Chuck Eesley is an Associate Professor and W.M. Keck Foundation Faculty Scholar in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University. As Associate Director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, his research focuses on the role of the institutional and university environment in high-growth, engineering-driven entrepreneurship. His research focuses on rethinking how the educational and policy environment shapes the economic and entrepreneurial impact of university engineering students and alumni. His field research spans China, Japan, South Korea, Chile, Bangladesh, Uganda, Ethiopia, Thailand and Silicon Valley and has received awards from the Schulze Foundation, the Technical University of Munich, and the Kauffman Foundation. He is a faculty affiliate at the Stanford Center on China's Economy and Institutions, the Woods Institute for the Environment and the Stanford King Center on Global Development. He is also a member of the Editorial Board for the Strategic Management Journal. His work has been published among other places in Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Research Policy, and Biological Psychiatry. He has also been an advocate and mentor for immigrants and historically under-represented groups in STEM, academia and the tech sector via programs such as Diversifying Academia, Recognizing Excellence (DARE), AAAS - Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST), and SURF among others. Before coming to Stanford, Prof. Eesley completed his Ph.D. at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management. He earned a B.S. in neuroscience at Duke University and previously did research in fMRI at the Duke-UNC Brain Imaging and Analysis Center and at the Center for Health Policy at Duke University.

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Director (International), Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) (2024 - Present)
  • Research Committee, STR Division. Academy of Management (2022 - 2024)
  • Chair, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, Department of Management Science & Engineering, Stanford. (2020 - 2023)
  • Organizer, Social Science & Technology Seminar (SIEPR) (2009 - 2018)
  • Research Committee, ENT Division, Academy of Management (2012 - Present)
  • Research Committee, TIM Division Academy of Management (2015 - Present)
  • Lead Steering Committee, West Coast Research Symposium Doctoral Consortium (2011 - 2016)
  • Advisory Board, United States Department of State - Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST Network) (2014 - Present)

Honors & Awards

  • Stanford Teagle Fellow in Liberal Education, Stanford University (2022)
  • Third Annual IACMR-RRBM Responsible Research in Management Award, IACMR-RRBM (2020)
  • Institute for Advanced Studies Visiting Fellowship, Technical University of Munich (2019)
  • Finalist, Best OMT Published Paper, Academy of Management (2018)
  • TUM Research Excellence Award, Technical University of Munich (2018)
  • Faculty Affiliate, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment (2017-2019)
  • Undergraduate Teaching Award, MS&E (2017)
  • Richard Schulze Inaugural Distinguished Professorship Award, Richard Schulze Foundation (2015)
  • Faculty Affiliate, Stanford Center for International Development (SCID) (2014-present)
  • Kauffman-Nesta Research Grant winner - Randomized Controlled Trials in Entrepreneurship, Kauffman-NESTA (2014)
  • Batten Institute Fellow, University of Virginia (UVA) Darden School of Business (2012)
  • Research Fund for International Young Scientists, National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (2012)
  • Lillie Award, Stanford University (2011, 2012)
  • Technology and Innovation Management, IEEE International (2011)
  • Best Dissertation Award Winner (Business Policy and Strategy Division), Academy of Management (2010)
  • Dissertation Fellowship Award, Kauffman Foundation (2007)
  • Best Paper Proceedings, Academy of Management (2005, 2006, 2010, 2012)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Academic Director, ITRI-Stanford Platform. Industrial Technology Research Institute in collaboration with the Department of Industrial Technology (DOIT) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) of Taiwan (2013 - Present)
  • Review Board Member, National Science Foundation. Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier. Grant Review Panel. Office of Emerging Frontiers and Multidisciplinary Activities. (2020 - 2020)
  • Member, Strategic Management Society (2010 - Present)
  • Advisory Committee, Chile’s Ministry of the Economy (Production Development Corporation - CORFO). Startup Chile global accelerator program (2012 - 2017)
  • Editorial Review Board, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal (2021 - Present)
  • Editorial Board, Strategic Management Journal (2015 - Present)
  • Member, Academy of Management (2005 - Present)

Professional Education

  • PhD, MIT, Sloan School of Management (2009)
  • BS, Duke University, Biological Basis of Behavior (2002)

Research Interests

  • Economics and Education
  • Higher Education
  • Leadership and Organization
  • Poverty and Inequality
  • Research Methods
  • Technology and Education

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

I have focused on the theme of how the environment shapes entrepreneurial activity. In particular, two streams focused on how the institutional and university environment influences entrepreneurship. My work has primarily focused on formal, regulatory institutions and university entrepreneurship. While I have expanded on my work in this stream, I have broadened out this work to also include significantly more on the role of informal (socio-cognitive) institutions and entrepreneurship. In broadening my research, I have also drawn on new methods and new datasets. In particular my recent papers include randomized field experiments and data generated from digital platforms.

