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The Foundations and Ethics of Entrepreneurial Strategy

Join the Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity as we host Scott Stern, the David Sarnoff Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
When  Mar 07, 2017
from 12:45 PM to 02:15 PM
Where  55 Lexington Ave (enter on 24th or 25th street) Room 14-220
Contact Name 
Contact Phone  646-312-3231
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About the Program

Join the Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity for a discussion addressing the ethics of entrepreneurship from the point of view of a business school professor who studies the economics of innovation. Our guest will be Scott Stern, the David Sarnoff Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Abstract: The central strategic challenge facing entrepreneurs is how to choose.  Motivated by a significant disconnect between theory, practice and teaching, we propose a new approach to entrepreneurial strategy that places the forward-looking and uncertain choices entrepreneurs face at the center of the process of venture formation and scaling.   Whether it is the choice of their first customer, the hiring of a first employee, or the choice about which partners to work with (or not), founding teams’ key choices often do not have a “best” answer but instead are choosing among alternative visions for their idea and their growing team.  Ultimately, these choices come down not to a question of simple economic value but also to questions of founder purpose and ethics.   For example, whether a sharing economy service offers full transparency and so allows for online discrimination is not simply a business choice but a choice about what values the founders choose to embed in the platform they are building.  Our framework yields a new class of decision-making tools that allow entrepreneurs to clarify the role of traditional business development tools (e.g., the lean start-up approach) versus the role of choice among uncertain alternatives. We highlight one new tool – Test Two, Choose One – that offers a novel approach for how to undertake entrepreneurial decision-making under uncertainty, and offers a framework for honest and structures discussion about how to make choices under uncertainty that ultimately reflect the values and ethics of founders.

About the Speaker
Scott Stern is the David Sarnoff Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Stern explores how innovation and entrepreneurship differ from more traditional economic activities, and the consequences of these differences for strategy and policy.  His research in the economics of innovation and entrepreneurship focuses on entrepreneurial strategy, innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystems, and innovation policy and management.  Recent studies include the impact of clusters on entrepreneurship, the role of institutions in shaping the accumulation of scientific and technical knowledge, and the drivers and consequences of entrepreneurial strategy.

Stern has worked widely with practitioners in bridging the gap between academic research and the practice of innovation and entrepreneurship.  This includes advising start-ups and other growth firms in the area of entrepreneurial strategy, as well as working with governments and other stakeholders on policy issues related to competitiveness and regional performance.  In recent years, Stern has developed a popular new MIT Sloan elective, Entrepreneurial Strategy, co-founded the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program, advised the development of the Social Progress Index, and served as the lead MIT investigator on the US Cluster Mapping Project.

Stern started his career at MIT, where he taught from 1995 to 2001.  Before returning to MIT in 2009, he held positions as a Professor at the Kellogg School of Management and as a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.  Stern is the director and co-founder of the Innovation Policy Working Group at the National Bureau of Economic Research.  In 2005, he was awarded the Kauffman Prize Medal for Distinguished Research in Entrepreneurship.

Stern holds a BA in economics from New York University and a PhD in economics from Stanford University.

Read more about Scott Stern here.


12:00 pm - Registration and Lunch Networking Reception
12:45 pm - Presentation


Registration is currently limited to Baruch College students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Register online, by phone, or via e-mail:

  1. Complete the online registration form
  2. Call us at 646-312-3231 or
  3. E-mail us at

Registration / More information about this event…

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