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Professor of Entrepreneurship and Organization, Director of PhD Program

My research examines how language and other cultural resources are used in entrepreneurial and organizational contexts. I see language as just one of the many cultural resources and I also explore how non-verbal resources (gesture, clothing, space,) are used to persuade and manage impression in interactions. In particular I have been most recently working on how entrepreneurs persuade using both language and gesture when pitching for business angel investment. I serve on a number of editorial boards and I am currently a Senior Editor for the journal Organization Studies. My work has been published in top tier peer-reviewed journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Organizational Research Methods, Journal of Business Venturing and Journal of Management Studies. I am also the current Director of PhD Program at Emlyon. Prior to working at Emlyon I was a Professor at Leeds University Business School in the UK.



  • PhD, Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds,United Kingdom
  • MSc in Occupational Psychology (Distinction), Institute of Work Psychology (IWP), University of Sheffield,United Kingdom
  • BSc in Psychology, Queens University,Belfast

Further Qualifications

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


  • 2020 - Professor at Emlyon Business School Level 2
  • 2017-2019 Professor at Emlyon Business School Level 1
  • 2014-2017  Professor Leeds University Business School (LUBS), University of Leeds, United Kingdom.
  • 2011–2014 Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship and Organization (LUBS)
  • 2008–2011 Lecturer in Entrepreneurship (LUBS)
  • 2007–2008 Economic Social Research Council (ESRC) funded Post-doctoral Research Fellow
  • 2005–2007 Research Assistant on Networking Northwest Regional Evaluation Project

Scientific CommitteesTop

  • Senior Editor: Organization Studies
  • Editorial Board: Organization Theory; Journal of Management Inquiry
  • Regular ad-hoc reviewing for: Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Management Studies, Strategic Management Journal; Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, Management Learning, International Journal of Management Reviews.


  • Entrepreneurship and small business
  • Multi-modal metaphor
  • Visual methodologies
  • Narrative and Identity
  • Embodied cognition


  • EGOS

Research InterestTop

Journal Articles

Clarke, J., Llewellyn, N., Cornelissen, J. and Viney, R. (2019) Gesture Analysis and Organizational Research: The Development and Application of a Protocol for Naturalistic Settings.Organizational Research Methods. Online early DOI information: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1094428119877450

Clarke, J. and Holt, R. (2019). Images of Entrepreneurship: Using drawing to explore entrepreneurial experience.Journal of Business Venturing Insights. Online early. DOI information: 10.1016/j.jbvi.2019.e00129

Clarke, J., Cornelissen, J. and Healey, M. (2019). Actions speak louder than words: How figurative language and gesturing in entrepreneurial pitches influences investment judgements. Academy of Management Journal, 62(2), 335-360.

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

Radu-Lefebvre, M. Lefebvre, V, Clarke, J, Gartner, W. B. (2020). Entrepreneurial legacy: how narratives of the past, present and future affect entrepreneurship in business families.

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.


Harvard Business Review (2019) When you pitch and idea, gestures matter more than words  https://hbr.org/2019/05/when-you-pitch-an-idea-gestures-matter-more-than-words

Financial Times (2018) A successful start-up pitch is in the hands of the entrepreneur.  https://www.ft.com/content/0fd32fea-c233-11e8-95b1-d36dfef1b89a

 Financial Times online video interview about my gesture research. http://video.ft.com/4081389096001/Owners-capitalise-on-body-language/business-school

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.