Endowed Chair and Director
SmartState Center for Innovation + Commercialization

Laura B. Cardinal, Ph.D., is the Endowed Chair and Director of the SmartState Center for Innovation + Commercialization at the University of South Carolina (USC) Darla Moore School of Business (DMSB). Cardinal brings more than 30 years of innovation management scholarly and education experience to this role as director and educator. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Austin in organizational studies and has held previous faculty positions at the University of Houston, Tulane University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Duke University, and Southern Methodist University.

As the SmartState Center’s leader, Cardinal not only helps bridge the gap between academia and commercialization, but also plays an integral role in preparing the next generation of business innovators through education informed by scholarship in the management of innovation arena. Her influence is evident in the successful design and implementation of the Strategic Innovation Certificate at the DMSB. The program focuses on preparing working professionals and graduate students from diverse professions to successfully navigate rapid technological changes across industries in their companies and organizations. An engaging leader and lecturer, Cardinal has received awards for both teaching and research.

Cardinal’s experiences include strategizing with major companies such as Sara Lee, Rockwell, Reichhold Chemicals, Human Systems Innovators, Inc., as research/executive education clients and business advising partners.

Cardinal’s areas of specialization center on the implementation of innovation goals and strategies and includes understanding how organizational control and coordination affect innovation, R&D, new product development teams, product commercialization and founding firm adaptation. Her research appears in numerous journals including the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Annals, Organization Science, and Strategic Management Journal.

She has served on editorial review boards of esteemed academic publications, the Board of Governors of the Academy of Management, the Board of Directors of the Strategic Management Society, and grant panels for the National Science Foundation.