Strategy and Entrepreneurship Ph.D.

Alan Ellstrand, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, College Curriculum Management, and AOL, talking with students

The Strategy and Entrepreneurship Ph.D. program, designed by the Strategy, Entrepreneurship, and Venture Innovation department (SEVI), offers students the opportunity to work directly with distinguished faculty to develop cutting-edge business research.

Program Overview

The Strategy and Entrepreneurship curriculum is designed for flexibility, with focused core courses in Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management, and elective courses in economics, psychology, sociology, political science, and public administration. The combination of a strong core and several areas of emphasis allows students to develop novel theoretical contributions and practical insights for managers, entrepreneurs, and their organizations.

Areas of Emphasis


Entrepreneurship explores how individuals recognize and exploit opportunities and create value through new technologies and organizations. Students may further focus on social entrepreneurship, which examines how individuals or start-up companies develop, fund and implement solutions to social or environmental issues.

Strategy and the Business Environment

Strategy and the Business Environment focuses on how businesses use strategies, such as lobbying and financial contributions to politicians or PACs, to achieve superior performance. It also focuses on how other actors in the business environment, such as social movement activists, regulatory agencies and the judiciary, affect business performance.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility explores how companies simultaneously address the expectations of shareholders and external stakeholders concerned with social and environmental issues. It often involves a “Triple-Bottom-Line" approach through which a company achieves a balance of economic, environmental and social imperatives.

Micro Foundations of Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Micro foundations of Strategy and Entrepreneurship explores the broad impact that individuals have on new and established organizations. It integrates individual-level and firm-level perspectives to understand how individual characteristics such as personality and values shape important organizational outcomes including firm performance, strategy, new value creation, and financial capital acquisition.

SEVI Ph.D. Degree

Strategy and Entrepreneurship Ph.D.

SEVI Faculty
View faculty and research interests

Duration of Program: 4-5 years

Program Start Date: Fall

Application Deadline:
December 15

Curriculum Overview
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Admissions Information
View Info and Requirements

Required Test: GMAT or GRE

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Program Structure

The Ph.D. program in Strategy and Entrepreneurship is designed to ensure that students receive an exposure to the broad areas of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship, develop the conceptual skills and methodological tools necessary to design and conduct independent research, and develop the skills and experience necessary to teach at all levels of higher education. The program requires an educational background in business, sociology, political science, or economics. Students without this educational background may also be admitted but may be required to take up to 3 master's level courses in one of these areas.



Admissions Requirements for the Ph.D. Programs

All doctoral programs require a valid GMAT/GRE for admissions review. Applicants who wish to apply for the doctoral program with an emphasis in Marketing must submit their applications to the Graduate School of Business by December 1st.


SEVI Program of Study

Required Courses 13 credit hours

SEVI 61203: Seminar in Entrepreneurship Research This Ph.D.-level seminar presents an overview and introduction into organization theory literature. Emphasis on the development of relevant schools of thought, changes in the content of the traditional or 'mainstream' themes, current topics, schools of thought, and future directions are examined.
SEVI 61303: Seminar in Strategy Research This Ph.D.-level seminar presents an overview and introduction into the strategic management literature. Emphasis on both the content and process of the extant research. Relevant theory, methods, 'mainstream' themes, current topics, schools of thought, and future directions are examined.
SEVI 63203: Seminar in Non-Market Strategy Research This course reviews the major theoretical and empirical foundations of current non-market strategic management thought with attention given to strategic corporate social responsibility and corporate political activity. This is not a lecture class. Students are expected to read, understand, and critique ALL papers assigned for discussion each week. Students will be assigned responsibility for leading the discussion of selected readings as well as participate in the discussion of all assigned readings.
BUSI 61101: Seminar in Business Administration Teaching I This course in college level teaching is designed for graduate students and new college teachers with specific emphasis on the Business Administration learning and classroom management. The purpose of this course is to introduce graduate students to principles of teaching and learning and to prepare these future teachers to lifelong learners in the classroom as teachers.
Choose one of the following:
MGMT 61103: Seminar in Organizational Behavior Survey of theoretical and empirical literature in organizational behavior. Stresses critical evaluation of current writing in the field and its integration with prior research. Covers topics relating to motivation, individual differences, job attitudes, social influence processes, and group dynamics.
MGMT 62303: Seminar in Human Resource Management Provides an overview of major issues in human resource management. Designed to familiarize students with the seminal research in human resource management, and to provide them with the conceptual and methodological tools necessary to do research in the area.

Supporting Fields 12 credit hours

Choose four courses from the following:

Supporting courses can include the below options or equivalent courses as approved by the Ph.D. Coordinator.

