Learning from Those Who Do: A Case Study of Duperon Corporation

Learning from Those Who Do: A Case Study of Duperon Corporation

Kylie Jaber (Saginaw Valley State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7533-9.ch008


This case study represents one of a series of personal interviews with entrepreneurs in Ghana and the United States. In particular, this chapter details the journey of American entrepreneur Terry Duperon, who started Duperon Corporation, a Michigan-based screening technologies company. In this chapter, the authors describe the motivating factors, operationalization, challenges, and successes of starting a business as experienced by Mr. Duperon. They also describe the unique challenges of family relationships and firm performance within the context of a family firm. Finally, in the spirit of learning from those who do, the authors discuss the mental attributes deemed critical for a successful business venture according to a practicing entrepreneur. The study, which takes a narrative approach, contributes to existing literature on both entrepreneurs and family business.
Chapter Preview


This chapter takes a narrative approach in its focus on understanding entrepreneurs. Not only are the breadth and scope of entrepreneurial ventures vast, but researchers also clamor for consensus on the mental and emotional attributes of this population (Brockhaus, 1982). The employment of a narrative analysis (Dawson and Hjorth, 2012; Gartner, 2007) is undertaken here to better illuminate facets of complex issues in a personable and relatable way (i.e., the telling of one’s story), extending the reader’s understanding of diverse and interwoven subject matter by familiarizing them with the involved individuals, their motivations, and how they respond to various—often simultaneous—stimuli.

In the sections to follow, we attempt to incorporate one man’s story into the wealth of entrepreneurial research and strike a balance between (1) presenting a unifying perspective to how successful entrepreneurs see themselves and the world around them and (2) highlighting the uniqueness of individual entrepreneurs—the traits, so inherently their own, that shape who they are and what they do that makes them successful. Specifically, this chapter focuses on better understanding the attitude and mental and emotional workings of Terry Duperon, Chairman of the Board of Duperon Cooperation, a successful entrepreneur in Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.

It is the goal of this chapter to impart a better understanding of what it means to be an entrepreneur, and in doing so, contribute to the existing literature that seeks to both define and profile this driving force of economic activity (Begley and Boyd, 1987; Low and MacMillan, 1988; and Kent, Sexton, Vesper, 1982; Naldi et al., 2007). The discussion to follow invites all readers—regardless of age, education, or economic condition—to consider the value and potential of untapped creativity, especially that which resides within them.

This chapter is structured as follows: this section continueswith the introduction of Terry Duperon and Duperon Corporation, the subjects of focus for this case study. The second section provides an overview of Terry’s journey from childhood to practicing entrepreneur. The third section provides a discussion of the mental attributes Terry deems necessary for a successful business venture. The fourth section is dedicated to the practice of teaching entrepreneurship, as Terry has (and continues to) experience it. The fifth section provides an overview of firm performance and some discussion of the role of family in Duperon Corporation; the final section concludes.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: