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Gordon Ford College of Business Staff

Whitney Peake
Whitney Peake
- Vitale Professor of Entrepreneurship, Department Chair & Associate Professor - Management

Ph.D., Purdue University, Agricultural Economics, 2008

M.A., Purdue University, Agricultural Economics, 2005

B.S, Murray State University, Agribusiness Management, 2003


Dr. Peake's research focuses on legitimacy seeking and acquisition from stakeholder, entrepreneurship, gender, and family business perspectives. She has presented her research at several academic conferences including the Academy of Management annual meeting, the Applied and Agricultural Economics Association annual meeting, and the United States Association for Business and Entrepreneurship annual meeting. Along with co-authors, Dr. Peake has won three conference best paper awards for her research on entrepreneurship and food recall communications. She currently serves on the editorial board for the Small Business Institute Journal.


Dr. Whitney Peake is the Vitale Professor of Entrepreneurship. She researches and teaches in the areas of entrepreneurship, small business management, and family business management, and has more than 20 peer reviewed articles published in and accepted to such outlets as Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Journal of Business Ethics, and Journal of Small Business Management. During 2017, she and coauthors won three best paper awards for their work through the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship and the Global Innovation and Knowledge Academy. She is an associate editor for the Journal of Small Business Strategy, on the editorial review board for the Small Business Institute Journal, and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for several top journals in the field, such as Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Business Research, and the Journal of Small Business Management.Dr. Peake is the Small Business Institute Director at WKU and serves as the Vice President of Programs- Elect for the Small Business Institute. This past year she received the Homer L. Saunders Mentor Award from the Small Business Institute, won a national best practices award for her integration of entrepreneurship into the general education curriculum, and had a student consulting team from her class win second place nationally for their consulting report for a local client. Through the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Whitney and colleagues mentored students through several business plan competitions in 2017, which yielded more than $40,000 in student winnings. 

Areas of Expertise
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Small business
  • Family business
  • Rural businesses
  • Business social performance
  • Gender issues in business
  • Mentoring
  • Food recalls
  • Agricultural economics

Professional Organizations

  • Academy of Management
  • Small Business Institute
  • United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship
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The Gordon Ford College of Business is a top business school with dual AACSB accreditation in both business and accounting programs.



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 Last Modified 3/29/22