David Deephouse, PhD, MScMgt, BA

Professor, Alberta School of Business - Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Management

Pronouns: they/he


Professor, Alberta School of Business - Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Management
3-20F Business Building
11203 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2R6


Area of Study / Keywords

Indigenization Legitimacy Reputation Strategic Balance Theory


I am descended from European settlers who arrived on this continent between 1630 and 1902. Early settlers came from England and France seeking a place to practice their version of Protestant Christianity in the lands where spiritual practices were already being practiced by the Massa-adchu-es-et, Pawtucket, Podunk, Poquonook, Quinnipiac, Wampanoag, Wangunks, Wappinger, and other Indigenous peoples in what is now commonly called Southern New England (https://native-land.ca/); I started life here. Later settlers came to Milwaukee and northwestern Indiana probably for economic opportunity. Having licence plates from eight jurisdictions across Turtle Island, I deeply appreciate the lands, skies, and waters with whom Indigenous peoples have stewarded for millennia. 

I recognize that I have benefited from past colonial practices, including physical, epistemic, spiritual, and cultural genocides. Therefore, I support Indigenous students, colleagues, and organizations and include Indigenous perspectives in my teaching, research, and service. As part of this work, I created courses called “Introduction to Indigenous Business” and “Advanced Topics in Indigenous Business” in the Alberta School of Business in 2021 and four professional development workshops about indigenization and decolonization at annual conferences of the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada. I also participated in the development of the Luminary strategy and volunteered to serve on the governance councils for three of the eight strategic themes. More generally, I am the father of three and an educator; in these roles, I encourage future generations to live more harmoniously with all on Mother Earth.

"Achieving reconciliation is like climbing a mountain — we must proceed a step at a time. It will not always be easy. There will be storms, there will be obstacles, but we cannot allow ourselves to be daunted by the task because our goal is Just and and it also necessary. 

"Remember, reconciliation is yours to achieve. We owe it to each other to build a Canada based on our shared future, a future of healing and trust."

Justice Murray Sinclair, from the ceremony releasing the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015-12-15. 

“Let us find a way to belong to this time and place together. Our future, and the well-being of all our children rests with the kind of relationships we build today.” 

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, OC, OBC. Accessed 2022-11-21 from https://reconciliationcanada.ca/about/team/chief-dr-robert-joseph/


Research Interests

My research focuses on social evaluations of organizations, especially legitimacy and reputation, the causes and consequences of each, and indigenization and decolonization in businesses and business schools. My theoretical interests include agenda-setting, institutional (in both organizational sociology and international business), media effects, stakeholder, strategic balance, and strategic choice theories.  

“Science, like all creative activity, is exploration, gambling, and adventure. It does not lend itself very well to neat blueprints, detailed road maps, and central planning. Perhaps that’s why it’s fun.”

- Simon, H. A. 1964. Approaching the theory of management. In H. Koontz (Ed.), Toward a unified theory of management: 73-85. New York: McGraw-Hill.


New Course Development

SMO 488/686 Introduction to Indigenous Business 

In winter term, 2021, I offered Introduction to Indigenous Business (SMO 488/686 Special Topics) for the first time at the University of Alberta. This course sprouted from the fertile soil of Indigenizing and Decolonizing Your Course led by Jennifer Ward of the Centre for Teaching and Learning. We focused on the challenges and opportunities faced by indigenous businesses using the case study method in a primarily synchronous discussion format on Zoom. The main learning materials were the text Indigenous Business in Canada, available as an eBook in the UofA library, and nine case studies set between the lands of the Mi’kmaq and Heiltsuk peoples. Additional readings included excerpts from Indigenous Wellbeing and Enterprise, Indigenous Writes, and The Reconciliation Manifesto. Grades were mainly based on written work, including a team-based term project.

Link to CBC story and Interview with Adrienne Pan on CBC Edmonton Radio Active, January 28 and 22, 2021

Link to Interview with Danielle Smith, CHED 690, Global News Edmonton, February 2, 2021

Link to UAlberta Business story by Brea Elford, June 21, 2021.

Link to "Business schools launch ‘overdue’ efforts to Indigenize curricula: With an imperative for the corporate sector to work with First Peoples globally, MBAs are finally revamping programs, by Jennifer Lewington, Corporate Knights, November 19, 2021

SEM 686 Advanced Topics in Indigenous Business

In Fall term, 2021, I offered an Independent Study to an Indigenous student focusing on Indigenous-Corporate relations in the natural resource sector.

Teaching Experience

  • SMO 435: Managing International Business. Undergraduate elective.
  • SEM/SMO 441: Strategy & Innovation; formerly Business Strategy. Undergraduate class; capstone for some majors.
  • SMO 488/686 Introduction to Indigenous Business (Course Creator in 2021).
  • ORGA 501: Organization Strategy. First-year MBA class.
  • SEM/SMO/ORGA 635: Managing International Enterprises. MBA Elective.
  • SMO/ORGA 641: Business Strategy. Capstone MBA class.
  • ORGA 703: Seminar in Strategic Management. Core doctoral seminar surveying strategy research.
  • ORGA 705: Seminar in Current Issues. I redesigned this course completely to focus on developing a research proposal and provide a holistic view of the life of a management professor.
  • SMO 686: Selected Topics (Independent Study) -- Sustainability
  • SEM 686: Selected Topics (Independent Study) -- Advanced Topics in Indigenous Business
  • Integrative Capstone. Management Essentials Program Module 16, Alberta School of Business Centre for Executive Education.


