2017 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Pinar Ozcan, Warwick Business School

Pinar Ozcan

Associate Professor of Strategic Management

Warwick Business School

Oscar Wilde dubbed consistency to be “the last refuge of the unimaginative.” In Pinar Ozcan’s case, you could consider consistency to be the mark of excellence. For the past five years running, Ozcan has won the University of Warwick’s Excellence in Teaching Award. This only tells part of the story for this Stanford Ph.D. She also received the Excellence in Research Award at IESE, not to mention the Best Conference Paper Award from the Strategic Management Society in 2016. An expert in strategy and technology entrepreneurship, Ozcan’s most recent research has been featured in the Academy of Management Journal and the Strategic Management Journal.

Age: 39

At current institution since: 2012

Education: PhD, Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University

List of courses you currently teach: Strategy and Practice and Advanced Strategy, Qualitative Research Methods

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? I specialize in strategy, entrepreneurship, and the emergence of new markets. My research aims to contribute to our understanding of the emergence and evolution of markets from the perspective of entrepreneurs, their strategies and interactions with the environment (e.g. partners, competitors, and key institutions such as government and regulators).

A current project that I am truly excited about is titled “The Obstacles to the Rise of the Sharing Economy”. Many scholars and policymakers argue that the sharing economy (or peer-to-peer or collaborative economy) is the next big societal revolution. Well-known entrepreneurial firms such as Uber and Airbnb have used information technology to enable the distribution, sharing and reuse of goods and services through peer-to-peer platforms. As sharing economy firms act as facilitators of exchange rather than producers, this new form of exchange threatens the revenue streams of traditional incumbent producers such as taxis, hotels, restaurants, etc. The goal of our research project is to start a global conversation about the sharing economy and compare and contrast the practices and institutional environment that sharing economy platforms are facing across countries.

Professor you most admire: Kathy Eisenhardt, Stanford University – My mentor and role model.

“I knew I wanted to be a B-school professor when…at the age of 6, watching my parents  deliver executive education because they couldn’t find a babysitter for me.”

“If I weren’t a B-school professor…I’d be a composer and choreographer.”

One word that describes my first time teaching an MBA class: I fainted!

Most memorable moment in the classroom, or in general, as a professor: Every time the students ask a random question and you realize you can answer it drawing from your own research.

What professional achievement are you most proud of? My teaching awards

What do you enjoy most about being a business school professor? Making a difference in the students’ lives – especially when they want to go into strategy afterwards!

What do you enjoy least about being a business school professor? Losing touch with most of my students after they leave school, I wish I could witness their journey afterwards more closely!

What is your favorite company and why? It’s got to be Apple – take any part of Apple’s history and there is so much material for classroom teaching.

Fun fact about yourself: I trained to be a professional musician until the age of 18.

Bucket list item #1: Direct a musical

Favorite book: The New Life by Orhan Pamuk

Favorite movie: Thomas Crown Affair

Favorite type of music: Classical and Latin (and their fusion!)

Favorite television show: House of Cards

Favorite vacation spot: Turkish Mediterranean Coast

What are your hobbies? Playing piano, ballroom and latin dancing, running

Twitter handle: @cpozcan

“If I had my way, the business school of the future would have…online programs for everyone around the world – from the lowest economic circles and basic needs to the highest level and most complex needs! I believe online is the way of the future and I think designing successful online programs is something all business school professors need to learn.”


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