My research focuses on the influence of the external environment on entrepreneurship. Specifically, I investigate the types of environments that encourage the founding of high growth, technology-based firms. Although I build on previous literature that explains why entrepreneurs are successful on the basis of individual characteristics, network ties, and strategy, my major contribution is to demonstrate that institutions matter. I show that effective institutional change influences who starts firms and the type of firm, not just how many firms are started.

You can learn more about my research by downloading the papers on this page, by visiting my SSRN author’s page, my Stanford page, or my Google Scholar page.


  1. Eberhart, R.N.; C.E. Eesley, 2018. The Dark Side of Institutional Intermediaries: Junior Stock Exchanges and Entrepreneurship, Strategic Management Journal, 39(10): 2643-2665.

  2. Lee, Y.S. and Eesley, Charles E. 2018. The Persistence of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Immigrants. Research Policy, 47(6), pp.1032-1044.

  3. Eesley, Charles E.; Eberhart, Robert; Skousen, Brad; Cheng, Joseph L.C., 2018. Institutions and Entrepreneurial Activity: The Interactive Influence of Misaligned Formal and Informal Institutions. Strategy Science3(2), pp.393-407.

  4. Eesley, C., Wang, Y.  2017. Social Influence in Career Choice: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment on Entrepreneurial Mentorship. Research Policy, 46(3): 636–650.

  5. Eesley, C. 2016. Institutional Barriers to Growth: Entrepreneurship, Human Capital and Institutional Change. Organization Science, Vol. 27(5): 1290-1306.

  6. Armanios, D. Eesley, C.E., Eisenhardt, K.M., J. Li. 2017. How entrepreneurs leverage institutional intermediaries in emerging economies to acquire public resources, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 38, Issue 7, pages 1373–1390. (Lead article)

  7. Eberhart, RN, Eesley, CE and Eisenhardt, KM. 2017. Failure is an Option: Institutional Barriers to Failure, Bankruptcy, and New Firm Performance in Japan, Organization Science. Vol. 28, Issue 1: 93-112.

  8. Eesley, C.; J.B. Li, and D. Yang. 2016. Does Institutional Change in Universities Influence High-Tech Entrepreneurship?: Evidence from China’s Project 985. Organization Science, Volume: 27, Issue: 2 (March-April): 446-461.

  9. Eesley, C.; Decelles, K.; Lenox, M. 2016. Through the Mud or in the Boardroom: Activist Types and their Strategies in Targeting Firms for Social Change. Strategic Management Journal, Volume 37, Issue 12: pp. 2425–2440. [video]

  10. Eesley, C.E.; Hsu, D.; Roberts, E.B. 2014. The Contingent Effects of Top Management Teams on Venture Performance: Aligning Founding Team Composition with Innovation Strategy and Commercialization Environment. Strategic Management Journal, Volume 35, Issue 12, pp. 1798–1817. [slides here

  11. Eesley, C.E. 2012. Are You Experienced or Are You Talented?: When Does Innate Talent versus Experience Explain Entrepreneurial Performance (with Edward B. Roberts), Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. 6(3): pp. 207-219. (Winner, Best Paper Proceedings Award, AOM conference, Montreal, 2010.) [slides here]

  12. Lenox, M. and Eesley, C. 2009. Private Environmental Activism and the Selection and Response of Firm Targets. Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, 18(1), 45-73.

  13. Hsu, D., Roberts, E.B., Eesley, C. 2007. Entrepreneurs from Technology-Based Universities: Evidence from MIT. Research Policy 36, 768–788.

  14. Eesley, Charles; Lenox, Michael. 2006. Firm Responses to Secondary Stakeholder Action. Strategic Management Journal, 27(8):765-781.

  15. Eesley, C., Delin Yang, Edward B. Roberts, Tan Li. 2016. Understanding Entrepreneurial Process and Performance: A Cross-National Comparison of Alumni Entrepreneurship Between MIT and Tsinghua University. Asian Journal for Innovation and Policy. 5(2): 147-185.

Technical/Scientific Publications

  1. Keefe, Richard; Eesley, Charles; Poe, Meg. 2005. Defining A Cognitive Function Decrement in Schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry, 57:688-691.

Working Papers

  1. Eesley, Charles E. and Wu, Lynn, Entrepreneurial Adaptation and Social Networks: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment on a MOOC Platform. (Winner, best PDW at AOM, Anaheim, 2016). Under review at Information Systems Research.

