Shaker Zahra
3-430 Carlson School

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Shaker A. Zahra

Department Chair, Robert E. Buuck Chair of Entrepreneurship, Professor of Strategy & Academic Director of the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship
Strategic Management & Entrepreneurship Department


  • PhD in Business Administration
    Business Policy & Managerial Economics University of Mississippi

  • MBA (with Distinction)
    Management/MIS National University

  • B. Commerce (with Honors)
    Management Al-Azhar University


  • Entrepreneurship & capability development in global industries.
  • International Entrepreneurship
  • The role of corporate entrepreneurship in Knowledge creation, absorption & conversion.

Shaker A. Zahra is the Department Chair, Robert E. Buuck Chair of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Strategy in the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. He is also the Academic Director of the Gary S. Holmes Entrepreneurship Center. He has served also as the Academic Co-Director of Carlson Ventures Enterprises as well as the Founding Co-Director of the Center for Integrative Leadership at University of Minnesota. Previously, Shaker was Paul T. Babson Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at Babson College and Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship at Georgia State University. He has been a visiting or guest professor at several universities in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Shaker has also held the 3TU Chair in International Entrepreneurship at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.


Focus of Current Research.  Shaker's research examines: (1) entrepreneurial knowledge and capability development in global industries; (2) international entrepreneurship & capability development; and (3) the role of corporate entrepreneurship in knowledge creation, absorption and conversion.

Shaker studies industry emergence and its consequences for entrepreneurship. His research also explores the evolution and sources of novelty in companies' strategic choices and their implications for firm heterogeneity.  This research contributes to the knowledge, organizational learning, and the dynamic capabilities' theoretical perspectives-- especially in young entrepreneurial and established companies  in technology-based global markets.

Snapshot of Ongoing Research. Shaker's ongoing research covers multiple industries that include: robotics, software applications, global mobile applications, videogame, pharma, and nano-technology. Besides the US, his  research projects are under way in several countries that include: China, Swaziland, Brazil, India, Morocco, Korea, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, and Spain. These studies, which are conducted in collaboration with several research partners, apply multiple methods and theories and cover multiple levels of the analysis.

Sample Publications. Shaker's research has appeared in leading  journals such as: Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Executive, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management, Organization Science, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Decision Sciences, Information Systems Research, Industrial & Corporate Change, Research Policy, Human Relations, Academy of Management Perspectives, Academy of Management Learning and Education, among others.  Shaker has also published or (co) edited 12 books and conference proceedings.

Sample Research Recognitions. Shaker is the winner of the 2014 Global Award For Entrepreneurship Research. He  has received several grants, honors and awards-- including 5 honorary Ph.D. degrees from  Stockholm School of Economics, Jonkoping International Business School (both in Sweden), Ghent University (Belgium), University of Messina (Italy) and Universidad de Olavide de Seville (Spain). He  is a 21st Century Research Fellow of the National Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, Fellow of the Southern Management Association, Fellow of the International Family Enterprise Association (IFERA), and the Raymond Institute for Family Business.  Shaker's  research has received several "Best Paper" awards from AMJ, Jmournal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, among others. His research and writings have appeared and cited in the New York Times, Financial Times, USA TodayPhiladephia Inquirer, Inc, among others. His writings have appeared (profiled) in or translated to Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, German, Portugese (Brazilian), Swedish, among others.

Academic Leadership

Shaker has served on over 25 journal editorial boards as well as a Track Chair for: Decision Sciences Institute, Academy of International Business, and Southern Management Association (3 times). He has also served as the Director of the Babson Kauffman Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BKERC/BCERC) and as the Chair of the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management.  In addition, Shaker served as a keynote speaker for over 40 conferences in the US and other countries (e.g., France, Spain, Italy, China, Brazil, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Turkey, Dominican Republic & Netherlands).

Teaching & Outreach

Shaker has taught undergraduate, MBA, EMBA, and the executive programs at Minnesota, Babson, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, among several others. He has also taught in several company-sponsored executive education and customized-MBA programs.  He has been a consultant to several prominent companies and organizations in the US and other countries. His clients include some of the world's largest global technology-based companies.

Shaker has taught at several DBA, Executive Doctorate and Ph.D. programs in the US and other countries (advising/ chairing or serving on committees of over 75 Ph.D. students). Shaker received several awards for his excellent teaching, including the Best teacher in the MBA and the Mentor Award from the Entrepreneurship Division, the Academy of Management.



