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Bill Forster

Associate Professor of Strategic Management

Headshot of Bill Forster

Contact Information

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301

Portland Center

200 SW Market Street, Suite 101
Portland  Oregon  97201


Bill Forster is an associate professor of entrepreneurship and strategic management and an experienced leader. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of  Business and researches how expert entrepreneurs make decisions, act, and interact to create value and innovate. His research has been published in premier academic journals, including the Academy of Management Review (AMR), Journal of Business Venturing (JBV), Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, and the Journal of Business Ethics. Bill served on the editorial review board of both AMR and JBV and is currently a Field Editor (Psychology and  Entrepreneurship) for JBV. He teaches courses in strategic management, entrepreneurial investing, and new venture development.

Before joining academia, Bill served for twelve years as an Air Force officer leading high  technology development programs and consulting with Air Force, DoD, and other federal agencies. He consults on various topics, including innovation, leadership, and strategy, and has worked with various for- and not-for-profit companies in Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Oregon.

His research interests include the following:

  • Entrepreneurial Decision-Making
  • Business Ethics
  • Social Entrepreneurship



University of Virginia, Darden School of Business
Phd - Business Administration: Entrepreneurship, Strategy, and Business Ethics

University of Colorado
Master of Business Administration, Technology Management and Finance

Air Force Institute of Technology
Master of Science, Cost Analysis

United States Air Force Academy
Bachelor of Science, Management

Academic Appointments

Willamette University, Atkinson Graduate School of Management
Associate Professor of Strategic Management (with tenure), 2018-Present

Lehigh University, College of Business and Economics
Associate Professor of Management (with tenure), 2016-2018
Assistant Professor of Management, 2009-2016

United States Air Force Academy, Management Department
Instructor of Management, 2003-2005


Brown, J.A., Forster, W.R., & Wicks, A. (in-press). The Fork in the Road for Social Enterprises: Leveraging Moral Imagination for Long-Term Stakeholder Support. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.

Forster, W. & Sarasvathy, S. (in-press). An Error Based Theory of Entrepreneurial Confidence. Edward Elgar Research Agenda Book Series – The Future of Research on Entrepreneurial Decision Making. Awarded the 2022 Best Published Paper Award from the International
Association for Business and Society.

Dean, T.J., & Forster, W.R. 2020. The Lighthouse-Keeper in Economics: Property Rights Entrepreneurship and the Externality Problem. Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings 2020 (1) 10025.

Sarasvathy, S.D., Forster, W.R., and Ramesh, A. 2020. From Goldilocks to Gump: Entrepreneurial Mechanisms for Everyday Entrepreneurs. Iberoamerican Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 9 (1).

Smit, W., Mauer, R., Forster, W.R., York, J.G., & Jones, J. 2018. Time to Emergence: The Dynamics of Effectuation in Nascent Ventures. Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings 2018. (1)

Cardon, M., Post, C.A., & Forster, W.R. (2017). The Emergence and Influence of Team Entrepreneurial Passion in New Venture Teams. Academy of Management Review.

Pollack, J.M., Forster, W.R., Johnson, P.D., A. Coy, & Molden, D. A. 2015. Promotion- and Prevention-Focused Networking and its Consequences for Entrepreneurial Success. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 6(1): 3-12.

Forster, W.R. & Ramesh, A. (2013) From Goldilocks to Gump: A Research Agenda for Entrepreneurial Mechanisms Design. Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings. Winner of the 2014 Best Conceptual Paper Award, Entrepreneurship Division.

Venkataraman, S., Sarasvathy, S.D., Dew, N. & Forster, W.R. (2013) Dialogue: Of Narratives and Artifacts. Academy of Management Review, 38(1).

Brown, J.A. & Forster, W. R. (2013) CSR and Stakeholder Theory: A Tale of Adam Smith.Journal of Business Ethics, 112(2).

Venkataraman, S., Sarasvathy, S.D., Dew, N. & Forster, W.R. (2012) Reflections on the 2010 AMR decade award: Whither the promise? Moving forward with entrepreneurship as a science of the artificial. Academy of Management Review, 37(1).

Forster, W.R. & Jansen K.J. (2010) Co-Creating New Ventures: Attraction, Search, and Uncertainty in Founding Partnership Formation. Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, 30(10).

Hayward, M. L., Forster, W.R., Sarasvathy, S.D., & Fredrickson B. L. (2010) Beyond Hubris: How Highly Confident Entrepreneurs Rebound to Venture Again. Journal of Business Venturing, 25(6). *Selected by the Academy of Management’s Entrepreneurship Division as a 2009 research exemplar paper.

Ferrante, C. J., Green, S. J. & Forster, W. R. (2006) Getting More out of Team Projects: Incentivizing Leadership to Enhance Performance. Journal of Management Education, 30(6).

Honors, Awards and Editorial Activities

IABS Best Published Paper Award for 2022, International Association for Business & Society 2022

Faculty Member of the Year, Atkinson Graduate School Management, 2022

Research Fellow, NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center, 2018 to present

Appointed to CNBC Disruptor 50 Advisory Council, CNBC, 2018

Class of 2018 Excellence in Teaching Award, MBA Program, Lehigh University,

Frank L. Magee Distinguished Professor, Lehigh University, 2017

Field Editor (Psychology & Entrepreneurship), Journal of Business Venturing, 2022 to present

Editorial Review Board, Journal of Business Venturing, 2017-2022

Editorial Review Board, Academy of Management Review, 2011-2020

Class of 2015 Excellence in MBA Teaching Award, Lehigh University 2015

Best Conceptual Paper Award, Academy of Management Entrepreneurship Division 2013

Entrepreneurship Research Exemplar, Academy of Management Entrepreneurship Division 2009

Ph.D. Fellowship, United States Air Force 2005-2007

Meritorious Service Medal, United States Air Force 2005

Willamette University

Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

Portland Center

200 SW Market Street, Suite 101
Portland Oregon 97201 U.S.A.