My research focuses on the influence of the institutional environment on entrepreneurship. There are ten papers in this stream. Specifically, I have sought to do leading work investigating the types of institutional change that encourage the founding of high growth, engineering-based firms. While I build on previous work in entrepreneurship that focuses on individual characteristics, network ties, and strategy, my major contribution is to demonstrate that institutional mechanisms matter. I have sought to open up new ground by showing that effective institutional change influences who starts firms, not just how many firms are started. I have repeatedly studied entrepreneurship in a single country (China, Chile, Japan, and the U.S.) before and after a major institutional change. My work is divided into three streams: (1) institutional change and entrepreneurship, (2) university environments, and (3) sustainability and environmental activism.

My research changes the way we think about how the environment – formal institutions, informal institutions, and industry contexts – influences entrepreneurship. I am at the cutting edge in situating ventures within environments and showing how interactions between environments and entrepreneurs matter. I am among the first to argue and show that policies that foster high-growth entrepreneurship are different than those that spawn small businesses. If policy leaders wish to foster technology-based start-ups, then we must consider how institutions operate. My research shows that institutional changes can significantly influence the types of firms that are created, who creates them, and how they perform. My research challenges widely accepted ideas by highlighting taken-for-granted notions that are incomplete or misleading. My studies call into question the assumption that institutions that make it easier to start firms are unambiguously beneficial. My theoretical contributions include introducing such concepts as institutional barriers to growth, skill adequacy and context relevance. I lead the way in broadening our conception of entrepreneurship beyond the developed North American economies. I have contributed methodologically by (A) showing how to measure talent, (B) collecting data internationally, (C) using randomized field experiments, and (D) analyzing multi-industry databases with state-of-the-art statistics (instrumental variables, differences-in-differences). I have been a pioneer in overcoming the challenges of inferring causality by finding changes that altered the landscape for entrepreneurship, along with collecting novel data in international settings. I have been fortunate to see an impact of my scholarship, including over 4,599 Google Scholar citations. I plan to do more studies in developing economies, especially incorporating randomized field experiments, particularly with refugees and migrant populations. I was honored to receive the Schulze Distinguished Professorship Award, the goal of which is to "award funding to the country’s most accomplished entrepreneurship scholars who are infusing into their teaching the results of the original and meaningful research they are conducting.”


2023-24 Courses

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • Companies inadvertently fund online misinformation despite consumer backlash. Nature Ahmad, W., Sen, A., Eesley, C., Brynjolfsson, E. 2024; 630 (8015): 123-131


    The financial motivation to earn advertising revenue has been widely conjectured to be pivotal for the production of online misinformation1-4. Research aimed at mitigating misinformation has so far focused on interventions at the user level5-8, with little emphasis on how the supply of misinformation can itself be countered. Here we show how online misinformation is largely financed by advertising, examine how financing misinformation affects the companies involved, and outline interventions for reducing the financing of misinformation. First, we find that advertising on websites that publish misinformation is pervasive for companies across several industries and is amplified by digital advertising platforms that algorithmically distribute advertising across the web. Using an information-provision experiment9, we find that companies that advertise on websites that publish misinformation can face substantial backlash from their consumers. To examine why misinformation continues to be monetized despite the potential backlash for the advertisers involved, we survey decision-makers at companies. We find that most decision-makers are unaware that their companies' advertising appears on misinformation websites but have a strong preference to avoid doing so. Moreover, those who are unaware and uncertain about their company's role in financing misinformation increase their demand for a platform-based solution to reduce monetizing misinformation when informed about how platforms amplify advertising placement on misinformation websites. We identify low-cost, scalable information-based interventions to reduce the financial incentive to misinform and counter the supply of misinformation online.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41586-024-07404-1

    View details for PubMedID 38840014

    View details for PubMedCentralID 6377495

  • Born into chaos: How founding conditions shape whether ventures survive or thrive when experiencing environmental change STRATEGIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP JOURNAL Motley, D., Eesley, C. E., Koo, W. 2023

    View details for DOI 10.1002/sej.1461

    View details for Web of Science ID 000959465000001

  • In Institutions We Trust? Trust in Government and the Allocation of Entrepreneurial Intentions ORGANIZATION SCIENCE Eesley, C., Lee, Y. 2022: 1-25
  • Entrepreneurial strategies during institutional changes: Evidence from China's economic transition STRATEGIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP JOURNAL Wu, Y., Eesley, C. E., Yang, D. 2021

    View details for DOI 10.1002/sej.1399

    View details for Web of Science ID 000679932000001

  • How Do Institutional Carriers Alleviate Normative and Cognitive Barriers to Regulatory Change? ORGANIZATION SCIENCE Armanios, D., Eesley, E. 2021
  • Regional Migration, Entrepreneurship and University Alumni Regional Studies Wu, Y., Eesley, C. 2021
  • Understanding the motivations for open-source hardware entrepreneurship Design Science Li, Z., Seering, W., Yang, M., Eesley, C. 2021; 7 (e19)

    View details for DOI 10.1017/dsj.2021.15

  • Do university entrepreneurship programs promote entrepreneurship? STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT JOURNAL Eesley, C. E., Lee, Y. 2020

