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Nelson Phillips


Chair in Strategy and Organizational Behavior
PhD (Univ. of Alberta)

Professional Experience

Professor Phillips is the Head of the Organization and Management Group at Imperial College Business School as well as the Director of Executive Education.

His research interests include technology strategy, knowledge management, international management, organizational forgetting, discourse methods, and entrepreneurship and family business. He has published more than 60 academic articles and book chapters including articles in the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Management Science, Sloan Management Review, Organization Science, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Business Ethics, Organizational Research Methods and Organization Studies. He has also written a book with Cynthia Hardy (Melbourne) entitled Discourse Analysis, which was published in 2002 and has recently completed a second book, Power in Organisations, with Stewart Clegg (University of Technology Sydney) and David Courpasson (EM-Lyon) for the Sage Fundamentals of Organization Science series.

Professor Phillips has taught a range of courses in strategy and organisation theory at the undergraduate and graduate level. He has also teaches widely internationally including regular courses in the EMBA course at Chongqing University in Chongqing, China and in McGill University’s MBA program in Tokyo. In addition, he has been very active in executive education where he has been involved in program design and delivery for a wide range of clients including Allen & Overy, Deutsche Bank, BT, ARM, Shell, and the Royal Bank of Canada.

Previous Appointments

Prior to joining Imperial College Business School, he was the Beckwith Professor of Management Studies at the Judge Institute of Management, University of Cambridge from 2002 to 2005 and an Associate Professor in the Strategy and Organisation Area at McGill University in Montreal, Canada from 1993 to 2002. Professor Phillips spent six months in 2000/2001, as the Edward Clarence Dyason Universitas 21 Fellow at Melbourne University in Melbourne, Australia and six months as a Visiting Professor at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Professor Phillips completed his PhD in Organisational Analysis from the University of Alberta, Canada in 1995.

Awards and Scholarships

  • The Richard Beckhard Memorial Prize for Best Paper, Sloan Management Review, 2004

Research Interests

Technology Strategy; Institutional Theory; International Management; Organizational Forgetting; Discourse Methods; Entrepreneurship and Family Business.


Journal Articles

Munir, K.A. and Phillips, N. (2002) “The concept of industry and the case of radical technological change.” Journal of High Technology Management Research, 13(2): 279-297 (DOI: 10.1016/S1047-8310(02)00046-9)

di Domenico M, Phillips N. (2009) “Sustaining the Ivory Tower: Oxbridge Formal Dining as Organizational Ritual.” Journal of Management Inquiry, 18:326-343

Phillips N, Tracey P, Karra N. (2009) “Rethinking Institutional Distance: Strengthening the Tie between New Institutional Theory and International Management.” Strategic Organization, 7:339-348

Phillips N, Tracey P. (2009) “ Institutional Theory and the MNC.” Academy of Management Review, 34:169-171

Maguire S, Phillips N. (2008) “’Citibankers’ at Citigroup: A Study of the Loss of Institutional Trust after a Merger.” Journal of Management Studies, Pages:372-401

Phillips N, Sewell G, Jaynes S. (2008) “Applying Critical Discourse Analysis in Strategic Management Research.” Organizational Research Methods, 11:770-789

Karra N, Phillips N, Tracey P. (2008) “Building the Born Global Global Firm: Developing Entrepreneurial Capabilities for International New Venture Success.” Long Range Planning, 41:440-458

Karra N, Phillips N. (2008) “Researching ‘Back Home”: International Management Research as Autoethnograpy.” Organizational Research Methods, 11:541-561

Cornelisson J, Oswick C, Christensen L, et al. (2008) “Metaphors in Organizational Research: Context, Modalities, and Implications for Research.” Organization Studies, 28:7-22

Nwankwo, E. , Tracey, P , Phillips, N. (2007) “Social Investment through Community Enterprise: The Case of MNC Involvement in the Development of Nigerian Water Resources” Journal of Business Ethics, 73:91-101

Phillips N, Tracey P. (2007) “Opportunity Recognition, Entrepreneurial Capabilities and Bricolage: Connecting Institutional Theory and Entrepreneurship in Strategic Organization.” Strategic Organization, 5:313-320

