Saras Sarasvathy_Headshot_1_1400x1400_BW_preferred

Saras D. Sarasvathy

Paul M. Hammaker Professor in Business Administration
Academic Director, Batten Institute
Jamuna Raghavan Chair Professor in Entrepreneurship, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore


FOB 266

Areas of Expertise

Entrepreneurship, Cognitive Science, Behavioral Economics

Education:  B.Com., University of Bombay, India; MSIA, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University

Professor Saras D. Sarasvathy is a member of the Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Ethics area. In addition to MBA and doctoral courses in entrepreneurship at Darden, she teaches in doctoral programs in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. 

Sarasvathy came into academia after cofounding and running five ventures spanning three countries. Currently, she serves on the board of Lending Tree (Nasdaq TREE), Upekkha, a SaaS accelerator in Bangalore, India, as well as on advisory boards for academic institutions in Europe and Asia.

In 2022, the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum (Entreprenörskapsforum) and the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) awarded Sarasvathy the highest recognition for research in the field of entrepreneurship: 2022 Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research

Other recognitions for her contributions to teaching and practice include:
•    Fortune Small Business magazine’s top 18 entrepreneurship professors. 
•    Mead-Colley Honored Faculty from UVA for teaching excellence. 
•    Legacy Impact Award from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers 

In addition to Babson College in the US, universities around the world (India, China, Germany, Sweden, Denmark) have also recognized Sarasvathy’s contributions to entrepreneurship research and education by awarding her three professorships and four honorary doctorates.

A leading scholar on the cognitive basis for high-performance entrepreneurship, Sarasvathy has served on the editorial boards of top management and entrepreneurship journals. Her scholarly work has won several awards from the American Marketing Association and the Academy of Management in 2017. Her book Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise was nominated for the 2009 Terry Book Award by the Academy of Management.

The research program based on effectuation involves over a hundred scholars from around the world whose published and working papers can be found at Sarasvathy has also developed several cases and other instructional materials to teach effectuation. The best-seller textbook she co-authored, Effectual Entrepreneurship won the Gold Medal in the 2012 Axiom Business Book Awards.

In addition to a master's degree in industrial administration, Sarasvathy received her Ph.D. in information systems from Carnegie Mellon University. Her thesis on entrepreneurial expertise was supervised by Herbert Simon, 1978 Nobel Laureate in Economics. Here are links to her SSRN Author Page, her TEDx talk, a video interview with Big Think, a webinar from the World Bank and one from the Academy of Management.


Selected Publications

Sarasvathy, S. D. and Botha, H. 2022. Bringing people to the table in new ventures: An effectual approach. Negotiation Journal. 38(1): 11-34.

Sarasvathy, S. D. 2021. The Middle Class of Business.  Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. 45(5): 1054-1082..

Mauer, R., Nieschke, S., and Sarasvathy, S. D. 2021.  Gestation in New Technology Ventures: Causal Brakes and Effectual Pedals.  Journal of Small Business Management.

Sarasvathy, S.D. 2021. Even If: Sufficient Yet Unnecessary Conditions for Worldmaking.  Organization Theory, 2(2):1-9.  

Sarasvathy, S. D., 2020. Choice Matters.  Mind & Society, 19(2): 311-315.

Alsos, G. A., Clausen, T. H., Mauer, R., Read, S., & Sarasvathy, S. D. 2019. Effectual exchange: from entrepreneurship to the disciplines and beyond. Small Business Economics, 1-15.

Sarasvathy, S. D. and Ramesh, A. 2019. An Effectual Model of Collective Action for Addressing Sustainability Challenges. Academy of Management Perspectives 33(4), 405-424.

Townsend, D., Hunt, R., Sarasvathy, S.D. and McMullen, J. 2018. Knowledge Problems and Entrepreneurial Action. Academy of Management Annals. 12(2): 659-687.

Nielsen, K. and Sarasvathy, S. D. 2016. A Market for Lemons in Serial Entrepreneurship? Exploring Type I and Type II Errors in the Restart Decision. Academy of Management Discoveries 2(3): 247-271.

Harmeling, S. and Sarasvathy, S. D. 2013.  When contingency is a resource:  Education entrepreneurs in the Balkans, the Bronx and beyond.  Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 37(4): 713-744.

Sarasvathy, S. D., Menon, A. R. and Kuechle, G. 2013. Failing firms and successful entrepreneurs: Serial entrepreneurship as a temporal portfolio. Small Business Economics, 40(2): 417-434.

Sarasvathy, S. D. and Venkataraman, S. 2011. Entrepreneurship as method:  Open questions for an entrepreneurial future.  Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 35(1): 113-135.  

Read, S., Dew, N., Sarasvathy, S. D. and Wiltbank, R. 2009.  Marketing under uncertainty: The logic of an effectual approach. Journal of Marketing, 73: 1-18.

Wiltbank, R., Read, S., Dew, N., and Sarasvathy, S. D. 2009. Prediction and control under uncertainty: Outcomes in angel investing, Journal of Business Venturing, 24(2): 116-133.

Wiltbank, R Dew, N., Read, S., and. Sarasvathy, S. D. 2006. What to do next? The case for non-predictive strategy.  Strategic Management Journal, 27 (10): 981–998.

Sarasvathy, S. D., and Dew N.  New market creation as transformation. 2005. Journal of Evolutionary Economics 15(5): 533-565.

Sarasvathy, S. D. 2004. The questions we ask and the questions we care about. Journal of Business Venturing, 19(5):707-720. 

Sarasvathy, S. D. 2001. Causation and Effectuation: Toward a theoretical shift from economic inevitability to entrepreneurial contingency, Academy of Management Review, 26(2): 243-288.

Sarasvathy, S. D., Simon, H. A, and Lave, L. B. 1998. Perceiving and managing business risks: Differences between entrepreneurs and bankers, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 33(2): 207-226.

Selected Books

Sarasvathy, S. D.  2022.  Effectuation (Elements in Business Strategy). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Sarasvathy, S. D., Venkataraman, S., and Dew, N.  2020 Shaping Entrepreneurship Research:  Made, as well as found.  Oxford, UK: Routledge.

Read, Stuart, Saras D. Sarasvathy,  Nicholas Dew, and Robert Wiltbank. Effectual Entrepreneurship. Oxford, UK: Routledge, 2016 (2nd Edition).

Sarasvathy, Saras D. Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009.