Joel Gehman is Professor of Strategy, Entrepreneurship & Management and Alberta School of Business Chair in Free Enterprise at the University of Alberta. He is also Director of the Canadian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility.
He studies sustainability, entrepreneurship, innovation, and strategy. In particular, he investigates how grand challenges related to sustainability and values affect organizational strategies, technology innovation, and institutional arrangements. And reciprocally, how organizations, innovation and institutions affect the emergence and trajectories of grand challenges related to sustainability and values.
In approaching these questions, Gehman draws primarily on organization theory, together with insights from strategic management, and science and technology studies. His work also takes a process perspective, focusing on the organization of concerns over place and time.
He is the investigator, co-investigator or recipient of more than $5 million in research funding. His ongoing research examines these issues in the context of technology entrepreneurship, B Corporations, sustainable food and wine, unconventional shale gas drilling, hydraulic fracturing patents, shareholder activism, multinational divestitures, social license to operate, cultural understandings of risk, and university technology spinouts, among others.
Before becoming a professor, Gehman spent 13 years in industry. He regularly advises and consults with diverse organizations. He graduated from Cornell University (B.S.) and the Pennsylvania State University (Ph.D.).
Why We Care About Certified B Corporations: From Valuing Growth to Certifying Values Practices. Academy of Management Discoveries.
The Legitimacy Threshold Revisited: How Prior Successes and Failures Spill Over to Other Endeavors on Kickstarter. Academy of Management Journal.
Hidden Badge of Honor: How Contextual Distinctiveness Affects Category Promotion among Certified B Corporations. Academy of Management Journal.
Values Work: A Process Study of the Emergence and Performance of Organizational Values Practices. Academy of Management Journal.
Serendipity Arrangements for Exapting Science-Based Innovations. Academy of Management Perspectives.
Performativity: Not a Destination But an Ongoing Journey. Academy of Management Review.
Going Public: Debating Matters of Concern as an Imperative for Management Scholars. Academy of Management Review.
Theory Evaluation, Entrepreneurial Processes, and Performativity. Academy of Management Review.
Social License to Operate: Legitimacy by Another Name? Canadian Public Administration.
Technological Exaptation: A Narrative Approach. Industrial and Corporate Change.
Cultural Entrepreneurship: From Making Culture to Cultural Making. Innovation: Organization and Management.
Positively Deviant: Identity Work through B Corporation Certification. Journal of Business Venturing.
Unleashing Sustainability Transformations through Robust Action. Journal of Cleaner Production.
Finding Theory-Method Fit: A Comparison of Three Qualitative Approaches to Theory Building. Journal of Management Inquiry.
Beyond Homo Entrepreneurus: Judgment and the Theory of Cultural Entrepreneurship. Journal of Management Studies.
Tackling Grand Challenges Pragmatically: Robust Action Revisited. Organization Studies.
Complexity Arrangements for Sustained Innovation: Lessons from 3M Corporation. Organization Studies.
Opaque Transparency: How Material Affordances Shape Intermediary Work. Regulation and Governance.
Contextualizing Entrepreneurial Innovation: A Narrative Perspective. Research Policy.
Boundaries, Breaches and Bridges: The Case of Climategate. Research Policy.
2018 Ascendant Scholar Award from the Western Academy of Management
2017 Emerging Scholar Award from the Academy of Management Organizations and the Natural Environment Division
2017 Roland Calori Prize for the best article published in Organization Studies during 2015-2016
2016 Campus Sustainability Leadership Award from the University of Alberta
2015 People’s Choice Award from the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability
2014 People’s Choice Award from the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability
2013 #1 ranked Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant
2012 Best Paper on Environmental & Social Practices from the Academy of Management Organization and Management Theory Division
Published Teaching Cases (all co-authored with former students)
Interested in research?
I hire students from all levels and backgrounds to work on my research team. I also supervise visiting PhD students with closely related research interests.
Think you might be a good fit? Drop me an email telling me why, together with a CV.
This course examines business strategies for sustainable development. Business sustainability is defined as managing the triple bottom line - designing mission driven enterprises that provide a thriving future for business, society and the planet. To achieve this, managers must adopt a fresh understanding of the role of the business enterprise. The course will draw from successful sustainability efforts of leading business organizations, both locally and internationally, by identifying key success factors that encourage sustainable business practices. It will also place current understandings of sustainability in a wider context by exploring the historical roots of current sustainability practices and examining their implications for key stakeholders of the business enterprise.Fall Term 2021