BEc(Hons); PhD Sydney
Professor of Organisational Studies
H70 - Abercrombie Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia
|Telephone||+61 2 9351 5860|
|Fax||+61 2 9351 4729|
|Curriculum vitae||Curriculum vitae|
|Blog||Christopher Wright's blog|
Christopher Wright is Professor of Organisational Studies at the University of Sydney Business School where he teaches and researches organisational change, management innovation, sustainability and critical understandings of capitalism and political economy. He has published extensively on the history of management, management consultancy, the labour process and the changing nature of human resource management.
His current research explores organizational and societal responses to climate change, with a particular focus on how managers and business organizations interpret and respond to the climate crisis. He has published on this topic in relation to issues of corporate environmentalism, corporate citizenship, organizational justification and compromise, risk, identity and future imaginings. His research on climate change and business is internationally recognised and he has developed research collaborations with leading international climate scientists and global environmental organisations. He is a key researcher at the Sydney Environment Institute, where he heads up a group examining corporate climate transition.
His research has appeared in a broad range of leading journals including: The Academy of Management Journal, Organization Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Research Policy, Environment & Planning A, Human Relations, Organization and the British Journal of Sociology. As well as chapters in edited collections, he is the author of several monographs including The Management of Labour: A History of Australian Employers (Oxford University Press, 1995), Management as Consultancy: Neo-bureaucracy and the Consultant Manager (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and most recently: Climate Change, Capitalism and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-destruction (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
Christopher Wright’s research focuses on critical understandings of corporate capitalism with a particular focus on the role of large business corporations and their societal and environmental impact. He has researched and published extensively on issues of organisational and technological change, the labour process, management innovation, management consultancy, sustainability and the changing nature of human resource management. He utilises qualitative methods to explore these issues including case studies, interviews, critical discourse analysis and organizational history.
Professor Wright’s current research is centred on business and climate change, with a particular focus on how managers and corporations interpret and respond to the climate crisis. As one of the most critical issues facing humanity, climate change poses major challenges for business organisations in terms of regulatory, market, reputational and physical risk. Professor Wright’s research in this area has explored critical understandings of corporate environmentalism, business sustainability, corporate citizenship, risk, political myth, managerial identity and the role of emotions in climate change responses. A recent article in the top-tier Academy of Management Journal (with Professor Daniel Nyberg of Newcastle University) develops this research by analysing the limits of business engagement with ‘grand challenges’ such as climate change. This research is further developed in his recent book Climate Change, Capitalism and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-destruction (Cambridge University Press, 2015) written with Professor Nyberg.
Professor Wright has led various research projects in the area of climate change and corporate responses to energy transition. These have included: Australian Research Council funded Discovery projects; journal special issues on the topics of climate futures, and the Anthropocene and organizing; and international conference streams on climate change and business. He is also a Chief Investigator on a current ARC-funded Discovery project investigating energy security in Australia (with Associate Professor Jane Lê).
Most recently, Professor Wright organised the visit to Australia by world-renowned climate scientist Professor Michael Mann from Pennsylvania State University. Professor Mann’s visit resulted in a symposium of academics and industry and environmental leaders on the future of climate change responses, a large public lecture on climate change denial, and numerous media interviews on the current state of climate politics.
Professor Wright is a regular contributor to the media on business responses to climate change, corporate environmentalism and sustainability.
