Robert J. David
PhD, Cornell University, USA
MBA, McGill University, Canada
BEng, McGill University, Canada
Professor David does research on the emergence and evolution of new organizational forms and markets. He has studied management consulting, alternative energy, aviation, and artisan food production. His current projects include research on the market for Local Food, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Professor David has been honoured with the Cleghorn Faculty Scholar Award (2007-2010 and 2011-2014), the Brojde Faculty Scholar Award (2016-2018 and 2018-2021), the Desautels Faculty Scholar Award (2022-2025), and a Visiting Professorship (honourary) at the Adam Smith School of Business, University of Glasgow (2017-2021).
Professor David teaches Industry Analysis & Competitive Strategy, Social Context of Business, and PhD Seminar in Organizational Theory. He has also taught in McGill's executive programs and MBA Japan program. Professor David has been honoured with the Faculty of Management's Distinguished Teaching Award, the Desautels Doctoral Student Society's Best Advisor Award, and the Quebec Teaching Fellow Award. Prior to joining McGill, Professor David taught Management & Organizations to both undergraduate and graduate students at Cornell University.
Professor David has received research grants from the "Fonds de Recherche sur la Societé et la Culture" of Quebec (FQRSC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). He frequently presents his research at the annual meetings of the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada (ASAC), the Academy of Management (AoM), and the European Group on Organization Studies (EGOS). He has won Best Paper awards from ASAC and from the Academy of Management. Professor David has published his work in Research Policy, Strategic Management Journal, Strategic Organization, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Administrative Science Quarterly, as well as in numerous edited volumes. He co-edited a book titled Institutions and Entrepreneurship (Research in the Sociology of Work, vol. 21). He served previously as a co-editor of Strategic Organization and is currently guest co-editing a special issue on Categories and Place. Prof. David was honoured in 2008 for Outstanding Service to the Organization Science Editorial Board.
Professor David has served the Faculty as Academic Director (Research), Academic Director (Faculty), and Vice-Dean (Faculty).
Prior to entering academia, Professor David worked for Procter & Gamble and Canadian Pacific Limited.
Papers in Peer-Reviewed Journals
David, Robert J., Candace Jones, and Grégoire Croidieu. 2023. Putting categories in their place: A research agenda for theorizing place in category research. Strategic Organization, 21(1), 6–
David, Robert J., & Lee, Yoojin. 2022. The Short History and Long Future of Research on Market Categories. Strategic Organization, 20(4), 709–721.
Boghossian, Johnny, and Robert J. David. 2021. Under the umbrella: Goal-derived Category Construction and Product Category Nesting. Administrative Science Quarterly, 66(4): 1084–1129.
Litrico, Jean-Baptiste, and Robert J. David. 2017. The Evolution of Issue Interpretation within Organizational Fields: Actor Positions, Framing Trajectories, and Field Settlement. Academy of Management Journal, 60: 986-1015.
Strang, David, Robert J. David, and Saeed Akhlaghpour. 2014. Co-evolution in management fashion: Computational models of consultant-driven innovation. American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 120, No. 1, pp. 226-264.
Newbert, Scott, Robert J. David, and Shin-Kap Han. 2014. Rarely pure and never simple: Assessing cumulative evidence in strategic management. Strategic Organization, 12(2) 142-154.
David, Robert J., Sine, Wesley D., and Haveman, Heather A. 2013. "Seizing Opportunity in Emerging Fields: How Institutional Entrepreneurs Legitimated the Professional Form of Management Consulting". Organization Science, 24:356-377.
Okhmatovskiy, Ilya, and Robert J. David. 2012. Setting your own standards: Internal corporate governance codes as a response to institutional pressure. Organization Science, 23: 155-176.
Dowell, G., and David, R.J. 2011. Effects of Ancestral Populations on Entrepreneurial Founding and Failure: Private Liquor Stores in Alberta, 1994-2003. Industrial and Corporate Change, 20: 825–853
Tolbert, P. S., David, R.J., and Sine, W.D. 2011. Studying Choice and Change: The Intersection of Institutional Theory and Entrepreneurship Research. Organization Science, 22: 1332-1344
Sine, WD, David, RJ, and Mitsuhashi, H. 2007. "From Plan to Plant: Effects of Certification on Operational Start-up in the Emergent Independent Power Sector". Organization Science, 18 (4): 578-594
David, R. J. and Strang, D. 2006. "When Fashion is Fleeting: Transitory Collective Beliefs and the Dynamics of TQM Consulting" Academy of Management Journal, 49 (2): 215-233.
David, R. J., and Han, S-K. 2004. "A Systematic Assessment of the Empirical Support for Transaction Cost Economics," Strategic Management Journal, 25 (1): 39-58.
Sine, W. D., and David, R.J. 2003. "Environmental Jolts, Institutional Change, and the Creation of Entrepreneurial Opportunity in the U.S. Electric Power Industry," Research Policy, 32 (2): 185-207.
Books and Edited Volumes
Sine, W.D. and R.J. David (eds.). 2010. Research in the Sociology of Work (Vol 21): Institutions and Entrepreneurship. Emerald Group Publishing, Bingley, UK.
Chapters in Books
David, R., Tolbert, P., & Boghossian, J. 2019. Institutional theory in organization studies. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Business and Management. Oxford University Press. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190224851.013.158
David, Robert J., Wesley D. Sine, and Caroline Kaehr Serra. 2017. Institutional Theory and Entrepreneurship: Taking Stock and Moving Forward. In R. Greenwood, C. Oliver, T. Lawrence, and R. Meyer (eds), The Sage Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism, 2nd Edition. Sage, UK. pp. 671-688.
