Joel Gehman

Joel Gehman
George Washington University | GW · Department of Strategic Management and Public Policy

Ph.D.

About

95
Publications
113,306
Reads
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3,612
Citations
Introduction
I am an organization theorist, focused on studying strategic, technological, and institutional responses to grand challenges related to sustainability and values concerns.
Additional affiliations
July 2012 - July 2021
University of Alberta
Position
  • Professor
Education
September 2007 - August 2012
Pennsylvania State University
Field of study
  • Business Administration
September 1990 - May 1994
Cornell University
Field of study

Publications

Publications (95)
Article
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Existing cognitive and cultural perspectives on values have under-theorized the processes whereby values come to be practiced in organizations. We address this lacuna by studying the emergence and performance of what we call values practices. Drawing on an analysis of the development of an honor code within a large business school, we theorize the...
Article
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Why would an organization pursue membership in an organizational category, yet forego opportunities to subsequently promote that membership? Drawing on prior research, we develop a theoretical model that distinguishes between basic and subordinate categories and highlights how organizations may differ in their promotion of the same subordinate cate...
Article
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How does the legitimacy conferred on entrepreneurial endeavors affect the legitimacy of subsequent ones? We extend the notion of a “legitimacy threshold” to develop and test a recursive model of legitimacy. Whereas extant research has focused on whether entrepreneurial endeavors garner sufficient support from key audiences to cross this threshold,...
Article
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A growing body of research has cataloged the myriad actors involved in tackling persistent institutional problems. Yet we lack a theoretical toolkit for explicitly conceptualizing and comparing diverse modes of institutional entrepreneuring—the processes whereby actors are created and equipped for institutional action—capable of ameliorating grand...
Article
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Myriad cross-sector initiatives seek to remake capitalism into a more just, sustainable, and inclusive system. But how do these distributed efforts—which often vary in strength—interact? We contribute by attending to the interaction between weak and strong governance reforms. Drawing on longstanding research on organizational values and the sociolo...
Article
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Production of high volumes of flowback and produced water (FPW) from hydraulic fracturing (HF) is among the environmental concerns associated with hydrocarbon recovery from unconventional low-permeability formations. FPW management costs are a key factor for oil and gas companies in deciding the fate of FPW (treatment, disposal, recycling, and reus...
Presentation
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An overview of existing research on B Corporations and Benefit Corporations and some thoughts on forward-looking research opportunities.
Article
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Why is there such great heterogeneity in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance between firms? Drawing inspiration from the locus of performance literature, we use variance partitioning methods to analyze the extent to which CEO, firm, industry, year, and state effects explain variation in ESG performance over recent decades. Our f...
Chapter
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In this chapter, we highlight how standards and assessments such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the B Corp certification highlight a tradeoff between the depth and breadth of innovations necessary to tackle the world’s most pressing problems. To address this tradeoff, we propose the concept of generalized specialization, sugge...
Article
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Although management scholars have embraced grand challenges research, in many cases, grand challenges have been treated as merely a context for exploring extant theoretical perspectives. By comparison, our approach—robust action—provides a novel theoretical framework for tackling grand challenges. In this invited article, we revisit our 2015 model,...
Article
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Scholars have examined the importance of culture in entrepreneurship since at least the 1970s. Lounsbury and Glynn (2001) gave these efforts new impetus by explicitly theorizing entrepreneurship as a cultural process. In the intervening 20 years, work in this area has proliferated. To date, however, this work has emphasized the positive aspects of...
Conference Paper
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Social media platforms are public venues where conversations about issues of public interest take place. Much recent research has been devoted to evaluating the degree to which online conversations capture public opinion on issues of broad societal interest. We describe a robust and scalable platform to support such studies. Our platform allows the...
Poster
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Certified B Corporations and Benefit Corporations (B Corps) have become a global phenomenon, 15 years in the making. The ideals and attributes of B Corps have attracted researchers worldwide in a range of disciplines such as accounting, economics, entrepreneurship, ethics, finance, law, marketing, sociology, and political science. To reflect the in...
