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Dr Peter Balan 

Position: Senior Lecturer Dr Peter Balan
Division/Portfolio: University of South Australia Business School
School/Unit: School of Management
Campus: City West Campus
Office: EM5-32
Telephone: +61 8 830 20325
Fax: +61 8 830 20512
Email: Peter_dot_Balan_at_unisa_dot_edu_dot_au
URL for Business Card: http://people.unisa.edu.au/Peter.Balan


Other Contacts

For information about the Pank/UniSA School of Management Prize for Entrepreneurship: 

For information about undergraduate entrepreneurship courses: 

For information about postgraduate entrepreneurship courses: 

For information about Team-Based Learning ("Flipped classroom") used in entrepreneurship courses: 

For information about Enterprise Forum sessions that include presentations by practising entrepreneurs: 


I have an extensive industry background. I am active in teaching, research, and industry and community engagement, and contribute to university administration.

  • TEACHING: I practice continuous innovation in entrepreneurship courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, drawing on the entrepreneurship education literature. I carry out continuous evaluation of teaching activities with the aim of enhancing student engagement and enhancing their learning experience. In particular, I systematically implement the Team-Based Learning method. This is the precursor to the "flipped classroom" approach, and it delivers improved levels of engagement and learning outcomes. I have gained a number of university and national awards for teaching. (See below for details)
  • RESEARCH: My Ph.D. research was in the field of innovation capability in small service businesses using Australian "general hotels" or "pubs" as the case study. I collaborate on projects addressing firm-level innovation, innovation capability, entrepreneurial orientation, and business model innovation. I have developed a second research stream in entrepreneurship education, investigating aspects including student engagement and student motivations. I collaborate with international researchers in this area. I review papers for journals and conferences, and serve on a journal advisory board. (See below for details)
  • INDUSTRY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: I have developed and maintained links with industry, government and community organisations in entrepreneurship, enterprise, and innovation. I contribute to groups such as the "Innovation Initiative" and "Adelaide Entrepreneurship City", and mentor entrepreneurs for the Pank/UniSA Prize for Entrepreneurship, the eChallenge and Startup Weekend. I have developed leading-edge industry workshops in business-model building, innovation capability-building, corporate entrepreneurship, and innovative marketing for managers of for-profit businesses and of social enterprises. (See below for details)
  • UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION: I was Foundation Head of UniSA's School of Marketing. I established the Centre for the Development of Entrepreneurs as Foundation Director, and I was Director of UniSA's Smartlink. I contribute to School of Management committees. (See below for details)

    Detailed information follows:

    RESEARCH: ____________________________

    I have research streams in innovation/entrepreneurship and in entrepreneurship education.

    In 2013 I carried out the project "Identifying new business models to improve hotel profitability" with Paul Reynolds, Mike Metcalfe and Eva Balan-Vnuk. This was part-funded by Le Cordon Bleu.

    I recently finalised a major project (with Adjunct Professor Noel Lindsay) to assess the innovation capabilities and entrepreneurial orientation of Australian hotels and the relationships between each of these two firm-level constructs and hotel performance. The first stage of the project included in depth interviews with 51 hotel owner/managers in all Australian states, and this laid the basis for a national survey of 449 hotels. This research was funded by the CRC for Sustainable Tourism ($53k) with the support of the Australian Hotels Association nationally and in all states. I have delivered workshops on "building an innovative business" to hotels using the results of this research.

    In early 2002 I initiated the Business Innovation Centre project to support the transfer of technology from research organisations into existing businesses. It was implemented by the City of Salisbury, with UniSA, the Water Industry Alliance, Defence Teaming Centre and the Electronics Industry Association as project partners, and was funded ($431k) by the DoTARS Sustainable Regions Programme in 2004/2005. This project provided a model for the State Government's Centre for Innovation. The major project output was the Innovation Foundation Program; a professional development program for SME owner/managers that is designed to help them improve the innovation capability of their businesses. The program was based on my research.

    From 1998 to 2002 I was the UniSA Project Manager for the Harmony Project. This was a major European Union Esprit 4th Framework project that developed a sophisticated and effective operations and management system for business incubators and technology accelerators. This system is built on a knowledge management database that supports global networking and collaboration. As part of this project, I managed a European Union subcontract ($170,000) to develop on-line training and accreditation support for the Harmony System. This project was also supported by a federal government Technology Diffusion Grant ($250,000), the SA Department of Industry and Trade ($25,000) and the federal Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources ($20,000).

