Dr Rachel Doern

Much of Rachel’s research examines the cognitions, emotions and behaviours of entrepreneurs in adverse conditions.

Staff details

Dr Rachel Doern


Reader in Entrepreneurship


Institute of Management Studies


r.doern (@gold.ac.uk)

Dr Rachel Doern joined the Institute of Management Studies at Goldsmiths in January 2014. She previously worked at Royal Holloway University of London, and the Universities of St. Andrews and Essex. She has a PhD in Management, an MSc in International Marketing, a BComm in Marketing and a BA in Economics and Psychology.

Rachel has received external funding from organisations including the British Academy and the EY Foundation. Much of her research examines the cognitions, emotions and behaviours of entrepreneurs in adverse conditions and is inter-disciplinary in nature; drawing on micro-sociological and psychological approaches to understanding resilience and vulnerability, and how entrepreneurs interact with different stakeholders as they develop their businesses, particularly during times of crisis. She is especially interested in how entrepreneurs navigate difficult situations, contexts and emotions. Recent research projects also look at entrepreneurial diversity, and different entrepreneurial identities and communities. She welcomes PhD applications from students interested in studying any of these topics.

Rachel is Senior Tutor and on the Senior Management Team in the Institute of Management Studies (IMS) at Goldsmiths. Previous admin roles in the IMS have included Programme Director for the BSc in Management and Entrepreneurship and the BSc in Management (with Entrepreneurship, Economics or Marketing), Undergraduate (UG) Chair of Exams Board and Admissions Officer for UG programmes in Management. She was also the Founding Director of the MSc in Entrepreneurship at Royal Holloway.

Rachel is currently Book Reviews Editor for the International Small Business Journal and was previously a Consulting Editor for the same journal from 2013-2020. She is on the Editorial Review Board of the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research and was Co-Editor of a Special Issue for the journal Entrepreneurship and Regional Development on Entrepreneurship and Crises: Business as Usual?

Recent talks:

2021. How small businesses are fighting their way through the pandemic, Diversity in Business Group at the Certified Public Accountants Group, Webinar, Australia European Division, CPA Australia, April.

2020. Crisis management planning and resilience for SMEs during COVID-19 pandemic. Workshop (online), DEK Business Growth programme - providing training and workshops for staff and owners of SMEs to help them develop their skills and experience, Enterprise Centre at Goldsmiths, June. https://www.deklondon.com/

2020. Small business and entrepreneurship in times of crisis, Panel/Webinar, IPA-Deakin SME Research Centre at the Deakin Business School and the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research at the QUT Business School, May.

2020. Organizations in crisis: How to navigate a new normal, Diversity in Business Group at the Certified Public Accountants Group, Webinar, Australia European Division, CPA Australia, May.

2020. Mentor/Schmentor: How chef-owners separate from mentors and redefine their relationships, Seminar, University of Calgary, Calgary Canada, February.

2019. The role of gender in the final phases of the mentor-protégé relationship: A study of how elite chef-owners separate and redefine their relationships with their culinary mentors as they leave to open their own restaurants. Seminar, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim Norway.

2019. How to be more resilient as a creative professional in a precarious environment. Keynote Lecture, Creative backslash: From precarious individuals to resilient organisations (Conference). Belgrade Serbia. 

2018. A framework for small business recovery following a crisis. Seminar, University of Surrey.

2017.  Small business adaptation and resilience following adversity: The experience of small businesses during the London Riots. Seminar, De Montfort University Leicester. 

2017. How do small businesses and their owner-managers adapt to a crisis? The case of the London riots, Seminar, University of Burgos. 

2017. Build Resilience: Make your organisation crisis prepared, not crisis prone, Talk for Knowledge Brief (to members of the public and private sector), London.

2014. Doern, R. ‘Where's my shop?’ Understanding the impact of the London riots on small businesses and owner-managers. Seminar, Kingston Business School, University of Kingston.
2013. Small business resilience in a post-riot context. Resilience and Infrastructures Theme, Resilience Workshop, Royal Holloway, University of London.
2012. An exploratory study of responses to and recovery from the London riots. August 2011: From the perspective of small business owner-managers. Seminar for research students of the Honours Academy at Radboud University Nijmegen, Royal Holloway, University of London.
2012. Cross-cultural research: Reflections on conducting research abroad. PhD Day School of Management, Royal Holloway, University of London.
2011. Entrepreneurship in adverse conditions. Seminar for staff of the Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
2011. Undertaking cross-cultural research. Seminar for research students of the Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
2011. The experience of Russian entrepreneurs: Small business survival and growth, Russian Society Lecture, Royal Holloway, University of London.
2011. Feeling powerless: Barriers to entrepreneurial action in Russia, Centre for Comparative Economics’ Seminar Series, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL.
2010. Barriers, blockages and dead-ends: the growing pains of Russian small businesses, Centre for Comparative Economics’ Seminar Series, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, University of London.
2010. Tips for writing up your PhD. PhD Day School of Management, Royal Holloway.
2010. Workshop on qualitative research methods in entrepreneurship. British Academy of Management Conference, Sheffield (with O. Jones & W. Lam).
2009. Cognitive and affective representations of barriers to growth: Some accounts from owner-managers in Russia, School of Management Seminar Series, Royal Holloway.
2007. Understanding barriers to small business growth:  Examples from Russia. Scottish Entrepreneurship Research Seminar, Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Strathclyde.

Web Series:

The Professor and the CEO: Roadmap to the New Abnormal - This webinar series (with Ben Gillam, CEO of Thirdway Interiors, a commercial office design and workplace consultancy) was created to bring together research and practice to help entrepreneurs, small business owners, CEOs and managers navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to hosting a live series every couple of weeks with a practitioner audience, the series is available on YouTube. 