Nyberg D, Wright C and Krik J 2017 Forthcoming 'Re-producing a neoliberal political regime: Competing justifications and dominance in disputing fracking', Research in the Sociology of Organisations
Wright C and Nyberg D 2016 'Engaging With the Contradictions of Capitalism: Teaching "sustainability" in the business school' in The Routledge Companion to Reinventing Management Education, ed. Chris Steyaert, Timon Beyes & Martin Parker, Routledge, Abingdon, United Kingdom, pp. 468-81
Wright C and Nyberg D 2016 'Market fundamentalism and the climate crisis: How corporations shape the governance of climate change', American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, San Francisco, United States, 2nd April 2016
Nyberg D, Wright C and Krik J 2015 'Unconventional fossil fuels and the climate crisis: Temporal framings in UK fracking', 31st European Group of Organizational Studies EGOS Colloquium, Athens, Greece, 4th July 2015
Nyberg D, Wright C and Krik J 2015 'Re-producing a neoliberal political regime: Competing justifications and dominance in the public debate over UK fracking', 31st European Group of Organizational Studies EGOS Colloquium, Athens, Greece, 4th July 2015
Wright C 2014 'Human Resource Management in Australia: Historical Development and Contemporary Tensions' in The Development of Human Resource Management Across Nations: Unity and Diversity, ed. B.E. Kaufman, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, United Kingdom, pp. 46-65
Jones S, Wright C and Leth M 2014 'Fashion of Future: Exploring the Empirical Foundation of Creating Shared Value', American Accounting Association Annual Meeting 2014 - "Global Engagement & Perspectives", Atlanta, United States, 6th August 2014
Sturdy A, Wright C and Wylie N 2014 'Managers as consultants: Neo-bureaucracy and its tensions', 32nd International Labour Process Conference, Kings College London, United Kingdom, 9th April 2014
Wright C, Nyberg D, De Cock C and Whiteman G 2013 'Commentary: Voices from the front lines of the climate wars', Organization, vol.20:5, pp. 743-4
Wright C and Nyberg D 2013 'Creative self-destruction and the political myths of corporate responses to climate change', 29th European Group for Organisational Studies Colloquium EGOS 2013 - "Bridging Continents, Cultures and Worldviews", Montreal, Canada, 6th July 2013
Wright C and Kipping M 2012 'The Engineering Origins of the Consulting Industry and It's Long Shadow' in The Oxford Handbook of Management Consulting, ed. Matthias Kipping & Timothy Clark, Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom, pp. 29-49
Kipping M and Wright C 2012 'Consultants In Context: Global Dominance, Societal Effect and the Capitalist System' in The Oxford Handbook of Management Consulting, ed. Matthias Kipping & Timothy Clark, Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom, pp. 165-85
Wright C, Nyberg D and Grant D 2012 '“Hippies on the Third Floor”: Climate Change, Narrative Identity and the Micro-Politics of Corporate Environmentalism', Organization Studies, vol.33:11, pp. 1451-75
Nyberg D and Wright C 2012 'Corporate Sustainability and the Corruption of the Environment as a Social Good', 10th International Conference on Organizational Discourse - "Processes, Practices and Performance", Amsterdam, Netherlands, 20th July 2012
Spee AP, Grant D, Hall R and Wright C 2012 'Language-based approaches getting to grips with 'organization'', 28th European Group for Organizational Studies EGOS Colloquium 2012 - "Design!?", Helsinki, Finland, 7th July 2012
Wright C, Nyberg D, Grant D, Dunford R and Floris M 2012 'Managing the risks of climate change: Justifying the past, marketing the present and colonizing the future', 28th European Group for Organizational Studies EGOS Colloquium 2012 - "Design!?", Helsinki, Finland, 7th July 2012
Sturdy A, Wylie N and Wright C 2012 'Management as Consultancy? Internal Consultants and Change', 28th European Group for Organizational Studies EGOS Colloquium 2012 - "Design!?", Helsinki, Finland, 7th July 2012
Sturdy A and Wright C 2011 'The Active Client: The Boundary-spanning Roles of Internal Consultants as Gatekeepers, Brokers and Partners of their External Counterparts', Management Learning, vol.42:5, pp. 485-503
Wright C 2011 'Historical Interpretations of the Labour Process: Retrospect and Future Research Directions', Labour History:100, pp. 19-32
Nyberg D, Wright C and Spicer A 2011 'Constructing the Corporate Citizen: Insights from Australian Companies responses to Climate Change', APROS14 Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organization Studies 14th Biennial Conference 2011, Auckland, New Zealand, 1st December 2011
