Kathleen Eisenhardt is widely known for her work on strategy, strategic decision making, and innovation in rapidly changing and highly competitive markets. She has also pioneered in building theories from case study research. Even though only a portion of Eisenhardt’s work can be directly and explicitly labeled as ‘entrepreneurship’ research, she has made significant contributions to this relatively new and rapidly evolving field. Her main contribution to the entrepreneurship field is her work on ‘corporate entrepreneurship’ – how existing organizations can remain innovative, including through new venture creation.
Eisenhardt’s work links the domain of entrepreneurship research to the fields of dynamic capabilities, strategy and decision making processes, and organization theory and design. She has examined how established organizations can introduce a continuous stream of novel products and services through better new product development processes as well as more efficient ways of organizing their activities. She has also looked at how ‘strategic decisions’ are taken, especially with respect to how new ventures are formed and how they forge linkages with competitors, how they grow and survive through innovation as well as by shaping the rules of competition.
In sum, Kathleen Eisenhardt has made substantial, original and influential contributions both theoretically and empirically that establish entrepreneurship research more solidly in both the management and the economics literature.
See a short summary from the 2012 Award Ceremony.