  2. D. Armanios, Eesley, C.E. Lowering Entry Barriers (but also Providing Resources): How Governments Spur Founding. R&R, Administrative Science Quarterly

  3. Yang, D.; Eesley, C.E.; Tian, Xiaocong; Roberts, E.B. A Natural Experiment on Institutionalized Choice and Individual Entrepreneurial Behavior (under review)

  4. Eesley, C.; DH Hsu, EB Roberts. “Influences of Idea Source, Organization, and Commercialization Context on Venture Performance” R&R at SMJ

  5. Wu, Willow; Eesley, Charles E.; Yang, Delin. Changing Entrepreneurial Strategies to Developing Capitalist Institutions. Under Review at SMJ. (Winner, Best Paper Proceedings, Academy of Management, top 10% of papers, 2017).

Book Chapters:

  1. Choi, Joon Nak; Eesley, C.E. 2016. Brain Drain, Circulation and Linkage: Sequence Analysis of Korean Nationals Graduating from Stanford. In. Choi, Joon Nak, Yong Suk Lee and Gi-Wook Shin. Beyond the Miracle: Strategic, Policy and Social Innovation for a Post-Industrial Korea (working title). Conference volume under preparation.

  2. Eesley, Charles; Li, Jian Bai. 2015. “Ch. 14 Technology Entrepreneurship in China” Handbook of East Asian Entrepreneurship edited by Fu-Lai Tony Yu and Ho-Don Yan. Routledge. New York, NY.

  3. Robert N. Eberhart, Kathleen M. Eisenhardt and Charles E. Eesley. 2014. Institutional Change And Venture Exit: Implications For Policy. In 20 Years of Entrepreneurship Research - From small business dynamics to entrepreneurial growth and societal prosperity. Edited by the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum. pgs. 127-139.

  4. Keefe, Richard; Eesley, Charles. 2011. Neurocognitive Impairments. in Lieberman, Stroup, Perkins, eds., Essentials of Schizophrenia. American Psychiatric Publishing. Washington, DC. (reprint)

  5. Keefe, Richard; Eesley, Charles. 2009. Neurocognition in Schizophrenia. in Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, Benjamin Sadock, M.D., Virginia A. Sadock, M.D., and Pedro Ruiz, M.D. Editors. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.

  6. Sloan, Frank A.; Eesley, Charles. 2007. Implementing a Public Subsidy for Vaccines. in Pharmaceutical Innovation: Incentives, Competition, and Cost-Benefit Analysis in International Perspective. edited by Frank A. Sloan and Chee-Ruey Hsieh. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  7. Sloan, Frank A; Eesley, Charles E. 2006. Governments as Insurers in Professional and Hospital Liability Insurance Markets. In William M. Sage and Rogan Kersh, eds., Medical Malpractice and the U.S. Health Care System--New Century, Different Issues. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  8. Keefe, Richard; Eesley, Charles. 2006. Neurocognitive Impairments. in American Psychiatry Publishing Textbook of Schizophrenia. Edited by Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D., T. Scott Stroup, M.D., and Diana O. Perkins, M.D. American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

Conference Proceedings and Book Reviews

  1. Eesley, Charles E. and Douglas Hannah. June 2012. Review of: Winds of Change: The Environmental Movement and the Global Development of the Wind Energy Industry. By Ion B. Vasi. Administrative Science Quarterly.

  2. Eesley, C.E. and William F. Miller 2018. Impact: Stanford University’s Economic Impact via Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Foundations and Trends® in Entrepreneurship: Vol. 14: No. 2, pp 130-278. (slides)

  3. Edward B. Roberts and Charles E. Eesley (2011) "Entrepreneurial Impact: The Role of MIT - An Updated Report", Foundations and Trends® in Entrepreneurship: Vol. 7: No 1-2, pp 1-149.

  4. Edward B. Roberts and Charles E. Eesley. (2009) "Entrepreneurial Impact: The Role of MIT", Kauffman Foundation. Available at

  5. Eesley, Charles and Delin Yang. Changing entrepreneurial strategies to developing capitalist institutions: A look at Chinese technology entrepreneurs. Conference version: Technology Management Conference (ITMC), 2011 IEEE International. 27-30 June 2011: pg. 1016 - 1035.

  6. Eesley, Charles; Hsu, David; Roberts, Edward B. Bringing Ideas to Life. 2012. IEEE International Recent Advances in Technology and Innovation Management. Wily. (Conference version. Top paper award)

  7. Eesley, Charles; Zhou, Lijie. 2014. "The Institutional Environment for U.S. Economic Innovation. Available at: