Anna Spadavecchia

Reader, Dr

  • United Kingdom

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Personal profile

Personal Statement

Anna Spadavecchia is a Reader in the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is the “Alfred D. Chandler Jr. International Visiting Scholar in Business History” at Harvard Business School, academic year 2022-23. She is the recipient of a BA/Leverhulme Small Grant, 2022-2024.

Anna’s research interests are in the fields of Innovation in an international perspective, and Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. She has worked on various historical and contemporary facets of these topics. One facet concerns the impact of external economies on the innovation activity of independent inventors, SMEs and large corporations. A further perspective concerns the use of patents by independent inventors and corporations in their attempts to control markets in the early 20th century. She has also worked on national and regional policies for the development of small businesses (SMEs) and clusters in Italy from 1951 to 1991.

Anna held visiting fellowships at the Centre for Business History, Copenhagen Business School (March-April 2017); Department of Political Economy and Statistics, Università di Siena (January-February 2017); Rutgers Business School, Newark, USA (October 2009); Department of Economics, University of Tübingen (August 2003). She is a member of the following American and European academic organisations: The Business History Conference (USA-based); European Association of Evolutionary Political Economy; European Business History Association; Association of Business Historians (UK-based); Associazione per la Storia Economica (Italy-based); Economic History Society (UK-based).

She holds a PhD in Economic History from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her doctoral thesis was awarded the Best PhD Dissertation Prize by the European Business History Association (2004) and by the USA-based Business History Conference (Krooss Prize, 2005).

Research Interests

My current research focuses on the international market for technology in the years between the two world wars (1919-1938). Using records held in British and American archives, this research examines how the USA – UK market for inventions operated and the connections between independent inventors and corporations. My research on innovation includes additional facets such as management of intellectual property rights, innovation and foreign technology in Italy, from 1861 to 2011, innovation in Britain and in Germany from a regional perspective, and the impact of external economies on business product innovation.

My research interests include the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and clusters, as well as the role of financial institutions in their development. This interest has led more recently to research into the structure of Italian capitalism, focusing in particular on the corporate and banking networks.

 

Expertise & Capabilities

International technology transfer

Independent inventors and corporate innovation

National and regional policies for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Development of Clusters

Policies for SMEs and Clusters

Business History

Teaching Interests

I have built my teaching expertise at two triple-accredited Business Schools: Strathclyde and Henley. I have designed and convened successful BA and MSc programmes and modules in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management since 2008. My teaching portfolio includes modules at all levels (Undergraduate, Masters, MBA and PhD). I am currently teaching innovative modules, such as “Internationalisation and Growth” and ‘Issues and Trends in Entrepreneurship and Innovation’ for MSc students. These modules focus on the global business environment and its opportunities for start-ups, and their innovation and growth. In addition to Undergraduate and Masters’ modules, I am teaching ‘New Venture Creation’ to MBA students.

I am currently External Examiner (Post-graduate taught degrees) in the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary University of London. I served as External Examiner (Undergraduate degrees) in the Department of Economic History at the London School of Economics and Political Science from September 2016 to June 2020.

Academic / Professional qualifications

Coordinator of the Economic History research area of the European Association of Evolutionary Political Economy, 2015 – present.

Member of the organizing committee of the Association of Business Historians Conference held at the University of Strathclyde, 1-2 July 2022.

Member of the Joan Robinson Book Prize Committee, European Association of Evolutionary Political Economy, 2021.

Member of the Coleman Prize PhD Dissertation Committee, Association of Business Historians annual conference 2020.

Member of the Best Paper Prize Committee, European Business History Association annual conference 2017.

Member of the Krooss Prize Dissertation Committee, Business History Conference annual meeting 2016.

Co-director, Business History Conference Workshops, 2014-16.

Trustee, The Business History Conference. 2011-14

 

Member of the following American and European academic organisations: The Business History Conference (USA-based); European Association of Evolutionary Political Economy; European Business History Association; Association of Business Historians (UK-based); Associazione per la Storia Economica (Italy-based); Economic History Society (UK-based).

 

Referee of articles for the British Journal of Management, Business History, Business History Review, The Economic History Review, Enterprise and Society, Industrial and Corporate Change and Research Policy.

Education/Academic qualification

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Award Date: 10 Apr 2007

Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Economic History, The London School of Economics and Political Science

Award Date: 4 Mar 2003

External positions

External Examiner (Post-graduate taught degrees), School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London.

1 Sep 202230 Jun 2026

Alfred Jr. Chandler International Visiting Scholar in Business History, Harvard Business School

Sep 2022Dec 2022

External Examiner (Undergraduate degrees) , Department of Economic History, The London School of Economics and Political Science

1 Sep 201630 Jun 2020

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