EIRC External Seminar – Robert Eberhart on Entrepreneurialism and the Changing Nature of Employment Relations


Date: Friday, May 13th, 2022

Time: 12:00 to 14:00

Speaker: Robert Eberhart


We welcomed Robert Eberhart, Associate Director of research on Entrepreneurship and Society at Stanford University. His research focuses on the influence of institutional change on entrepreneurship, what drives institutional change, and the effect of those changes on the types of ventures that are founded and their performance. Robert gave a talk based on his book chapter titled: ” Freedom is Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose: Entrepreneurialism and the Changing Nature of Employment Relations.

This seminar was attended by Faculty from several departments, Post-Docs and PhD students, totaling 26 attendees (20 on site and 6 online).


Title : Freedom is Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose: Entrepreneurialism and the Changing Nature of Employment Relations



We explore the acceptance of new contingent work relationship to reveal an emergent entrepreneurial ideology. Our argument is that these new work relationships represent a new social order not situated in the conglomerates and labor unions of the past, but on a confluence of neo-

liberalism and individual action situated in the discourse of entrepreneurialism. This new employment relationship, which arose during the economic and social disruptions in the 1970s, defines who belongs inside an organization (and can take part in its benefits) and who must

properly remain outside to fend for themselves. More generally, the fusing of entrepreneurship with neo-liberalism has altered not only how we work and where we work, but also what we believe is appropriate work and what rewards should accompany it.



Robert N. Eberhart is the Associate Director of Research on Entrepreneurship and Society in the Graduate School of Busines where he studies entrepreneurship and how it shapes society. His academic publications include topics such as new theoretical constructs on how institutional change has complex effects on new firms and entrepreneurs. Dr. Eberhart won awards for the Responsible Research in Business and Management (2020), Organizations and Management Division Best Theory Paper (2017), Outstanding Scholar Award at SCU (2017, 2018), Best Paper Award at the Western Academy of Management (2016) Best Paper Proceeding of the 2012 Academy of Management, and from the Fondation France-Japon de l’EHESS. His publications appear in top management journals including Organization Science, the Strategic Management Journal, Strategy Science, and the Journal of Asian Business Studies. He also has numerous books chapters and commentaries appearing in journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly.

He served as the Vice-Chairperson of the U.S. Dept. of State and METI’s Japan-US Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council, where he led the policy writing effort. He was also an academic advisor to the Green Bay Packers, and a member of the American Chamber of Commerce’s Task Force on New Growth Strategies. He is an advisor to the Japan Innovation Network and the Board of Directors Training Institute. He is a member of the Academy of Management, the Institute of New Economic Theory, the International Society for New Institutional Economics, and an advisor to Japan’s Board of Director’s Training Institute.

Before his academic career, Dr. Eberhart was a partner at Pacific Rim Partners, a San Francisco and Tokyo-based venture capital firm. In addition, he was the Founder and CEO of WineInStyle KK in Tokyo, Japan. WineInStyle, along with its wholly-owned subsidiary in the USA, distributes California wines to the Japanese and other Asian markets Prior to founding WineInStyle, Mr. Eberhart was an executive with semiconductor and electronics hardware companies in California’s “Silicon Valley”. He served as President of Plantronics KK in Tokyo. Before that, he had operations and quality responsibilities at Applied Materials, Inc., and Performance Semiconductor, Inc..