David, Robert J. 2012. Institutional change and the growth of strategy consulting in the United States. In M. Kipping and T. Clark (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Management Consulting. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 71-92.
Sine, Wesley D., and Robert J. David. 2010. Institutions and Entrepreneurship. In W.D. Sine and R.J. David (eds.), Institutions and Entrepreneurship: Research in the Sociology of Work, Vol. 21. Emerald Group Publishing, Bingley, UK, pp. 1-26.
David, Robert J., and Alex B. Bitektine. 2009. The Deinstitutionalization of Institutional Theory? Exploring Divergent Agendas in Institutional Research. In D. Buchanan and A. Bryman (eds.), The Sage Handbook of Organizational Research Methods: 160-175. London: Sage. [.pdf]
Haveman, Heather A., and Robert J. David. 2008. Ecologists and Institutionalists: Friends or Foes? In R. Greenwood, C. Oliver, K. Sahlin-Andersson, and R. Suddaby (eds.), The Sage Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism: 573-595. London: Sage.
David Robert J. 2020. "Eitan Y. Wilf: Creativity on Demand: The Dilemmas of Innovation in an Accelerated Age." Administrative Science Quarterly, 65(4):NP40-NP42. doi:10.1177/0001839220942460
David, Robert J. 2007. "McKenna: The World’s Newest Profession: Management Consulting in the Twentieth Century." Organization Studies, 29: 634-638.
David, Robert J. 2004. "Sahlin-Andersson and Engwall, eds: The Expansion of Management Knowledge: Carriers, Flows, and Sources". Administrative Science Quarterly, 48: 693-695
Other Papers and Publications:
David, Robert J., and Motamedi, Amir. 2004. "Cirque du Soleil: Can it Burn Brighter?" Journal of Strategic Management Education, 1(2): 369-382.
Strang, David, Robert J. David, and Saeed Akhlaghpour. 2012. Co-evolution in management fashion: Computational models of consultant-driven innovation. Best Paper Proceedings of the Academy of Management Annual Meeting. Published online at: program.aomonline.org/2012/reportsaspnet/Proceedings.aspx
David, Robert J., and Strang, David. "When Fashion Is Fleeting: Boom-Bust Dynamics in TQM Consulting". Best Paper Award. Proceedings of the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada Annual Meetings. 2004. CD-ROM. ISBN 2-9808490-0-6
David, R.J. "A Narrow Target or a Wide Net? Specialist and Generalist Strategies in the Management Consulting Industry," Best Paper Award, Proceedings of Administrative Sciences Association of Canada Annual Meetings, London Ontario, May 2001, pp. 13-23.
David, R. J. "Environmental Change and Industry Evolution: An Historical Account of the Emergence and Growth of the Management Consulting Industry" (conference version), Best Paper Award, Proceedings of the Academy of Management Annual Meetings, Toronto, August 6-9, 2000, CD ROM.
David, R. J. "The Institutional Embeddedness of Management Consulting Firms: Effects of Affiliations to Industry and Professional Associations" (conference version), Proceedings of the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada Annual Meetings, Montreal, July 8-11, 2000, pp. 44-53.
David, R. J. "The Institutionalization of New Organizational Forms"(conference version), Proceedings of the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada Annual Meetings, Saint John, New Brunswick, June 12-15, 1999, pp. 25-34.
David, R.J. "Building Legitimacy Through Symbolic Action: Statements of Organizational Mission" (conference version), Proceedings of the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada Annual Meetings, St. John's, Newfoundland, June 1-3, 1997, pp. 20-29.
Visiting Scholar, Cornell University, June 2022 - July 2023.
Desautels Faculty Scholar Award, 2022-2025 Desautels Faculty of Management.
Adam Smith Visiting Professor, Adam Smith School of Business, University of Glasgow, 2017-2020.
Research Visiting Scholar, ESSEC Business School, France, March, 2017.
Brojde Faculty Scholar Award, 2016-2018, 2018-2021 Desautels Faculty of Management.
Research Visiting Scholar, ESSEC Business School, France, March-April, 2015.
Faculty Fellow, School of Labor and Industrial Relations, Cornell University, Fall 2014.
Cleghorn Faculty Scholar Award, 2011-2014, Desautels Faculty of Management.
Cleghorn Faculty Scholar Award, 2007-2010, Desautels Faculty of Management.
Best Paper Award, Organizational Theory Division, Administrative Sciences Association of Canada Annual Meetings, 2011
Quebec Teaching Chair Award, 2009-2013
Award for Outstanding Service to the Editorial Board of Organization Science, 2009
Visiting Scholar, EM-Lyon Business School, March 2009
Visiting Scholar, Cornell University, 2008-2009
Best Advisor Award (Ph.D. program), Desautels Doctoral Student Society, 2008
Best Paper Award, Organizational Theory Division, Administrative Sciences Association of Canada Annual Meetings, 2004
Distinguished Teaching Award (Undergraduate). McGill Faculty of Management, 2004.
Nominee, Principal’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (Assistant Professor), McGill, 2003
Best Paper Award, Organizational Theory Division, Administrative Sciences Association of Canada Annual Meetings, 2001
Best Paper Award (John F. Mee Award for Outstanding Contribution), Management History Division, Academy of Management Annual Meetings, August 2000.