My teaching activities focus on entrepreneurship and organization theory. I have taught students at a variety of levels, including undergraduates, MBAs, PhD students, and executives. At the University of Oregon, I have been humbled to be a four-time recipient of the James Reinmouth MBA Teaching Excellence Award (2008-9, 2009-10, 2010-11, and 2012-13), and to receive the Business Advisory Council Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2010 and 2013.
Details on current and select past courses that I have instructed are listed below.
Ongoing Courses at the University of Oregon:
Seminar on the Economics and Sociology of Science and Technology
This PhD seminar introduces students to the extensive literature on the economics and sociology of science and technology. We draw upon a mix of "classic" and cutting-edge articles (and book excerpts), which offer both theoretical and empirical treatments of relevant issues. Specific topics covered include: the norms and incentives underlying engagement in science; the organization of scientific fields and communities; scientific collaboration and networks; the commercialization of university research; scientific employment patterns; intellectual property; geography and knowledge spillovers; and measurement issues.
Seminar on Networks and Institutions
This PhD seminar introduces students to the study of organizations through the lens of network analysis and institutional theory. The purpose of the course is to provide students with a thorough grounding in the "classic" social science literature on these topics. Over the course of the quarter, we cover a number of topics, including embeddedness, institutional diffusion, institutional change, historical contingency, and network dynamics. In addition to serving as discussion leaders and participants, students prepare weekly memos and a detailed research proposal that serves as the front end for an empirical paper.
This course introduces the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, which empowers individuals to confront what others see as insurmountable problems and to seek opportunity through technological and business solutions. Through a collection of case studies, lectures, and projects focused on high-growth ventures, this course provides students with the tools necessary to successfully identify a true business opportunity, and to start and grow a new enterprise. I teach a term-length version of this course for full-time MBAs and a two-week accelerated version for international executive MBAs.
Course website (includes syllabus and slide decks)
Launching New Ventures
This upper-level undergraduate course provides students with a set of skills, tools and concepts that are broadly applicable across a wide range of entrepreneurial settings. Specific topics covered in the course include: identifying problems, brainstorming solutions, and determining whether they are true opportunities; understanding the process of developing and testing new business concepts; analyzing business models and industry trends; identifying and selling to appropriate target markets; marshalling the information and resources needed to pursue entrepreneurial ventures; and developing teams and alliances.
Growing Clean Technology Businesses: Promise, Pitfalls, and Processes
This two-day executive education workshop introduces participants to the challenges and opportunities surrounding technology commercialization, focusing especially on the context of clean technology. Through a series of lectures and hands-on projects, participants will explore and "test" different aspects of technology commercialization business models, including: problem-solution framing and technology push vs market pull environments; customer segments and relationships; value propositions; partnerships; channels; and resources, including venture capital. The workshop is applicable to entrepreneurs in many different stages and contexts, ranging from pre-launch and early-stage startups, to existing companies seeking to enter the clean tech space, to organizations with existing clean-tech products/services that are looking to expand their customer base and/or markets. Ultimately, this workshop enables participants to identify, execute upon and scale meaningful clean-technology solutions.
National Arts Strategies:
Extending Your Reach
National Arts Strategies (NAS) has developed the premiere executive education program for the arts and culture sector, using content developed with faculty at leading business and graduate schools in the country; a unique team-centered classroom experience that brings together top executives, key staff, and key board members; framework-based models that can be readily adapted to each leader's specific circumstances; and a focus on application throughout the experience, in the classroom and in follow-on services, to enable real organizational change. With Woody Powell (Stanford) and Jeannette Colyvas (Northwestern), I teach an NAS workshop on alliances and partnerships.
Previous Courses Taught at Stanford and Elsewhere:
Management and Organization of Research & Development (Stanford)
This graduate-level course drew on relevant theoretical perspectives from sociology and management theory to address the social and pragmatic issues that surround technical innovation and the employment of scientists and engineers. Topics included the organization of scientific and technical communities, industrialization of research, the nature of scientific and technical work, strategies for fostering innovation, careers of scientists and engineers, and managerial problems characteristic of R&D settings. The course was directed towards masters and PhD students in engineering, along with select MBA students.
High Technology Entrepreneurship (AeA/Stanford Executive Institute)
The AeA/Stanford Executive Institute (now TechAmerica/Stanford Executive Institute) is a two-week program for 100 senior managers from leading high technology companies. The executives take a series of courses in marketing, finance, organizational behavior, product development, and supply chain management to refresh their MBA training and to focus on these subjects from a high-technology perspective. I served as co-instructor for the section on entrepreneurship, working with participants to refine business models and strategies around proposed new ventures.
Assessing Institutions Through Network Structure and Change (SCANCOR/Stanford)
This weeklong course -- held at Copenhagen Business School in 2007 and at the Helsinki University of Technology in 2006 -- provided PhD students with insights into key theoretical issues concerning the emergence and dynamics of institutional change. I taught a session on the public and private science as exemplars of different institutional models, and on the emergence of academic entrepreneurship as a case of institutional change. I also included a module on the use of network analysis for the assessment of institutional roles and influences.
Issues in Technology and Work for a Post-Industrial Economy (Stanford)
This undergraduate course examined how changes in technology and organization are altering work practice. Course topics included models of organization, including the rise of bureaucracy and the network form; analysis of substitutional versus infrastructural technologies; automation; distributed and virtual organizations; and trends in occupational structures.
Management of Technology Ventures (Stanford)
This three-quarter course, which constitutes the Mayfield Fellows Program, teaches entrepreneurship to masters and upper-level undergraduate students in diverse disciplines, including science, engineering, social science, and the arts. The course addresses functional management and leadership within high technology startups, focusing on entrepreneurial skills related to product and market strategy, venture financing and cash flow management, team recruiting and building strategies, and the challenges of managing growth and handling adversity in emerging ventures.
Prof. Andrew Nelson
Lundquist College of Business
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
E: ajnelson (at) uoregon.edu