Series 1 (2020)


Watch the series online

An SMEs journey through the pandemic (ep 1)

Decision-making in times of uncertainty (ep 2)

Leadership styles, wellbeing and resilience (ep 3)

Detecting vulnerabilities and preparing for crisis (ep 4)

Containing a crisis and thinking about business recovery (ep 5)

Reconsidering the workplace in times of COVID-19 (ep 6)

Flexibility and improvisation in response to crisis (ep 7)

Rethinking values during a crisis (ep 8)

Sustainability in and beyond a crisis (ep 9)

Organisational resilience in a crisis (ep 10)

The role of empathy in a crisis (ep 11)

Protecting and promoting mental health during a crisis (ep 12)

11 Questions every CEO should ask and answer (ep 13)


How to deal with self-employed anxiety (19/04/21)

Economic knockout: Boxing strategies for SME survival (28/05/21)

COVID-19 slammed small businesses – but a surprising number are thriving: Los Angeles Times (05/02/21)

Will small businesses recover from COVID? Knowable Magazine (06/02/21)

Boxer’s mindset helps avoid small business knock-out: Goldsmiths News (28/01/21)

Rising from the Ashes: Turning Crisis into Opportunity (15/04/20)

How to Manage Anxiety When You Work for Yourself  (10/09/19)

Innovation Insight: Be Crisis Prepared, Not Crisis Prone (08/05/17)

Anticipate, Prepare and Adapt to Crises (03/05/17)

The impact of the London 2011 Riots on small businesses two years on, 06/80/13 

BBC London News (TV) Interview, lunchtime news (live), 13:30.

BBC London News (TV) Interview, 18:30, Tim Donovan Presenter.

BBC Sussex (Radio) Interview, 16:00, Simon Furber Presenter. 

BBC News (2013). Nothing was done for riot victims 06/08/13.  

London Riots Still Affecting Businesses Emotionally and Financially (2013).

Small businesses still picking up the pieces from last year's riots (2012). 

Thomas Holloway Entrepreneurship Lecture Q&A podcast (2011). With Nick Wheeler (Charles Tyrwhitt) and David Hathirami (A Suit that Fits) 01/27/11. 

City AM (2009). For your next job, you too can become an entrepreneur (T. Barber) 19/02/09.

Publications and research outputs

Book Section

Alrubaishi, Dalal; Robson, Paul; Haugh, Helen; Doern, Rachel and Wales, William. 2021. Socioemotional Wealth Perspective on the Manifestation of Entrepreneurial Orientation within Saudi Family Firms. In: A. C. Corbett; P. Kreiser; L. Marino and W. Wales, eds. Entrepreneurial Orientation: Epistemological, Theoretical & Empirical Perspectives. 22 Bingley: Emerald, pp. 175-200. ISBN 9781838675721

Doern, Rachel. 2017. Strategies for Resilience in Entrepreneurship: Building Resources for Small Business Survival After a Crisis. In: T Vorley and N Williams, eds. Creating Resilient Economies: Entrepreneurship, Growth and Development in Uncertain Times. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 11-27. ISBN 9781785367632

de Koning, Alice; Fey, Carl and Doern, Rachel. 2006. A cross-cultural assessment of the e-business opportunities in Russia and Sweden. In: E Mrudula, ed. Cultural Framework and Challenges: Web Adoption and Practice. Hyderabad, India: ICFAI Press. ISBN 9788131404652


Doern, Rachel. 2021. Knocked down but not out and fighting to go the distance: Small business responses to an unfolding crisis in the initial impact period. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 15, e00221. ISSN 2352-6734

Doern, Rachel; Williams, Nick and Vorley, Tim. 2018. Special Issue on Entrepreneurship and Crises: Business as Usual? An Introduction and Review of the Literature. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 31, pp. 400-412. ISSN 0898-5626

D'Hont, L; Doern, Rachel and Delgado Garcia, J. 2016. The Role of Friendship in the Formation and Development of Entrepreneurial Teams and Ventures. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 23(2), pp. 528-561. ISSN 1462-6004

Conference or Workshop Item

Demetry, Daphne and Doern, Rachel. 2020. 'Gendered Narratives of Separation and Redefinition Phases of Mentoring in a Craft-Based Industry'. In: 115th American Sociological Association Annual Meeting (Organizations, Occupations, and Work: Refereed Roundtables – Race, Gender and Careers). Online 20 August 2020.

Demetry, Daphne and Doern, Rachel. 2019. 'I’m a Chef! Negotiating Identity Conflict in Craft-based Entrepreneurship'. In: Academy of Management Conference (Symposium on Against the Grain: Managing and Defying Expectations in Nascent Craft Food Markets). Boston, United States 9-13 August 2019.

Demetry, Daphne and Doern, Rachel. 2019. 'Managing identity strain in craft-based entrepreneurship: A case of elite chef-owners in London'. In: European Group for Organizational Studies (Rediscovering Craft and Craftsmanship in Organizations Track). Edinburgh, United Kingdom 4-6 July 2009.


Doern, Rachel. 2022. Report on understanding the main opportunities and barriers to SME engagement with the youth labour market. Project Report. Goldsmiths, University of London, London.

Research Interests

  • Entrepreneurs and adversity
  • Cognitions and emotions of the entrepreneur
  • Qualitative, Interpretive-phenomenological approaches to entrepreneurship
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to entrepreneurship research
  • Small business growth, barriers to growth
  • Enterprise development in emerging and transition economies
  • Institutional influences on enterprise development
  • Corruption and organizational deviance
  • Female entrepreneurs, ethnic-minority entrepreneurs