    I practice continuous evaluation of my courses, and use anonymous and voluntary evaluation data to support a research stream in entrepreneurship education. (See below for details)

    TEACHING: ____________________________

    I have extensive experience in teaching in marketing and in entrepreneurship. I have a real interest in pedagogy/teaching methods. (See below for details)

    INDUSTRY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: ____________________________

    Involvement with the external community has been an important part of my career in UniSA.

    I have developed and conducted leading-edge industry workshops in business-model building, innovation capability-building, corporate entrepreneurship, and innovative marketing for managers of for-profit businesses and of social enterprises. I have also run numerous workshops inside UniSA in the areas of student attraction and retention, as well as in commercialisation of research (Please contact me direct for further information)

  • In 2008, I gained a UniSA Division of Business Award for Community Engagement, for a project to support the NABEC Business Awards. This involved organising UniSA undergraduate students to help small businesses in the north of Adelaide to write applications for awards in business excellence organised by the Northern Adelaide Business Enterprise Centre (NABEC). This was very successful in giving students a first-hand experience of working with small business. I also gained a commendation for the UniSA Chancellor's Award for Community Engagement, for the NABEC Awards Program

    I set up a comprehensive website to help UniSA students and Alumni apply for the Pank Prize. This Prize has been established to help to set an innovative new venture, with the support of $15,000 cash from the Pank family. I also provide mentoring support over the year to set up the business, and this is part of the $15,000 in-kind support from the School of Management and ITEK (UniSA's commercialisation business).

    I organise the School of Management "ENTERPRISE FORUM" that provides a venue for students and alumni to learn from the experiences of practising entrepreneurs. This series of lunchtime seminars is based on the successful of "Taste of Entrepreneurship" workshops in July 2008 and March 2009.

    From 2003 to 2005 I was Director of UniSA's Smartlink activity. I worked with a team to manage national tours of international experts in the field of manufacturing management, and to promote the university's manufacturing management programs.

    In the School of Marketing, I initiated the annual Marketing Graduate Directory in 1987, firstly as a book and then as a CD-ROM. I organised and implemented industry-based domestic and international marketing project programs. I organised major prizes for all marketing courses and programs and annual prize-giving events for students and the marketing community. These various activities contributed significantly to building the profile of the School and its graduates in the business and government community.

    I have been involved with a number of new entrepreneurial ventures. I was the entrepreneur who drove the establishment of the Montessori School Adelaide as a new venture start-up in 1984. I administered the school and chaired its Board for three years after its launch (as an unpaid volunteer). I set up a venture to publish books, and another venture to deliver professional development courses for industry.

    UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION: ____________________________

    In 2000, as Foundation Director, I set up UniSA's Centre for the Development of Entrepreneurs. My role was to identify research, teaching and training opportunities in the field of entrepreneurship and enterprise creation and development to help make UniSA a more enterprising organisation. I built an active and committed team headed by a Professor of Entrepreneurship. I set up a high-level Board chaired by the University's Chancellor (David Klingberg). My work also involved developing and delivering courses on entrepreneurship and business creation using the FastTrac system for undergraduate and PhD levels, as well as for small businesses in Regional SA.

    I was the Foundation Head of the School of Marketing when it was created as a spin-out from the Elton Mayo School of Management in 1995. I developed strong links with industry and government to give the School a high profile locally and nationally, and to position the School strongly in the university. As Head of School, I was actively involved in creating, developing and supporting two successful and focused research groups: the Marketing Science Centre (established in 1988, and now the Ehrenberg Bass Institute for Marketing Science), and the Wine Marketing Research Group (established in 1998). I was elected Chair of the UniSA Heads of School Group in 1999, and led negotiations with the University on a new Head of School contract.

    LIFE BEFORE THE UNIVERSITY: ____________________________

    In 1985, I joined the Elton Mayo School of Management in the South Australian Institute of Technology (SAIT) as a lecturer in marketing. This followed a career in international marketing and general management in Switzerland, Germany, UK, France and Australia. I worked in a range of industries including manufacturing (Ciba-Geigi chemicals, Siemens household appliances, Mecanorma graphic art materials, TH Brown furniture, Michel Leather sheepskins, Tyronsea sailboards) and services (Radiata Pine industry association, Australian National railway transport) in the private sector, as well as in the government sector. Most of my jobs involved exporting, and I travelled extensively in Europe and Asia. I also set up my own market research and marketing consultancy.

