Simon Oliver Raby
Department of Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Social Innovation
Ph.D. Management (SME Growth & HRM)
M.Sc. Management (Family Business Growth)
B.Sc. Management Science & Business
Simon Raby is a ‘pracademic’ working as a Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Mount Royal University’s Bissett School of Business and Co-Founder of Business Improvement and Growth (BIG) Associates Ltd. BIG identifies the drivers of growth, challenges convention and offers practical ways for ambitious business owners and their organizations to achieve sustained growth and performance.
Simon’s research program is focused on uncovering the strategies, practices and methods of support that enable business growth, leadership transitions and people performance. Most recently, Simon delivered a program of research on the growth of Alberta’s Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to understand the drivers of growth, innovation and diversification for these firms. This research has since led to the creation of The Leader’s Growth Mindset.
Simon completed his Masters and Ph.D. part-time while working as a private sector consultant and is an accredited and practicing coach and facilitator. Simon continues to write for academic and practitioner audiences. Co-author of The ten characteristics of successful SMEs, Simon has researched thousands of growth-oriented organizations and has distilled this into an accessible, applicable and practical guide, downloaded over 11,000 times and internationally recognized for its quality and value for business innovation and growth.
Simon strongly believes that the world of research has a lot to offer those who run their own businesses, if this knowledge is delivered in accessible and practical ways. Simon loves to challenge, learn and find new ways of thinking, and has a deep-seated passion for facilitating strategic change.
Simon is a trustee and board member for the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, a large, well established network that enables excellence in small business and entrepreneurship, and builds bridges between research, policy and practice. Simon serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research.
Recognition and Awards
The impact of Simon’s research on business and policy has been recognized by leading institutions, including the U.K.’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) and the Chartered Association of Business Schools.
Gilman, M. and Raby, S. (2016) Business, Improvement and Growth (BIG): Applying research to support SMEs, In: Business Schools: Delivering Value to Regional Economies, Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS).
Gilman, M. and Raby, S., (2014) Helping Kent’s Smaller Businesses Grow Sustainably, Research Excellence Framework, Business and Management Studies [highly commended rating]
Simon is passionate about translating world-class research into innovative teaching and learning programs for entrepreneurs, founders, professionals and students.
Simon’s current teaching includes,
- Innovation and the Entrepreneurial Experience
- The DNA of Sales and Business Development
- Growing the Enterprise
Simon’s historical teaching load has included undergraduate, postgraduate and executive programing in the following areas,
- Human Resource Management (UG & PG)
- The BIG Futures™ entrepreneurial growth network
- The BIG Journey™ entrepreneurial growth program
- Business Owner/Leader growth networks
RESEARCH AND SCHOLARLY WORK
Simon delivers state-of-the-art research inquiries that achieve significant impact for academic, business and policy communities. Here is a selection of Simon’s current projects,
SME Steward Grant
Role: Co-Principal Investigator | Awarded by: Government of Alberta | 2017-19
A Longitudinal Investigation of the Efficacy of a Steward Tool in Improving the Navigation of the Alberta Business Support Ecosystem by Entrepreneurs.
Understanding Sustainable Growth and Performance in SMEs
Role: Principal Investigator | Awarded by: Leverhulme Trust | 2015-17
A collaboration between Kent Business School (UK) and Haskayne School of Business (Canada), to develop and share knowledge on the strategies and management practices used by SMEs to achieve sustainable growth.
How Family Businesses Achieve Longevity
Role: Co-Principal Investigator | Awarded by: Westman Centre for Real Estate | 2016-17
An application of institutional logics perspective to examine how family businesses in the real estate sector have evolved and achieved longevity.
The DNA of Sales and Business Development
Role: Principal Investigator | Awarded by: Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship | 2017
A state-of-the-art literature review on the concepts of sales and business development, along with the knowledge, skills and abilities that employees require to successfully perform such roles/functions.
Leadership Journeys to the Executive Level
Role: Principal Investigator | Awarded by: Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership | 2016-17
Exploring the leadership capabilities that mid-career, experienced managers require to transition successfully into executive roles (e.g., VP).
Sample Publications and Major Contributions
Articles - published
- Raby. S. and Gilman. M., (2016) Travelling Together Along the Yellow Brick Road for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Understanding and Promoting Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Organisations and People, Association of Management Education and Development (AMED), 23(2): 1-11 [practitioner].
- Raby, S. (2015) Editorial, Understanding and Promoting Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Organisations and People, Association of Management Education and Development (AMED), 22(3): 1-10 [practitioner].
