Olav Sorenson


Contact Information

Email    olav.sorenson@anderson.ucla.edu
Office  F-403a Mullin Management Commons, Anderson
Phone  (310)267-4182
Olav Sorenson is the Joseph Jacobs Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies and Professor of Sociology and Strategy

He had been a faculty member at UCLA from 1999-2005 and returned in 2020. In between, he held the Frederick Frank '54 and Mary C. Tanner Professorship at Yale, the Jeffrey S. Skoll Chair in Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Toronto, and a professorship in Strategic and International Management at London Business School.

Olav's primary stream of research pertains to economic geography, focusing on how entrepreneurship influences the growth and competitiveness of regions, and on why some regions have more successful entrepreneurs than others. In particular, he has called attention to some of the unexpected consequences of the fact that social capital plays an important role in entrepreneurial success.

He also has secondary research streams on how social relationships influence economic transactions and on the sociology of science and innovation.

Olav co-founded Sociological Science and serves as a Department Editor at Management Science. He has also held editorial positions at the American Journal of Sociology, the American Sociological Review and ten other journals. 

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Doctor Mercaturae Honoris Causa, Aalborg University

Ph.D. in Sociology, Stanford University

M.A. in Sociology, Stanford University

A.B. in Social Studies, Harvard University


2018 Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research

2017 OMT Best Entrepreneurship Paper Award, Academy of Management

2016 OMT Best International Paper Award, Academy of Management

2012 Carol and Bruce Mallen Award for Lifetime Published Scholarly Contributions to Motion Picture Industry Studies

Selected Publications

Olav Sorenson, Michael S. Dahl, Rodrigo Canales, and M. Diane Burton. “Do startup employees earn more in the long-run?” Organization Science, 32(3): 587-604

Ramana Nanda, Sampsa Samila, and Olav Sorenson. “The persistent effects of initial success: Evidence from venture capital.” Journal of Financial Economics, 137: 231-248

Marc Lerchenmueller, Olav Sorenson, and Anupam B. Jena. “Gender differences in how scientists present the importance of their research: observational study.” British Medical Journal, 367: I6573

Olav Sorenson. “Social networks and the geography of entrepreneurship.” Small Business Economics, 51(3): 527-537

Marc Lerchenmueller and Olav Sorenson. “Gender differences in early career transitions in the academic life sciences.” Research Policy, 47(6): 1007-1017

Olav Sorenson. “Regional ecologies of entrepreneurship.” Journal of Economic Geography, 17(5): 959-974

Sampsa Samila and Olav Sorenson. “Community and capital in entrepreneurship and economic growth.” American Sociological Review, 82(4): 770-795

Olav Sorenson, Valentina Assenova, Guan-Ching Li, Jason Boada, and Lee Fleming. “Expanding innovation finance via crowdfunding.” Science, 354(6319): 1526-1528

Olav Sorenson and Michael S. Dahl. “Geography, joint choices, and the reproduction of gender inequality.” American Sociological Review, 81(5): 900-920

Olav Sorenson and Michelle Rogan. “(When) do firms have social capital?” Annual Review of Sociology, 40: 261-280

Michael S. Dahl and Olav Sorenson. “Home sweet home: Entrepreneurs’ location choices and the performance of their ventures.” Management Science, 58(6): 1059-1071

Sampsa Samila and Olav Sorenson. “Venture capital, entrepreneurship, and economic growth.” Review of Economics and Statistics, 93(1): 338-349

Michael S. Dahl and Olav Sorenson. “The social attachment to place.” Social Forces, 89(2): 633-658

Michael S. Dahl and Olav Sorenson. “The embedded entrepreneur.” European Management Review, 6(3): 172-181

Jesper B. Sørensen and Olav Sorenson. “Corporate demography and income inequality.” American Sociological Review, 72(5): 766-783

Olav Sorenson and David M. Waguespack. “Social structure and exchange: Self-confirming dynamics in Hollywood.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 51(4): 560-589

Olav Sorenson, Jan W. Rivkin, and Lee Fleming. “Complexity, networks and knowledge flow.” Research Policy, 35(7): 994-1017

Olav Sorenson and Lee Fleming. “Science and the diffusion of knowledge.” Research Policy, 33(10): 1615-1634

Lee Fleming and Olav Sorenson. “Science as a map in technological search.” Strategic Management Journal, 25(8-9): 909-928

Toby E. Stuart and Olav Sorenson. “Liquidity events and the geographic distribution of entrepreneurial activity.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 48(2): 175-201

Lee Fleming and Olav Sorenson. Technology as a complex adaptive system: Evidence from patent data. Research Policy, 30(7): 1019-1039

Olav Sorenson and Toby E. Stuart. “Syndication networks and the spatial distribution of venture capital investments.” American Journal of Sociology, 106(6): 1546-1588

Olav Sorenson and Pino G. Audia. “The social structure of entrepreneurial activity: Geographic concentration of footwear production in the U. S. , 1940-1989.” American Journal of Sociology, 106(2): 424-461