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Gregory Vit

Title: 
Associate Professor (Professional), Strategy & Organization (Retired)
Gregory Vit
Contact Information
Email address: 
greg.vit [at] mcgill.ca
Degree(s): 

PhD, Organizational Theory & Strategy, University of Bradford, UK
MBA, John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Canada
BCom, Finance & International Business, McGill University, Canada

Biography: 

Professor Vit is an award-winning educator and researcher. He joined McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management in 2001 and is Associate Professor of Strategy & Organization, Professional (retired). Professor Vit taught Strategy, Managing Innovation and International Business to undergraduates, MBA students and executives. He was also the academic director of the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship from 2007 to 2017.

One of Professor Vit's main research interests, and areas of expertise, is Contrarian and Conformist Strategy. His research combines economic, institutional, evolutionary and organizational theory to explore appreciative systems that lead to herding and non-herding behaviour within large organizations. This economic-sociological work led to his interest 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, Organization Science, 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 investment bank analyst, associate and senior bank officer at the Bank of America, director at the International Centre for Monetary and Banking Studies at HEI at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and a financial derivatives expert at TD Securities Inc. in Capital Markets and Derivative Products. He also was a 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 been a consultant to leading global firms in Europe and North America, and apart from the courses above, has also taught Strategy and Finance to MBA’s in England and Switzerland.

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.

Prior to the crash of 2008, Professor Vit was awarded 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". Building upon this work, his book: “The Risk in Risk Management, The Problem of Conformity in Financial Organizations” was published by Routledge Press in 2013 to favourable reviews (https://www.mcgill.ca/channels/news/professor-gregory-vit-risk-risk-management-financial-organizations-and-problem-conformity-book-relea-243510) in 2015. In September 2014, Professor Vit was the keynote academic speaker at the European Risk Research Conference in recognition of his book’s contribution to the field of risk management.

Professor Vit also received the "Professor of the Year" award in 2013 for “teaching excellence” by the McGill Management Undergraduate Society.

In addition to his teaching and research, Professor Vit is also the former director of the award-winning Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship at McGill University. As academic director from 2007 to 2017, Professor Vit designed, launched, grew and managed several highly innovative entrepreneurship programs for McGill University student and professor start-ups. From zero, he created and funded the flagship McGill Lean Launchpad program, the McGill Dobson Cup Start-Up competition and its four tracks (SME, innovation, life sciences and social entrepreneurship) and the McGill X-1 Accelerator programme (aided by colleagues at MIT), together with Demo days in San Francisco, New York, Boston, Toronto and Montreal.

Under his leadership at the Dobson Centre, Professor Vit has helped launch over 600 start-ups of which over 300 start-ups are still active today. They employ over 10,000 and have raised over $500 million on valuations in excess of $1.5 billion. In 2019, the Centre noted the creation of its first unicorn Start-Up valued at US$1billion (https://reporter.mcgill.ca/sonder-mcgills-first-unicorn-has-its-roots-in-dobson/).

Professor Vit also created and connected a large network of very successful senior and junior McGill mentor entrepreneurs in Canada and internationally. These McGill alumni and friends of McGill have assisted McGill start-ups, students and professors. In recognition of these achievements the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship was ranked as the #1 university accelerator in Quebec, 3rd in Canada and 8th in the world out of 200 programmes (UBI global rankings 2018).

Professor Vit retired in 2021 and has maintained strong ties with the Desautels Faculty of Management.

In 2021, many alumni, colleagues, and friends of McGill together with Professor Vit created The Professor Gregory Vit Entrance and In-Course Bursaries funds, which will perennially assist Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) undergraduates who need financial support to pursue their studies. https://giving.mcgill.ca/all-stories/desautels-professor-builds-teaching-and-entrepreneurship-legacy-opening-door-students?lang=en

Areas of expertise: 

Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Corporate Finance and Governance
Risk Management in Financial Organizations

Selected publications: 

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

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 

Awards

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

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