    I can communicate in French and German, and I published books with a focus on Europe

  • Balan, E and Balan,P 1973 Berlin bleibt doch Berlin, Rigby, Adelaide
  • Balan, E and Balan,P 1981 The Tourist's Creature Comforts in Europe, Polyglot Enterprises, Adelaide

  • Teaching interests

    • Since 2000, I have developed and presented courses for undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students in the field of entrepreneurship and enterprise creation and development. Before that, I was Head of School of Marketing and developed and delivered a number of innovative courses and programs.
    • Recognition for contributions to UniSA teaching ____________________________
    • 2014: A UniSA Award for Teaching Excellence, for sustained, systematic research and evaluation of teaching and learning activities to continuously improve collaborative learning approaches and innovations which enhance engagement in entrepreneurship education for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
    • 2012: A Division of Business Award for Innovation in Teaching. This was for the implementation and evaluation of the "poster plan" approach for presenting major team and individual project work in undergraduate and postgraduate entrepreneurship courses.
    • 2010: An Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Citation , for sustained innovation in approaches that develop students’ ability to relate classroom teaching (in entrepreneurship) to industry and community application. I was one of seven UniSA staff to receive this national award in 2010, and the only representative of the Division of Business.
    • 2010: A UniSA Division of Business Award for Supporting Student Learning, for a live case study and the use of diagnostic tools for a postgraduate course (Corporate Entrepreneurship) to engage international and local students by giving them insights into the operations of a local business, and very detailed information for their major assessment (that they otherwise would not have obtained).
    • 2009: UniSA Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning for sustained innovation in approaches that develop students' ability to relate classroom teaching (in entrepreneurship) to industry and community application.
    • 1991: With Patrick Forbes, gained one of the first UniSA awards for Excellence in Teaching for the International Marketing Program. Over 12 years (from its start in 1989), this program took 132 students to countries including India, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Japan, US, Canada, UK, Germany, Greece, Italy and started many students in their international careers.
    • Team-Based Learning ____________________________
    • In 2010 I started implementing Team-Based Learning in undergraduate entrepreneurship courses, and have refined this method over successive course deliveries, using continuous evaluation and drawing on the entrepreneurship education literature. This method is recognised internationally, and has been demonstrated to improve student engagement and learning outcomes.
    • I am a member of the international Board of the Team-Based Learning Collaborative (TBLC), which is a US-based professional association, and of the TBLC Membership Subcommittee. I have contributed research presentations, research posters, and workshops at annual conferences of the TBLC.
    • In 2014 I completed the requirements for accreditation as a trainer and mentor in Team-Based Learning (TBL), awarded by the Team-Based Learning Collaborative (US). Requirements included giving presentations on TBL at international conferences and mentoring a professor in San Diego (US) in converting an undergraduate marketing course for TBL delivery.
    • Teaching-Research Nexus ____________________________
    • In 2007 I piloted an approach to link teaching with research in the course "Entrepreneurial Marketing for New Ventures", and this was used as an example of "building the teaching-research nexus" in the Division. This approach was further developed in 2008 to more closely link the entrepreneurship courses to research. This approach brought real benefits to students by exposing them to research processes and content that underpin the course.
    • Industry Workshops ____________________________
    • I have developed a range of modular industry workshops to help small businesses build their ability to be more innovative and entrepreneurial. These courses are based on the application of diagnostic tools that I have developed from the literature. I have conducted these courses in the manufacturing, finance, retail, hospitality and social enterprise sectors. Please contact me direct for further information about these innovative professional development programs.
    • Project Programs/Internships for students ____________________________
    • I started the Marketing School's domestic Marketing Project Program (1987) and the International Marketing Program (1989). I managed both programs and and taught in them until 2000. I also developed, launched and delivered the Graduate Certificate in Marketing Practice that was successful in preparing marketing graduates for the workplace.
    • International Students ____________________________
    • I managed the introduction and growth of the School of Marketing programs to attract international students, and devised innovative support programs and activities (such as "cultural understanding" workshops) and the appointment of a staff member to support their educational and social development and improve their Australian experience.

