Olav Sorenson

Frederick Frank '54 and Mary C. Tanner Professor of Management

Professor Olav Sorenson
Faculty Directory

Professor Sorenson's research interests include economic geography, economic sociology, entrepreneurship, organizational ecology, the sociology and management of science and technology, and business and corporate strategy. His most extensive line of research examines how social networks affect transactions, thereby shaping the geography and evolution of industries. Although Professor Sorenson has investigated these issues in a wide variety of settings, including banking, biotechnology, and footwear manufacturing, he has most extensively studied the entertainment industries and venture capital.

Prior to joining the Yale School of Management, Professor Sorenson held the Jeffrey S. Skoll Chair in Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. He has also taught at the University of Chicago, UCLA, and London Business School. 


Community Profile

One of the class exercises is a negotiation where some students are the management and other students are the venture capitalists.


  • PhD , Stanford University, 1997
  • MA, Stanford University, 1994
  • AB, Harvard University, 1991


  • Venture Capital & Private Equity Investments   MGT 635

Selected Books

Selected Articles

Do startups pay less?

M.D. Burton, M.S. Dahl, and O. Sorenson
Industrial and Labor Relations Review

Community and capital in entrepreneurship and economic growth

S. Samila and O. Sorenson
American Sociological Review

Geography, joint choices, and the reproduction of gender inequality

O. Sorenson and M. S. Dahl
American Sociological Review

Financing by and for the masses: An introduction to the special issue on crowdfunding

L. Fleming and O. Sorenson
California Management Review

Selected Working Papers

The persistent effects of initial success: Evidence from venture capital

R. Nanda, S. Samila, and O. Sorenson

Startups and stratification: The long-term effects of firm age and size on earnings

O. Sorenson, M.S. Dahl, R. Canales, and M.D. Burton


  • OMT Best Entrepreneurship Paper Award, Academy of Management, 2017
  • OMT Best International Paper Award, Academy of Management, 2015
  • Doctor Mercaturae Honoris Causa (honorary doctorate), Aalborg University, 2014
  • Carol and Bruce Mallen Award for Lifetime Published Scholarly Contributions to Motion Picture Industry Economic Studies, 2012
  • Best Paper Award, European Management Review, 2010
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Toronto, 2008
  • Martin and Lang Award for Research Excellence, University of Toronto, 2008
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award, Academy of Management Review, 2006
  • Richard R. Nelson Prize (best paper), Research Policy, 2005
  • Young Scientists Award, International Schumpeter Society, 2005
  • Deloitte Award (advised best MBA field study), 2004
  • Edward V. Sedgwick III Memorial Award (advised best MBA field study report), 2004


  • Management Science Department Editor (Organizations)
  • Sociological Science Deputy Editor