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Christopher McKenna is University Reader in Business Strategy and History, a Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford, and the Director of the Novak Druce Centre for Professional Service Firms at Saïd Business School. He studies the historical development and strategy of professional firms, and their role in shaping global business.
Chris was an undergraduate in economics at Amherst College and completed his PhD at the Johns Hopkins University. He has worked on Wall Street and in the City of London and has held research fellowships at Yale University, Georgetown Law, and, most recently, at the Harvard Business School. Prior to joining Saïd Business School in 2000, Chris taught at the Wharton School in the University of Pennsylvania.
Areas of expertise:
McKenna, C. and Olegario, R. (2012) ‘Corporate Reputation and Regulation in Historical Perspective’. In The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Reputation (edited by M. L. Barnett and T. G. Pollock),Oxford: Oxford University Press.
‘Give professionalization a chance! Why management consulting may yet become a full profession’, in New Directions in the Study of ExpertLabour: Medicine, Law and Management Consultancy, edited by Stephen Ackroyd, Daniel Muzio and Jean-Francois Chanlat (Palgrave Macmillan)
(With Marie-Laure Djelic and Antti Ainamo) ‘Message and medium: the role of consulting firms in globalization and its local interpretation’, in Globalization and Institutions: Redefining the Rules of the Economic Game, edited by Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack (Edward Elgar, 2003)
McKenna, C. and Olegario, R. (forthcoming) ‘Using Corporate Reputation as a Lens for Studying Business History’, Business History Review (special issue edited by C. McKenna and R. Olegario).
McKenna, C., (2012) ‘Strategy Followed Structure: Management Consulting and the Creation of a Market for “Strategy,” 1950–2000’, Advances in Strategic Management, 29: 153 - 186.
‘Writing the Ghost-Writer Back In: Alfred Sloan, Alfred Chandler, John McDonald and the Intellectual Origins of Corporate Strategy’, Management and Organizational History, 1 (2), May 2006
Chris' CV can be read here.
Chris’s research has been featured in The Harvard Business Review, The Sunday Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and The Financial Times.
He is the Director of the Centre for Professional Service Firms and also works closely with the Centre for Corporate Reputation. Chris sits on the editorial boards of Organizational & Management History, Enterprise & Society, the Journal of American Studies, and the Journal of Professions and Organizations. He has served as an elected trustee of the Management History Research Group, the Association of Business Historians, and the Business History Conference. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
As a Thomas K McCraw Fellow in US Business History, Chris spent his last sabbatical at the Harvard Business School researching the history of white collar crime. He is currently organizing a series of academic conferences on the history of corporate corruption from which an edited volume will follow.
A popular teacher of undergraduates, MBAs and executives, Chris was nominated as one of Oxford University’s three best teachers for the UK's National Teaching Fellowship Award in 2005 and 2006.
Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
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