Nyberg D and Wright C 2011 'Porous Levees: Producing Certainties in a Changing Climate', APROS14 Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organization Studies 14th Biennial Conference 2011, Auckland, New Zealand, 1st December 2011
Wright C and Nyberg D 2011 'The Emotional Business Of Greening: Enacting Emotion In Business Responses To Climate Change', 71st Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management AoM 2011 - "West meets East: Enlightening, Balancing, and Transcending", San Antonio, Texas, United States, 16th August 2011
Wright C, Wylie N and Sturdy A 2011 'HR and Change Agency: Lessons from the Organisation of Internal Consultancy', 27th European Group for Organizational Studies EGOS Colloquium 2011 - "Reassembling Organizations", Gothenburg, Sweden, 9th July 2011
Wright C and Nyberg D 2011 'Climate Change: Restructuring Organizational Processes and Discourses', 27th European Group for Organizational Studies EGOS Colloquium 2011 - "Reassembling Organizations", Gothenburg, Sweden, 9th July 2011
Nyberg D and Wright C 2011 'Political, Passionate and Pragmatic: Justifying Business Responses to Climate Change', 27th European Group for Organizational Studies EGOS Colloquium 2011 - "Reassembling Organizations", Gothenburg , Sweden, 9th July 2011
Nyberg D and Wright C 2011 'Prevention, Pre-emption and Preparedness: Corporate Responses to Climate Change as a Logic of Risk', Ashridge International Research Conference 2011 - “The Sustainability Challenge: Organisational Change and Transformational Vision”, Ashridge, United Kingdom, 12th June 2011
Wright C 2011 'Historical Interpretations of the Labour Process: Retrospect and Future Research Directions', Celebrating Labour History's 100th Issue: Reflection and Renewal Symposium, University of Sydney, Australia, 29th April 2011
Nyberg D and Wright C 2010 'Political, passionate and pragmatic: Justifying responses to climate change', The Foundations of Sustainability: An International Conference Sponsored by the Journal of Management Studies and the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies, Loughborough, United Kingdom, 29th September 2010
Wright C, Nyberg D and Grant D 2010 'Surfing the Sustainability Wave: Identity and Subjectivity Amongst Green Corporate Change Agents', 26th European Group for Organizational Studies EGOS Colloquium 2010 - "Waves of Globalization: Repetition and difference in organizing over time and space", Lisbon, Portugal, 3rd July 2010
Sturdy A, Wylie N and Wright C 2010 'Management Consultancy Without Consulting Firms or Consultants', 26th European Group for Organizational Studies EGOS Colloquium 2010 - "Waves of Globalization: Repetition and difference in organizing over time and space", Lisbon, Portugal, 3rd July 2010
Wylie N, Sturdy A and Wright C 2010 'The Organization of Internal Management Consultancy: Dynamics, Dimensions and Dilemmas (Winner of the Bentley College/HEC Outstanding Student Paper Award)', Proceedings of the Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2010 - "Dare to Care: Passion and Compassion in Management Practice and Research", Montreal, Canada, 10th August 2010
Wright C, Suh CS and Leggett C 2009 'If at first you don’t succeed: globalized production and organizational learning at Hyundai Motor Company', Asia Pacific Business Review, vol.15:2, pp. 163-80
Wright C 2009 'Inside Out? Organizational Membership, Ambiguity and the Ambivalent Identity of the Internal Consultant', British Journal of Management, vol.20:3, pp. 309-22
Lund J and Wright C 2009 'Enabling “Managed Activism": The Adoption Of Call Centres In Australian, British And US Trade Unions', New Technology, Work and Employment, vol.24:1, pp. 43-59
Wright C 2009 'The Benefits (and Limitations) of Business History to the Study of Management and Organisations: The Example of the Global Diffusion of Management Knowledge', Academic Association of Historians in Australian and New Zealand Business Schools (AAHANZBS) – Inaugural Conference, University of Sydney, Australia, 15th December 2009
Wright C, Sturdy A and Wylie N 2009 'Management innovation as standardization and control - the role of internal management consultants', 25th European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) Colloquium - "Passion for creativity and innovation - Energizing the study of organizations and organizing", Barcelona, Spain, 4th July 2009
