Original conceptualizations and designs characterize Paul D. Reynolds’ research. He has taken entrepreneurship research to new levels, given it new directions. He has organized several exemplary innovative and large-scale empirical investigations into the nature of entrepreneurship and its role in economic development. A large number of researchers have benefited from these projects, making it possible to address central entrepreneurship issues empirically for the first time.
Professor Reynolds is the initiator and coordinator of the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED), as well as one of its principal participating researchers. This unique study was the first full scale effort to study a representative sample of firm start-ups during their emergence. It has inspired sister projects in several countries.
A second, on-going and large-scale project initiated and conducted by Paul Reynolds is the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). It is unparalleled in terms of global recognition and policy impact. Apart from its policy role this project is as well beginning to spin off purely academic results. In addition, it has been an especially important source of inspiration for academic research in many participating countries where heretofore very little if any such research on entrepreneurship had been pursued.
Together, these projects now yield an impressive stream of contributions to conferences, journals and collective volumes on a broad range of entrepreneurship issues. The PSED project has enhanced our knowledge about the entrepreneurial process, as well as provided a sound basis for conclusions about the causes of business success and failure.
Apart from those well-known on-going projects, Paul Reynolds has made numerous contributions in related areas and on methodology, making him one of the most published and cited scholars in the field. The new key concepts of the nascent entrepreneur and gestation behaviors, and his study on the regional causes and consequences of the rate of new firm formation and other aspects of regional economic volatility are now essential notions in scholarly discourse. The latter is yet another area pioneered by Paul Reynolds, documenting his unique ability to refine existing methodology and to organize large-scale projects of international collaboration. Paul Reynolds' work has contributed greatly to our knowledge about the micro processes of economic change.