McQuinn Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership
The McQuinn Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership was established in the Division of Applied Social Sciences within the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri in 2004 with the generous support of Al and Mary Agnes McQuinn. The McQuinn Center promotes research, teaching, and outreach on the nature, causes, and consequences of entrepreneurship. Focusing on the economic analysis and implications of entrepreneurship the Center's Fellows include faculty from sociology, community development, and other social-science disciplines and embrace an interdisciplinary approach to the study of entrepreneurship.
The Center sponsors academic and practitioner-oriented conferences, it provides financial support to faculty and students, and its Faculty Fellows teach the core entrepreneurship, strategy, and organization courses in the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources.
Our objectives are to understand better the nature and significance of creative, innovative, and judgmental decision-making within organizations and economies. We are particularly interested in the commercialization of new ideas, especially as they relate to the establishment of new forms of organization. We focus on innovations and creative activities within and between enterprises that contribute to economic growth, as well as the institutional context of entrepreneurial activity. We strive to provide a bridge between entrepreneurs and academia to increase the knowledge flow in both directions. We set an example for colleagues at the University of Missouri by incorporating entrepreneurship into all aspects of the educational enterprise.
Our approach to entrepreneurship is influenced by the ideas of theorists such as Frank H. Knight and T. W. Schultz. We adopt the Knightian emphasis on entrepreneurship decision-making under uncertainty, in which entrepreneurial action is linked closely to investment, not merely the identification of opportunities, and Schultz's idea that entrepreneurship is manifested not only in the creation of new enterprises, products, and markets, but also in the responses of market participants to exogenous changes in technology, regulation, and market conditions.
be a catalyst for entrepreneurship teaching, outreach and research
within the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and to
represent College initiatives in entrepreneurship to the campus, state
foster entrepreneurial knowledge and attitudes within students and
faculty of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, to
support entrepreneurship within MU and across rural Missouri, and to
conduct teaching, research and outreach on entrepreneurship.
THE MCQUINN CHAIR
The endowed chair is named in honor of Al and Mary Agnes McQuinn, long-time supporters of the College and MU. Al McQuinn, who earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from MU, founded Ag-Chem Equipment Company, which became a leader in agricultural application equipment and was a pioneer in the use of Global Positioning System technologies to guide precise placement of agricultural fertilizers and other inputs. Al McQuinn credits much of his success to the support and encouragement he received from his spouse of 50 years, Mary Agnes.
THE DIVISION OF APPLIED SOCIAL SCIENCES
The Division of Applied Social Sciences within the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources, in which our Faculty Fellows are housed, has particular research strengths in organization, management, and strategy. Consequently, the McQuinn Center faculty take a strong interest in the organizational and managerial aspects of entrepreneurship, viewing designing contracts and organizational structures, renegotiating agreements, adapting business models, etc. as entrepreneurial actions. We also try to move beyond the individual entrepreneur to study the entrepreneurial team (e.g., developing a notion of "collective entrepreneurship"). We also emphasize, in our research, teaching, and outreach, the applications of entrepreneurship to key issues in food, agriculture, biotechnology, natural resources, and rural development, such as the organizational and strategic responses to biotechnology innovation, the effects of entrepreneurial action on local and regional development, and the analysis of new organizational forms such as "new-generation cooperatives" as collective entrepreneurial enterprises.