- Gilman, M., Raby, S. and Pyman, A. (2015), The Contours of Employee Voice in SMEs: The Importance of Context, Human Resource Management Journal. doi: 10.1111/1748-8583.12086 [ABS 4].
- Gilman, M. and Raby, S. (2013), National Context as a Predictor of High Performance Work Systems in SMEs: A British-French Comparative Analysis, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24(2): 372-390 [ABS 3].
- Raby, S., (Forthcoming - 2017), From Starting to Scaling and Beyond: How Do Entrepreneurs and SMEs Innovate and Grow? In: The Business Environment: Themes and Issues in a Globalizing World, 4th Edition, Oxford University Press.
- Phillips, P. and Raby, S., (Forthcoming - 2017), Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), In: Contemporary Issues in Strategic Management, 1st Edition, Routledge.
- Raby, S., (2016), The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation: A North American Case Study In Entrepreneurship Centres: Global Perspectives on their Contributions to High Education Institutions, Palgrave Macmillan UK.
- Raby S. and Choi, J., (Forthcoming - 2017), Achieving Successful Leadership Transitions to the VP Level. Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership, Haskayne School of Business.
- Raby, S., (2017), What Drives SME Growth? Introducing the Leader’s Growth Mindset. Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Mount Royal University. 48pp.
- Gardner, J and Raby, S. (2015), What is Good Governance in the 21st Century? Centre for Employment, Competitiveness and Growth, University of Kent.
- Gilman M., Raby, S. and Turpin, J. (2012), The BIG Ten: The Ten Characteristics of Successful Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). Centre for Employment, Competitiveness and Growth, University of Kent. 56pp. ISSN: 1748-7595.
- Gilman, M. and Raby, S. (2011), The Future of Regional Business Support: An Overview of the Business Support Literature. A report for the Business Support Strategic Review, Kent County Council. Centre for Employment, Competitiveness and Growth, University of Kent. 5pp.
- Raby, S. and Truss, K. (2011), High Growth Firms, A briefing paper for the Commission for Employability and Skills, Centre for Employment, Competitiveness and Growth, University of Kent.
Simon is highly experienced at delivering mixed method and context sensitive research to produce strategic and commercial recommendations for academic, business and policy audiences in the disciplines of entrepreneurship and SME growth, strategic HRM and leadership. Here is a selection of grants Simon has been awarded,
- The DNA of Sales and Business Development (2017) | $2,800 | Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- SME Steward Grant (2017) | $276,225 | Government of Alberta
- Executive Leadership Transitions (2016) | $40,000 | Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership
- SME Sustainable Growth and Performance (2015) | $38,000 | Leverhulme Trust
- Environmental Innovation Network (2014) | $17,500 | European Regional Development Fund
- Start-up Advisory Support (2013) | $42,000 | Private Sector Company
- The BIG Futures™ Network (2013) | $245,000 | Private Sector Companies
- The BIG Journey™ Program (2012) | $280,000 | Private Sector Companies
- Business Leader Network (2012) | $35,000 | Courier Media Group
- Business Support Strategic Review (2011) | $17,500 | Kent County Council
- University Research and Business Engagement Best Practice Cluster (2011) | $2,500 | Enterprise Research Centre
- Masterclass Toolkit (2011) | $17,500 | University of Kent
- Leadership Programs for SMEs (2011) | $8,750 | University of Kent
- Business Leader Network (2009) | $35,000 | Manufacturing Advisory Service
- Business Engagement Opportunities Scheme (2008) | $175,000 | Economic and Social Research Council
- Promoting Sustainable Performance (2008) | $440,000 | University of Kent
- Academic-industry Collaborations (2007) | $5,000 | Technology Enterprise Kent
- Sustainable Business and Productivity Growth for SMEs (2006) | $735,000 | European Union
- Knowledge Transfer Partnership (2006) | $330,000 | Private Sector Company
Community and University Service
Company Director and Trustee | Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Voluntary board member of a leading national network and annual conference for academics working in small business and entrepreneurship. Facilitator for a Community of Interest exploring the drivers of SME growth.
Board Member | Calgary Chamber of Commerce
Voluntary board member for the Calgary Chamber of Commerce’s Onward Summit and Ignite Innovation Program.
Board Member | Energy For All
Voluntary board member for a non-profit constructing the foundations of life to alleviate poverty by building the capacity in local developing communities to deliver their own sustainable sources of water and renewable energy.
Editorial Board | International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research
Member of the review board for an academic journal focused on original research on the human and social dynamics of entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurial management in small and growing organizations
Editorial Board | Association of Management Education and Development
Guest editor for Organisations and People, the journal of Association of Management Education and Development that explores what really happens, in real organisations, with real people.