Elizabeth Pontikes is Associate Professor of Management at The University of California, Davis, which she joined in 2019. She was formerly on the faculty of The University of Chicago Booth School of Business as Associate Professor, and was Visiting Associate Professor at the Kellogg School of Management.
Prior to academia, Elizabeth developed sales strategies and competitive positioning at software start-ups. She is the former Director of Solution Engineering at Coremetrics, Inc., in California (acquired by IBM), and former Program Manager at MicroStrategy, Inc.
Elizabeth studies market categorization, innovation, and technological change. She studies these topics with a “big data” approach using computational text analytics. Her experiences in software start-ups inform her research. Designing strategy for an entrepreneurial company requires carving out a market position for an innovative product. Defining the categories potential customers use influences how they think about the market. By understanding cognitive and sociological underpinnings of categories, firms can define a market category for strategic benefit. In another line of research, she studies stigma by association in markets. Her work has appeared in Administrative Science Quarterly, Management Science, The American Sociological Review, Sociological Science, and Organization Science.
Elizabeth earned a bachelor of science degree magna cum laude in physics with distinction from Yale University, where she was the Saybrook College Banner Bearer and received the DeForest Pioneers Prize for achievement in Physics. She graduated with a PhD in business administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In 2008, she received the Louis R. Pondy Award from the Academy of Management’s Organization and Management Theory division for the best paper based on a dissertation.
In her free time, Elizabeth practices yoga and is a long-distance runner. She completed the Nike Women’s Marathon in 2005. She also enjoys reading historical non-fiction, especially about the American Revolutionary period.