    I teach the following courses

    BUSS 3043Entrepreneurial Enterprises
    BUSS 3048Entrepreneurial Commercialisation for New Ventures
    BUSS 3049Entrepreneurial Business Planning
    BUSS 5299Entrepreneurial Commercialisation
    BUSS 5315Entrepreneurial Planning G
    BUSS 5298Entrepreneurial Foundations


    Professional associations

    Australian Institute of Export (Fellow)

    Australian Market and Social Research Society

    Team-Based Learning Collaborative


    Qualifications

    B.Sc. The University of Adelaide (in physics and applied maths)

    B.E. (Hons) The University of Adelaide (in electrical engineering)

    M.B.M. (Master of Business Management), The University of Adelaide

    Ph.D. University of South Australia; Thesis: "Innovation Capability in Small Service Businesses"

    Citation: Innovation capability comprises the assets and capabilities needed to support innovation across all areas of a business. This research, which was founded on the resource-based view of the firm, used Australian general hotels (pubs) as an example of the small service business sector. Evaluation of an existing measure drawn from the literature showed this could not be applied unchanged in this sector. A new measure was developed using a grounded inductive analysis of in-depth interviews with 36 owner/managers of innovative hotels. This identified 46 possible components of innovation capability. A survey of 157 hotel owner/managers provided data to arrive at a parsimonious measure of innovation capability consisting of one factor and seven items. The measure comprises internal and operational aspects that reflect the local nature of these small businesses and their incremental innovations.


    Research interests

    • The innovation capability and entrepreneurial orientation of firms
    • Entrepreneurship and enterprise education

    Research publications

    I review papers for journals including Education + Training, Journal of Small Business Management, and for conferences including Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange (ACERE), as well as ANZAM, CAUTHE and others.

  • 2013: Outstanding Reviewer Award (Emerald Literati)
  • 2012: Member of the Editorial Advisory Board, Education + Training (ERA 2010 A*)

    Journal Paper: ______________

  • Balan, P & Metcalfe, M 2012, 'Identifying teaching methods that engage entrepreneurship students', Education + Training, vol. 54, no. 5, pp. 368-384

    Refereed Book Chapter (Entrepreneurship and Innovation): ______________

  • Balan-Vnuk, E & Balan, P (forthcoming), 'Business model innovation in non-profit social enterprises', in Roos, G & O'Connor, A (eds), Integrating Innovation: South Australian Entrepreneurship Systems and Strategies, University of Adelaide Press, Adelaide, Australia.

    Refereed Conference Papers (Entrepreneurship and Innovation): ______________

  • Lindsay, W, Lindsay, NJ, Balan, P & Balan-Vnuk, E 2014, Nascent necessity entrepreneur well-being as an antecedent to entrepreneur intention and venture start-up behavior: A longitudinal gender study, 34th Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, 4-7 June 2014, London, Ontario, Canada
  • Balan, P & Balan-Vnuk, E 2013, 'A Resource Mapping Tool for Start-Ups in the For-Profit and Not-For-Profit Sectors: An Exploratory Study', in Davidsson, P (ed), Proceedings of the ACERE International Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Qld, Australia, pp. 1-15.
  • Balan, P, Lindsay, NJ & Balan-Vnuk, E 2012, 'The moderating effect of environmental dynamism on the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation, innovation capability and performance in small services sector firms', in Davidsson, P (ed), Proceedings of the Joint ACERE-DIANA International Entrepreneurship Conference, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, WA, pp. 1-15.
  • Balan, P, Lindsay, NJ & Balan-Vnuk, E 2011, 'Exploring the Innovation Capability, Entrepreneurial Orientation, Performance Relationships in Services Sector Firms', 31st Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, 8-11 June 2011, Syracuse, US.
  • Balan, P 2010, 'Toward the Development of a Firm Innovation Capability Scale for the Services Sector: A Grounded Approach', 30th Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, 9-12 June 2010, Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • Balan, P & Lindsay, NJ 2010, 'Innovation Capability: Exploring the Factors that make up this Construct in the Services Sector', in Gillin, LM (ed), Regional Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, vol. 7, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, pp. 935-949.
  • Balan, P, Lindsay, NJ & O'Connor, A 2009, 'Innovation Capability: Contrasting a Service Industry with the Manufacturing Sector', in Gillin, LM (ed), Regional Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, vol. 6, Swinburne University of Technology, pp. 93-106.
  • Balan, P & Lindsay, NJ 2007, 'Developing innovation capability measures for the services sector: an exploratory study', in Gillin, LM (ed), Regional Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, vol. 4, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, pp. 741-753.
  • Balan, P 2006, 'Exploring the innovation capability and entrepreneurial orientation relationship: a case approach', Proceedings of the 3rd AGSE International Entrepreneurship Research Exchange, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Lindsay, N. & Balan, P 2005, ‘Entrepreneurial Self-Efficacy and Personal Entrepreneur Success’, Regional Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, Swinburne University of Technology, pp. 373-380, Melbourne
  • Refereed Conference Presentations (Entrepreneurship and Innovation): ______________

