Fox School of BusinessIdea Marketplace

Named professors, lifetime achievement, honored at annual Research Roundtable ceremony


Faculty in this issue:
• Dr. Kose John
• Dr. David E. Jones
• Dr. Mitrabarun “MB” Sarkar
• Professor of Strategic Management Dr. Robert D. Hamilton III

Dr. Mitrabarun “MB” Sarkar, Professor in the Department of Strategic Management and founding Academic Director of the Global Immersion Program at the Fox School of Business, has been named the H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest Professorship in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Dr. Sarkar has been a member of the schools faculty since 2008, and his appointment to the Lenfest Professorship began Jan. 1, 2014.

This distinguished professorship is named in honor of H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, the well-known media entrepreneur and philanthropist. In 2006, he received the Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership from the Fox School, its highest honor. Lenfest is a trustee of Temple University.

“We are indebted to Gerry for his invaluable contributions to Temple University over many years,” said M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “We are especially grateful to Gerry for his generosity in making it possible to create this endowed professorship in entrepreneurship and innovation, which are two of the most important pillars of our strategy as we transition into creating a world-class research, teaching and service institution in Philadelphia.”

According to Rajan Chandran, Vice Dean of the Fox School of Business, Sarkar is a perfect fit with the criteria for the professorship, established to advance the teaching and research of a distinguished professor whose work is focused on the intersection of entrepreneurship, innovation and strategy.

“Our school has benefited from MB Sarkar’s exceptional teaching, research and leadership in these areas over the past five years,” Chandran said. “We take great satisfaction that he now continues that work in the Lenfest Professorship.”

Sarkar said he is “deeply honored and humbled” to be selected for the professorship, and thankful to Lenfest for making it possible. He also expressed gratitude to Porat and Chandran for their confidence and support in selecting him for the Lenfest Professorship, and for their unceasing leadership and support of several initiatives of which Sarkar is a part.

“Fox is an incredibly stimulating place to be,” Sarkar said. “It is imbued with an entrepreneurial spirit, and embraces innovation and excellence in all domains of research, teaching and service. I look forward to being a part of the team that takes this great school to new heights as we face several disruptive and exciting changes in the higher-education landscape.”

Sarkar is a renowned scholar and a highly decorated professor. In 2013, he received the Great Teacher Award, which is Temple University’s highest honor. He has also received the Outstanding Professor of the Year Award from the Fox Professional MBA Program in 2009, 2011 and 2013; from the Fox Online MBA Program in 2011 and 2013; and from the Fox Executive MBA Program in 2012 and 2014.

Sarkar’s research examines the impact of innovation and entrepreneurship on firm performance. His recent projects examine the scientific knowledge structure of firms and the search for recombinant capabilities in the semi-conductor industry, how technological pre-adaptation enabled incumbents to maneuver through disruptive change in the robotics industry, and the effect of prior experience on technological entry during the emergence phase of the LED industry.

His research has been published in several top-tier scientific journals, including The Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Management Science, Organization Science, Journal of Business Venturing, and Journal of International Business Studies,among others.He serves on the editorial review boards of the Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal and the Global Strategy Journal.

In 2004, his co-authored work on entrepreneurial spin-offs was recognized as the Best Paper at the Academy of Management Journal. In 2000, he received the Best Dissertation Award from the Academy of Marketing Sciences and was honored as runner-up in the 2000 American Marketing Association’s Doctoral Dissertation Competition.

Prior to joining Temple, Sarkar received his MBA from the India Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; an undergraduate degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi; and his PhD from Michigan State University.

Sarkar is the past Chair of the Entrepreneurship & Strategy Interest Group of the Strategic Management Society and has served as Chair of the Strategic Management Society’s Special India Conferences in 2008 and 2013. He also led the SMS Memorial Conference held in the memory of Professor C.K. Prahalad in San Diego in 2011. He is on the Board of Advisors of DLabs, an accelerator funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, and situated at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.

Prior to his entering academia, Sarkar founded and ran an entrepreneurial venture in television production, which had pioneered private participation in what was until then a completely state-owned medium. –Alexis Wright-Whitley

Markets have their own gravitational pull, as a result of which the innovation value-chain tends to coalesce in spaces that customers inhabit. The rising prominence of emerging markets, for example, is being accompanied by a similar shift in the innovation eco-system to China and India. A corollary of this is a fundamental change in the directionality in knowledge and resource flows. Whereas earlier, it was typically from the West to the East, the trend seems to be changing in recent years as a more polycentric world emerges, one in which there are multiple centers of economic activity and knowledge generation.