The Lindner-Gambal Professor of Business Ethics; Professor of Strategic Management & Public Policy
Joel Gehman is the Thaddeus A. Lindner and Sergius Gambal Professor of Business Ethics and professor of strategic management and public policy at the George Washington University School of Business (GWSB).
Professor Gehman’s research investigates how businesses and other organizations can contribute to tackling grand challenges related to sustainable development through strategic practices, technological innovation, and institutional change. He is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and more than a dozen business school teaching cases, as well as the investigator, co-investigator, or recipient of more than $5 million in research funding. Professor Gehman’s past and current research examines these issues in a wide range of contexts, including B Corporations and benefit corporations; organizational values practices and codes of conduct; environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance; hydraulic fracturing and unconventional shale gas development; crowdfunding; natural and biodynamic wine; social entrepreneurship and innovation; and social license to operate, among others. In approaching these questions, Professor 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 emergence and evolution of organizational concerns over place and time.
Professor Gehman has taught students at all levels: undergraduate, specialized masters, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral. His teaching has covered topics such as management and organization; business, ethics, and society; managing corporate sustainability; innovating for sustainability; responsible leadership; strategic management; and organizing for grand challenges. At GWSB, he primarily teaches the core business ethics and public policy courses in a variety of MBA programs.
Professor Gehman is active in the field of management, including the Academy of Management, Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability, and European Group for Organization Studies. His past and current roles include editorial and board positions at the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Business Venturing, Organization Studies, and Organization Theory. He also is a cofounder of B Academics, a non-profit organization committed to advancing the state of academic study into business as a force for good. Prior to joining George Washington University, he was on faculty at the University of Alberta School of Business as Professor of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Management. He also spent 13 years in industry before becoming an academic. Professor Gehman 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.
- Remaking Capitalism: The Strength of Weak Legislation in Mobilizing B Corporation Certification. Academy of Management Journal.
- 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.
- A Comparison of the Hydraulic Fracturing Water Cycle in China and North America: A Critical Review. Environmental Science & Technology.
- 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.
- Performativity as Ongoing Journeys: Implications for Strategy, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation. Long Range Planning.
- Reimagining Academic Conferences: Toward a Federated Model of Conferencing. Management Learning.
- What Really Explains ESG Performance? Disentangling the Asymmetrical Drivers of the Triple Bottom Line. Organization & Environment.
- Winds of Change: A Neo-Design Approach to the Regeneration of Regions. Organization & Environment.
- Theorizing Institutional Entrepreneuring: Arborescent and Rhizomatic Assembling. Organization 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.
- Metatheoretical Perspectives on Sustainability Journeys: Evolutionary, Relational and Durational. Research Policy.
- Contextualizing Entrepreneurial Innovation: A Narrative Perspective. Research Policy.
- Boundaries, Breaches and Bridges: The Case of Climategate. Research Policy.
- Journal of Business Venturing, Field Editor
- Organization Theory, Associate Editor
- Academy of Management Journal, Editorial Board Member
- Administrative Science Quarterly, Editorial Board Member
- Innovation: Organization and Management, Editorial Board Member
- Journal of Management Inquiry, Editorial Board Member
- Organization Studies, Editorial Board Member
- 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)
- Crafting Policy: The Government of Alberta and Microbreweries
- The Drone Debate: How Should Canada’s Military Use Unmanned Aircraft?
- EPCOR Utilities Inc: Modernizing Alberta’s Electricity System
- Poppy Barley: Weighing the Costs and Benefits of Sustainability Certification
- Northgate Industries Ltd.: Sustainability Challenges Involving Public Policy
- Earth’s General Store: Balancing People, Planet and Profit in Organic-Food Retailing
- Fruits of Sherbrooke: Creating a Sustainable Business
- Edmonton City Centre Airport: A Sustainability Challenge for a Growing City
- Heritage Chickens: The Challenge of Genetic Sustainability
- Seaworld: Are Animal Shows Sustainable after Blackfish?
- Transcend Coffee: Local Sustainability Challenges in a Global Industry
- After the Oil Sands: Reclaiming Alberta’s Boreal Forests
Interested in research?
I supervise students from all levels and backgrounds to work on my research team. I also supervise Ph.D. students with closely related research interests.
Think you might be a good fit? Drop me an email telling me why, together with a CV.