Research Agenda



Keyboard and Mouse

Under Review

Laptop Writing



Peer-Reviewed Articles


Galaskiewicz, Joseph and Zhao, Yi


Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly

How can we build generalizable theories that are also sensitive to institutional and temporal contexts? In this article, we draw on the ways in which the management literature has dealt with context and theory to develop what we call a "General but Context Sensitive" (GCS) approach. We illustrate this approach by introducing a set of multilevel modeling techniques and theoretical propositions about how the effects of voluntary associations on generalized trust vary by institutional and temporal contexts. Our framework contributes to the incorporation of national and temporal contexts in building nonprofit theories.

Under Review


Zhao, Yi, Jina Lee and Cheryl Ellenwood

"The Gender Gap in Social Entrepreneurial Financing"

Invited for Revision and Resubmission

Journal of Business Venturing

Despite gender gaps in commercial entrepreneurship, social enterprises appear to offer innovative solutions for achieving gender equality. Instead, we find that gender bias against women persists during social entrepreneurial financing. We also find this female-male disparity becomes smaller when social ventures indicate more social value orientation. Our results further suggest that the gap closes because social value orientation leads to investment penalties on male founders of social ventures due to their association with female-typed social impact goals and this occurs without an apparent effect on female-led social ventures.

Zhao, Yi

"Governance between Boardrooms: The Network Influence of Board Interlocks on Corporate Social Performance"

Under Review

Business & Society

Recent research on the linkage of boards and corporate social performance (CSP) has not considered the influence of interlocking relationships between boards. Interlocking ties between boards, i.e., two firms share the same directors, potentially create a network of peer influences where the practices of one firm are adopted by firms they are interlocked with. I find strong evidence of peer influences on firms’ CSP while controlling for characteristics of boards and firms. Moreover, the effect of peer influences on CSP increases for more central firms in the board network. Overall, these results support a social structural perspective of the board-CSP linkage and contribute to the current literature on social responsibility governance.

Ongoing Project

Simply contact me for more details.

Social Entrepreneurial Financing: Social Impact Investment (SII)

The rapidly growing industry of SII is powered by investors determined to generate positive social and environmental impacts alongside a financial return. As of the end of 2019, the market for SII is estimated to include over 1,720 organizations managing 715 billion USD worldwide (Global Impact Investing Network). This project contains several working papers and the building of an original dataset to better understand, from an organizational and sociological perspective, the resource flow of financial capital in the SII market.

Challenges Facing Social Entrepreneurs and Ventures

The increased blurring of boundaries between businesses and nonprofits and their respective sectors is constantly reshaping our imagination of what contemporary organizations are, what they are good for, and what they can achieve. This project examines the tension between social enterprises as a "hybrid" form of organization and the existing classification of marekt categories to understand how social structure in the market constrains or facilitates the success of social enterprises.

Social Entrepreneurship and Nonprofits

With the sector boundaries between businesses and nonprofits continuing to blur, what is the role of nonprofit organizations in fostering entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic growth? To answer this question, this project develops a macrostructural view of how nonprofit sectors in different countries change over time and examines the socioeconomic and political implications of these changes for social entrepreneurship.

Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

This project uses the network approach to understand how inter-corporate networks shape the nonfinancial strategies of corporations and their CSR engagement.