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 Katherine Parsons

Katherine Parsons

Research student,


I am a second year PhD student within the Management, Employment and Organization section at Cardiff Business School.


I have 10 years experience of working operationally within leadership and management development in both the public and private sector and 7 years teaching experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.


I have a passion for understanding more about our identities – who are, and specifically, who we are when we are at work and love to see the practical application of my research into practice within the organisations I work with.


MSc in Social Science Research Methods.

MSc in Entrepreneurial Practice.

Cipd Professional Development Scheme




Research interests

My research interests are identity, entrepreneurship and organisational ethnography.


‘Building teams around challenges: collective identity negotiation and co-construction in values-orientated start-ups’

My current PhD research project – ‘Building teams around challenges: collective identity negotiation and co-construction in values-orientated start-ups’ considers the ways in which the entrepreneurial opportunity (EO) – what we do and the collective identity (CI) – who we are is conceptualised, constructed and negotiated by the start-up teams as they create their companies. Taking a practice theory lens, my study maps out the practices of ‘entrepreneuring’, specifically CI and EO construction, zooming in on how these come into being and zooming out on their context in space and time. Relational sociology is then applied to provide an appreciation of the relationships, discourse and social processes involved in the construction of the entrepreneurial opportunity the new companies pursue and the type of companies they go on to create, meeting a demand for empirical research into the very earliest stages of new venture creation.

My previous study, ‘”I am who I say I am?”: identity negotiation in an entrepreneurship development programme, presents a narrative analysis of the process of ‘becoming’ an entrepreneur, the values driving entrepreneurial behaviour and identity management strategies employed to manage identity conflict experience during the entrepreneurial process. The study found that an awareness of the ‘dark side’ of entrepreneurship that comes from potential identity conflict, and conversely, of the possible benefit of identity crystallisation arising from functional elements of identity conflict can provide those working with nascent entrepreneurs and the nascent entrepreneurs themselves with opportunities to improve their well-being. Thus, the study had practical implications for future nascent entrepreneurs as well as those involved in delivering entrepreneurship development programmes and incubators. 

Funding source




Professor Rick Delbridge

Professor of Organizational Analysis

Sarah Hurlow

Dr Sarah Hurlow

Reader in Leadership


Dr Robin Burrow

Lecturer in Management and Organisational Behaviour