Sturdy A and Wright C 2008 'A Consulting Diaspora? Enterprising Selves as Agents of Enterprise', Organization, vol.15:3, pp. 427-44
Wright C 2008 'Reinventing Human Resource Management: Business Partners, Internal Consultants and the Limits to Professionalisation', Human Relations, vol.61:8, pp. 1063-86
Puck J, Kittler M and Wright C 2008 'Does It Really Work? Re-Assessing the Impact of Pre-Departure Cross-Cultural Training on Expatriate Adjustment', International Journal of Human Resource Management, vol.19:12, pp. 2182-2197
Wright C and Sturdy A 2008 'Both Consultant and Client: Managers as Gatekeepers, Knowledge Brokers and Partners', The 24th European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) Colloquium, VU University, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 12th July 2008
Wang Y and Wright C 2008 'How Management Consultancies Strategize Knowledge in Emerging Markets: The Case of China', 22nd Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Annual Conference ANZAM 2008- Managing in the Pacific Century, Auckland, New Zealand, 5th December 2008
Kitay J and Wright C 2007 'From Prophets to Profits: The Occupational Rhetoric of Management Consultants', Human Relations, vol.60:11, pp. 1613-1640
Wright C 2007 'A Consultant to the Business: Professionalising the Human Resource Function?', The Fifth International Critical Management Studies Conference, Manchester, United Kingdom, 13th July 2007
Lund J and Wright C 2006 'Integrating the supply chain: Industrial relations implications in US Grocery Distribution' in Supply Chains and Total Production Systems: A Reader, ed. J Warren and R Carter E Rhodes, Blackwell, Oxford, United Kingdom, pp. 97-114
Harley B, Wright C, Hall R and Dery K 2006 'Management Reactions to Technological Change: The Example of Enterprise Resource Planning', The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, vol.42:1, pp. 58-75
Grant D, Hall R, Wailes N and Wright C 2006 'The false promise of technological determinism: The case of enterprise resource planning systems', New Technology, Work and Employment, vol.21:1, pp. 2-15
Grant D, Harley B and Wright C 2006 'Editorial introduction: The work and organisational implications of Enterprise Resource Planning systems', Corridors of power, critical reflections and alternative viewpoints, vol.21:3, pp. 196-198
Dery K, Grant D, Harley B and Wright C 2006 'Work, organisation and Enterprise Resource Planning systems: An alternative research agenda', New Technology, Work and Employment, vol.21:3, pp. 199-214
Wright C and Kwon S 2006 'Business crisis and management fashion: Korean companies, restructuring and consulting advice', Asia Pacific Business Review, vol.12:3, pp. 199-214
Wright C and Lund J 2006 'Variations on a lean theme: Work restructuring in retail distribution', New Technology, Work and Employment, vol.21:1, pp. 59-74
Wright C and Sturdy A 2006 'A consulting diaspora? The transition of management consultants into organisational roles', Paper presented at the 22nd EGOS Colloquium, Bergen, Norway, 8th July 2006
Wright C 2005 'Managing labour: UK and Australian employers in comparative perspective, 1900-1950', Labour History, vol.88, pp. 45-62
Suh C, Leggett C and Wright C 2005 'Strengthening competitiveness through globalised production: The case of Hyundai Motor Company', Paper presented at the Academy of International Business Southeast Asia Regional Conference, Manila, Philippines, 26th November 2005
Wright C 2005 'Inside out? Identity and ambiguities of the internal consultant', Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Honolulu, United States, 10th August 2005
Wright C 2005 'Advocating modern management: The state and the diffusion of personnel practice in post-war Australia', Paper presented at the 20th International Congress Of Historical Sciences, Sydney, NSW, Australia, 9th July 2005
Grant D, Harley B and Wright C 2005 'Critical insights into the organizational implications of enterprise resource planning systems', Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States, 10th August 2005
Wright C and Kitay J 2004 'Spreading the word: Gurus, consultants and the diffusion of the employee relations paradigm in Australia', Management Learning, vol.35:3, pp. 271-286
Kitay J and Wright C 2004 'Take the money and run? Organisational boundaries and consultants' roles', Service Industries Journal, vol.24:1, pp. 1-18
Lund J and Wright C 2004 'More pain, less gain: New compensation systems for grocery truck drivers', Labor Studies Journal, vol.29:2, pp. 1-20
