David Johnson

david johnson

Dr David Johnson PhD, MBA, MSc. (Res), MSc., BSc. (Hons)

Lecturer in Entrepreneurship


Dr David Johnson is a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship.

David's research explores entrepreneurial ecosystems, science-based entrepreneurship, technology transfer, and academic entrepreneurs. Broadly speaking, David studies the relationship between uncertainty and entrepreneurial cognition, entrepreneurial behaviour, and venturing. More specifically, his research examines commercialization activities in high-technology sectors (e.g. regenerative medicine) to understand how micro- and meso-level factors influence both the generation and development of entrepreneurial ecosystems. This research has led David to Visiting Scholar positions at The Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison (US) and The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Moscow, Russia).

Prior to joining Edinburgh Napier University Business School, David spent over a decade working within the biopharmaceutical sector within Commercial and Strategy Consulting roles. He was a Commercial Director for a start-up biopharmaceutical strategy consultancy and health data analytics firm. David led on the organization's commercial activity, including strategy consulting to university spin-outs and early-stage life science organizations. He also led the firm's health data compliance consulting, advising US clients on the risks associated with personal health information (PHI) disclosure and anonymity. Having joined this start-up at founding, David played a key role in the rapid growth of the organization. Additionally, David has worked for leading global pharmaceutical companies within Sales and Business Development.

David holds Science-based Undergraduate and Masters Degrees from the University of Leeds (UK) and The University of Edinburgh (UK), which included research at the Roslin Institute. Furthermore, he holds an MBA from the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow (UK). He also holds an MSc. by Research (in Entrepreneurship) from the University of Edinburgh Business School (UK). David obtained his PhD in Management (Entrepreneurship and Innovation) from the University of Edinburgh Business School (UK).

David is particularly interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

Technology entrepreneurship, with a focus on the relationship between micro-level factors and venturing;

Academic entrepreneurship and technology transfer;

Business models in high-technology sectors; and

Entrepreneurial ecosystem generation and development.

Currently, David is the Programme Leader for BA Sales Management (Online). He is the Entrepreneurship and Sales Lead for a Work-Based Learning module. Additionally, he teaches on Entrepreneurship and Innovation modules.

David is also a Visiting Research Fellow at 'Interface - The Knowledge Connection for Business.' Additionally, he is a Non-Executive Director and Trustee at the Board of Management at Borders College.

Research Areas


Conference Activity

  • Culture, Context and Cognition at the University-Industry Boundary: A Study of Three Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
  • Institutional Maintenance and Survival: Freemasonry and Masonic Ritual
  • How do University Ecosystems Navigate Uncertainty? Framing and Coping Strategies in Regenerative Medicine
  • Regenerative Medicine Ecosystems and the Built Environment at Entrepreneurial Universities
  • Academic Scientists’ Engagement in Exogenously-driven Commercial Activity
  • Venturing in the Dark: Entrepreneurial Universities and Regenerative Medicine Ecosystems
  • Regenerative Medicine Translation: Cross-National Analysis of Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development
  • Sensemaking at Entrepreneurial Firms: Acknowledgement Practice Under Uncertainty
  • Coping with Unresolvable Uncertainty: A Situational Analysis of Regenerative Medicine Venturing Activity
  • Translating Regenerative Medicine: A Cross-National Study of Business Model Development Under Uncertainty
  • Regenerative Medicine Venturing: The Development of Collaborative Capabilities Under Uncertainty


Fellowships and Awards

  • Visiting Scholar - The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russia
  • Visiting Scholar - The Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA


Invited Speaker

  • University of Oslo - Translating Regenerative Medicine: Uncertainty, Entrepreneurial Behaviour and the Development of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems


Non-executive Directorship

  • Non-Executive Director: Member of the Board of Management at Borders College



  • Reviewer for Research Policy Journal


Visiting Positions

  • Visiting Research Fellow - Interface: The Knowledge Connection for Business


Pre-Napier Funded Projects

  • Entrepreneurial Behaviour and the Development of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems under Uncertainty

Current Post Grad projects