Chris McKenna

Reader in Business History and Strategy

Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street


Alongside his role as a University Reader, Chris is a Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford.

Chris's 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.


  • 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

Read Chris' CV.


Chris is interested in the relationship between the historical development of large institutions and the influence of the professions.

Chris is interested in the relationship between the historical development of large institutions and the influence of the professions.

His research links the concerns of corporate strategy with the methodology of historical research.


The historical role of the corporation in society(opens in new window)

  • Journal article
  • Journal of the British Academy
  • Leonardo Davoudi,
  • Christopher McKenna,
  • Rowena Olegario
  • Christopher McKenna
  • Sophie Clarke,
  • Katharine Lindsay,
  • Chris McKenna,
  • Steve New
Health Care
Major Programme Management
Professional Service Firms
Technology and Operations Management
  • Rowena Olegario,
  • Christopher McKenna
See more publications


Chris's research has been featured in many notable publications.

These have included 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.


Chris is an award-winning teacher.

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.


  • Undergraduate: Introduction to Management
  • Undergraduate: Strategy
  • Executive MBA: Business History