Saras Sarasvathy headshot

Saras D. Sarasvathy

Jamuna Raghavan Chair Professor in Entrepreneurship, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore
Unit: Darden School of Business
Department: Darden Graduate School of Business
Office location and address
FOB 266
90 Darden Blvd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
B.Com., University of Bombay, India
MSIA, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University

Professor Saras D. Sarasvathy is a member of the Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Ethics area. In addition to MBA and doctoral courses in entrepreneurship at Darden, she teaches in doctoral programs in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. In 2007, Sarasvathy was named one of the top 18 entrepreneurship professors by  Fortune Small Business magazine. In 2013, Babson College awarded her an honorary doctorate for the impact of her work on entrepreneurship education. In addition to the Jamuna Raghavan Chair at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, Sarasvathy currently holds a chair professorship from Nankai University in Tianjin, China and a jubilee professorship from Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden. In addition to teaching awards from other universities, she won the 2015 Mead-Colley Honored Faculty Award from UVA for active engagement with students.

A leading scholar on the cognitive basis for high-performance entrepreneurship, Sarasvathy serves on the editorial boards of top management journals and as Associate Editor of top entrepreneurship journals. Her scholarly work has won several awards, including the 2001 William H. Newman Award from the Academy of Management and the 2009 and 2015 Gerald E. Hills Best Paper Awards from the American Marketing Association. Her book Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise was nominated for the 2009 Terry Book Award by theAcademy of Management.

Effectuation is widely acclaimed as a rigorous framework for understanding the creation and growth of new organizations and markets. The research program based on effectuation involves over a hundred scholars from around the world whose published and working papers can be found at Sarasvathy has also developed several cases and other instructional materials to teach effectuation. Her co-authored textbook, Effectual Entrepreneurship won the Gold Medal in the 2012 Axiom Business Book Awards

In addition to a master's degree in industrial administration, Saras received her Ph.D. in information systems from Carnegie Mellon University. Her thesis on entrepreneurial expertise was supervised by Herbert Simon, 1978 Nobel Laureate in Economics.

Sarasvathy serves on the board of Lending TreeNasdaq TREE) and writes a monthly column for the Corporate Dossier section of The Economic Times.

Click here for her SSRN Author Page, her TEDx talk and for a video interview with Big Think.

GBUS 7618: Effectual Entrepreneurship
Credits: 2
Through a combination of cases and experiential exercises this course brings to students what expert entrepreneurs have learned the hard way. Expert entrepreneurs are people who have built multiple ventures including successes and failures and taken at least one company public.
GBUS 8210: Starting New Ventures
Credits: 2
The primary objective of the course is to allow students to walk a few steps in the shoes of an entrepreneur while learning how expert entrepreneurs build new ventures that endure. Cases, guest lecturers, and students' project work will allow them to explore financial, legal, interpersonal, and personal challenges likely to be encountered by the independent entrepreneur. This course draws from cognitive science-based research on how expert entrepreneurs think, decide, and act while starting new ventures. Key issues addressed will include risk perception and management, formulation of innovative stakeholder relationships, and the creation of new markets through new ventures. As part of the course, students will be required to come up with a venture idea and take the initial steps in actually starting it. The course is recommended for those interested in initiating a personal venture at some point in their lives working with or consulting for an early stage entrepreneurial team or seeking entry into Darden's Progressive Incubator.
GBUS 8700: Darden Venturing Project
Credits: 2–3
This course is intended to provide students with an opportunity to work closely with a faculty adviser to produce a case study of a real business situation. Students may already have a case setting in mind or may call upon their faculty supervisor for an introduction to the setting for a case.
GBUS 8999: Darden Independent Study
Credits: 2–3
A Darden Independent Study elective includes either case development or a research project to be conducted by an individual student under the direction of a faculty member. Students should secure the agreement of a resident faculty member to supervise their independent study and assign the final grade that is to be based to a significant degree on written evidence of the individual student's accomplishment.
GBUS 9330: Seminar in Entrepreneurship I
Credits: 3
This course will survey the field of entrepreneurship and introduce the students to the classic books and ideas in the literature. The course will use a seminar format and will attempt to understand the meaning and content of the phenomenon of entrepreneurship, its processes and its consequences - for individuals and economies. Requirements include position papers on various topics and authors. Prerequisites: Restricted to Darden students.