Tracey, P , Phillips, N. (2007) “The Distinct Challenge of Educating Social Entrepreneurs: A Post-Script and Rejoinder to the Special Issue on Entrepreneurship Education.” Academy of Management Learning and Education, 6:264-271

Phillips N. (2006) “The adolescence of critical management studies? A postscript Clegg, Kornberger, Carter and Rhodes.” MANAGE LEARN, 37:29-31, ISSN:1350-5076(doi)

Phillips,N. , Lawrence,T.B. , Hardy,C.(2006) “Dialogue.” Academy of Management Review, 31:480-483, ISSN:0363-7425

Hardy, C. , Lawrence, T. B. , Phillips, N.(2006)  “Swimming with Sharks: Creating Strategic Change through Multi-Sector Collaboration.” International Journal of Strategic Change Management, 1:96-112

Karra, N , Tracey, P , Phillips, N. (2006)  “Altruism and Agency in the Family Firm: Exploring the Role of Family.” Kinship and Ethnicity, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 30:861-877

Tracey P, Phillips N, Haugh H. (2005) “Beyond philanthropy: Community enterprise as a basis for corporate citizenship.” J BUS ETHICS, 58:327-344, ISSN:0167-4544(doi)

Munir,K. , Phillips,N. (2005) “The birth of the kodak moment: institutional entrepreneurship and the adoption of new technologies.” Organization Studies, 26:1665-1687, ISSN:0170-8406

de Holan PM, Phillips N. (2004) “Remembrance of things past? The dynamics of organizational forgetting.” MANAGE SCI, 50:1603-1613, ISSN:0025-1909

Phillips N, Lawrence TB, Hardy C. (2004) “Discourse and institutions.” ACAD MANAGE REV, 29:635-652, ISSN:0363-7425

Lawrence TB, Phillips N. (2004) “From Moby Dick to Free Willy: Macro-cultural discourse and institutional entrepreneurship in emerging institutional fields.” ORGANIZATION, 11,:689-711, ISSN:1350-5084(doi)

de Holan PM, Phillips N, Lawrence TB. (2004) “Managing organizational forgetting.” MIT SLOAN MANAGE REV, 45:45-51, ISSN:1532-9194

Hardy,C. , Harley,B. , Phillips,N.(2004) “Discourse analysis and content analysis: two solitudes?” Qualitative Methods, 2:19-22, ISSN:1544-8045

Karra,N. , Phillips,N.(2004) “Entrepreneurship goes Global.”, Ivey Business Journal, 69:1-6, ISSN:1481-8248

de Holan,P.M. , Phillips,N.(2004) “Organizational forgetting as strategy.” Strategic Organization, 2:423-434, ISSN:1476-1270

Hardy C, Phillips N, Lawrence TB. (2003) “Resources, knowledge and influence: The organizational effects of interorganizational collaboration” J MANAGE STUD, 40:321-347, ISSN:0022-2380

Lawrence TB, Phillips N. (2002) “Understanding cultural industries” J MANAGE INQUIRY, 11:430-441, ISSN:1056-4926(doi)

de Holan PM, Phillips N. (2002) “Managing in transition – A case study of institutional management and organizational change.” J MANAGE INQUIRY, 11:68-83, ISSN:1056-4926

Lawrence TB, Hardy C, Phillips N. (2002) “Institutional effects of interorganizational collaboration: The emergence of proto-institutions.” ACAD MANAGE J, 45:281-290, ISSN:0001-4273

Munir,K.A. , Phillips,N.(2002) “The concept of industry and the case of radical technological change.” Journal of High Technology Management Research, 13:279-297, ISSN:1047-8310

Hardy C, Phillips N, Clegg S. (2001) “Reflexivity in organization and management theory: A study of the production of the research ‘subject’.” HUM RELAT, 54:531-560, ISSN:0018-7267

Maguire S, Phillips N, Hardy C. (2001) “When ‘silence = death’, keep talking: Trust, control and the discursive construction of identity in the Canadian HIV/AIDS treatment domain.” ORGAN STUD, 22:285-310, ISSN:0170-8406

Phillips,N. , Lawrence,T. , Hardy,C.(2000) “ Interorganizational Collaboration and the Dynamics of Institutional Fields.” Journal of Management Studies, 37:23-45

