Areas of Expertise
Strategy and Organization Theory, Institutional Theory, Social Entrepreneurship, International Entrepreneurship, Emerging Markets, Optimal Distinctiveness
- PhD. Strategy and Organization Theory, University of Alberta, 2010-2014
- MA. Sociology, University of Toronto
- MS. Managerial Economics and Strategy, London School of Economics
Awards, Honors & Certificates
- Inaugural Distinguished Publication Prize, China Social Entrepreneurship Forum, 2021
- SMS Best Conference Paper Prize (Nominee), Strategic Management Society, 2020
- Academy of Management Emerging Scholar Award in Entrepreneurship, 2019
- SMJ “Optimal Distinctiveness" designated as Highly Cited Paper, Web of Science, 2019 - ranked among the top 1% most cited in the field of Economics & Business
- Inaugural OMT Research Committee Service Award, Academy of Management, 2018
- IACMR Best Conference Macro Paper Award, 2018
- Inaugural IACMR Presidential Award for Responsible Research in Management, 2017 – for 2016 AMJ “Not All Inequality Is Equal”
- ONE-NBS Research Impact on Practice Award, Academy of Management, 2017--for 2016 AMJ “Funding Financial Inclusion”
- D'Amore-McKim Best Paper Award, 13th Annual Social Entrepreneurship Conference, 2016
- OMT Best Entrepreneurship Paper Award (Runner Up), Academy of Management, 2016
- SAMS/JMS Grigor McClelland Doctoral Dissertation Award (final 3 out of 132 apps), 2015
- Best Student Paper on Social Innovation, European Group for Organizational Studies, 2013
- Best Student Paper Award (Finalist), European Group for Organizational Studies, 2013
- Glueck Best Paper Award (Finalist), Academy of Management, BPS, 2012
- Distinguished Paper Award, Academy of Management, BPS, 2012
- Best Student Paper Award (Finalist), Academy of Management, SIM, 2012
- Temple/AIB Best Paper Award (Finalist), Academy of International Business, 2012
- Best Paper Award, Academy of International Business, 2012-best paper in the "Institutions, Governance, and CSR" Track
- ABCD Award for Best Reviewer, Academy of Management, OMT, 2012
- Carolyn Dexter Award, Academy of Management, 2011
- OMT Best International Paper, Academy of Management, OMT, 2011
- Emerging Scholar Award (Runner Up), Academy of International Business, 2011--for scholarly contribution to women's entrepreneurship
- WAIB/SSE Best Paper Award (Runner Up), Academy of International Business, 2011--for increased gender awareness in international business research
- Robert J. Litschert Award (Finalist), Academy of Management, BPS, 2009
- Distinguished Student Paper Award, Academy of Management, BPS, 2009
- Bu, J., Zhao, E. Y., Li, K., and Li, J. (2022). Optimal Distinctiveness at Multiple Levels: Examining the Impact of Within- and Between- Organization Distinctiveness of Product Design on Market Performance. Strategic Management Journal, in press.
- Zhao, E. Y. (2022). Optimal Distinctiveness: A New Agenda for the Study of Competitive Positioning of Organizations and Markets. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
- Zhao, E. Y., and Glynn, M. A. (2022). Optimal Distinctiveness: On being the same and different. Organization Theory, 3, 1-15.
- Taeuscher, K., Zhao, E. Y., and Lounsbury, M. (2022). Categories and narratives as sources of distinctiveness: Cultural entrepreneurship within and across market categories. Strategic Management Journal, in press.
- Williams, T.A., Zhao, E. Y., George, G., Sonenshein, S., and Ucbasaran, D. (2021). Breaking boundaries to creatively generate value: The role of resourcefulness in entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing, 36(5), 106141.
- Zhao, E. Y., and Yang, L. (2021). Women hold up half the sky? Informal institutions, entrepreneurial decisions, and gender gap in venture performance. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 45(6), 1431-1462.
- Zhao, E. Y., Ishihara, M., and Jennings, P. D. (2020). Strategic entrepreneurship's dynamic tensions: Converging (diverging) effects of experience and networks on market entry timing and entrant performance. Journal of Business Venturing, 35(2), .
- Grimes, M., Williams, T., and Zhao, E. Y. (2020). Beyond hybridity: Accounting for the values complexity of all organizations in the study of mission and mission drift. Academy of Management Review, 45(1), 234-238.
- Grimes, M., Williams, T. A., and Zhao, E. Y. (2019). Anchors aweigh: The sources, variety, and challenges of mission drift. Academy of Management Review, 44(4), 819-845..
- Shepherd, D., Williams, T., and Zhao, E. Y. (2019). A framework for exploring the degree of hybridity in entrepreneurship. Academy of Management Perspectives, 33(4), 491–512.
- Zhao, E. Y., Ishihara, M., Devereaux Jennings, P., and Lounsbury, M. (2018). Optimal distinctiveness in the console video game industry: An exemplar-based model of proto-category evolution. Organization Science, 29(4), 588-611.
- Wry, T., and Zhao, E. Y. (2018). Taking tradeoffs seriously: Examining the contextually contingent relationship between social outreach intensity and financial sustainability in global microfinance. Organization Science, 29(3), 507-528.
- Zhao, E. Y., Fisher, G., Lounsbury, M., and Miller, D. (2017). Optimal distinctiveness: Broadening the interface between institutional theory and strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 38(1), 93-113.
- Williams, T. A., Gruber, D. A., Sutcliffe, K. M., Shepherd, D. A., and Zhao, E. Y. (2017). Organizational response to adversity: Fusing crisis management and resilience research streams. Academy of Management Annals, 11(2), 733-769.
- Zhao, E. Y., and Wry, T. (2016). Not all inequality is equal: Decomposing the societal logic of patriarchy to understand microfinance lending to women. Academy of Management Journal, 59(6), 1994-2020.
- Zhao, E. Y., and Lounsbury, M. (2016). An institutional logics approach to social entrepreneurship: Market logic, religious diversity, and resource acquisition by microfinance organizations. Journal of Business Venturing, 31(6), 643-662.
- Cobb, A., Wry, T. and Zhao, E. Y. (2016). Funding financial inclusion: Institutional logics and the contextual contingency of funding for microfinance organizations. Academy of Management Journal, 59(6), 2103-2131.
- Zhao, E. Y., Ishihara, M., and Lounsbury, M. (2013). Overcoming the illegitimacy discount: Cultural entrepreneurship in the U.S. feature film industry. Organization Studies, 34(12), 1747-1776.
Edited on March 7, 2022