David Deephouse, PhD, MScM, BA

Eldon Foote Professor of International Business/Law; International Research Fellow of the Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation; Professor, Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Management


Eldon Foote Professor of International Business/Law; International Research Fellow of the Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation; Professor, Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Management
3-20F Business Building
11203 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2R6



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.


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 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.  


New Course

SMO 488/686 Introduction to Indigenous Business 

Introduction to Indigenous Business (SMO 488/686 Special Topics) is being offered for the first time in winter 2021 on Tuesday evenings (1800-2100). 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 will focus 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 are the text Indigenous Business in Canada, available as an eBook in the library, and nine case studies set between the lands of the Mi’kmaq and Heiltsuk peoples. Supplemental readings include excerpts from Indigenous Wellbeing and Enterprise, Indigenous Writes, and The Reconciliation Manifesto. Grades are mainly based on written work, including a team-based term project. The learning facilitator is David Deephouse, a 27-year veteran of case teaching. Please contact them at david.deephouse@ualberta.ca for more details. 

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

Teaching Experience

  • SMO 435: Managing International Business. Undergraduate elective.
  • SMO 441: Strategy & Innovation; formerly Business Strategy. Undergraduate class; capstone for some majors.
  • ORGA 501: Organization Strategy. First-year MBA class.
  • 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).
  • 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. 

Authors: Jianhong Zhang, David L. Deephouse, Désirée van Gorp & Haico Ebbers

Journal of Business Ethics Online First Edition



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.


SMO 488 - Selected Topics in Organization Theory

Normally restricted to third- and fourth-year Business students. Prerequisites: SMO 201, 301 or 310 or consent of Department. Additional prerequisites may be required.

Winter Term 2021
SMO 635 - Managing International Enterprises

International enterprises are for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations which actively coordinate their operations sited in multiple countries. Top managers of international enterprises must ensure that their organizations simultaneously adapt to differences in external contexts around the world and increase internal coordination, efficiency, and innovation on a worldwide basis. Students will be put in the role of practicing top managers who are facing challenges, making decisions, and providing leadership in complex, multicultural contexts. Topics may include: entry decisions; aligning strategy, structure, and process; globalization; international strategic alliances; and sustainability. Prerequisites: SMO 500.

Summer Term 2021
SMO 686 - Selected Topics in Behavioral Sciences

Topics may vary from year to year. Students should check with the MBA Office for pre/corequisites of specific sections.

Winter Term 2021

Browse more courses taught by David Deephouse

Scholarly Activities

Research - Publications

Dear Visitor:

Several publishers now forbid posting papers to personal websites. If you want a copy of the paper, please follow the URL or DOI addresses below. If you can't access, please contact me directly. Please see also my CV for more details on publications, presentations, etc.

Thanks for visiting my research page. I hope my work helps you with what 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 


Individuals’ Perceptions of the Legitimacy of Emerging Market Multinationals: Ethical Foundations and Construct Validation.
Author(s): Authors: Zhang, J. Deephouse, D. L., Van Gorp, D., & Ebbers, H.
Publication Date: 8/16/2020
Publication: Journal of Business Ethics
External Link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10551-020-04599-x
The effects of institutional development and national culture on cross-national differences in corporate reputation
Author(s): Deephouse, D. L., Newburry, W., & Solemani, A.
Publication Date: 1/13/2016
Publication: Journal of World Business
Volume: 51
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 463-473
External Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090951615300079
Legitimacy in Organizational Institutionalism
Author(s): Deephouse, David L., Suchman, Mark C.
Publication Date: 2008
Publication: The SAGE Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism
Page Numbers: 49-77
External Link: https://www.cms.ualberta.ca/-/media/A5CD6FA6F5C34EBF927EC90D7007F5FC
Organizational legitimacy: Six key questions
Author(s): Deephouse, D. L., Bundy, J., Tost, L. P., & Suchman, M. C
Publication: The SAGE Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism. R. Greenwood, C. Oliver, T. Lawrence, & R. Meyer (Eds.),
Volume: 2nd Edition
Page Numbers: In Press.
External Link: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2849636