Hardy,C. , Palmer,I. , Phillips,N.(2000)  “Discourse as a Strategic Resource.” Human Relations, 53:1227-1248

Hardy,C. , Phillips,N.(1999)  “No Joking Matter: Discursive Struggle in the Canadian Refugee System” Organization Studies, 20:1-24

Zyglidopoulos,S. , Phillips,N.(1999) “Responding to Reputational Crises: A Stakeholder Perspective.” Corporate Reputation Review, 4:333-350, ISSN:1363-3589

Lawrence,T. , Phillips,N. , Hardy,C.(1999) “Watching Whale-Watching: Exploring the Discursive Foundations of Collaborative Relationships.” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 35:479-502

Phillips,N. , Zyglidopoulos,S.(1999) “ Learning from Foundation: Asimov’s Psychohistory and the Limits of Organization Theory.” Organization, 6:591-608

Kaghan,W. , Phillips,N. (1998) “Building the Tower of Babel: Communities of Practice and Paradigmatic Pluralism in Organization Studies.” Organization, 5:191-217

Hardy,C. , Phillips,N. (1998) “Strategies of Engagement: Lessons from the Critical Examination of Collaboration and Conflict in an Interorganizational Domain.” Organization Science, 9:217-230

Lawrence,T. , Phillips,N. (1998) “Separating Play and Critique: Postmodern and Critical Perspectives on TQM/BPR.” Journal of Management Inquiry, 7:154-160

Lawrence,T. , Phillips,N. , Wickins,D. (1997) “Managing Legitimacy in Ecotourism.” Tourism Management, 18:307-316

Brown,J. , Ojha,A. , Phillips,N. (1997) “Change and Revolutionary Change: Formalizing and Extending the Punctuated Equilibrium Paradigm.” Computational and Mathematical Organizational Theory, 3:91-111

Martin de,Holan P. , Phillips,N. (1997) “Cuba’s Risky Tourism Strategy: Expansion, Competitive Advantage, and Industry Dynamics.” Annals of Tourism Research, 24:777-795

Nasi,J. , Nasi,S. , Phillips,N. , et al. (1997) “The Evolution of Corporate Social Responsiveness: An Exploratory Study of Finnish and Canadian Forestry Companies” Business & Society, 36:296-321

Phillips,N. , Hardy,C. (1997) “Managing Multiple Identities: Discourse, Legitimacy, and Resources in the UK Refugee System.” Organization, 2:159-185

Phillips,N. (1997) “Bringing the Organization Back In: A Comment on Conceptualizations of Power in Upward Influence Research” Journal of Organizational Behavior, 18:43-47

Mauws,M. , Phillips,N. (1995) “Understanding Language Games.” Organization Science, 6,:322-334

Phillips,N.(1995)  “Telling Organizational Tales: On the Role of Narrative Fiction in Organizational Analysis.” Organization Studies, 16:625-649

Phillips,N. , Field,R.(1994)  “On Technology as a Social Phenomenon: Notes on ‘From High-Touch to High-Tech”.” Technology Studies, 1:196-201

Phillips,N. , Brown,J. (1993) “Analyzing Communication in and Around Organizations: A Critical Hermeneutic Approach.” Academy of Management Journal, 36:1547-1576

Field,R. , Phillips,N. (1992) “The Environmental Crisis in the Office: Why Aren’t Managers Managing the Office Environment?” Journal of General Management, 18:35-50

Phillips,N.(1992) “Understanding Ethics in Practice: And Ethnomethodological Approach to Business Ethics.” Business Ethics Quarterly, 2:223-244

Phillips,N.(1991) “The Sociology of Knowledge: Towards and Existential View of Business Ethics.” Journal of Business Ethics, 10:787-795

Phillips,N. , Anderson,C. (1991) “Computers and Organizational Structure: A Sociological Perspective.” International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 4:217-225


Phillips N, Griffiths D, Sewell G. (2010) Technology and Organization, ISBN:9781849509848

Clegg,S. , Courpasson,D. , Phillips,N.(2006)  Power and organizations, London, Sage, ISBN:9780761943921

Phillips,N. , Hardy,C. (2002) Discourse analysis: investigating processes of social construction, London, Sage Publications, ISBN:9780761923626