Article
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What should the post-COVID conference look like? In our attempt to answer this question, we first describe the primary functions and affordances of conferences. Our frank appraisal reveals the breadth of reasons why academics attend conferences, and how conference attendance often blends personal and professional motivations. We also elaborate some...
Chapter
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Over the past decade, Certified B Corporations and Benefit Corporations, commonly known as B Corps, have emerged as a global phenomenon. Both organizational forms are for-profit businesses. Whereas Certified B Corporations have been accredited for their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices, Benefit Corporations are a new legal form...
Article
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Drawing on close readings of Schatzki and Friedland, this chapter explores the nexus of practice, logics, and values, and especially the implications of practice-driven institutionalism for the concept of values and vice versa. In essence, I search for values in practice-driven institutionalism and articulate how they might be found, deploying prac...
Article
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The concept of institution has been used by scholars from across a number of disciplines to explain a wide variety of phenomena. However, the philosophical roots of this concept have not been well examined, nor have implications for contemporary institutional analysis been fully appreciated. Returning to the works of Husserl and Merleau-Ponty revea...
Article
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Drawing on research initiated in September 1999, Taking the Floor reports on a mixed-methods study of a Wall Street trading room, research that ultimately concluded in 2015. The key pivot for the book is the 2008 global financial crisis. Beunza’s jumping off point is “the recognition that the moral standards on Wall Street, and not simply the stand...
Poster
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In responding to the increasing plurality of research on B Corps, this paper development workshop aims to help the research community define and push boundaries of B Corps research, especially as related to empirical methods and research design. We invite your submissions for this workshop. You can submit a long abstract (1000-1500 words) of a wor...
Poster
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Using new data collected through the SDG Action Manager and existing data from the B Impact Assessment, this call seeks to support research on the contributions of the business community to achieving the SDGs by 2030 and the impact that the SDG Action Manager can have on tangibly measuring, tracking, and improving these contributions. Research pro...
Conference Paper
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High rates of saline wastewater production by hydraulic fracturing (HF) activities have resulted in environmental and water management concerns. In this study, a comprehensive database containing more than 800,000 wells in Canada was assembled to investigate play-scale wastewater production by HF operations. We found that nearly 13% of the HF wells...
Article
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Among scholars, policymakers, and practitioners, there is considerable interest in the dynamics associated with regions, including their emergence, decline, and regeneration. Such interest is well justified given the role that regions play in contributing to social wellbeing at a variety of scales—from individuals to communities and even nation-sta...
Conference Paper
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Understanding the societal consequences of organizations is a perennial—if sometimes neglected—concern within the field of organization studies. Recently, such concerns have been given renewed emphasis. For instance, a vibrant stream of research has emerged under the banner of “grand challenges.” Others have focused on sustainability and the United...
Article
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Comment on: Marti, E., & Gond, J.-P. 2018. When do theories become self-fulfilling? Exploring the boundary conditions of performativity. Academy of Management Review, 43(3): 487–508.
Article
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Review essay of: The Green and the Black: The Complete Story of the Shale Revolution, the Fight Over Fracking, and the Future of Energy, by Gary Sernovitz. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2016; and Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortune, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale, by Tom Wilber. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2015 (updated edition).
Article
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This article is a commentary on "The Impact of B Lab Certification on Firm Growth" by Simon Parker, Edward Gamble, Peter Moroz, and Oana Branzei. Academy of Management Discoveries. doi:10.5465/amd.2017.0068.
Poster
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This year's theme is "Seeing the Full Picture: Drivers, Processes and Outcomes of the B Corp Movement." The event will be held on September 16, 2019, in Los Angeles, California, in conjunction with the B Lab Champions Retreat.
Poster
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The OMT Division is pleased to announce the 2019 OMT Junior Faculty Consortium. If you have started a faculty position in the last few years, this workshop is for you! The workshop will be held on the Friday prior to the Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Boston. On Thursday, August 8, we start with an informal dinner and reception at 6:00 pm....
Article
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This essay explores potential research opportunities at the intersection of institutions, innovation, and impact. We engage with, and probe into, what we have dubbed the ‘cultural future’ by examining several examples described in the 2017 “Future Issue” of the Fortune magazine. Our explorative reading reveals a number of ideas related to instituti...
