University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Strategy and Entrepreneurship Ph.D.

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
View a Course Listing

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

Applicants who wish to apply for the doctoral program in SEVI must submit their application to the Graduate School of Business by December 15.

Learn more about admissions requirements.



SEVI Program of Study

Required Courses 13 credit hours
Choose one of the following:
Supporting Fields 
Choose four courses from the following:12 credit hours

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

  • PSYC 5063 - Advanced Social Psychology
  • PSYC 6373 - Seminar in Personality and Social Psychology
  • WLLC 575V - Special Investigations
  • SCMT 6443 - Theory in Supply Chain Management
  • ISYS 6833 - Theory Development
  • MGMT 6011 - Graduate Colloquium
  • MGMT 636V - Special Problems in Management
  • SEVI 636V - Special Topics in Strategy and Entrepreneurship
  • MGMT 6233 - Seminar in Human Resource Management
  • MGMT 6113 - 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.



Choose 12 hours from the following:

  • MKTG 6433 - Seminar in Research Methods
  • PSYC 5133 - Inferential Statistics for Psychology
  • PSYC 5143 - Advanced Descriptive Statistics for Psychology
  • COMM 5173 - Qualitative Methods in Communication
  • PADM 5803 - Quantitative Methods Analysis
  • PUBP 6143 - Mixed Method Research Design
  • ISYS 6733 - Emerging Topics
  • ESRM 6533 - Qualitative Research
  • ISYS 5723 - Advanced Multivariate Analysis
  • PLSC 5943 - Advanced Research Methods in Political Science
  • ESRM 6423 - Multiple Regression Techniques for Education
  • MGMT 636V - Special Problems in Management
  • SEVI 636V - 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



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.