Contact Information

Management & Organizations

Kellogg School of Management

Northwestern University

2001 Sheridan Road

Evanston, IL, 60208





Jayaram Uparna

Ph.D. Candidate in Management & Organizations

Ph.D., Management & Organizations, 2015 (expected) 
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
M.Sc., Management & Organizations, 2013
M.A., Psychology, 2009
B.E., Electrical and Electronics Engineering, 2001

Curriculum Vitae


Jay Uparna is a doctoral candidate in management and organizations at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. His is passionate about research in entrepreneurship, emerging markets, network theory and big data. He studies small-scale entrepreneurs across the world, and how they exhibit, solicit and receive trust in cross-cultural settings.

He is also interested in the antecedents of entrepreneurial decisions in hierarchical societies, and predictors of such endeavors. His data are from millions of lenders and borrowers spread across 220 countries, and he uses both quantitative and qualitative methodological techniques, as well as topic modeling and supervised text-classifiers to uncover patterns of behavior. He also has original datasets of 600+ entrepreneurs from rural India, collected over multiple waves, that has helped him place his analyses in context.

His work has been awarded by the UN Young Scholars Program, and the Society for Socio-Economic Research. He has also earned a grant from Army Research Labs in 2014.

Research interests

Entrepreneurship; Informal Economies; Emerging Markets; Network Theory; Big Data; Topic Modeling; Cognitive Biases; Crowdfinance; Microfinance; Culture.


Brian Uzzi (Chair)
Klaus Weber (Chair)
Noshir Contractor
Adam Waytz


Phillips, K., Duguid, M., Thomas-Hunt, M., & Uparna, J. (2013-10-01). Diversity as Knowledge Exchange: The Roles of Information Processing, Expertise, and Status.Oxford Handbooks Online. 

Bezrukova, K. &  Uparna, J. (2009). Group splits and culture shifts: A new map of the creativity terrain. In M.A.Neale, B.Mannix & J.Goncalo (Eds.), Research on Managing Groups and Teams (pp.161-191), Vol. 12. Stamford, CT: JAI Press

Working papers and works in progress

Uparna, J. Fund me if you can: On narrative strategies and funding time in global crowdfinancing. 

Uparna, J., & Weber, K. When's the next bus: Influences of footprints  and infrastructure on entrepreneurship in rural India. 

Uparna, J.  Bonded Choice in Subsistence Entrepreneurship. 

Dissertations and Theses

Uparna, J. (in progress). On penniless peddlers: Informal Entrepreneurship in emerging markets.  Doctoral Dissertation at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern.  Supervised by Brian Uzzi (chair), Klaus Weber (Chair), and Noshir Contractor, and Adam Waytz.

Uparna, J. (2009). Diversity and group culture of creativity: A look into the innovation paradigm.  MA. With Dr.Katerina Bezrukova.


Kellogg School of Management
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-2800