Article
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In this paper, we embrace the critique of the contemporary entrepreneurship literature offered by Foss, Klein, and Bjørnskov, and applaud their advance of the Judgment‐Based Approach (JBA) as a way to broaden our understanding of entrepreneurial processes by contextualizing entrepreneurial action. However, we believe that to attain the promise of t...
Poster
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This project aims to investigate challenges that communities are likely to face in the process of transitioning to future energy systems and to identify pathways and strategies for successfully navigating such transitions. Specifically, we aim to address the following question: What legacies from past energy systems are being faced by Canada’s comm...
Article
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How do the material aspects of intermediary work affect regulators, targets, and beneficiaries? To shed light on this question, we studied an information intermediary in the form of a website and the organizations who founded it. Specifically, we analyzed FracFocus, a self-regulatory initiative with strong industry ties, charged with disclosing dat...
Article
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This article, together with a companion video, provides a synthesized summary of a Showcase Symposium held at the 2016 Academy of Management Annual Meeting in which prominent scholars—Denny Gioia, Kathy Eisenhardt, Ann Langley and Kevin Corley—discussed different approaches to theory building with qualitative research. Our goal for the symposium wa...
Article
Among entrepreneurship researchers, there has been growing attention to questions of ontology, epistemology, and axiology. Recently, Packard (2017) advocated an interpretivist approach to entrepreneurship. In this paper, we articulate a performative approach, which offers a far more distributed and emergent view of entrepreneurship as process. In a...
Article
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Despite widespread and growing public interest in sustainability certifications, many social entrepreneurs have opted not to obtain such certification. Drawing on recent studies highlighting the salience of both gender and context in shaping differences among social enterprises, we develop an identity-based framework for explaining heterogeneity in...
Article
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Extant literature draws attention to the importance of science-push, demand-pull, and institutional-steering as mechanisms driving science-based innovations. We contribute to this literature by highlighting exaptation, which refers to the cooptation of existing traits for new functions. When applied to science-based innovations, exaptation refers t...
Chapter
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Organizations are increasingly interested in contributing to so-called grand challenges such as climate change and poverty alleviation. In this chapter, excerpted from “Tackling Grand Challenges Pragmatically: Robust Action Revisited” (Ferraro et al., 2015), we summarize a novel approach to addressing the world’s grand challenges based on the socio...
Chapter
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To fulfill their economic and social missions, it is imperative yet challenging for hybrid ventures to demonstrate legitimacy (fitting in) while simultaneously projecting distinctiveness (standing out). One important means for doing so is by adopting and promoting the recent B Corporation certification. Drawing on a comprehensive analysis of the em...
Poster
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Canada's geoscape possesses more potential geothermal energy than hydrocarbon energy, but numerous challenges must be overcome if this renewable resource is to be effectively harnessed. Reservoirs of geothermal energy must be located, characterized, and modeled. The nature of the interaction between rock at reservoir sites and geothermal fluids mus...
Poster
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On October 4, 2017, in parallel with the annual B Corp Champions Retreat, we will host the Second Annual Global B Corporation Academic Community Roundtable. This year’s theme is “The Role of the Academic Community in Scaling the B Corp Movement.” This event is open to university faculty and students and other researchers conducting research on Cert...
Conference Paper
This symposium focuses on how grand challenges can be addressed by taking an institutional theory perspective, and it puts particular emphasis on the role of power in this regard. Taking an institutional theory lens for the study of grand challenges has the advantage of both improving our understanding of grand challenges and of further developing...
Article
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We take an inductive approach to understanding the aftermath of crises, namely, the process by which organizations come to be viewed as morally accountable (or not) for such events. We studied the transcripts of the 2009 Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) that investigated the global financial crisis of 2007-2008. Our findings revealed a dy...
Preprint
We examine the incident known as “Climategate” in which emails and other documents relating to climate scientists and their work were illegitimately accessed and posted to the Internet. The contents of the files prompted questions about the credibility of climate science and the legitimacy of some of the climate scientists’ practices. Multiple inve...
Article
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Social license to operate is an increasingly used but seldom defined concept. In this article, we draw from academic, popular, and industry literature to identify and synthesize three models of social license to operate. Building on our review, we investigate the linkages between social license to operate and legitimacy and consider how the two con...