  • PSYC 50603 - Advanced Social Psychology
  • PSYC 63703 - Seminar in Personality and Social Psychology
  • WLLC 5750V - Special Investigations
  • SCMT 64403 - Theory in Supply Chain Management
  • ISYS 68303 - Theory Development
  • MGMT 60101 - Graduate Colloquium
  • MGMT 6360V - Special Problems in Management
  • SEVI 6360V - Special Topics in Strategy and Entrepreneurship
  • MGMT 62303 - Seminar in Human Resource Management
  • MGMT 61103 - Seminar in Organizational Behavior

Courses for the supporting fields requirement are selected in consultation with the student's Ph.D. Advisory Committee. All courses taken for the Supporting Fields must be at the graduate level and/or taken for graduate credit. In certain circumstances, and with the approval of the student's advisor and Ph.D. coordinator, a student may request permission to substitute a graduate course not listed here.

Research Requirements 18 credit hours

Research methods courses can include the below options or equivalent courese as approved by the Ph.D. Coordinator.

MGMT 62103: Seminar in Research Methods Familiarizes students with the principles and techniques underlying research in management and organizations. Issues of basic philosophy of science and research methods are covered. Special attention given to the practical problems of research design, measurement, data collection, sampling, and interpretation in conducting research in management and in organizations.
SEVI 64203: Seminar in Applied Research Methods

Choose 12 hours from the following:

  • MKTG 64303 - Seminar in Research Methods
  • PSYC 51303 - Inferential Statistics for Psychology
  • PSYC 51403 - Advanced Descriptive Statistics for Psychology
  • COMM 51703 - Qualitative Methods in Communication
  • PADM 58003 - Quantitative Methods Analysis
  • ISYS 67303 - Emerging Topics
  • ESRM 65303 - Qualitative Research
  • ISYS 57203 - Advanced Multivariate Analysis
  • PLSC 59403 - Advanced Research Methods in Political Science
  • ESRM 64203 - Multiple Regression Techniques for Education
  • MGMT 6360V - Special Problems in Management
  • SEVI 6360V - Special Topics in Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Courses used to meet the Research Requirements will be selected in consultation with the student's Ph.D. Advisory Committee and should support the student's program of study. The courses should provide the student with a knowledge of advanced descriptive and inferential statistics, research design, and research methods. In certain circumstances, and with the approval of the student's advisor and Ph.D. coordinator, a student may request to substitute a graduate course not listed here.

Dissertation 18 credit hours

Total 61 credit hours



Andrew Blake


Texas Tech

Emily Corwin


Bentley University

Sergei Kolomeitsev


Meredith College

Christine Manno


University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse

Holly Loncarich


Kansas State University

Dinesh Hasija


Augusta University

Jacqueline Tilton


Appalachian State University

Mirzokhidjon Abdurakhmonov


University of Nebraska

Sarah Holtzen


Missouri Southern

Dorothea Roumpi


Penn State University

Hansin Bilgili


Kansas State University

Danny Franklin


University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse

Shannon Rawski


University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

Faculty Research Interests and Highlights

Michael Cummings' research interests include the social and environmental impact of entrepreneurial activity, as well as financing for early-stage ventures. His research on social and environmental entrepreneurship examines how entrepreneurs measure and communicate the nonfinancial value they create.  His entrepreneurial finance research addresses how entrepreneurs attract resources through crowdfunding as well as how migrants and their financial remittances affect the availability of new venture funding in developing countries.

  • Rawhouser, H., Cummings, M., & Hiatt, S. 2019. Does a Common Mechanism Engender Common Results?: Sustainable Development Tradeoffs in the Global Carbon Offset Market. Academy of Management Discoveries, 5(4), 514-529.
    • Lessons from the world's largest market-based approach to lowering CO2 emissions.
  • Rawhouser, H. Cummings, M., and Newbert, S. 2019. Social Impact Measurement: Current Approaches and Future Directions for Social Entrepreneurship Research. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 43(1), 82–115.
  • Cummings, M., Rawhouser, H, Vismara, S., & Hamilton, E. 2020. An Equity Crowdfunding Research Agenda: Evidence from Stakeholder Participation in the Rulemaking Process. Small Business Economics, 54(4), 907-932.
  • Martinez, C., Cummings, M. & Vaaler, P. 2015. Economic Informality and the Venture Funding Impact of Migrant Remittances to Developing Countries. Journal of Business Venturing, 30(4), 526-545.
    • Cabbies and Capital: Migrants are Re-shaping the Developing World.

Alan Ellstrand's research focuses on corporate governance, top management teams, and executive leadership. His early work focused on the influence of board composition on firm performance. More recently he has examined a variety of issues including executive retirement and the implications of gender on executive leadership.

