Cheng Gao is an Assistant Professor of Strategy at the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business. His research focuses on strategy in nascent industries, technology and innovation, entrepreneurship, and nonmarket strategy. In particular, Gao’s research examines how firms compete in uncertain institutional environments, particularly those characterized by regulatory uncertainty. He is the recipient of the Best Dissertation Award, Academy of Management (Technology and Innovation Management Division); the Heizer Doctoral Dissertation Award, Academy of Management (Entrepreneurship Division); the HBS Wyss Award for Excellence in Doctoral Research; and the SRF Dissertation Scholar Grant. His research has been published in Strategic Management Journal and Organization Science.
Gao teaches Corporate Strategy (Strategy 390), the senior-level required core course in the Ross BBA curriculum. Previously, he taught Strategy and Competitive Advantage at Harvard University (Economics 970). Gao is a recipient of the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching and was nominated for the Neary BBA Teaching Excellence Award and the University of Michigan Golden Apple Teaching Award.
Prior to academia, Gao was a management consultant at Oliver Wyman, where he conducted engagements in strategy, operations, and risk management for Fortune 500 clients and served as co-captain of the Harvard recruiting team. Previously, he was principal research assistant to a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state at CSIS, a non-partisan Washington policy think tank.
Gao graduated from Harvard Business School with a Doctor of Business Administration in Strategy and received the HBS Dean’s Award for Service to the School and Society. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College with high honors in economics.