Dr. Charlotte Ren is Robert A. Fox Leadership International Faculty Director and Professor of Practice in Strategy and Innovation at Partnership for Innovation, Cross-Sector Collaboration, Leadership, and Organization, School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. She’s also Senior Fellow at Wharton’s Mack Institute for Innovation Management, University of Pennsylvania. Previously she was on faculty at Purdue University (Assistant Professor of Strategic Management, 2005-2012), University of Pennsylvania (Visiting Assistant Professor of Strategic Management, 2013-2016), and Temple University (Associate Professor of Strategic Management, 2016-2021). Charlotte has a PhD in Management and an M.A. in Economics from UCLA, a bachelor’s degree in International Politics and a minor degree in Law from Peking University (China).

Charlotte’s research interests focus on two areas: [1] competitive strategy, and [2] innovation and entrepreneurship. In the area of competitive strategy, she investigates how firms compete along non-price dimensions including product variety, geographic location, and service. For example, her research shows that when retail stores offer “price match guarantees” that prevent them from turning to price reductions to attract consumers, they choose to compete or coordinate in product variety depending on whether their rivals are co-located or not. In the area of innovation and entrepreneurship, Charlotte examines how firms adjust innovation strategy and manage corporate entrepreneurial processes to improve their technological competence and overall performance. She conducts research on several industries including general retail, consumer electronics retail, aircraft manufacturing, hard disk drives, machine tools, computer workstations, movies, and charter schools.

Charlotte’s research is published in the field’s leading academic journals such as Strategic Management Journal, Management Science, Journal of Management, and Journal of Business Ethics. Her paper “the Rise and Fall of Entrepreneurial Opportunities inside Organizations: A Process Model for Corporate Entrepreneurship” received the 2008 IDEA Award (Research Promise) from the Academy of Management (AOM)’s Entrepreneurship Division. She has served as an ad hoc reviewer for journals including Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Management Studies, Management Science, MIS Quarterly, Organization Science, Strategic Entrepreneurial Journal, and Strategic Management Journal. She served as a Representative-at-Large for two leading academic communities of management scholars, the Entrepreneurship Division of AOM (2018-2021) and the Strategic Management Society’s Competitive Strategy Interest Group (2020-2022).

Charlotte has taught courses at the undergraduate, MBA, MPA, and Ph.D. levels on strategy, innovation management, entrepreneurship, and cross-sector collaboration. She received the 2017 Innovation in Entrepreneurship Pedagogy Award from the AOM’s Entrepreneurship Division and the 2019 Faculty of the Year Award (full-time MBA program) from Fox School of Business, Temple University.

A social entrepreneur herself, Charlotte designed, launched, and served as the founding faculty director (2013-2016) of Penn Restorative Entrepreneurship Program (PREP). Supported by Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice, PREP is an innovative initiative geared towards helping formerly incarcerated individuals to become socially responsible entrepreneurs.

When Charlotte is not teaching or doing research, she enjoys jogging, traveling, cooking, and re-reading pre-modern Chinese literature and novels of Eileen Chang.

Research Areas

Competitive Strategy, Innovation Management, Corporate Entrepreneurship, Organizational Learning