  • Bilgili, H., O'Leary-Kelly, A., Campbell, J.T., Ellstrand, A.E., Johnson, J.L. (2020). The final countdown: Regulatory focus and phases of CEO retirement. Academy of Management Review 45: 58-84.
  • Bilgili, H., Campbell, J., Ellstrand, A.E. and Johnson, J.L. (2017). Riding off into the sunset: Organizational sensegiving, shareholder sensemaking, and reactions to CEO retirement. Journal of Management Studies 54: 1019-1049.
  • Dixon-Fowler, H. R., Ellstrand, A. E., and Johnson, J. L. (2013). Strength in numbers or guilt by association? Intra-group effects of female chief executive announcements. Strategic Management Journal. 34: 1488-1501.

Jake Grandy's research agenda spans entrepreneurship, strategy and the business environment, and corporate social responsibility. His work explores how both new ventures and established firms influence and are influenced by external stakeholders (such as government, social movement organizations, the media, consumers, local communities). He draws on institutional theory, social movements theory and stakeholder theory to examine this issue in the context of corporate social responsibility. 

Oleg Petrenko's research broadly focuses on the micro-foundations of strategy in large corporation and new venture contexts. Specifically, he is interested in examining the psychology of executives and entrepreneurs and how it impacts strategic decision-making and firm performance.

  • Corporate Social Responsibility or CEO Narcissism? CSR Motivations and Organizational Performance. Strategic Management Journal, 37, 262-279.
    • Why Investors Might Want to Bet on Humble CEOs.
  • The case for humble expectations: CEO humility and market performance. Strategic Management Journal, 40, 1938-1964.
  • Let's agree about nice leaders: a literature review and meta-analysis of agreeableness and its relationship with leadership outcomes. Leadership Quarterly (in press)
  • Bargaining your way to success: The effect of Machiavellian chief executive officers on firm costs. Strategic Management Journal (in press).

Jason Ridge's research interests focus on both corporate political activity and strategic leadership. From the political perspective his current research focuses on the firm-government interface, specifically focusing on how firm's utilize political activities to manage their regulatory environment. His strategic leadership focused research considers how executive characteristics and compensation influence strategic decision making.

  • Hill, A., Aime, F., & Ridge, J. 2017. The Performance Implications of Resource and Pay Dispersion: The Case of Major League Baseball. Strategic Management Journal, 38: 1935-1947.
    • 10 Years of Data on Baseball Teams Shows When Pay Transparency Backfires.
  • Ridge, J.W.,Hill, A.D. & Ingram, A. (2018) The Signaling Role of Stock Ownership in the Market for Corporate Political Activity. Journal of Management.
    • The Growing Conflict-of-Interest Problem in the U.S. Congress.
  • Ridge, J.W.,Ingram, A., & Hill, A.D. (2017) Beyond Lobbying Expenditures: How Lobbying Breadth and Political Connectedness Affect Firm Outcomes. Academy of Management Journal.

Dan Worrell's research interests include the areas of corporate social responsibility, business strategy and business schools' alignment with and support of faculty research.

  • Worrell, D. L., Nemec, C. & Davidson, W.N. 1997. One Hat Too Many: Key Executive Plurality and Shareholder Wealth. Strategic Management Journal, 18: 499 – 507.
  • Stead, W.E., Worrell, D.L. & Stead, J. G. 2013. An integrative Model for Understanding and Managing Ethical Behavior in Business. Citation Classics from the Journal of Business Ethics. 405-418.
  • Gilley, K. M., Worrell, D. L., Davidson, W. N. & El-Jelly, A. 2000. Corporate Environmental Initiatives and Anticipated Firm Performance: The Differential Effects of Process-Driven Versus Product-Driven Greening Initiatives. Journal of Management. 26: 1199 – 1216.
  • Worrell, D. L. 2009. Assessing Business Scholarship: The Difficulties in Moving Beyond the Rigor-Relevance Paradigm Trap. Academy of Management Learning and Education. 8: 127 – 130.

Shannon Younger's research is rooted in entrepreneurship and organizational theory. She explores how new ventures become and remain meaningful in the markets where they compete. Drawing on work in cultural entrepreneurship, market categories, legitimate distinctiveness, and socio-cognition, she primarily uses qualitative methods and hand-collected datasets to conduct her research. 

  • Younger, S., & Fisher, G. (2020). The exemplar enigma: New venture image formation in an emergent organizational category. Journal of Business Venturing, 35(1), 105897
  • Sergent, K., Lee, D., Stajkovic, A. D., Greenwald, J. M., Younger, S., & Raffiee, J. (2021). The mitigating role of trait core confidence on psychological distress in entrepreneurship. Applied Psychology, 70(3), 1128-1153.