American Educational Research Association (AERA) Honor for Dr. Vikas's Dissertation

News |
April 18, 2017

Dr. Vikas Joshi was honored by the American Educational Research Association (AERA), headquartered in Washington, D.C., USA, for his research in entrepreneurship. He won the 2017 Dissertation of the Year Award conferred by AERA through its Special Interest Group on Workplace Learning. This award is for the doctoral research he completed at the University of Pennsylvania.

Vikas Joshi’s thesis, titled 'The Coevolution of Technology Firms and Founders' examines how growing firms unleash unique developmental processes that transform founders. Explaining the motivation for his work, he said, “Histories of Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft made me wonder how Jobs, Gates, and Zuckerberg could lead such spectacular growth despite their obvious inexperience at startup. What is more, this paradox is not limited to just a few celebrity founders. Instead, technology entrepreneurship is full of examples where a college grad starts and leads firms to major success. So, I decided to investigate how the growing business itself becomes the most potent source of learning for founders.”

A successful tech founder himself, Vikas drew heavily on his extensive experience and that of other founder CEOs to build his theory. His findings describe how founders and firms influence each other.

The award was conferred on April 30 at the AERA Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX. “I’m grateful for the support of my Harbinger peers and the UPenn academic community. I’m thankful to AERA for the honor,” said Dr. Vikas. He further added: “I see this award as an endorsement of research that focuses on the human development side of entrepreneurship.”

About American Educational Research Association

The American Educational Research Association, or AERA, was founded in 1916 as a professional organization representing educational researchers in the United States and around the world. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C. AERA's more than 25,000 members are faculty, researchers, graduate students, and other distinguished professionals with rich and diverse expertise in education research. AERA’s 12 membership divisions, and nearly 160 special issue groups, reflect the wide range of expertise of its member scholars. AERA’s Workplace Learning SIG pursues the mission to explore theory, research, and practical developments in workplace learning.