UVA Darden Professor Saras Sarasvathy Wins 2022 Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research
By Tom van der Voort
Groundbreaking effectuation model secures foremost international prize in field
University of Virginia Darden School of Business Professor Saras Sarasvathy fundamentally changed how the world sees entrepreneurship, and her pathbreaking research has now earned her the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research.
Sarasvathy describes Effectuation as “a unique logic based on nonpredictive control.” Sarasvathy, the Paul M. Hammaker Professor of Business Administration at Darden, pioneered the discovery of Effectuation, the mode of thinking used by expert entrepreneurs to build successful ventures.
Rather than trying to predict the future, she says, “Successful entrepreneurs have learned the inverse lesson — that just with things already within your control in the present, you can co-create the future, instead of predicting it. That is thinking effectually.”
Sarasvathy’s research illuminates both how entrepreneurs make their decisions and how the entrepreneurial process unfolds, influencing thousands and changing the way business schools teach the subject. She has also shown a remarkable commitment to engaging with the global entrepreneurship community, and her influence in the field is pervasive. In 2019, the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers presented Sarasvathy with the organization’s Legacy Impact Award for her contributions to entrepreneurship, and in 2020, the journal Small Business Economics devoted an entire issue to the theory. More recently, a series of children’s books of has begun to teach the principles to a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Since its inception in 1996 the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research has been awarded by three organizations based in Sweden: The Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum (Entreprenörskapsforum), the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), and Vinnova. The prime criteria for receiving the award is “outstanding scientific achievement” that offers “significant contribution to theory-building concerning entrepreneurship and small business development, the role and importance of new firm formation and the role of SMEs in economic development.”
The Prize Committee says of Sarasvathy,
Her conceptual framework for understanding entrepreneurial decision-making has reached well beyond the boundaries of entrepreneurship research, including the domains of marketing, strategy, and international business. In that capacity, it is a prime example of how entrepreneurship scholars can contribute to the development of neighboring domains of research. As an originator, driving force, and ambassador for entrepreneurship research, Professor Sarasvathy embodies all of those qualities instrumental for maintaining entrepreneurship as a vigorous, impactful, and practically relevant domain of research.
The award, which includes a € 100,000 prize, will be presented in Stockholm on 25 May. For further information, visit www.e-award.org.
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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