Faculty Directory

Steven J. Kahl

Associate Professor of Business Administration



DegreePhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, 2007; MPhil, University of Minnesota, 1995; BA, Dartmouth College, 1991

AREAS OF EXPERTISEOrganizational theory, organizational change, innovation, social cognition

Current Research Topics

  • Social structure and cognitive foundations of market emergence
  • Organizational structure and strategy
  • Identity and strategic change
  • Role of services in technology and industry evolution

Selected Publications

  • Discursive Strategies and Radical Technological Change:  Multi-Level Discourse Analysis of the Early Computer (1947-1958) (with Stine Grodal) Forthcoming, Strategic Management Journal
  • Services, Industry Evolution, and the Competitive Strategies of Product Firms (with Michael Cusumano and Fernando Suarez), 2015, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 36: 559-575
  • The Process of Schema Emergence: Assimilation, Deconstruction, Unitization and the Plurality of Analogies (with Christopher Bingham), 2013, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 56: 14-34
  • Services and the Business Models of Product Firms: An Empirical Analysis of the Software Industry  (with Michael Cusumano and Fernando Suarez), 2013, Management Science, Vol. 59: 420-435
  • Product Conceptual Systems: Toward a Cognitive Processing Model, Forthcoming, Advances in Strategic Management
  • Associations, Jurisdictional Battles and the Development of Dual-Purpose Capabilities, 2014, Academy of Management Perspectives, Vol. 28: 381-394
  • Audience Structure and the Failure of Institutional Entrepreneurship (with JoAnne Yates and Greg Leigel), 2012, Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 29
  • Anticipatory Learning: The Avoidance of Negative Outcomes in Entrepreneurial Firms (with Christopher Bingham), 2014, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Vol. 8: 101-127
  • Identity Sequences and the Early Adoption Pattern of the Jazz Canon (1920-1929) (with  Young-Kyu  Kim  and  Damon  Phillips),  2010, Research in Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 31
  • How to Use Analogies to Introduce New Ideas (with Chris Bingham), 2013 Sloan Management Review

Working Papers

  • With B. King and G. Liegel, Task Relations, Technological Innovation, and Jursidictional Change
  • With S. Grodal, Conceptual Strategies: Multi-Level Discursive Analysis in Strategy Research
  • With C. Bingham, The Logic and Structure of Category Formation
  • With J. Yates, ‘The Hard-Working Obedient Moron’: The Role of Power and Authority In Computer Use in Insurance, 1947–1960s
  • With D. Phillips, Market Crises and the (Re)establishment of Market Order: A Sociological Investigation of the “Fair Market” Rule Implementation in Financial Markets


  • 2014 Paul E. Raether Fellowship
  • Best Paper Proceedings, Organization and Management Theory Division, Academy of Management, “The Process of Schema Development: How the Insurance Industry Conceptualized the Computer: 1947–75,” 2011
  • Best Paper co-winner, “Structural Position and Social Movement Strategies,” UC Davis Conference on Qualitative Research, 2010
  • University of Chicago Booth Scholar 2008–09
  • Best Paper Proceedings, TIM Division, Academy of Management, “Considering the Customer: Determinants and Impact of Using Technology,” 2007

Professional Activities

Academic positions

  • Tuck School of Business, 2012–present
  • Assistant Professor, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, 2007–12 

Nonacademic positions

  • Associate/Vice President, Global Investment Research, Goldman, Sachs & Co., 1999–2002
  • Research Analyst, US Bancorp Piper Jaffray, Inc., 1997–99
  • IT consultant, Deloitte & Touche LLP, 1995–97
  • Systems Analyst, Andersen Consulting, 1991–93

Editorial positions

  • Editorial Board, Strategic Management Journal
  • Advances in Strategic Management – co-editor with Brian Silverman and Michael Cusumano on 2012 volume on “History and Strategy”
  • Ad hoc Reviewer – Administrative Science Quarterly, American Journal of Sociology, Management Science, Organization Science, Organization Studies, Research Policy, Strategic Management Society (Dissertation Proposals), Theory and Society

Research & Teaching

Steve Kahl’s research examines how new markets emerge through sociological and cognitive perspectives. He examines how markets come to understand new firms and innovations through historically grounded content and discursive analysis. Steve teaches the core course Leading Organizations and an elective course called Leading Entrepreneurial Organizations.