Lerner Welcomes New Faculty: Duygu Phillips | Lerner
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University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics

By Kevin Tritt December 20, 2022

The University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics strives to “cultivate a diverse faculty pursuing impactful scholarship and enthusiastically sharing their expertise” as part of the College’s mission. Each year, our faculty push the boundaries within academia, creating innovative research and earning impressive awards, placements and accolades.

This year, the UD Alfred Lerner College welcomed 18 new faculty members into its community. Duygu Phillips is an assistant professor of entrepreneurship, and she spoke with Lerner about her passion for entrepreneurship and why she chose to join the UD faculty.

Lerner: What is your professional and academic background?

Phillips: I earned my PhD in Entrepreneurship from Oklahoma State University and have a master’s degree in marketing from the University of Birmingham, U.K. Prior to joining the University of Delaware, I worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Oklahoma State University. I have worked as a marketing consultant for startups as well as small and medium size businesses for fifteen years. In 2012, I founded a naming and branding company and published the first book on naming companies and products/services in Turkey.

Lerner: What is your research focus?

Phillips: My research broadly focuses on new venture strategy and cultural entrepreneurship, specifically legitimacy acquisition through organizational identity and communication. In simpler words, I study how new ventures develop their identities and communicate them effectively through various channels such as social media, digital platforms, online channels including websites to achieve acceptance in the eyes of their stakeholders (e.g., customers, employees, investors). I conduct my research in multiple contexts including family businesses, cryptocurrency and blockchain, and social media. My research interests also include women and minority entrepreneurship, social networks, innovation, and entrepreneurial finance. I utilize diverse methodologies and designs including experiments, surveys, interviews, content analysis, multilevel analysis and big data analysis.

Lerner: What inspired you to work in your field/research/subject area?

Phillips: Both my educational background in communication and marketing and my professional experience with startups and branding have inspired me to dig deeper into entrepreneurship and new venture strategy. I’ve been so passionate about new venture strategy and identity development that my research has been influenced by these phenomena. My goal is to better understand how the mechanisms of identity development and communication work for entrepreneurs and new ventures to be successful. I’m eager to share my research to contribute to the field of entrepreneurship and management, to better teach my students how to creatively develop new venture ideas, and to guide practitioners and entrepreneurs to achieve their goals.

Lerner: What is it about UD that made you want to work/teach/research here?

Phillips: University of Delaware is an institution that values and supports both research and teaching. As an academic, I am excited to be a part of UD where I can conduct my research and teach classes and transfer knowledge through my experiences and research. Lerner College, the Department of Business Administration and Horn Entrepreneurship provide so many resources to students and faculty that made it the best place for me to work at and I felt welcome the first day I stepped in the campus. UD has so much to offer, I understand why students choose to study here.

Lerner: What course are you most excited to teach at Lerner?

Phillips: I am very excited to teach ENTR356 Creativity and Design Thinking course. I have exciting projects to work with students throughout the semester. I know it will be a fun class where students will get to discover their creativity and learn techniques to enhance it. More importantly, this course will provide the opportunity to implement the various creative methods learned in class in real life situations that will help them become more successful both in their daily lives and business careers.

Lerner: What is something unique about you that may surprise your peers/students? (hobby, talent, experience etc.)

Phillips: I love horseback riding. Even though I have not been riding for two years, I am looking for a ranch to ride horses again. I love traveling and learning about cultures, as a result I speak four languages including Turkish, English, French, and Spanish. Learning a language is the best way to truly learn about a culture and it is so much fun!