Paul T. Harper

  • Clinical Assistant Professor of Business Administration


Paul T. Harper is Clinical Assistant Professor of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh's Katz Graduate School of Business. Harper’s principal activities at Katz include research and course development in the areas of entrepreneurship, strategy, and business ethics. He previously taught at the University of Virginia and served as a guest lecturer for a number of colleges and universities, including Yale, Fisk, and Howard University.

Before earning his PhD and MBA in Business Administration from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, Paul T. Harper received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious and Philosophical Studies from Fisk University. His research interests include international entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, and inclusive innovation.

Dr. Harper has become widely known throughout the US and abroad for his work in building partnerships with burgeoning Israeli businesses and other technologically progressive countries through academic and professional engagement. Harper’s Israel programming, for example, includes an MBA-level course, case development, and MBA consulting projects. Professor Harper’s Israel program has received recognition by the Consulate General of Israel in New York and has been covered by regional and national news outlets, such as Bloomberg Businessweek.

Professor Harper is interested in understanding the social and economic forces that continue to challenge the flourishing of US domestic minority entrepreneurs. He has developed key stakeholder relationships between several schools at the University of Pittsburgh and within the substantial innovation cluster in Western Pennsylvania. During his tenure at The Darden School, Harper was involved in a Kauffman Foundation-sponsored study regarding the means by which US venture capital firms identify minority-owned businesses as potential investment targets. In Pittsburgh, he serves on the board of directors of Entrepreneuring Youth.

Paul T. Harper has served in a variety of administrative and academic roles, including Director of Darden-LEAD Summer Business Institute (2006-2011), a nationally recognized pre-college program that promotes academic and professional excellence for youth. Similarly, Harper served as Director of Special Programming in Diversity for the Darden School of Business between 2008 and 2010. In this position, he brought the University of Virginia community together for special conferences to spotlight and discuss the role of American businesses in the Haitian earthquake recovery efforts. Additionally, Harper challenged and evoked discussion on how racial and religious identities influenced the United States’ public perception(s) of President Barack Obama’s leadership effectiveness. At the University of Virginia, Harper served as the President of The Jefferson Society, one of the nation’s oldest debating societies, and was a member of the Lawn/Range community for four years.

Professor Harper has earned a host of awards and scholarships, including the Founders Award for Emerging Scholars by the Society for Business Ethics, the Darden Foundation Fellowship, and the UNCF-Andrew Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowship. He is particularly proud to have received Darden’s C. Stewart Sheppard Distinguished Service Award for “his service in bringing together diverse members of the Darden community in non-threatening and intellectually challenging ways that also pushed us to think about issues of race.” Harper was recently honored as one of the New Pittsburgh Courier’s 2014 Men of Excellence.

Dr. Harper has presented on entrepreneurship, technological innovation, geopolitics, globalization, business ethics, identity politics, diversity and inclusion, leadership, and mentorship. Harper has been invited to speak at the annual conference of the Executive Leadership Conference-Next Generation Network, 100 Black Men of America. In February, Prof. Harper gave a keynote address to the membership of the African-American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania. Harper served as a panelist for the Israel: Broadening the Conversation II conference in New York. Originally from Seattle, Paul T. Harper is proud to call Pittsburgh his home. Harper is a member of The FROGS Club of Pittsburgh and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Awards and Honors

  • Society for Business Ethics:Founders Award for Emerging Scholars in Business Ethics
  • Darden School of Business, UVA: C. Stewart Sheppard Distinguished Service Award
  • Darden School of Business, UVA: Darden Foundation MBA Two-Year Full Tuition Scholarship
  • Andrew Mellon Foundation: Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowship

Professional Service and Activities

  • Board of Directors, 100 Black Men of Central VA
  • Faculty Advisor, Collegiate 100 Society of UVA


  • PhD, Darden, University of Virginia
  • MBA, Darden, University of Virginia
  • BA, Fisk University

Recent Publications

Harper, P. 2008. Business ethics beyond the moral imagination: A response to Rorty. Leadership and Business Ethics. Ed. Gabriel Flynn. Springer: New York. 57-80.

Recent Working Papers

Harper, P. "Effectuation or Bricolage? Considerations of problem structure in entrepreneurial innovation."

Harper, P. "Identity, Agency, and Freedom: The politics of acknowledgment in the principle/entrepreneur relationship."

Harper, P. "Ubuntu Dialectics: Towards a reconciliation of South African and North American strategic management theory."

Center Affiliation

International Business

CV File

Academic Area

Organizations and Entrepreneurship

Personal Interests

Dr. Harper is a strong supporter of men's and women's college lacrosse. When not in the office he can be found running through Pittsburgh's beautiful neighborhoods. He is planning to complete his first marathon in his hometown of Seattle.