  • Reynolds, P, Balan, P, Metcalfe, M & Balan-Vnuk, E 2014, Investigating Innovative Business Models of General Hotels in South Australia, Council for Australasian University Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE) Conference, 10-13 February 2014, Brisbane, Queensland
  • Refereed Conference Papers (Entrepreneurship Education): ______________

  • Balan, P, Balan-Vnuk, E, Lindsay, N & Lindsay, W 2014, 'Identifying the Motivations of Students in Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Classes', in Davidsson, P (ed), Proceedings of the ACERE International Entrepreneurship Research Conference, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia, pp. 49-63.
  • Balan, P & Balan-Vnuk, E 2013, 'Student engagement with Team-Based Learning in undergraduate entrepreneurship courses: an exploratory study', in Davidsson, P (ed), Proceedings of the ACERE International Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Qld, Australia, pp. 1-15.
  • Balan, P 2011, 'A Pilot Project to Explore Methods for Improving Student Engagement in Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Courses', in Maritz, A (ed), Regional Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, vol. 8, Swinburne University of Technology Melbourne, pp. 467-481.
  • Refereed Conference Presentations (Entrepreneurship Education): ______________

  • Balan, P 2013, 'Student Engagement with Team-Based Learning in Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Courses', Team-Based Learning Collaborative Conference, 28 February - 2 March 2013 San Diego, CA.
  • Balan, P & Balan-Vnuk, E 2012, 'Student engagement with Team-Based Learning in undergraduate entrepreneurship courses: a pilot study', Education Research Group Adelaide, 19-21 September 2012, Adelaide, Australia.
  • Balan, P 2011, 'Team-Based Learning in Entrepreneurship Courses', Regional Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research Conference, 1-4 February 2011 Melbourne, Australia
  • Invited Conference Workshops (Entrepreneurship Education): ______________

  • Balan, P 2014, 'Flipped Learning; getting student buy-in and engagement for pre-learning teaching methods', International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference, 3 - 5 September 2014, Newcastle, UK.
  • Balan, P & Clark, M 2014, Using TBL To Ensure Student Buy-In in a "Flipped Classroom" Course, Team-Based Learning Collaborative Annual Conference, 6-8 March 2014, Fort Worth, Texas.
  • Balan, P 2011, 'Team-Based Learning – a dynamic way to engage entrepreneurship students', International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference, 7 - 9 September 2011, Coventry, UK.
  • Books: ______________

  • Corkindale, DR, Balan, P & Rowe, CW 1996, Marketing: Making the Future Happen, 2nd edn, Nelson, Melbourne, Aust.
  • Balan, P 1991, Creating Achievable Marketing Plans, 2nd edn, Polyglot Enterprises, Adelaide.

  • Expertise for Media Contact

    I am able to provide media comment in the following areas of expertise:

    Discipline: Business

    • Entrepreneurship
    • Innovation
    • Technology commercialisation
    • Entrepreneurship and enterprise education
    • Entrepreneurship and business and economic development

    Community Service

    Organisation Name:   Team-Based Learning Collaborative
    Section:   International Board
    Type of Organisation:   Professional organisation
    Level of involvement:   Board member
    Year from:   2014
    Comments:   This US-Based voluntary organisation promotes and supports the Team-Based Learning (TBL) method of teaching. TBL is widely used internationally, particularly in health education. The Collaborative provides learning resources, mentoring and training support, research project funding, and a listserv connecting its many active members around the world.

    Organisation Name:   Team-Based Learning Collaborative
    Section:   Membership Committee
    Level of involvement:    Committee member
    Year from:   2011

    Organisation Name:   Innovation Initiative, Adelaide
    Level of involvement:   Committee Member
    Year from:   2001
    Comments:   I have been an active contributor to this group that was formed under the umbrella of SA Business Vision. I helped to develop a range of activities in the field of entrepreneurship, innovation and commercialisation. In particular, I worked with a small team to initiate the Entrepreneurship Alliance between the three SA universities and a number of Thinkers in Residence projects. I also worked with this group to develop proposals relating to Angel Investment and the "Innovation Alliance"(with Viva SA). This project has recently been picked up by the private sector as the "City of Entrepreneurs" eco-system development project. I am a member of an action group on leadership and network formation for this project.




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