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Shelby Gai

Assistant Professor
Department: Management
North Business Building
632 Bogue St Rm N432
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 432-3500
  • Biography
    Shelby Gai is an Assistant Professor of Management at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on board design – a subfield of organizational design that emphasizes how to design a company’s board of directors to align with the organization’s strategic goals. In her dissertation, she examines how formal and informal structures of publicly listed US boards as well as varying governance configurations of Hong Kong family businesses affect both board- and firm-level outcomes. 

    Her work has received awards like the 2018 Andreas Al-Laham Best Paper Award from the Multi-Level Network Research Standing Working Group at the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS), and was nominated for the 2019 Best Paper Proceedings from the Strategy Division of the Academy of Management.

    Shelby graduated with an M.A. and Ph.D. in Management and Organizations from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She also has an M.S. in Statistics from Northwestern as well as a M.A. from the Wharton School, where she researched changes in Hong Kong’s board independence regulations using an institutional lens. Shelby graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with an A.B. in Sociology and a certificate in East Asian Studies. During college, she researched topics related to race and ethnicity.

    Before entering academia, Shelby worked in the Financial Services and Board Services Practices at the executive search firm Spencer Stuart in both their New York and Shanghai offices. As the Junior Knowledge Manager in the Board Services Practice, she spearheaded research efforts that culminated in the first Hong Kong Board Index. 

  • Publications
    Gai, S.L., Cheng, Y.J., & Wu, A. (2021). Board Design and Governance Failures at Peer Firms. Forthcoming at the Strategic Management Journal.
    Ocasio, W. & Gai, S.L. (2020). The Adolescence of Organizational Institutionalism. Journal of Management Inquiry.
    Smith, E.B. & Gai, S.L. (2017). Institutional Interruption and Market Change: A Structural Explanation of Organizational Heterogeneity in the Hedge Fund Industry. Industrial and Corporate Change.
  • Courses
    • MGT 460: Organizational Design and Strategy Implementation
  • Media Mentions

Related News:

Broad Matters podcast hosted by the MSU Broad College of Business, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts
Assistant professor Shelby Gai kicks off season five talking about how to structure boards of directors to thrive.
Front entrance to the Edward J. Minskoff Pavilion
Join us in welcoming 10 full-time faculty members new to five of our departments.