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University of Nebraska–Lincoln


Laura Poppo Photo

Laura Poppo

Donald O. and Shirley Clifton Chair in Leadership and Professor of Management
HLH 325 P
P.O. Box 880491
Lincoln, NE 68588-0491
(402) 472-3915
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Laura Poppo Photo
Areas of Expertise
  • Strategic Management, Strategic Planning; Complex Problem Solving
CliftonStrengths ®
  • Strategic
  • Learner
  • Achiever
  • Intellection
  • Futuristic

Dr. Laura Poppo is the Donald and Shirley Clifton Chair in Leadership at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She received her Ph.D. from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and has been on the faculty of Washington University, Virginia Tech and University of Kansas. She is known globally as a thought leader for her research in strategy, which has influenced scholars in many disciplines, including economics, law, public administration, accounting, marketing, supply chain management and strategic management, and has generated over 8900 Google citations. Her research interests are in outsourcing, alliances, vertical integration, contracting and trust, including the context of doing business in China. Her current research examines problem-solving, creativity, innovation, identity and trust-repair.

Poppo’s passion for research transfers to her teaching of undergraduates, graduate students and working professionals, including employees at AIG, University of Kansas Medical Center, ABWA, Westar Energy, ProPharma Group and Boys and Girls Club. Based on empirically validated decision logics, frameworks and best practices, she teaches strategic leaders how to improve their decision-making and problem-solving; an approach that is recognized through teaching awards, most recently the Bubb Award, a student-voted recognition. For Poppo, the value of research and teaching is to make hard decisions easier.

Selected Publications/Articles
  • Poppo, L., and Schloemer, H. forthcoming. Problem Solving through the Lenses of Identity, Identification, and Work Groups: A Socio-Cognitive Theory of the Firm, Strategic Management Review.
  • Poppo, L., Zhou, K. Z., & Li, J. (2016). When Can You Trust “Trust”? Calculative Trust, Relational Trust, and Supplier Performance. Strategic Management Journal, 37(4), 724-741.

  • Reuer, J, Arino, A, Poppo, L & Zenger, T (2016).  In Sendil Ethiraj, Alfonso Gambardella, Constance Helfat (Eds) in Alliance Governance Virtual Special Issue, Strategic Management Journal,online issue

  • Poppo, L., & Zhou, K. Z. (2014). Managing Contracts for Fairness in Buyer-Supplier Exchanges. Strategic Management Journal, 35(10), 1508-1527.

  • Schepker, D. J., Oh, W., Martynov, A., & Poppo, L. (2014). The many futures of contracts: Moving beyond structure and safeguarding to coordination and adaptation. Journal of Management, 40(1), 193-225.

  • Li, J. J., Poppo, L., & Zhou, K. Z. (2010). Relational Mechanisms, Formal Contracts, and Local Knowledge Acquisition by International Subsidiaries. Strategic Management Journal, 31(4), 349-370.

  • Zheng, K. Z., & Poppo, L. (2010). Exchange Hazards, Relational Reliability, and Contracts in China: The Contingent Role of Legal Enforceability. Journal of International Business Studies, 41(5), 861-882.

  • Li, J., Poppo, L., & Zhou, K. Z. (2008). Do Managerial Ties in China Always Produce Value? Competition, Uncertainty, and Domestic vs. Foreign Firms. Strategic Management Journal, 29, 383-400.

  • Poppo, L., Zhou, K. Z., & Ryu, S. (2008). Alternative Origins to Inter-organizational Trust: An Interdependence Perspective on the Shadow of the Past and the Shadow of the Future. Organization Science, 19, 39-55.

  • Poppo, L., Zhou, K. Z., & Zenger, T. (2008). Examining the Conditional Limits of Relational Governance: Specialized Assets, Performance Ambiguity, and Long-Standing Ties. Journal of Management Studies, 45(7), 1195-1216.

  • Zheng, K. Z., Poppo, L., & Yang, Z. (2008). Relational Ties or Customized Contracts? A Test of Alternative Perspectives of Governance in China. Journal of International Business Studies, 39, 526-534.

Selected Book Chapters
  • Poppo, L, Rogers, K., Schloemer, H. (2018). “Social Psychological Foundations of Alliance Cooperation:  Identity and Identification with the Shared Alliance Interest”, In F. Contractor and J. Reuer (Eds.), Frontiers in Strategic Alliance Research, chapter 9, Cambridge University Press.

  • Poppo, L., & Zheng, C. (2018). “Trust and Contracts: Complements versus Substitutes in Business to Business Exchanges” In R. Searle, A. Nienaber, & S. Sitkin (Eds.) Routlege Companion to Trust, Chapter 14, 1st Edition. Routlege Press.

  • Poppo, L., Milakhin, A., & Nguyen, T. (2017). The Social Context of B2B Exchanges: Trust and Relational Governance. In L. Mesquita, R. Ragozzino & J. Reuer (Eds.), Collaborative Strategy: Critical Issues for Alliances and Networks, chapter 16, Edward Elgar Press.

  • 2019 Dan and Mary Lou Schendel Best Paper Prize, Strategic Management Association for
    • Poppo, L., & Zenger, T. (2002). Do Formal Contracts and Relational Governance Function as Substitutes or Complements? Strategic Management Journal, 23, 707-725.