Christopher Steele

Assistant Professor, Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Management


Assistant Professor, Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Management
(780) 492-8289
2-32G Business Building
11203 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2R6



From the beginning of my career, I have been interested in three overarching topics: the production and consumption of knowledge, the emergence and maintenance of identity, and the production of order, meaning, and innovation in everyday life. I continue to focus on these questions, which would keep me happily occupied for several lifetimes. I did my undergraduate and master’s degrees at the Said Business School, University of Oxford, and my doctorate at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.


Research Interests

Within the three broad themes mentioned above, my work connects to a variety of more specific questions. How is it that certain things come to be accepted as true, self-evident, practical or impossible? When are different methods of knowing prioritized in organizations, and in societies more broadly? When, and with what effect, do people attribute character and intentionality to organizations and other collectives? And how do these various processes ground efforts at innovation and entrepreneurship? My research to date has explored the dynamics of identity and innovation within a new physician specialty in the U.S., and the efforts of business analysts and others to design, legitimate, and implement data analytic techniques, as well as a theoretical consideration of the role of history in the formation and dynamics of societal logics. Theoretically, I draw on resources from institutional, organizational, and practice theory, and from the sociology of knowledge; as well as social theory more broadly.

Selected Publications

Steele, C.W.J. (forthcoming) ‘When things get odd: Exploring the interactional choreography of taken-for-grantedness’. Academy of Management Review.

Ocasio, W., Mauskapf, M., & Steele, C.W.J. 2016 (all authors contributed equally). ‘History, society, and institutions: The role of collective memory in the formation of societal logics’. Academy of Management Review, 41(4): 676-699.

Pouthier, V., Steele, C.W.J., & Ocasio, W. 2013. ‘From agents to principles: The changing relationship between hospitalist identity and logics of healthcare’. Pp. 203-241 in Michael Lounsbury and Eva Boxenbaum [Eds.], Institutional Logics in Action (Research in the Sociology of Organizations volume 39A).

Steele, C.W.J., & King, B. 2011. ‘Collective intentionality and the organization: A meta-ethnography of organizational identity and strategic decision-making’. Pp. 59-95 in Shane R. Thye, Edward J. Lawler [Eds.], Advances in Group Processes, Volume 28. Emerald.


I teach undergraduate-level courses in management (SMO 310) and business strategy (SMO 441). These courses are both designed to blend theoretical depth and practical relevance, and to provide plentiful opportunities for discussion and reflection. I am also involved in the teaching and supervision of doctoral students.


SMO 310 - Introduction to Management, Organization and Entrepreneurship

Introduces students to the fundamentals of human resource management, strategy and organizational theory, and entrepreneurship/innovation. Topics include: motivating employees, designing jobs, staffing, ethics and decision making, leadership and managing teams; developing and implementing an organization¿s strategy, structure, control systems, and change initiatives; and identifying and evaluating opportunities, launching and growing a business, establishing networks and legitimacy. Pre-requisite ¿3 junior level English. Open only to students in the Faculty of Business. Not to be taken by students with credit in SMO 200 or 301.

Winter Term 2021
SMO 441 - Strategy and Innovation

This course examines top management decisions and emphasizes the development of business and corporate strategy. It integrates the management principles studied in the business core using a series of business cases. The course will have a special focus on innovation and innovative ways of competing and creating value. Guest Faculty members and executives will participate. Prerequisites: FIN 301; MARK 301; and SMO 201, 301 or 310. Open only to students in the Faculty of Business.

Winter Term 2021
SMO 704 - Individual Research

Prerequisite: Registration in Business PhD Program or written permission of instructor. Approval of the Business PhD Program Director is also required for non-PhD students.

Fall Term 2020 Winter Term 2021

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