    View details for DOI 10.1002/smj.3246

    View details for Web of Science ID 000583243800001

  • Entrepreneurship in dynamic environments: A comparison between the U.S. and China. Quarterly Journal of Management (管理学季刊) Wu, Y., Eesley, C. E., Eisenhardt, K. E. 2020; 5 (2): 1-17
  • Connected, But Still Lagging: Rural Sellers During Platform Change. Strategic Management Journal. Koo, W., Eesley, C. 2020

    View details for DOI 10.1002/smj.3259

  • The dark side of institutional intermediaries: Junior stock exchanges and entrepreneurship STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT JOURNAL Eberhart, R. N., Eesley, C. E. 2018; 39 (10): 2643–65

    View details for DOI 10.1002/smj.2934

    View details for Web of Science ID 000444803800003

  • The persistence of entrepreneurship and innovative immigrants RESEARCH POLICY Lee, Y., Eesley, C. 2018; 47 (6): 1032–44
  • Institutions and Entrenreneurial Activity: The Interactive Influence of Misaligned Formal and Informal Institutions STRATEGY SCIENCE Eesley, C. E., Eberhart, R. N., Skousen, B. R., Cheng, J. C. 2018; 3 (2): 393–407
  • Impact: Stanford University's Economic Impact via Innovation and Entrepreneurship FOUNDATIONS AND TRENDS IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP Eesley, C. E., Miller, W. F. 2018; 14 (2): 130–278

    View details for DOI 10.1561/0300000074

    View details for Web of Science ID 000431012600001

  • Social influence in career choice: Evidence from a randomized field experiment on entrepreneurial mentorship RESEARCH POLICY Eesley, C., Wang, Y. 2017; 46 (3): 636-650
  • Failure Is an Option: Institutional Change, Entrepreneurial Risk, and New Firm Growth ORGANIZATION SCIENCE Eberhart, R. N., Eesley, C. E., Eisenhardt, K. M. 2017; 28 (1): 93-112

    View details for DOI 10.1002/smj.2458

    View details for Web of Science ID 000388290800003

  • Institutional Barriers to Growth: Entrepreneurship, Human Capital and Institutional Change ORGANIZATION SCIENCE Eesley, C. 2016; 27 (5): 1290-1306
  • Does Institutional Change in Universities Influence High-Tech Entrepreneurship? Evidence from China's Project 985 ORGANIZATION SCIENCE Eesley, C., Li, J. B., Yang, D. 2016; 27 (2): 446-461
  • Understanding Entrepreneurial Process and Performance: A Cross-National Comparison of Alumni Entrepreneurship Between MIT and Tsinghua University Asian Journal for Innovation and Policy Eesley, C., Yang, D., Roberts, E., Li, T. 2016; 5 (2): 146-184
  • How entrepreneurs leverage institutional intermediaries in emerging economies to acquire public resources Strategic Management Journal Armanios, D., Eesley, C., Li, J., Eisenhardt, K. 2016

    View details for DOI 10.1002/smj.2183

    View details for Web of Science ID 000344327400005

  • Entrepreneurship Education Comes of Age on Campus: The Challenges and Rewards of Bringing Entrepreneurship to Higher Education Torrance, W. E., Rauch, J., Aulet, W., Blum, L., Burke, B., D'Ambrosio, T., Eesley, C. E. 2013
  • Are You Experienced or Are You Talented?: When Does Innate Talent versus Experience Explain Entrepreneurial Performance? STRATEGIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP JOURNAL Eesley, C. E., Roberts, E. B. 2012; 6 (3): 207-219

    View details for DOI 10.1002/sej.1141

    View details for Web of Science ID 000308646300002

  • Review of: Winds of Change: The Environmental Movement and the Global Development of the Wind Energy Industry Administrative Science Quarterly Eesley, C., E., Hannah, D., P. 2012; 57: 359-362
  • Entrepreneurial Impact: The Role of MIT - An Updated Report Foundations and Trends in Entrepreneurship Roberts, E., B., Eesley, C., E. 2011; 7 (1-2): 1-149
  • Private Environmental Activism and the Selection and Response of Firm Targets. Journal of Economics Management and Strategy Lenox, M., Eesley, C., E. 2009; 18 (1): 45-73
  • Entrepreneurs from technology-based universities: Evidence from MIT Research Policy Hsu, D. H., Roberts, E. B., Eesley, C. E. 2007; 5 (36): 768-788
  • Firm Responses to Secondary Stakeholder Action Strategic Management Journal Eesley, C. E. 2006; 27 (8): 765-782

    View details for DOI 10.1002/smj.536

  • Defining a cognitive function decrement in schizophrenia Biological psychiatry Keefe, R. S., Eesley, C. E., Poe, M. P. 2005; 6 (57): 688-691
  • Entrepreneurial Impact: The Role of MIT Roberts, Edward, B., Eesley, Charles, E.