Entrepreneurship Research


My research is focused on entrepreneurs who perform orders of magnitude better than their peers. I seek to understand, explain, and predict how and why such ‘star’ entrepreneurs emerge from an initial pool of aspirants. My current emphasis is on entrepreneurs who operate on global digital platforms. The unique characteristics of such entrepreneurial contexts – feedback loops, low marginal costs, and network effects – often drive exceptional performance outcomes where winners do take all. In examining such ‘outliers,’ I often adopt unconventional datasets and research methods that allow for nuanced testing of causal claims. The primary lens I use in such studies is that of non-normal, right-skewed, heavy-tailed performance distributions.

My work is exemplified by a recent publication in the Journal of Business Venturing (Gala et al., 2024). Besides the JBV paper, I have also published another paper on performance distributions in the Journal of Business Venturing Insights (Gala et al., 2023). Here, we focus on the extent to which undergraduate students in business schools appreciate the extreme variance in entrepreneurial performance. Using emerging methods of eliciting subjective probability distributions, we highlight the tendency for students to assume normality and, therefore, severely underestimate the extremity of success while also overestimating the odds of success.

Through these research projects, I have developed unique skills in data collection and analysis. Using state-of-the-art scraping tools and techniques, I have built longitudinal datasets that enable rich explorations of entrepreneurial performance. Analyzing such datasets has helped me develop expertise in various conventional (e.g., regression, SEM) and unconventional (e.g., distribution pitting, probability elicitation) research methods. I am adept at using not only R and Python but also ChatGPT Plus, Scite.AI, and other emerging tools. As the PhD representative for the Consortium for the Advancement of Research Methods and Analysis (CARMA), I continue to develop my methodological skills through CARMA-organized seminars and workshops.

Besides these two empirical papers, I have published three conceptual papers. One examines the role of acquihiring in industries undergoing digitalization and is published in the Journal of Small Business Management (Gala & Mueller, 2022). Another explores the influence of religion on entrepreneurial exits and is published in the Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion (Gala & Mueller, 2024). Finally, the third conceptual paper considers how Web3’s decentralization technologies may transform competition. Specifically, it evaluates how entrepreneurs who operate on digital platforms may change the modes of competition they engage in by leveraging peers and regulators. This study is published in Business Horizons (Gala, 2024).