2022 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professors: Stephanie Lu Wang, Indiana University Kelley School of Business 

Stephanie Lu Wang

Indiana University Kelley School of Business 

“Stephanie Wang exemplifies her profession in every aspect: research, teaching and mentorship. As a researcher, her successful track record in impactful publications has led to being a recognized leading expert in the field of IB scholarship. As a teacher, she consistently receives high marks and positive feedback from her students. For me, she has been most impactful as a mentor. With her guidance, she has helped me understand the research profession, advised on the PhD application process, facilitated connections and refined my research focus. As a result, I have been accepted into a top strategy PhD program and Stephanie has been instrumental in helping me achieve that.” – Wayne Chou

Stephanie Lu Wang, 38, is an Associate Professor of International Business at Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

Her primary research interests lie at the intersection of internationalization and global sustainability. She is particularly interested in studying emerging market multinationals and cultural industries.

Wang has won numerous international awards, such as the Alan Rugman Fellow in 2021, the Emerging Scholar Award in International Management from the Academy of Management in 2019, the Academy of International Business Best Paper Award in 2018, the Inaugural Journal of Word Business Best Phenomenon-Based Article Award in 2018, the Women Academy of International Business Emerging Scholar Award in 2017, and many others.

She is the faculty advisor for the Indiana University Chapter of Ascend, the largest non-profit Pan-Asian organization for business professionals in North America. 

BACKGROUND

At current institution since what year? 2014

Education: 

  • University of Miami, Herbert Business School, PhD
  • Peking University, Guanghua School of Management, MS  
  • Renmin University of China, School of Labor and Human Resources, BA

List of MBA courses you currently teach: Strategy and Innovation 

TELL US ABOUT LIFE AS A BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSOR

I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when…  As a student, I was always curious and enjoyed reading, writing, analyzing data, and tutoring others, all of which are key building blocks to becoming a professor. What helped me make up my mind to become a professor was my volunteering experience at the Academy of International Business in 2006. I was enchanted by the nearly 2,000 scholars who came to Beijing from across the world to share and debate novel research ideas.  I was really impressed by their passion, excitement, and energy. I decided I wanted to become one of them. 

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? My recent research projects focus on the interrelatedness between sustainability challenges and internationalization. In one of my recent working papers, my coauthors and I study how multinational companies can leverage smart technologies to enlist all relevant stakeholders to influence and support suppliers to solve human rights issues through a “crowdsourcing” approach. We tested our arguments in the context of the global apparel industry. Our finding echoes the recent push for designing digital transformation to address grand challenges.

If I weren’t a business school professor… I would like to be an entrepreneur, focusing on new technologies that can address social and environmental sustainability challenges. 

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? I strive to inspire my students to think, reflect, and continue learning by themselves.  I hope my students will remember something inspiring (e.g., a theory, a principle, a story, a case) from my class even after many years. I also genuinely care about my students. Many of my students still keep in touch with me after graduation and visit me at my office when they are back in town. 

One word that describes my first time teaching: Exciting.  

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor:  It is a wonderful job. 

Professor I most admire and why: There are so many professors I deeply admire and here I am just going to highlight a few. I admire Yadong Luo, my doctoral advisor, from the University of Miami. He is a pure scholar – very dedicated, and diligent. I am always impressed by how forward-thinking he is. I also admire Rosalie Tung, my mentor from Simon Fraser University, and Dan Li, my colleague and co-author from Indiana University. Both of them are wonderful female role models. I also truly admire all my coauthors who challenge my thinking and work hard with me. 

TEACHING MBA STUDENTS

What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? The different perspectives and working experiences they bring to the classroom. 

What is most challenging?  Balancing the different expectations and needs of students from different backgrounds. 

In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Creative  

In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Opportunistic  

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… Sympathetic but fair. 

LIFE OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM

What are your hobbies? Yoga, traveling, jogging, family time 

How will you spend your summer?  I will stay in town, finishing up some research projects while the kids are at summer camps. Towards the end of the summer, I will kick off my sabbatical visits to Asia, Europe, and Australia.  

Favorite place(s) to vacation: I love exploring new places – especially with family and friends.  

Favorite book(s):  I love reading all sorts of biography books. The biography book I am reading now is Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. Recently I also started to re-read Harry Potter with my 7-year-old son.  It reminded me of how much I enjoyed the books when I was young. 

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much?  Currently, I am watching a lot of Disney movies with my two boys. Some of the movies I particularly love include Up, Wall-E, Coco, and Inside Out. They remind me what are the most important things in our lives. 

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? I like Jazz and classical piano music, which helps me relax and focus. My favorite artists are my 7-year-old who plays piano and my 3-year-old who loves vocal improvisation. 

THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS

If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… A focus on bigger questions and a global perspective. 

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… balancing. Balancing between short-term goals and long-term aspirations; balancing between competition and collaboration with other companies and organizations. 

I’m grateful for… everything! Family, career, health, friendship, mentors, experiences, lessons. 

DON’T MISS: THE ENTIRE 2022 ROSTER OF THE WORD’S BEST 40-UNDER-40 MBA PROFESSORS

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