflective judgement: Understanding entrepreneurship as ethical practice.Journal of Business Ethics, 94(3), 317-331.

Clarke, J. and Holt, R. (2010), The mature entrepreneur: A narrative approach to entrepreneurial goals. Journal of Management Inquiry,19(1), 69-83.

Gold, J., Anderson, L., Clarke, J. and Thorpe, R. (2009), To act and learn: A Bakhtinian exploration of action learning.Action Learning: Research and Practice, 6(2): 121-130. 

Clarke, J. Thorpe, R., Anderson, L. and Gold, J. (2006), It’s all action, it’s all learning: action learning in SMEs.Journal of European Industrial Training. 30(6): 441-455.

Thorpe, R., Gold, J., Holt, R., Clarke, J. (2006), Immaturity: The Constraining of Entrepreneurship.International Small Business Journal, 24(3): 232-250.

Chapters in books

Viney, R., Clarke, J. and Cornelissen, J. (2016), Embodied communication: Non-verbal behaviours in interaction. The Sage Handbook of Business and Management Research Methods. Edited by C. Cassell, A. Cunliffe, and G. Grandy.

Cornelissen, J. and Clarke, J. (2014), Language and socially situated cognition in entrepreneurship in Handbook of Entrepreneurial Cognition, Edited by   R. Mitchell, R. Mitchell and B. Randolph-Seng. (Peer-Reviewed)

Clarke, J. (2013), Using visual ethnographies to study entrepreneurs. In E. Bell, S. Warren and J. Schroeder (Eds.)The Routledge Companion to Visual Organization. London: Routledge.

Clarke, J. (2008), Video in management research.Dictionary of Qualitative Management Research. London: Sage.

Thorpe, R. and Clarke, J. (2008), Performance in small firms, In R. Thorpe and J. Holloway (eds.)Perspectives on Performance. London: Sage.

Book Reviews

Clarke, J. (2009), Review of the book Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Growth and Performance: Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research by Hans Landström, Hans Crijns, Eddy Laveren,International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 15(5), 519-521

Clarke, J. (2009), Review of the book The Manager’s Tale: Stories of Managerial Identity, by Patrick Reedy,Business History, 51(5) 2009, 788 - 789.


Financial Times online video interview:


The Communication Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs. Yorkshire Post (Business Section), 7th of June, 2013

Creating a visual identity: The Secret to Entrepreneurs’ Success, Yorkshire Post, 28th of June, 2011.

What makes a successful entrepreneur – and can you learn it from watching The Apprentice? The Guardian, 25th of October, 2010.

Academic duo delves into the gestures behind success, Yorkshire Post, 30th of December, 2008.

Communications & SeminarsTop

Conference Papers

Clarke, J. and Holt, R. (2017). The Gothic Entrepreneur: Ruskin and the Re-humanising of entrepreneurship. EGOS, Copenhagen.

Clarke, J. and Holt, R. (2016). Drawing out metaphors of the entrepreneurship process. Academy of Management Conference Anaheim.

Clarke, J. and Viney, R. (2016). Language of love: how entrepreneurs persuade investors during pitches using emotional talk. European Group for Organizational Studies. Naples. 

Clarke, J. Cornelissen, J. and Viney, R. (2015). Seeing entrepreneurship: Using video-based methods to study entrepreneurial processes. Academy of Management Conference Vancouver.

Clarke, J., Cornelissen, J. and Healey, M. (2015). The language and body language of entrepreneurs: How entrepreneurs persuade investors to fund new ventures. EGOS, Athens.

Clarke, J. and Holt, R. (2015) Edith Penrose, image and the entrepreneurial process, 10th Organization Studies Workshop, Chania, Crete.

Clarke, J. and Holt, R. (2013). Ruskin and the gothic firm, EGOS, Montreal.

Clarke, J. and Holt, R. (2012), Picture Perfect: Entrepreneurship and innovation through visualisation, Academy of Management Conference, Boston.

Clarke, J and Healey, M. (2012) The language and body language of entrepreneurs: How verbal and non-verbal metaphors are used to persuade investors to fund new ventures. European Group for Organizational Studies, Helsinki.

Clarke, J., Cornelissen, J. and Cienki, A. (2012) Embodiment, imagination and meaning: The role of human scale in the language and body language of entrepreneurs. Qualitative Research in Management Conference, New Mexico

Clarke, J. and Cornelissen, J. (2011), Professional Development Workshop: Revealing the Cultural in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Academy of Management Conference, San Antonio

Clarke, J. (2009), The importance of appearance: Visual symbols and entrepreneurial legitimacy, Academy of Management Conference, Chicago.

Cornelissen, J. and Clarke, J. (2009), The Discursive Creation of New Ventures: The Role of Metaphor and Analogy, European Group for Organizational Studies, Barcelona.

Clarke, J., Cornelissen, J. and Cienki, A. (2008), Creative entrepreneurship: Using metaphor in words and gestures to access imagination in entrepreneurs’ theories of action, Researching and Applying Metaphor: Metaphor in Cross-Cultural Communication, University of Extremadura,

Cienki, A., Cornelissen J. and Clarke, J. (2008), The Role of Human Scale, Embodied Metaphors/Blends in the Speech and Gestures of Entrepreneurs 9th Conference on Conceptual Structure, Discourse and Language (CSDL9), Cleveland, OH.

Clarke, J. (2008), Seeing entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurs’ use of visual symbols in the strategic legitimation process, Academy of Management Conference, California (August, 2008)

Clarke, J., Cornelissen, J. and Cienki, A. (2008) Beyond Words: How entrepreneurs use metaphors in words and gestures to give sense to themselves and others, European Group for Organizational Studies, Amsterdam, July, 2008.

Clarke, J. (2008), Visualising entrepreneurship: Using video-based ethnographic research to investigate entrepreneurial interaction, International Council for Small Business, Nova Scotia June, 2008

Clarke, J. (2007), Visualising Entrepreneurship: Using Video-based Research to Investigate the Entrepreneurial Process, British Academy of Management Conference, Warwick University, September 2007.

Clarke, J. (2006), Researching the Entrepreneurial Process through Rhetoric and Argumentation: A Dialogical Understanding, British Academy of Management Conference, Belfast

Gold, J., Thorpe, R., Clarke, J. and Anderson, L. M. (2005), Evaluating Action Learning as a methodology to bring about change in owner-manager SMEs: A multi-stakeholder analysis, British Academy of Management Conference, Said Business School, Oxford

Thorpe, R., Clarke, J., Gold, J. and Anderson, L. M. (2005), Strategic performance management and measurement in small and medium sized firms: The use of Gross Value Added (GVA), British Academy of Management Conference, Said Business School, Oxford

Clarke, J., Thorpe, R., Anderson, Powel, J. and Gold, J. (2005), It’s all action, it’s all learning: action learning in SMEs, Sixth International Conference on HRD Research and Practice Across Europe, Leeds.

Report for Funding Body

Clarke, J., Creasey, R., Marshall, A. and Thorpe, R. (2007), Experiencing Engineering: An exploration into the lived experience of female engineering students and lecturers in Leeds University School of Engineering. Report for UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology.

Thorpe, R., Clarke, J., Gold, J. and Anderson, L. M. (2005), An evaluation of Micro Networking in the North West. Report for Northwest Regional Development Agency.