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Claudia Smith

Claudia Smith of the Gustavson School of Business

Assistant Professor

Office: BEC 264
PhD – Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde (University of the Year 2012 & 2019); APR – past accredited public relations professional with the Canadian Public Relations Society; BCom (honours) – Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia
Area of expertise:
Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial identity, entrepreneurial networks, social capital, psychological ownership, marketing communications, communications management, public relations, marketing, strategic planning


Claudia has been part of the Gustavson School of Business for over 15 years. She recently earned her PhD in Entrepreneurship and combines this with many years of work experience to deliver research and teaching on the leading edge of theory and practice. Claudia leverages her own entrepreneurial background to help students build their entrepreneurial mindsets and re-imagine their futures.

Claudia spent much of her career in the field of advertising working in client management roles with a number of advertising agencies across Canada. She worked with local, regional, national and international clients on close-to-the-ground and multi-million dollar campaigns. Claudia was responsible for overseeing all aspects of campaign development for large strategic clients, and for pitching new business. She sat at the executive and management tables at a number of ad agencies and was responsible for overseeing their operations and strategic direction. Her work was recognized through a number of industry awards.

Claudia has also held senior communications and corporate planning positions within BC’s provincial government. She was responsible for overseeing all of the communications activities for multiple ministries, leading strategic planning and launching major government initiatives. She was also actively engaged in issues and crisis management on behalf of her government clients. 

Through a depth of experience gained from helping large and small organizations succeed, Claudia endeavours to create impactful classroom experiences for her students, and research that meaningfully extends theory and helps entrepreneurs. She is a member of the editorial board for the International Small Business Journal and the Journal of Alternative Finance. She is passionate about developing entrepreneurial minds and exploring entrepreneurial mindsets.


Courses taught

  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship (BCom) 
  • Marketing Communications (BCom) 
  • Marketing (BCom)
  • Human Resource Development Canada Business Management Diploma (Executive Programs)
  • Public Relations in Different Sectors

Selected publications

Journal publications

Smith, C. G., Liu, S., & Smith, J. B. (2023). The entrepreneur identity assimilation process: It’s not all work and no play. Journal of Business Venturing, 38(5), 106326-. 

Zhu, H., Smith, C. G., & Brown, G. (2023). Founder dynamic psychological ownership: Impacts on self and others at work. Applied Psychology 

Smith, J. B., Smith, C. G., Kietzmann, J., & Lord Ferguson, S. T. (2022). Understanding micro-level resilience enactment of everyday entrepreneurs under threat. Journal of Small Business Management, 60(5), 1202–1245. 

Lord Ferguson, S., Smith, C., & Kietzmann, J. (2022). Hands-off? Lessons from high-touch professionals about going virtual. Business Horizons, 65(3), 303–313. 

Smith, C. G., & Smith, B. (2021). Founders’ Uses of Digital Networks: Extending Network Theory Online. Journal of Business Research125, 466–482. 

Shneor, R., Smith, J. B., Smith, C. G., & Michael Goedecke, J. F. (2021). The differential impact of entrepreneurship education on the entrepreneurial intentions of segments of students. Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy, 4(4), 718-739. 

Smith, C. G., Smith, J. B., & Shaw, E. (2017). Embracing Digital Networks: Entrepreneurs Social Capital Online. Journal of Business Venturing32, 18–34.

Practitioner-focused publications

Smith, C. G. (2024). Canada’s entrepreneur shortage is impacting the economy — here’s one way to fix it. The Conversation.

Smith, C. G. (2021). When it comes to social networks, bigger isn’t always better. The Conversation.


Smith, B., and Smith, C. G. (2023). Title of presentation: Leveraging transaction thinking for entrepreneurship. National Entrepreneurs Organization Conference

Smith, B. and Smith, C. G. (2022). Entrepreneurs’ response to the dark side of knowledge during Covid19. 55th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS)

Smith, C. G. and Smith, B. (2021). Individual differences in digitally-mediated embedding: A conceptual model and research agenda. Academy of Management Conference

Lui, Smith, C. G., and Smith, B. (2020). Instrumental self guides: Drivers in the formation of an entrepreneur identity. Academy of Management Conference.

Smith, C. G., & Smith, B. (2018, June). The Network Theory Implications of Founder Online Networking BehaviorBCERC "Babson" Entrepreneurship Conference. Ireland: Babson College.

Smith, C. G., Smith, B., & Shaw, E. (2015, November). Context and multiplicity: Implications of online for building entrepreneurial networksISBE: Internationalization, innovation, and leadership. Glasgow, Scotland: Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Smith, C. G., & Shaw, E. (2015). Insights for an inconvenient truth: Social capital implications of today’s multiplexed entrepreneurInternational Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference. Glasgow, Scotland.

Smith, C. G., & Smith, J. B. (2013, Summer). The impact of entrepreneurial social identity on the founder use of online social networksAcademy of Management Annual meeting. Orlando, USA.

Smith, C. G., Smith, B., & Shaw, E. (2012, June). Friends with benefits. The entrepreneurial use of social networksBCERC "Babson" Entrepreneurship Conference. Fort Worth, Texas: Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference.

Smith, C. G., Smith, J. B., & Shaw, E. (2011, August). Entrepreneurial Identity and the use of social mediaAcademy of Management. San Antonio, USA.

Awards & grants

Recognition & awards

  • Outstanding Service Award
  • CAMA Awards - Excellence in Agri-marketing Communications
  • Outstanding Female Graduate, UBC