One June 5, four teams were crowned victors of the 2014 McGill Dobson Cup, the annual start-up competition hosted by the Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship at the Desautels Faculty of Management. The Centre provides resources and support to all entrepreneurs across McGill and Montreal communities.
“People used to take a traits-based approach to defining entrepreneurs: they are risk-takers, for instance,” says Greg Vit, BCom’80, director of the Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship in McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management. “But that characterization has been challenged by a more recent approach that suggests you can create the underlying conditions to help entrepreneurs emerge.”
Many years in investment banking taught McGill University Professor Gregory Vit that risky decisions ‘happened’ far more frequently than they were thoughtfully ‘made’.
We asked Professor Vit about this and his new book 'The Risk in Risk Management' in which he addresses risk management in financial organizations.
PhD, Organizational Theory & Strategy, University of Bradford, UK
MBA, John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Canada
BCom, Finance & International Business, McGill University, Canada
Bronfman Building, [Map]
1001 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Professor Vit joined McGill University's Faculty of Management in 2001. He is Associate Professor of Strategy & Organization (Professional), and teaches Strategy, Managing Innovation and International Business to undergraduates, MBA's, Masters of Management students and executives. Professor Vit is also the director of the Dobson Centre for Entrepreneuship at McGill University and the founder of the Dobson Cup Start-Up competition.
One of Professor Vit's main research interests, and areas of expertise, is Contrarian and Conformist Strategy. His research combines institutional and organizational theory to explore appreciative systems that lead to herding and non-herding behaviour within large organizations. This work has led him to become interested in the interplay between institutional forces, organizational forms, financial markets, innovation and cycles. Professor Vit has published his research with Routledge Press (2013) and in the European Management Journal, Journal of Management Inquiry, Corporate Governance, the International Journal of Service Industry Management and other journals. He has also presented his research in diverse forums including the Academy of Management, British Academy of Management, the Strategic Management Society, the European Group for Organization Studies, the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada, and BBC Radio. Professor Vit has also served as a reviewer for Organization Studies and Organization Science, and is currently a reviewer for the European Management Journal and the British Academy of Management. Prior to joining McGill University he was an Associate Professor of Management at the William's School of Business & Economics at Bishop's University.
Professor Vit's industry experience spans over three decades and includes working as an analyst at the Bank of America, a director at the International Centre for Monetary and Banking Studies at HEI in Geneva, and a derivatives structurer at TD Securities Inc. in Capital Markets and Derivative Products. More recently, he was Vice President with the Bank of America's Global Corporate & Investment Banking Group where he specialized in international capital raising and acquisition finance for major multi-national corporations and governments. Professor Vit has also been a consultant to leading global firms in Europe and North America, and apart from the courses listed above, has also taught Strategy in the McGill International Executive Institute's Advanced Management and Executive Development Programs.
Professor Vit's 1996 article "Financial Service Industry Mismanagement" won a citation of excellence for research by Emerald Publications and was inducted into their management journal hall of fame. In 2001, he was made an honorary member of the Golden Key International Honour Society at McGill University in recognition of his academic contribution to research and teaching. Professor Gregory Vit won the "Breaking the Frame Award" for the best paper in the Journal of Management Inquiry for 2007 for his paper:"The Multiple Logics of Conformity and Contrarianism:The Problem with Investment Banks and Bankers".
Professor Vit is also the founder of the Dobson Cup Start-Up Competition and Accelerator at McGill and is the director of the Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship at McGill University.
His recent book: The Risk in Risk Management, The Problem of Conformity in Financial Organizations was published by Routledge Press in 2013.
Professor Vit also received the "Professor of the Year" award in 2013 from the McGill Management Undergraduate Society.
In 2014, Professor Vit will give the keynote academic address at the European Risk Research Conference in September.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Corporate Finance and Governance
Risk Management in Financial Organizations
Papers in Peer-Reviewed Journals
Vit, G. (2011) 'Competing logics: Project failure in Gaspesia'. European Management Journal.
Vit, G. (2009) "Foreseeing the Problem of Conformity in Strategy Teaching & Research" in: MacKay, B. & Constanzo, E. "Handbook of Research on Strategy and Foresight" Elgar Press. 518-527.
Vit, G. (2007)"The Multiple Logics of Conformity and Contrarianism:The Problem with Investment Banks and Bankers",Journal of Management Inquiry, Vol. 16, No.3 217-226.
Vit, G. (2006) "Organizational Conformity & Contrarianism: Regular irregular trading at National Australia Bank" Corporate Governance, Volume 6, No. 2, pp.203-214.
Vit, G. (1996) "Financial Service Industry Mismanagement" Journal of Service Industry Management, MCB University Press, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp.6-16.
Vit, G, Boghossian, J, Nain, A. & Moore,K. (2009) ALCAN: Anticipating Industry Change. Harvard Business School Case, Ivey Case, London. p. 1-19
.Vit, G. & Graham, J. (1997). "Canada Changes Foreign Bank Laws" Butterworth's Journal of International Banking & Financial Law, September 1997,pp. 363-368.
Books and Edited Volumes
Vit, G. (1993) "Canadian Bank Strategy: The CEO's Perspective." Cahier de Recherche CETAI 93-18. Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciale, Montreal, ISSN 0825-5822.
Vit, G. (2013) "The Risk in Risk Management: Financial Organizations & the Problem of Conformity", Routledge Press, New York, NY. ISBN:978-0-414-50984-8
2013: McGill MUS Professor of the Year
2007: "Breaking the Frame Award" for the best paper in the Journal of Management Inquiry
2004: Management Reviews citation of research excellence for IJSIM art
2001: McGill University Golden Key International Honor Society, for academic contribution to research and teaching
The Management Undergraduate Society (MUS) has awarded the 2013 Professor of the Year Award to Professor Gregory Vit. This annual award recognizes a professor's meaningful involvement with the student body, eagerness to have an impact on students lives outside the classroom, and great insight on theoretical and academic matters. It is the highest honour given by the undergraduate student body at the Desautels Faculty of Management.