At A Glance

Whether you’re a new entrepreneur or an entrepreneurial CEO, securing support from influential stakeholders plays a key role in an organization’s success. Chad Navis explores stakeholder mobilization, emphasizing how an entrepreneur’s language, symbols and behaviors shape stakeholders’ reactions. A thought leader in his field, Navis connects the sensemaking dynamics between parties to outcomes such as investor funding, venture growth and the success or failure of new market categories. He also examines how these processes and results are altered when entrepreneurs exhibit high levels of overconfidence and narcissism. He’s also helped students reach professional goals, including launching national franchises, global brands and appearing on “Shark Tank.”


Navis believes the cognitive, cultural and social aspects of entrepreneurship are central to the entrepreneurial process and involve efforts to make endeavors credible, meaningful, and appealing. These aspects are central to the entrepreneurship process and important complements to traditional economic perspectives. Reflecting this viewpoint, one stream of his research explores how new market categories emerge or fail and how the roles of entrepreneurs and influential stakeholders (investors, securities analysts, the media and incumbent firms) enable or hinder this process.

In another stream, Navis explores the cognitive and motivational biases shaping how and to what effect entrepreneurs perceive and pursue their proposed venture realities differently. He places special emphasis on how overconfidence and narcissism shape focal dynamics and how entrepreneurs typically exhibit these traits at higher levels than other people.

In collaboration, his research has examined entrepreneurship in varied market settings such as online groceries, craft microdistilleries, retail home improvement, satellite radio, local telecommunications and peer-to-peer platforms in the sharing economy. Some of his students have gone on to compete on “Shark Tank,” grow their classroom ventures into national franchises and launch global brands.

Having received peer-nominated awards for being a thought leader, Navis has presented at nearly 40 different conferences, academies and business schools across the United States and internationally. He is on the editorial board for “Administrative Science Quarterly” and “Academy of Management Review” and is an ad hoc reviewer for several management and entrepreneurship journals.

Navis began teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Wisconsin School of Business. During this time, he was actively involved in developing the entrepreneurship ecosystem of the school. Navis returned to his alma mater in 2015 to become the Arthur M. Spiro Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership and help revamp Clemson’s entrepreneurship curriculum.

Before teaching, he was a senior business analyst at American Management Systems (now CGI), specializing in business processes in the telecommunications sector. Additionally, he worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and two family businesses, and he presently advises several student start-ups. 

Expand +



What works for one new venture won’t necessarily work for another. Beyond the unique demands of different types of ventures, and the unique pressures associated with different types of industry conditions, are important considerations around the unique interests and aspirations of different types of founders. What could be excellent advice for one faction of entrepreneurs or small-business owners could be bad advice for other factions.

Want to Talk?

Let us know and we'll connect you with an expert.

Or email us at

    This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


    • Entrepreneurship in new market categories
    • Mobilizing stakeholder support for new ventures
    • Constructing symbolic meaning and value in new ventures
    • Overconfidence and narcissism in entrepreneurship
    • Linguistic strategies of entrepreneurs and executives

    Degrees, Institutions

    • Ph.D. organization and management, Emory University
    • MBA (entrepreneurship focus), University of Georgia
    • B.S. industrial management, Clemson University