dr. M.N. (Magdalena) Cholakova

Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Associate Member ERIM
Field: Strategy & Entrepreneurship
Affiliated since 2013

Magdalena Cholakova is an Associate Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship in the Department of Strategic Management & Entrepreneurship at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.

The research lines she is currently pursuing include:  Entrepreneurial learning and early-stage idea validation. She studies this topic by using experiments with entrepreneurial and non-entrepreneurial populations, as well as by collecting longitudinal qualitative data from early-stage companies.

She also develops conceptual work on the role of different types of counterfactual reasoning in supporting effective entrepreneurial behavior.  Institutional complexity and strategic renewal. She focuses on the capacity of individuals within existing organizations to cope with change and pursue successful core innovations. She has addressed this topic by tapping into the microfoundations (cognitive and affective) of institutional complexity, studying how individuals' cognitive complexity affects the extent to which they perceive and respond to conflicting institutional logics differently. Similarly, she has also studied how individuals' ability to engage in both exploration and exploitation behavior can influence the organization's ambidexterity and performance. Her work here is both conceptual and qualitative.   Effective decision making heuristics under Knightian uncertainty. She studies this topic in the context of angel investing (using verbal protocol analysis techniques) and crowdfunding (using quasi-experimental techniques).   Crowdfunding and the role of pecuniary and non pecuniary incentives in investment decisions. Her work here is based on quasi-experimental techniques.

Magdalena holds a PhD in Business Administration and Management from Bocconi University, a MPhil in Organizational Behavior from Trinity College Dublin and a MSc in Statistics from Trinity College Dublin. Her research has been published in the Journal of Management, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practrice Journal, International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior, and the Entrepreneurship Research Journal.   Research Interests: Entrepreneurial Learning, Idea Validation, Cognition, Judgment under Uncertainty; Institutional Logics, Angel and Crowdfund Investing.


  • Academic (7)
    • Varga, S., Cholakova, M., Jansen, J., Mom, T., & Kok, G. (2023). From platform growth to platform scaling: The role of decision rules and network effects over time. Journal of Business Venturing, 38(6), Article 106346. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusvent.2023.106346

    • Cornelissen, J., & Cholakova, M. (2019). Profits Uber everything? The gig economy and the morality of category work. Strategic Organization. https://doi.org/10.1177/1476127019894506

    • Mom, T., Chang, YY., Cholakova, M., & Jansen, J. (2018). A Multilevel Integrated Framework of Firm HR Practices, Individual Ambidexterity and Organizational Ambidexterity. Journal of Management, 45(7), 3009-3034. https://doi.org/10.1177/0149206318776775

    • Cholakova, M., & Clarysse, B. (2015). Does the possibility to make equity investments in crowdfunding projects crowd out reward-based investments? Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 39(1), 145-172. https://doi.org/10.1111/etap.12139

    • Cholakova, M. (2013). Comment on 'Alliance Governance and Performance in SMEs: Matching Relational and Contractual Governance with Alliance Goals'. Entrepreneurship Research Journal, 3(1), 130-133. https://doi.org/10.1515/erj-2012-0030

    • Grandori, A., & Cholakova, M. (2013). Unbounding bounded rationality: Heuristics as the logic of economic discovery. International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior, 16(3), 368-392. http://hdl.handle.net/1765/51430

    • Hayton, J., & Cholakova, M. (2012). The role of affect in the creation and intentional pursuit of entrepreneurial ideas. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 36(1), 41-68. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6520.2011.00458.x

  • Professional (1)
  • Academic (1)
    • Cholakova, M., & Ravasi, D. (2019). Why do individuals perceive and respond to the same institutional demands differently? On the cognitive structural underpinnings of institutional complexity. In P. Haack, J. Sieweke, & L. Wessel (Eds.), Microfoundations of Institutions (pp. 99-118). Emerald Group Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X2019000065A011

  • Academic (19)
    • Cholakova, M., & Grandori, A. (2019). Angels as scientists – Epistemic heuristics for judgment under uncertainty. Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Babson, USA.

    • Cholakova, M., & Grandori, A. (2019). Epistemically rational heuristics for judgment under uncertainty.. Strategic Management Society Special Conference “Hits and Misses: Strategic Decisions in an Uncertain World”, Frankfurt, Germany.

