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Pankaj Kumar

Assistant Professor
Headshot of Pankaj Kumar
2104 Pamplin
880 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061


  • Ph.D., 2018 - Business Administration, University of Minnesota
  • M.B.A., 2007 - Finance and Economics, INCAE Business School, Alajuela, Costa Rica
  • B.E., 2003 - Electrical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Nagpur, India


Pankaj Kumar is an assistant professor of strategic management in the Department of Management at the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business. Kumar joined the Pamplin College in 2018 after receiving his Ph.D. in strategic management and entrepreneurship from the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.

His research interests lie at the intersection of strategy and organization theory, focusing on innovation, interfirm relationships (alliances and networks), emerging markets, crowdsourcing, and geography. He is also interested in the application of big data and machine learning to strategic management.

Both of his dissertation essays have been published in the Academy of Management Journal.  Additionally, his paper has been accepted in the Strategic Management Journal and Journal of International Business Studies. Kumar’s papers have been selected in the Best Paper Proceedings of Academy of Management annual meetings, STR and IM divisions, respectively. He was the finalist for the Academy of Management’s (IM Division) GWU-CIBER Best Paper on Emerging Markets Award. Also, he won the Academy of Management’s (OSCM Division) ISM Best Paper Award. Kumar has received the Virginia Tech Department of Management Faculty Research Excellence Award twice.

Kumar has reviewed for the most prestigious scholarly journals in his field, including the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of International Business Studies, and Strategic Organization. He also has served as a reviewer for numerous Academy of Management annual meetings, Strategic Management Society, and Academy of International Business conferences. He has been selected as a Best Reviewer for the International Management Division of the Academy of Management 2021 Annual Meeting. Currently, Kumar serves on the editorial review board for the Journal of International Business Studies.

At Pamplin, Kumar teaches courses on strategic management to undergraduates and is the course content coordinator. He won the Virginia Tech Department of Management Faculty Teaching Excellence Award in 2021. He is also the recipient of the Pamplin Certificate of Teaching Excellence Award. He has also independently taught undergraduates at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. Additionally, he has taught at the Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología (ULACIT) and Universidad Veritas in Costa Rica.

Pankaj worked as a CFO at Universidad Veritas in Costa Rica and was a member of board of directors of CPI Panama. He also worked as a consultant for the Bain and Co. affiliate Mesoamerica in Costa Rica. He provided consultancy to Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz, a top scientist with NASA, who wanted to incorporate a subsidiary of Ad Astra Rocket Company, Webster, Texas, in Costa Rica. Prior to that, he was an assistant manager for Larsen and Toubro in India. He has interacted with clients from Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.


Pankaj Kumar, Swanand J. Deodhar, and Sri Zaheer. Forthcoming. Cognitive sources of liability of foreignness in crowdsourcing creative work. Journal of International Business Studies.

Pankaj Kumar, Xiaojin Liu, and Aks Zaheer. Forthcoming. How much does the firm's alliance network matter? Strategic Management Journal.

Pankaj Kumar and Aks Zaheer. Forthcoming. Network stability: The role of geography and brokerage advantage. Academy of Management Journal. (based on 2nd dissertation essay)

Pankaj Kumar, Xiaojin Liu, and Aks Zaheer. 2021. Forged by fire: Home country IPR reforms and emerging economy firm innovativeness abroad. Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings. IM Division 2021.

Pankaj Kumar and Aks Zaheer. 2019. Ego-Network Stability and innovation in Alliances. Academy of Management Journal. 62(3): 691—716. (based on 1st dissertation essay).

Pankaj Kumar and Aks Zaheer. 2017. How Geography influences network stability. Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings, BPS (now STR) Division 2017.

Pankaj Kumar. 2018. Innovation effects and origins of ego-network stability: The hidden dimension of social capital. Dissertation.