Violina Rindova

Violina Rindova

Addressing Societal Grand Challenges through Entrepreneurial Means

Violina Rindova, Associate Dean of Research & PhD Programs, Dean's Leadership Circle Chair, and Professor of Strategy at Merage School of Business, UC Irvine

Thursday, January 18, 2024 - 1:30pm - 3:00pm


Management research has advanced our understanding about the systems-level interventions to address the complex nature of societal grand challenges through multi-actor coordination and collective action. In focusing on complexity, management scholars have given less attention to how SGCs could be addressed through novel breakthrough solutions. Based on entrepreneurs’ reflective narratives in which they share subjective experiences of creating and enacting breakthrough solutions for SGCs, we inductively develop a framework that articulates how imagined possibilities are shaped from initial conception to novel material solutions, and to strategic pathways for initiating market-order change. Our framework captures three shaping processes: First, actors construct a conception of the possible by expounding on the experiential process of possibilistic thinking, foregrounding how it intertwines counterfactual thinking and moral conviction to formulate impact intentions. Second, they explain how they actualize the possible, navigating radical uncertainty through resolute exploration. Third, their reflective narratives reveal how they expand conceptions of the possible by showcasing strategic pathways to change markets from within. Our framework contributes to research on societal grand challenges, shaping possibilities, and strategy under uncertainty. 


Professor Violina Rindova holds the Dean’s Leadership Circle Chair at UC Irvine. Prior to joining the Merage School of Business, she was on the faculty of the Marshall School of Business, USC, where she held the Captain Henry W. Simonsen Chair in Strategic Entrepreneurship and served as a Research Director of the Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies; and the faculty of the McCombs School of Business, where she held the Zlotnik Family Chair in Entrepreneurship and Herb Kelleher Chair in Entrepreneurship and served as the Director of the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, Growth and Renewal. She holds a PhD in Management from the Stern School of Business, New York University, an MBA from Madrid Business School, Spain, and a JD from Kliment Ohridski University, Sofia, Bulgaria. Rindova has published over 70 articles and book chapters in leading management journals. She has taught in executive programs around the globe and has worked with clients from the advertising, entertainment, insurance, food, healthcare, and education industries. Her recent work focuses on strategy under uncertainty and how firms imagine and shape the future through design-based strategies.