Grace Gu

About Me

Welcome! I am Grace Gu, and I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business. My research interests lie in the intersection of technological innovation and strategic management, with a focus on platform strategies in the IT industry. I received my doctorate in Technology and Operations Management from Harvard Business School.

My dissertation examines disintermediation in online marketplaces, where customers and service providers circumvent the intermediary to transact directly. This stream of my research identifies various key factors that affect disintermediation, such as user trust and technological change. My other work also studies firm strategic decisions and technological competition, particularly in online digital marketplaces such as the mobile App platforms, Wikipedia, and the video game industry.

Research Interests

Technology Strategies, Digitization and Innovation, Platform Markets


Grace Gu and Feng Zhu, 2021. “Trust and Disintermediation: Evidence from an Online Freelance Marketplace,” Management Science, 67(2): 794–807.

“Ideology and Composition among an Online Crowd: Evidence from Wikipedians,” with Shane Greenstein and Feng Zhu. 2021. Management Science, 67(5): 3067-3086.

Working Papers

Grace Gu. 2022. “Technology and Disintermediation in Online Marketplaces.” Minor revision at Management Science.

Technology Fragmentation, Platform Investment, and Complementary Innovation,” with Zhuoxin Allen Li. Preparing for resubmission.

“Coopetition in Platform Markets: How Third Parties Free-Ride on Platform Owners’ Innovation Efforts,” with Carmelo Cennamo and Feng Zhu. Preparing for resubmission.

How Does Algorithm Governance of Crowds Affect Polarization of Online Expression: Evidence from Bot Moderation on Wikipedia,” with Arun Rai and Zhitao Yin. Under review.

Awards & Honors

Distinguished Reviewer Award, Management Science. Recipient. 2021.

Strategic Management Society (SMS) Strategy Research Foundation Dissertation Scholar Award for “Value Creation and Disintermediation in Online Marketplaces.” Recipient. 2017-2019.

Best Conference PhD Paper Award, Strategic Management Society (SMS) Annual Conference. Winner. 2017.

TIM Best Student Paper Award, Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Meeting. Finalist. 2018.

Best Paper Award, International Conference on Information System (ICIS), Workshop on E-Business. Finalist. 2017.

Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching Award from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University. 2017.


Grace Gu

USC Marshall School of Business

3670 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA 90089