Entrepreneurship. Family business. Organization theory. Business history.
I study how people come together to make things that last.
Suddaby, R., Israelsen, T., Mitchell, J.R., & Lim, D. (2021), Entrepreneurial visions as rhetorical history: A diegetic narrative model of stakeholder enrollment, Academy of Management Review.
Suddaby, R., Schultz, M. & Israelsen, T. (2020). Autobiographical memory and identities in organizations: The role of temporal fluidity. In Andrew Brown (Ed.) Oxford Handbook of Identities in Organizations. 373-390.
Current research projects
My research focuses on the entrepreneurial processes through which things emerge, evolve and are institutionalized across generations in business and society.
Business dynasties: Societal grand challenges tend to be intergenerational. Entrepreneurship is often discussed as a potential solution for intractable social issues, yet firm lifespans are dramatically shrinking. In this project I focus on the ways in which entrepreneurship leads to the creation of institutional leaders in business and society. I focus on the institutional work of business dynasties in their communities. Entrepreneurs and their family members have a unique place in the history and folklore of their communities. On the one hand, this privilege can enable entrepreneurial families to mobilize resources across economic, social and political domains; yet on the other hand families are often implicated in grand challenges. My thesis research explores the situations in which business dynasties are likely to maintain, transform or manipulate institutions – as well as the effects of such work on their communities.
LIFE Conference | April 7, 2022 | Award-winning Pitch on “Business Dynasties”
Children’s Hospitals: We tend to think about children’s hospitals as organizations deeply embedded in and profoundly supported by their communities. But in the late nineteenth century, the idea of the children’s hospital was new and ambiguous. Was it an orphanage? Did it belong to the church or to the emerging profession of pediatrics? Was it ethical for a children’s hospital to accept compensation in exchange for care? Or should the organization be supported only through donations?
Such questions needed to be sorted out amongst the growing polyphony of stakeholder voices who promoted the children’s hospital as the project moved forward. Stakeholders visions of the future were fuzzy, imperfectly shared and protean. How do stakeholders come together around such visions? And what role do the incomplete, partial and ambiguous characteristics of entrepreneurial visions play in marshalling stakeholder support for extended entrepreneurial projects?
Latest teaching experience:
Foundations of Entrepreneurship
University of Victoria
Instructor effectiveness (9.2/10)
“Interest in long-term success”
“Generative learning environment”