The experience, learning and development of owner-managers during their growth phases of their firms with particular reference to human capital management

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Type and Duration

PhD-Thesis (kooperativ), January 2010 until November 2015 (finished)


Van Riemsdijk Chair in Entrepreneurship

Main Research

Growth and Complexity

Field of Research

Entrepreneurial Learning, Teamlearning


The objectives of the doctoral thesis are to explore the owner-manager experiences and learning processes that contribute to the management of growth in small firms in the region of the Rhine Valley, with particular respect to HCM. Studies of regional development underpin a link between the development of a region and the available capital of knowledge (OECD 2005). However, there exists a gap how owner-managers of small firms align and multiply their human capital to develop the firm within a specific niche. The applied research methodology in this study is social constructivism to investigate the phenomenon under question. Social constructivism examines the relationship of reality by analysing the interaction between persons and organisations. The expected results will not only support the owner-managers of small firms but also provide valuable insights of the informal learning process at the workplace.


  • Van Riemsdijk Chair in Entrepreneurship


  • Sohler, S. A. (2015). Owner-Manager Learnig in small Firms: A Study of technology-based Firms in the Rhine Valley Region. Glocestershire: University of Gloucestershire.