I'm a 5th-year PhD student in Strategy & Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School. My research helps address the question "How do founders, leaders, and employees work together to create and grow organizations?" I focus on two main components of strategic management: human capital and entrepreneurship.

 

My job market paper examines how a venture's earliest members work together. Most scholars and entrepreneurs understand that culture is important and can undermine even the best strategies. Yet, how are great cultures created, especially when founders are forced to allocate significant time and resources to finding product-market fit and generating revenue? My longitudinal study of eight new tech startups suggests that many "best practices" from management research or practitioners can actually destroy new ventures. Instead, I offer novel empirically-grounded insights about how founders can create better cultures.

A second dissertation chapter studies founders. I examine how Black women, one of the least represented groups in entrepreneurship, can become the group most prone to establish a company after gaining disproportionately more human capital skills as startup employees. Beyond new organizations, I’m interested in strategic human capital. One of my papers, published in the Academy of Management Journal, builds theory related to firm-specific investments. Another paper, now under review at the Strategic Management Journal, investigates the composition of top leadership teams.

Prior to academia, I worked for Amazon (Books and Fashion), Walmart (International Real Estate), and Lands' End (Corporate FP&A), and studied at Brigham Young University (MBA, BS). When not working, I enjoy hiking with my family and playing basketball.

christopher_law@kenan-flagler.unc.edu

  • Google Scholar logo
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
Christopher Law PhD UNC