Strategy and Entrepreneurship

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How do organizations create, capture and sustain value? In addressing this question the Strategy & Entrepreneurship area takes a multi-disciplinary approach drawing mainly on (organizational) economics and organizational theory as well as incorporating insights from sociological and behavioral perspectives. Important areas of investigation include new venture creation, opportunity identification and exploitation, competitive strategy and position, organizational resources and capabilities, corporate governance and intellectual property rights, technology strategy and innovation management, diversification strategy, vertical integration, mergers and acquisitions, inter-organizational relationships (e.g., joint venture, contracting).

The program of study leading to a Ph.D. with a specialization in Strategy & Entrepreneurship is designed to train students to be outstanding research scholars/teachers who possess considerable depth of understanding of key focal areas within the field of Strategy & Entrepreneurship. Within the requirement that they seek excellence, our students have the flexibility to develop and pursue their own specialized interests. We strive to provide a supportive and nurturing environment and we emphasize high interaction and faculty mentorship of our doctoral students. A partial list of universities where our graduates have received job offers include Arizona State University, Michigan State University, New York University, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of South Carolina, HEC-Paris, INSEAD, and HKUST.

Coursework and Research

The course work in the Ph.D. program enables doctoral students to develop essential skills for knowledge generation and dissemination. These essential skills include:

  • Mastery of seminal and relevant literature;
  • The ability to integrate and build on this knowledge to develop new research questions;
  • Methodological and analytical skills needed to rigorously formulate and test these research questions.

The first two years of the program enable doctoral students to establish a strong conceptual understanding of the Strategy & Entrepreneurship field. In addition to required and elective courses, research seminars bring together distinguished researchers from around the world, academics from different departments of the University of Illinois, and group faculty and students in the program. Following these courses and seminars, the student selects a dissertation topic, which will be the focus of the third- and fourth-years of the doctoral program. Students are also provided an opportunity to conduct research in a variety of settings other than the dissertation, such as course-related projects and collaborative research with faculty.

Recent dissertation titles:

  • The Effect of Technological Complexity on Innovation Performance, Employee Entrepreneurship and Mobility;
  • Markets for Research: A Matching Approach to University-Industry Research Collaborations;
  • Relational Strategy, Business Scope, and Firm Performance: Evidence from Supplier-Client Relationships in Knowledge-Based Services.


For a complete list of Strategy and Entrepreneurship faculty members please visit our faculty directory.

Current Students

For a complete list of current students in Strategy and Entrepreneurship please visit our PhD student directory.