Featured Work

Individuals’ Perceptions of the Legitimacy of Emerging Market Multinationals: Ethical Foundations and Construct Validation. 

Jianhong Zhang, David L. Deephouse, Désirée van Gorp & Haico Ebbers.  2022. Journal of Business Ethics, 176: 801-825.



Entry of new organizations, including multinational enterprises from emerging markets (EMNEs), raises the ethical question of will they benefit society. The concept of legitimacy answers this question because it is the overall assessment of the appropriateness of organizational ends and means. Moreover, gaining legitimacy enables EMNEs to succeed in new host countries. Past work examined collective level indicators of the legitimacy of MNEs, but recent research recognizes the importance of individuals’ perceptions as the micro-foundation of legitimacy. This study first uses new pragmatism, deontology, and utilitarianism to demonstrate that legitimacy is fundamentally an ethical concept—a perspective that has been overlooked in management research. Second, this study uses a seven-step procedure to develop and validate a measure of individuals’ perceptions of the legitimacy of Chinese EMNEs operating in The Netherlands, a developed country. Six dimensions of legitimacy were identified. The study also finds support for this legitimacy judgment process linking the dimensions: validating knowledge → propriety judgments → generalized judgment. This work provides additional micro-foundations to research on legitimacy and contributes to the ongoing process of construct validation. Future research could use the validated measure in other settings and use specific ethical theories in depth to refine the concept of legitimacy.

Scholarly Activities

Research - Publications

Dear Visitor:

Thank you for having a look here.

Several publishers now forbid posting papers to personal websites, so I have stopped doing so unless I have an Open Access Paper. If you want a copy of the paper, please follow the URL or DOI addresses below. You could also check Web of Science or Google Scholar, linked below, for more details on publications.

Thanks for visiting my research page. I hope my work helps YOU with the great work YOU are doing! 

Dr. David Deephouse


Deephouse, D. L., Bundy, J., Tost, L. P., & Suchman, M. C. 2017. Organizational legitimacy: Six key questions. In R. Greenwood, C. Oliver, T. Lawrence, & R. Meyer (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism (2nd ed.): In Press. Thousand Oaks CA: Sage. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2849636

Deephouse, D. L., Newburry, W., & Solemani, A. 2016. The effects of institutional development and national culture on cross-national differences in corporate reputation. Journal of World Business, 51(3): 463-473. doi:10.1016/j.jwb.2015.12.005. 

Finch, D., Deephouse, D. L., O'Reilly, N., Foster , W., Falkenberg, L., & Strong, M. 2016. Institutional biography and knowledge dissemination: An analysis of Canadian business school faculty. Academy of Management Learning & Education.

Finch, D.J., Deephouse, D.L., O’Reilly, N., Massie, T., & Hillenbrand, C. 2016. Follow the leaders? An analysis of convergence and innovation of faculty recruiting practices in US business schools. Higher Education, 71(5): 699-717. doi:10.1007/s10734-015-9931-5. 

Finch, D.J., Varella, P., Foster, W., Sundararajan, B., Bates, K.A., Nadeau, J. O’Reilly, N., & Deephouse, D.L. 2016. A stakeholder-view of business school legitimacy -- Examining the systematic sources of value and legitimacy judgments. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences.

Finch, D., Deephouse, D. L., & Varella, P. 2015. Examining an individual's legitimacy judgment using the value-attitude system: The role of environmental and economic values and source credibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 127(2): 265-281. doi:10.1007/s10551-013-2031-5.

Deephouse, D.L. 2014. From the colours of the rainbow to monochromatic grey: An n=1+x analysis of Apple's corporate reputation, 1976-2013. Socio-Economic Review, 12 (1): 206-218. doi: 10.1093/ser/mwt021. http://ser.oxfordjournals.org/content/12/1/153.abstract?sid=cac54502-cb59-4ca7-ab41-e708f0f59306.

Walker, K., Schlosser, F., & Deephouse, D.L. 2014. Organizational ingenuity and the paradox of embedded agency: The case of the embryonic Ontario solar energy industry. Organization Studies, 35(4): 613-634. http://oss.sagepub.com/content/35/4/613.abstract

Deephouse, D.L. & Jaskiewicz, P. 2013. Do family firms have better reputations than non-family firms? An integration of socioemotional wealth and social identity theories. Journal of Management Studies, 50(3): 337–360. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/joms.12015/abstract 

Featured Publications

Authors: Zhang, J. Deephouse, D. L., Van Gorp, D., & Ebbers, H.

Journal of Business Ethics. 2020 August;

Deephouse, D. L., Newburry, W., & Solemani, A.

Journal of World Business. 2016 January; 51 (3):463-473

Deephouse, David L., Suchman, Mark C.

The SAGE Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism. 2008 January;

Deephouse, D. L., Bundy, J., Tost, L. P., & Suchman, M. C

The SAGE Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism. R. Greenwood, C. Oliver, T. Lawrence, & R. Meyer (Eds.),. 2nd Edition

View additional publications