Wright C and Kwon S 2004 'Business crisis and management fashion: Korean companies, restructuring and consulting advice', Paper presented at the Academy of International Business Annual Meeting, Stockholm, Sweden, 13th July 2004
Kitay J and Wright C 2003 'Expertise and organisational boundaries: The varying roles of Australian management consultants', Asia Pacific Business Review, vol.9:3, pp. 21-40
Lund J and Wright C 2003 'Integrating the supply chain: Industrial relations implications in US grocery distribution', New Technology, Work and Employment, vol.18:2, pp. 104-114
Wright C and Lund J 2003 'Supply chain rationalisation: Retailer dominance and labour flexibility in the Australian food and grocery industry', Work Employment & Society, vol.17:1, pp. 137-157
Lund J and Wright C 2003 'Building union power through the supply chain: Mapping opportunities and jurisdictional boundaries in grocery distribution', Labor Studies Journal, vol.27:4, pp. 59-75
Wright C 2003 'Innovation, continuity and conservatism: Australian employers and changes in labour management, 1900-1950', Paper presented at the Anglo-Australia Labour History Conference, Manchester, United Kingdom, 16th July 2003
Wright C and Lund J 2003 'Workplace convergence? The diffusion of lean logistics in grocery retailing', Paper presented at the ANZAM 2003 Operations Management Symposium, Sydney, NSW, Australia, 13th June 2003
Grant D, Hall R, Wailes N and Wright C 2003 'The false promise of technological determinism: The case of enterprise resource planning systems', Critique and Inclusivity: 3rd International Critical Management Studies Conference, Lancaster University, United Kingdom, 9th July 2003
Wright C 2002 'Promoting demand, gaining legitimacy and broadening expertise: The evolution of consultancy-client relationships in Australia' in Management Consulting: Emergence and Dynamics of a Knowledge Industry, ed. M Kipping and L Engwall, Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom, pp. 184-202
Wright C and Kitay J 2002 '"But does it work?"Perceptions of the impact of management consulting', Strategic Change, vol.11:5, pp. 271-278
Wright C and Lund J 2002 'Supply chain rationalisation: Management strategy and union adaptation in the Australian food and grocery sector', Paper presented at the International Industrial Relations Association/Canadian Industrial Relations Association 4th Regional Congress of the Americas, Toronto, Canada, 28th June 2002
Kitay J and Wright C 1999 'An unexplained relationship: Australian management of human resources', Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, vol.37:1-17
- The Human Side of Energy Security; Dr Jane Lê; Professor Christopher Wright; Professor Paula Jarzabkowski; Australian Research Council Discovery Grant.
- Sustainable organisational change: Australian business responses to climate change; Prof Christopher A Wright; Prof David S Grant; Dr Bernt D Nyberg; Prof Richard W Dunford; ARC Discovery Project.
Recent Units Taught
2016: S1, S2,
WORK6033 Organisational Sustainability
2016: S1, S2,
ABC News 24’s Weekend Breakfast
Professor Christopher Wright was interviewed on ABC News 24’s Weekend Breakfast about the economics of climate change and the benefits of renewable energy targets.
Professor Christopher Wright co-authored an article with Professor Michael Mann from Pennsylvania State University, published in The Guardian. The article argued that sound, evidence-based climate policy is overrun by groups with vested interests.
The Conversation published an article co-authored by Professor Christopher Wright from the Business School about how businesses and corporations have responded to climate change risks.
Beyond the market fetish: Using renewables to build political momentum for climate action 17 Mar 2016
Renew Economy published an article by Professor Christopher Wright about the role of business in addressing climate change.
Sustainable future talks 02 Mar 2016
Professor Christopher Wright was mentioned by the Wentworth Courier with regards to his participation in a 'sustainable future' public forum, at The Scots College.
The launch of the book Climate Change, Capitalism and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-Destruction by Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg, at the Sydney Environment Institute event.
Professor Christopher Wright is casting new light on the role of business as both a contributor and potential provider of solutions to the climate crisis.
BERN is interested in how business can better balance economic, environmental and social concerns while creating value for a wide range of stakeholders.