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Sarath Balachandran

Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship


Dr Sarath Balachandran holds a PhD from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. His research examines how collaborative relationships between firms can enable (or indeed constrain) innovation. Technological advances are making innovation in many industries an increasingly egalitarian and decomposable endeavor by improving information access and lowering the costs of entrepreneurship. Consequently, firms are increasingly having to look beyond their boundaries in their pursuit of innovation. This has led to an explosion in interfirm partnerships involving different types of firms and a multitude of collaborative structures.

Sarath studies how the implications of these partnerships for firms are shaped by factors at two levels of analysis. In one stream of work, he adopts a ‘micro’ perspective to delve into the role of the people whose interactions form the basis for these relationships. He investigates how the backgrounds and incentives of these individuals shape the formation and evolution of these relationships as well as the exchanges that occur between the firms. In another stream of work, he takes a more ‘macro’ view to examine how institutions – both formal institutions like laws or regulations and informal ones like social or cultural norms – influence the formation of these relationships and the outcomes they lead to. At London Business School, Sarath teaches the elective on Mergers, Acquisitions and Alliances. Prior to his academic career, Sarath worked for Unilever, first in logistics at a factory in Atlanta and subsequently in post-merger integration at the company’s headquarters in London.