Article
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This article is motivated by a conundrum: How can shale gas development be encouraged and managed without complete knowledge of the associated risks? To answer this question, we used back propagation (BP) neural networks and expert scoring to quantify the relative risks of shale gas development across 12 provinces in China. The results show that th...
Article
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This paper is the second of a two-part series that assesses and summarizes extant knowledge regarding hydraulic fracturing wastewater management using a comparative, multidisciplinary approach. This study compares the regulatory regimes related to wastewater handling (storage and transport), treatment, and disposal practices as they apply to the hy...
Article
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This paper is the first of a two-part series designed to assess and summarize extant knowledge regarding hydraulic fracturing water and wastewater management practices using a comparative, multidisciplinary approach. To provide context for both papers, the water and wastewater practices are summarized for the four focus plays: Montney, Duvernay, Ba...
Article
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We summarize three perspectives on cultural entrepreneurship (CE). Originating in sociology, CE 1.0 focuses on making culture, or the processes by which high culture organizations and popular culture products are created. With roots in strategic management and organization theory, CE 2.0 focuses on deploying culture, or the processes by which cultu...
Chapter
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We begin this paper by examining the process of innovation using Usher’s model of cumulative synthesis which comprises four steps: perception of an incomplete pattern, setting of the stage, the act of insight, and critical revision and full mastery. Going beyond a synoptic view on the process of innovation implied by this sequence, Usher’s model al...
Article
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This double volume presents a collection of 23 papers on how institutions matter to socio-economic life. The papers delve deeply into the practical impact an institutional approach enables, as well as how such research has the potential to influence policies relevant to critical institutional changes unfolding in the world today. In Volume 48A, the...
Article
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Risk has become a central concern for businesses, regulators and communities. At one level, risk is about numbers and information. But at another level, risk is about narratives and meanings. In this paper, we describe four risk perspectives: technical, economic, perceptual, and cultural. Technical and economic perspectives inform techno-economic a...
Article
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In this article we review prior literature regarding the concept of social license to operate, and related concepts, including corporate social responsibility, sustainable development, stakeholder management and cumulative effects. Informed by these concepts, we search for newspaper articles published in North American provinces and states where th...
Presentation
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This presentation was given in Naples, Italy, as part of Pre-Colloquium Development (PDW) Workshop #3: "Experimental Research in Organization Studies: Pushing the Boundaries," organized by Alexandre B. Bitektine, Magdalena Cholakova, and Vern L. Glaser.
Article
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Is it reasonable to evaluate process explanations such as effectuation using criteria that assume a world of efficient causation and linear variance? To address this question, our comment covers the following points. First, we review efforts by scholars within the management discipline to clarify what theory is and how to evaluate it. Second, we in...
Technical Report
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It has become increasingly difficult in Canada to gain and sustain public acceptance of energy projects. Increased levels of protest, combined with traditional media and social media coverage of opposition, combine to suggest decreased public acceptance of energy projects. Decision-makers have responded accordingly, and a variety of energy projects...
Technical Report
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In this report, we provide an analysis of existing disclosure regimes in the four Canadian provinces where fracking is actively taking place: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. We assess the effectiveness of these disclosure practices, benchmarked against current theoretical and empirical scientific knowledge. Note: Prepared unde...
Article
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What do the feathers on a bird have in common with the glass in fiber optics? The answer lies in exaptation, a concept that has been creatively repurposed (i.e., exapted) from evolutionary biology to the field of technological innovation. Inspired by this movement, we examine different kinds of biological exaptations and draw analogical links to di...
Article
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Climate change. Global poverty. The migrant crisis. Water scarcity. With some issues, the stakes are so high and the details so complex that tackling them requires finding ways for many people, companies and governments to work together. These grand challenges keep management experts up at night. Although it's tempting to turn to management framewo...
Technical Report
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The research team conducted an extensive, multidisciplinary review of wastewater handling, treatment, reuse and disposal as they relate to hydraulic fracturing by comparing the practices, legislation and policies that have been implemented in various North American shale formations as well as use of freshwater and demand management. The objective o...