For a Full Copy of Shaker's resume, please send an email to


Selected Works

"Stakeholder Pressure on MNEs and the Transfer of Socially Irresponsible Practices to Subsidiaries, " Academy of Management Journal, 2013, in press (Surroca, Tribo, & Zahra)
Exploration, Exploitation and Firm Performance: Analysis of S&P 500 Corporations," Keil, Maula, Juha & Zahra, Strategic Management Journal (2008).
"The role of external knowledge sources and organizational design in the process of exploiting strategic opportunities," Strategic Management Journal, 2013, 34, 1453-1471." (Foss, Lyngsie, & Zahra).
"The Effect of Strategic Variety and Origin on New Venture Performance," Strategic Management Journal, 2013, in press (Larraneta, Zahra. & Galán).
"Top Management's Attention to Discontinuous Technological Change: Corporate Venture Capital as an Alert Mechanism," Organization Science, 2013, in press (Maula, Keil & Zahra)
"Stakeholder Pressure on MNEs and the Transfer of Socially Irresponsible Practices to Subsidiaries, " Academy of Management Journal, 2013, in press (Surroca, Tribo, & Zahra)
"Globalization of Social Entrepreneurship," Zahra, Rawhouser, Bhawe, Neubaum & Hayton, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal (2008).
"Exploration, Exploitation and Firm Performance: Analysis of S&P 500 Corporations," Keil, Maula, Juha & Zahra, Strategic Management Journal (2008).
"A Typology of Social Entrepreneurs: Motives, Search Processes and Ethical Challenges," Zahra, Gedajlovic, Neubaum & Shulman, Journal of Business Venturing (2009).
"The Effect of Governance Modes and Relatedness of External Business Development Activities on Innovative Performance," Keil, Maula, Schildt & Zahra, Strategic Management Journal (2009).
"Knowledge Conversion Capability and the Performance of Corporate and University Spin-Offs," S. Zahra, Van de Velde & Larraneta, Industrial and Corporate Change (2007).
"The Survival of International New Ventures," R. Mudambi & S. Zahra, JIBS (2007).
"Entrepreneurship and Dynamic Capabilities: A Review, Model, and Research Agenda," S. Zahra, H. Sapienza & P. Davidsson, Journal of Management Studies (2006).
"The Effect of Early Internationalization on Firm Profitability and Growth," H. Sapienza, E. Autio, G. George & S. Zahra, AMR(2006).
"A Theory on International New Ventures: A Decade of Research," S. Zahra, JIBS (2005).
"Management Fraud: Antecedents and Consequences," S. Zahra, A. Rasheed & R. Priem, J. of Management (2005).
"Absorptive Capacity: A Review, Reconceptualization, and Extension," S. Zahra & G. George, AMR (2002).
"Sources of Capabilities, Integration, and Technology Commercialization," S. Zahra & A. P. Nielsen, SMJ (2002).
"Privatization and Entrepreneurial Transformation: A Review and Research Agenda," Zahra, Ireland, Guiterrez & Hitt, AMR (2000).
"International Expansion, Technological Learning, and New Venture Performance," S. Zahra, D. Ireland & M. Hitt, AMJ (2000).
"Entrepreneurship in Medium-Size Companies: Exploring the Effects of Ownership and Governance Systems," S. Zahra, D. Neubaum & M. Huse, J. of Management (2000).

Current Activities

Administrative Appointments

  • Academic Co-Director, Carlson Venture Enterprises

  • Academic Director, Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Minnesota

  • Chair, Strategic Management & Organization Department (2010-current)

  • Founding Co-Director, Center for Integrative Leadership

Current Research

  • Highly Cited, 2014, Thompson-Reuter 

Editorial Appointments

  • Served on more than 25 editorial boards

Honors and Awards

  • Sustained Contribution Award for Research on Corporate Entrepreneurship, USASBE

  • Best Paper Award, Academy of Management Journal

  • Fellow, International Family Enterprise Research Association (IFERA)

  • Finalist for Best Paper Award, Academy of Management Review

  • Best Paper Award, Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference

  • Best Paper Award, Journal of Management

  • Best Paper Award, Journal of Management Studies

  • Best Paper Award for a paper in the Journal of Business Venturing, USASBE

  • Best Paper Award, Iberoamrican Academy of Management

  • Best Paper Award in Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice

  • Stevens Institute Best Paper Award (corporate entrepreneurship), BCERC

  • Best Theory Paper Award, Entrepreneurship Division, Academy of Management

  • Falcone Distinguished Entrepreneurship Scholar, Syracuse University.

  • Best Paper Award, Social Issues Division, Academy of Management

  • Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of Research on Global Competitiveness, American Society for Competitiveness.

  • Best Paper Award, Production and Operations Management Division, Academy of Management

  • Research Award, Carlson School of Management

  • Fellow, Southern Management Association

  • 5 Honorary PhDs [honoris causa] in recognition of research achievements from JIBS/Jonkoping University (Sweden), Stockholm School of Economics (Sweden), Ghent University (Belgium), University of Messina (italy) and Universidad Pablo de Olavide de Seville (Spain)

  • Fellow, Raymond Institute for Family Business

  • Fellow, 21st Century Research, National Association for Entrepreneurship Centers

  • 2014 Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research

  • Mentor Award, Entrepreneurship Division, Academy of Management

Scholarly Service

  • Past Chair, International Entrepreneurship Track, Academy of International Business

  • Chair, Strategy and Entrepreneurship Track, Decision Science Institute

  • Chair, 3 tracks, Southern Management Association

  • Board of Governors, Southern Management Association

  • Keynote Speaker, more than 40 national and international conferences or meetings

  • Chair, Entrepreneurship Division, Academy of Management

  • Chair, Entrepreneurship Division, Academy of Management, Professional Development Workshps /Incoming program chair

  • Program Chair, Entrepreneurship Division, Academy of Management

  • Chair, Professional Development Workshops, Entrepreneurship Division, Academy of Management

  • Director, Babson Kauffman Entrepreneurship Research Conference