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James E. Schrager studies the use of strategy by executives and venture capital partners. Drawn to this research by a fascination with extreme success and a desire to better understand how it happens--or not, Schrager pushes his students to discover how to better judge potential new venture investments and growth opportunities for existing businesses by using the unique power of strategy. His work is powered by the application of Herbert A. Simon’s concept of Bounded Rationality to strategy.

He has published multiple articles in the Wall Street Journal, CEO Magazine, and the Chicago Tribune, among others. He is frequently quoted in the press and has appeared on NBC, ABC, PBS, and other networks as an expert commentator on business strategy. He was editor of the Journal of Private Equity (published by Institutional Investor) for fifteen years. In 2013, he co-authored a paper on the emerging field of Behavioral Strategy for the Journal of Strategy and Management. He is involved in a series of case-based experiments, conducted with Booth MBA students, which provide data for certain facets of Behavioral Strategy.

Clinical Prof. Schrager is an active advisor to boards and CEOs on matters of strategy. His clients range from some of the largest companies in the US to professional service firms to start-ups, in high- mid- and no-technology businesses. His previous assignments include a series of corporate turnarounds for the Pritzker family interests, through their Chicago-based industrial conglomerate, The Marmon Group. As executive vice president of San Francisco--based Getz Brothers Co, he was responsible for the successful execution of the Getz- Japan initial public offering in Tokyo, the first private US company accepted to go public in Japan.

He has worked extensively on the commercial aspects of advanced cardiovascular devices with the surgeon who performed the first heart-transplant in the USA, Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz. He is currently a board member on a start-up founded by one of the most cited researchers in Malaria vaccines, Dr. Stephen Hoffman, whose company is partially funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
He has three times received the Emory Williams Award for Excellence in Teaching, was twice selected to deliver the Convocation Address, and won the Faculty Excellence teaching award in 2017. He was named one of the top twelve teachers in entrepreneurship in the United States by BusinessWeek Magazine.

Schrager earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Oakland University, an MBA from the University of Colorado, a JD from the Depaul University College of Law, and a PhD from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in organization behavior and policy. He previously was a certified public accountant in the state of Illinois.

Research Interests

Founding Editor, The Journal of Private Equity; the use of strategy to predict business failure or success; boards of directors; analysis of strategy decision processes using Herb Simon’s Bounded Rationality model as the starting point.

Academic Areas

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Strategy and Leadership

Selected Publications

2023 - 2024 Course Schedule

Number Course Title Quarter
34220 Advanced New Venture Strategy Workshop 2024 (Spring)
34102 New Venture Strategy 2023 (Autumn)
34102 New Venture Strategy 2024 (Winter)
34102 New Venture Strategy 2024 (Summer)

2024 - 2025 Course Schedule

Number Course Title Quarter
34220 Advanced New Venture Strategy Workshop 2024 (Autumn)
34220 Advanced New Venture Strategy Workshop 2025 (Spring)
34102 New Venture Strategy 2025 (Winter)

Get Insights from James E. Schrager in Chicago Booth Review