Business-Administration People | All Faculty | Strategy & Entrepreneurship

Sonali K. Shah

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Educational Background

Ph.D., Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003
B.S.E., Magna Cum Laude, Biomedical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 1996
B.S.E., Magna Cum Laude, Economics and Finance, University of Pennsylvania, 1996

Positions Held

Assistant Professor of Business Administration, University of Illinois, 2003-2007, 2014 to present
Assistant Professor, University of Washington, 2007-2014
Investment Banking Analyst, High Technology Group, Morgan Stanley & Company, 1996-1997

Recent Publications

Shah, S., Gorbatai, A. 2016. Structural Sampling: A Technique for Illuminating Social Systems. In Kimberly D. Elsbach and Roderick M. Kramer (Ed.), Handbook of Qualitative Organizational Research: Innovative Pathways and Methods, 251-261. New York: Taylor and Francis.

Shah, S., Tripsas, M. 2016. When Do User-Innovators Start Firms? A Theory of User Entrepreneurship. In Revolutionizing Innovation: Users, Communities and Open Innovation, 285-307. MIT Press.

Shah, S., Burton, M., Chen, P. 2015. Backgrounds of Entrepreneurs: Human Capital. Kauffman Foundation State of the Field Website (

Agarwal-Tronetti, R., Shah, S. 2014. Knowledge Sources of Entrepreneurship: Firm Formation by Academic, User & Employee Innovators. Research Policy, 43: 1109-1133

Shah, S., Mody, C. 2014. Creating a Context for Entrepreneurship: Examining How Users' Technological and Organizational Innovations Set the Stage for Entrepreneurial Activity. In Brett Frischmann, Michael Madison and Katherine Strandburg (Ed.), Governing Knowledge Commons, 313-340. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Shah, S., Pahnke, E. 2014. Parting the Ivory Curtain: Understanding How Universities Support a Diverse Set of Startups. Journal of Technology Transfer, 39: 780-792

Honors and Awards

Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal Best Paper Award, Strategic Management Society, 2015

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students, 2015

Rising Stars Best Paper Award, Industry Studies Association, 2013

Distinguished Teaching Award Finalist, University of Washington, 2012-2013

Charlene M. & Arthur Buerk Fellowship, University of Washington, 2010-2013

Recognized as a Star Teacher, University of Washington, 2011-2012

Service Activities

Doctoral Student Consortium Panelist & Mentor, Academy of Management—Technology & Innovation Management Division, 2016
Editorial Board, Kauffman Foundation State of the Field, 2015-present
Editorial Review Board, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 2015-present
Editorial Review Board, Organization Science, 2011-present
Doctoral Consortium Organizer, Business Policy & Strategy Division—Academy of Management, 2015
Best Dissertation Awards Committee Member, Academy of Management—Technology & Innovation Management Division, 2015
Paper Development Workshop Facilitator, Declined, Industry Studies Association, 2014
Doctoral Consortium Organizer, Business Policy & Strategy Division—Academy of Management, 2014
Guest Associate Editor, Management Science, 2013-2014
Best Dissertation Awards Committee Member, Industry Studies Association, 2013-2014
Executive Committee Member, Organized and ran the Best Paper and Best Student Paper Awards processes., Academy of Management— Business Policy & Strategy Division, 2012-2014
Reviewer, National Science Foundation, 2004-2006, 2014
Representative-at-Large, Organized and ran the Best Paper, Best Student Paper, and Best Dissertation Awards processes., Academy of Management—Technology & Innovation Management Division, 2010-2012
Research Committee Member, Academy of Management—Business Policy & Strategy Division, 2010-2012

Teaching and Research Interests

Teaches in the areas of strategy, innovation management, organization design, and qualitative research methods.

Research interests span innovation, entrepreneurship, and strategy.