Dr Katrin Smolka
She/her
Assistant Professor
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(Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group)

Katrin Smolka (PhD, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, NL) is Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick.

Her research interests are multi-disciplinary, bridging topics in entrepreneurship and organization theory. Her past and current work includes institutional entrepreneurship (e.g., entrepreneurial efforts in the emergence of proto-institutions or entrepreneurs' work to overcome institutional inequality), necessity entrepreneurship (e.g., social inclusion through entrepreneurship in deprived contexts), craft entrepreneurship (e.g., resilience of creative craft worker or authenticity in craft-based new ventures), and entrepreneurial decision-making (e.g., effectuation on the individual and team level). Katrin's research is published in in top-tier entrepreneurship and management journals such as Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice and Journal of Management Studies.

Katrin's work has been recognized with awards such as BCERC's best paper award from the National Federation for Independent Business, or grants such as Warwick University's Research Development Fund worth £25,000. Together with colleagues from RSM, Erasmus University (NL), the University of Cologne (GER) and American University (US), she was successful in obtaining $58,000 from J-PAL's Jobs and Opportunity Initiative.

She regularly presents her research at leading conferences in the field of entrepreneurship (e.g., Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference [BCERC], Effectuation Conference), management (e.g., Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Strategic Management Society Annual Conference) and organization studies (e.g., EGOS Colloquium, International Process Symposium [PROS]). Katrin was invited to attend several doctoral and junior faculty consortia as well as other prestigious programs like the Medici Summer School at MIT or Wharton's fully funded Global Faculty Development Program.

As service to her academic community, Katrin was or will be convenor for EGOS 2024 on sub-theme "Necessity Entrepreneurship: Inclusion, Identity, and Ingenuity" and EGOS 2025 on "Where Creativity Matters Most: Shaping Inclusive Entrepreneurship Through Shedding Social Barriers". She is also co-organizer and academic programme lead of the Effectuation Conferences 2023 (Gdansk) and 2024 (Nantes).

Educating students at university for more than 10 years, Katrin is experienced teaching at the Bachelor, Master and PhD level. Topics previously taught include entrepreneurship, new venture creation, decision-making and strategic business planning. She has worked with small groups of students, but also led courses with close to 1,000 students. Among other things, she has been recognized with WBS' Outstanding Contribution to the Postgraduate Programmes awards. Furthermore, Katrin is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and a member of the Academic Conduct Panel at WBS.

Wanting to make an impact beyond her academic work, Katrin has also been invited to speak at industry conferences and seminars in the unmanned aircraft industry in front of practitioners and policy makers.

As an expert in effectuation, Katrin is a member of the Society for Effectual Action (SEA) that seeks to "improve the state of the world and the lives of individuals by enabling the creation of firms, products, markets, services, and ideas". Using effectuation, she is passionate about teaching individuals develop an entrepreneurial mindset. In a large RCT field experiment, she puts her knowledge into practice as she aims to help Rohingyas residing in the world's biggest refugee camp (located in Southern Bangladesh) to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and create a better future for themselves.