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New Ivey faculty: Stav Fainshmidt

Oct 26, 2022

Stav Fainshmidt

Stav Fainshmidt

Ivey is pleased to be welcoming numerous new faculty members to campus this school year! To help you get to know our new colleagues, we asked each of them a list of questions about their academic – and personal – interests.

Get to know: Stav Fainshmidt

Stav Fainshmidt is a new associate professor of international business who will be teaching courses on global strategy, international business, and navigating the geopolitical landscape. Prior to joining Ivey, he was a Knight Ridder Eminent Scholar Chair and an associate professor at the Florida International University College of Business. His research focuses on the institutional and governance context surrounding multinational companies, and the ways in which organizations develop and deploy capabilities. His most recent research projects examine how multinational companies deal with tensions between federal, state, and local institutions; how firms expand internationally by learning from the offshoring activities of peer firms; and the ways firms can shape the tempo of change in their competitive environment. He serves as the Reviewing Editor of Journal of World Business, a Consulting Editor for Journal of International Business Studies, and an Associate Editor for Journal of Management Studies. Fainshmidt received his PhD from Old Dominion University, and prior to pursuing his academic career, he worked with Deloitte (Isr.).

Q&A with Stav Fainshmidt

What is the most important thing business executives can learn from your research/area of expertise?

My main area of expertise is the interaction between companies and the institutional contexts in which they operate. I think that we are entering a phase in the global economy that will make geopolitical acumen key to success. We have been in a globalizing, relatively stable, unipolar world for decades, so executives have developed skills for such a reality, but we are likely entering into a more bipolar world with regionalization, slowbalization, or even deglobalization in some areas. Navigating this new reality will require new skills and a view of the world that many executives lack. If you are a business executive, the time to become geopolitically savvy is yesterday!

And now something more specific: In a recent study, my co-author and I found that entrepreneurs avoid registering their business with legal authorities to avoid extortion payments to organized crime in countries where it is prevalent. But there are things entrepreneurs can do, such as having co-founders, focusing on novel products/services, or targeting export markets early on, all of which help to reduce visibility to organized crime and increase the ability to resist extortion. These findings provide concrete steps for founders looking to protect their business, and they suggest to policy-makers that improving government institutions should be accompanied by the targeted reduction of extortion rackets to maximize the national economic benefits of new businesses registering with the authorities.

Where did you grow up and what was it like there?

I was born in Belarus, but my family immigrated to Israel when I was about five years old. Israel is small but awesome – incredibly diverse, culturally and historically rich, and an economic and technological powerhouse. It is one of a kind so make sure you visit!

Who have been your strongest influences in life?

So many outstanding people have contributed to shaping who I am today. I am forever grateful for all of them, even for little things like showing me that a seemingly boring topic in the eyes of a disengaged teenager can be made riveting by a passionate middle school teacher. But the largest influences come from my parents and my better half, Casey. I am a very lucky guy.

What led you to your career?

I have always been curious about business and driven by problem-solving and intellectually stimulating challenges. Growing up in a family that runs a business can do that to you. I didn’t plan on becoming a professor, but long story short, I kind of stumbled upon it while searching for a new challenge. I think it turned out pretty well.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Spend time with Casey, spoil our two dogs, play soccer, get upset that Liverpool FC is not winning more, and hang out over beers with friends.

What is the most played song on your playlist as of now?

Classic uplifting and progressive trance tracks are always on my playlist, especially from Tiësto, Ferry Corsten, and Above & Beyond.

What book would you recommend to others? On the personal side? On the business side?

There are so many good ones. I don’t split between personal and business books. Every book can have valuable insights for both domains. Some thought-provoking works that come to mind include The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, The Parasitic Mind by Gad Saad, Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, and anything by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

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