Christopher McKenna is University Reader in Business Strategy and History, a Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford, and the Academic Director of the Diploma in Strategy & Innovation at the Saïd Business School. He studies the historical development and strategy of professional firms, and their role in shaping global business. His current research project is the history of white-collar crime from the South Sea Bubble to the present.
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 the Harvard Business School. Prior to joining Saïd Business School, Chris taught at the Wharton School in the University of Pennsylvania.
Areas of expertise:
Organisational and technological change since the Second Industrial Revolution
Transmission and translation of management models
International history of white collar crime
Influence of professionals in shaping corporate governance
Christopher McKenna is interested in the relationship between the historical development of large institutions (corporations, the state, and non-profits) and the influence of the professions. His research links the concerns of corporate strategy with the methodology of historical research.
Chris's first book on the growth of the elite management consulting firms, The World's Newest Profession was awarded the Newcomen-Harvard Book Award by the Business History Review, the Hagley Prize by the Business History Conference, and named one of the best books of the year by the Financial Times. His next book, Partners in Crime, will examine the international history of white-collar crime from the eighteenth century to the present.
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. His book, The World’s Newest Profession, was a Financial Times Book of the Year.
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.
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. In 2014, he was awarded a prize for teaching excellence from the Social Science Division in the University of Oxford.
Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street