    • Cholakova, M., & Cornelissen, J. (2018). Sailing towards an unknowable future: How different types of factual reasoning support early-stage entrepreneurial idea validation. 10th International Process Symposium on Temporality and History in Organization Studies, Halkidiki, Greece.

    • Cholakova, M., Cornelissen, J., & Andriopoulos, C. (2017). What if I do or I don’t, had or had not: The role of prefactual and counterfactual thinking in supporting entrepreneurial reasoning. Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Atlanta, USA. https://doi.org/10.5465/ambpp.2017.14432abstract

    • Cholakova, M., & Cornelissen, J. (2017). Being a permanent beta – How different types of factual reasoning support effective opportunity development. European Theory Development Workshop, Zurich, Switzerland.

    • Cholakova, M., & Glaser, V. (2017). Incubating innovation: How organizations design and enact complex clusters of routines. 9th International Process Symposium on Institutions and Organizations, Kos, Greece.

    • Cholakova, M., & Grandori, A. (2016). Neither fast, nor frugal and simple: Epistemic heuristics for strategic decision making. Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Anaheim, USA. https://doi.org/10.5465/ambpp.2016.17713abstract

    • Cholakova, M., & Grandori, A. (2014). Neither biasing, nor frugal: Complex heuristics for Innovative Strategic Decision Making. SMS Special Conference ‘Microfoundations for Strategic Management Research: Embracing Individuals’, Copenhagen, Denmark.

    • Cholakova, M., & Ravasi, D. (2014). On the microfoundations of institutional complexity: Why do some individuals perceive multiple logics as conflicting while others do not?. 30th EGOS Colloquium, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

    • Cholakova, M., & Clarysse, B. (2013). Does the possibility of making equity investments in crowdfunding projects crowd out our pro-social motivation?. 10th Annual NYU-Stern Conference on Social Entrepreneurship, New York, USA.

    • Cholakova, M. (2013). Evaluation under uncertainty: Does following the ‘what if’ path foster entrepreneurial thinking?. Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Lake Buena Vista, USA.

    • Cholakova, M. (2012). Imagining future entrepreneurial opportunities: When does it hurt to keep ourselves in the frame?. 5th Israel Strategy Conference Doctoral Consortium, Tel Aviv, Israel.

    • Cholakova, M. (2012). Too dear to be too clear: The role of emotional attachment and reappraisal in evaluating novel ideas.. 32nd Annual Strategic Management Conference, Prague, Czech Republic.

    • Cholakova, M., & Grandori, A. (2012). Effective heuristics for decisions under uncertainty: Lessons from angel investing.. Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Boston, USA.

    • Cholakova, M. (2011). Integrated Differentiation: A cognitive and affective perspective to risky decision making. Academy of Management Annual Meeting, San Antonio, USA.

    • Cholakova, M., & Hayton, J. (2010). The role of affect in entrepreneurial opportunity recognition and evaluation.. Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada.

    • Cholakova, M., & Fellenz, M. (2010). Avoiding an early escape: The role of self-concept clarity in coping with negative change events.. 15th European Conference on Personality Psychology, Brno, Czech Republic.

    • Cholakova, M., & Fellenz, M. (2009). Cognition and change: The role of self-unity, complexity and need for structure in coping and identity negotiation. International Society for the Study of Individual Differences, Chicago, USA.

    • Cholakova, M. (2008). An individual or an interpersonal chameleon: Which personality factors support coping with identity change in organizations?. 14th European Conference on Personality Psychology, Tartu, Estonia.

  • Role: Co-promotor
  • PhD Candidate: Suzana Varga
  • Time frame: 2018 -
  • Role: Co-promotor
  • PhD Candidate: Umut Yalcin
  • Time frame: 2020 -
  • Role: Co-promotor
  • PhD Candidate: Sai Kalvapalle
  • Time frame: 2017 - 2023
  • Behavioral Strategy & Entrepreneurial Behavior (2022/2023)
Research Seminar
As: Contact, Coordinator
Research Seminar
As: Coordinator, Contact
Research Seminar
As: Coordinator, Contact


Visiting address

Office: Mandeville Building T07-48
Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam

Postal address

Postbus 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam