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Christopher Wright

Photo of Christopher Wright

BEc(Hons); PhD Sydney
Professor of Organisational Studies

Rm 4184
H70 - Abercrombie Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Telephone +61 2 9351 5860
Fax +61 2 9351 4729
christopher.wright@sydney.edu.au
Curriculum vitae Curriculum vitae
@ChristopherWr11
Blog Christopher Wright's blog

Bio

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).

Research Interests

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.

Selected publications

2018

Journal Articles

Jones S, and Wright C (2018) Fashion or Future: Does Creating Shared Value Pay? Accounting and Finance, In Press. [More Information]

Nyberg D, Wright C, and Kirk J (2018) Dash for Gas: Climate Change, Hegemony and the Scalar Politics of Fracking in the UK British Journal of Management, 29 (2), 235-251. [More Information]

Rhodes C, Wright C, and Pullen A (2018) Changing the World? The Politics of Activism and Impact in the Neoliberal University Organization, 25 (1), 139-147. [More Information]

Wright C, Nyberg D, Rickards L, and Freund J (2018) Organizing in the Anthropocene Organization, 25 (4), 455-471. [More Information]

Conference Proceeding

Wright C, and Nyberg D (2018) Coral not coal: Enlisting the worlds of fame and celebrity in climate change politics 78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management; Academy of Management, Chicago, USA. [More Information]

Book Chapters

Wright C (2018) Global Trade in an Era of Neoliberal Capitalism: Origins, Context and Implications The Social Effects of Global Trade; Pan Stanford Publishing, New York, USA, 3-17. [More Information]

Wright C (2018) Corporate Environmental Responsibility Companion to Environmental Studies; Routledge, Abingdon, UK, 163-168.

2017

Journal Articles

Nyberg D, Wright C, and Kirk J (2017) Re-producing a neoliberal political regime: Competing justifications and dominance in disputing fracking Research in the Sociology of Organisations, 52, 143-171. [More Information]

Wright C, and Nyberg D (2017) An Inconvenient Truth: How Organizations Translate Climate Change into Business As Usual Academy of Management Journal, 60 (5), 1633-1661. [More Information]

Conference Proceeding

Nyberg D, Wright C, and Kirk J (2017) Fracking the future: Temporality, framing and the politics of unconventional fossil fuels 77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management (AoM 2017); Academy of Management, Atlanta. [More Information]

Book Chapters

Klein N, and Wright C (2017) An Interview with Naomi Klein: Capitalism Versus the Climate Carbon Capitalism and Communication: Confronting Climate Crisis; Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 31-38. [More Information]

Sturdy A, Wright C, and Wylie N (2017) Management and consultancy: Ambivalence, complexity and change The Oxford Handbook of Management; Oxford University Press, Oxford, 518-537. [More Information]

2016

Journal Articles

Nyberg D, and Wright C (2016) Performative and political: Corporate constructions of climate change risk Organization, 23 (5), 617-638. [More Information]

Sturdy A, Wright C, and Wylie N (2016) Managers as consultants: The hybridity and tensions of neo-bureaucratic management Organization, 23 (2), 184-205. [More Information]

Book Chapter

Wright C, and Nyberg D (2016) Engaging with the contradictions of capitalism: Teaching "sustainability" in the business school The Routledge Companion to Reinventing Management Education; Routledge, Abingdon, 468-481. [More Information]

2015

Books

Sturdy A, Wright C, and Wylie N (2015) Management as Consultancy: Neo-bureaucracy and the Consultant Manager; Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom. [More Information]

Wright C, and Nyberg D (2015) Climate Change, Capitalism, and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-Destruction; Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. [More Information]

2014

Journal Articles

Wright C, and Nyberg D (2014) Creative self-destruction: corporate responses to climate change as political myths Environmental Politics, 23 (2), 205-223. [More Information]

Wylie N, Sturdy A, and Wright C (2014) Change agency in occupational context: Lessons for HRM Human Resource Management Journal, 24 (1), 95-110. [More Information]

Book Chapter

Wright C (2014) Human resource management in Australia:historical development and contemporary tensions The Development of Human Resource Management Across Nations: Unity and Diversity; Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, United Kingdom, 46-65. [More Information]

2013

Journal Articles

Nyberg D, and Wright C (2013) Corporate corruption of the environment: Sustainability as a process of compromise British Journal of Sociology, 64 (3), 405-424. [More Information]

Nyberg D, Spicer A, and Wright C (2013) Incorporating citizens: corporate political engagement with climate change in Australia Organization, 20 (3), 433-453. [More Information]

O'Mahoney J, Heusinkveld S, and Wright C (2013) Commodifying the Commodifiers: The Impact of Procurement on Management Knowledge Journal of Management Studies, 50 (2), 204-235. [More Information]

Sturdy A, Wylie N, and Wright C (2013) Management Consultancy and Organizational Uncertainty International Studies of Management and Organisation, 43 (3), 58-73. [More Information]

Wright C, and Gilding P (2013) Imagining the climate crisis and the great disruption: an interview with Paul Gilding Organization, 20 (5), 757-766. [More Information]

Wright C, Nyberg D, De Cock C, and Whiteman G (2013) Voices from the front lines of the climate wars Organization, 20 (5), 743-744. [More Information]

Wright C, Nyberg D, De Cock C, and Whiteman G (2013) Future imaginings: organizing in response to climate change Organization, 20 (5), 647-658. [More Information]

Wright C, Nyberg D, De Cock C, and Whiteman G (2013) Commentary: Voices from the front lines of the climate wars Organization, 20 (5), 743-744. [More Information]

Other

Wright C, and Mann M (2013) Future imaginings and the battle over climate science: an interview with Michael Mann. [More Information]

2012

Journal Articles

Nyberg D, and Wright C (2012) Justifying Business Responses to Climate Change: Discursive Strategies of Similarity and Difference Environment and Planning A, 44 (8), 1819-1835. [More Information]

Wright C, and Nyberg D (2012) Working With Passion: Emotionology, Corporate Environmentalism and Climate Change Human Relations, 65 (12), 1561-1587. [More Information]

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, 33 (11), 1451-1475. [More Information]

Wright C, Sturdy A, and Wylie N (2012) Management Innovation Through Standardization: Consultants as Standardizers of Organizational Practice Research Policy, 41 (3), 652-662. [More Information]

Book Chapters

Kipping M, and Wright C (2012) Consultants In Context: Global Dominance, Societal Effect and the Capitalist System The Oxford Handbook of Management Consulting; Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom, 165-185. [More Information]

Wright C, and Kipping M (2012) The Engineering Origins of the Consulting Industry and It's Long Shadow The Oxford Handbook of Management Consulting; Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom, 29-49. [More Information]

Newspaper Article

Floris M, and Wright C (2012) Carbon tax: not everyone's worse off Australian Financial Review .

Report

Floris M, and Wright C (2012) Submission to the Inquiry into Barriers to Effective Climate Change Adaptation.

2011

Journal Articles

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, 42 (5), 485-503. [More Information]

Wright C (2011) Historical Interpretations of the Labour Process: Retrospect and Future Research Directions Labour History, 100 (May 2011), 19-32. [More Information]

2010

Conference Proceeding

Wylie N, Sturdy A, and Wright C (2010) The Organization of Internal Management Consultancy: Dynamics, Dimensions and Dilemmas Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2010 - Dare to Care: Passion and Compassion in Management Practice and Research; Academy of Management, United States.

2009

Journal Articles

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, 24 (1), 43-59. [More Information]

Wright C (2009) Inside Out? Organizational Membership, Ambiguity and the Ambivalent Identity of the Internal Consultant British Journal of Management, 20 (3), 309-322. [More Information]

Wright C, Suh C, and Leggett C (2009) If At First You Don't Succeed: globalized production and organizational Learning at the Hyundai Motor Company Asia Pacific Business Review, 15 (2), 163-180. [More Information]

2008

Journal Articles

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, 19 (12), 2182-2197. [More Information]

Sturdy A, and Wright C (2008) A Consulting Diaspora? Enterprising Selves as Agents of Enterprise Organization, 15 (3), 427-444. [More Information]

Wright C (2008) Reinventing Human Resource Management: Business Partners, Internal Consultants and the Limits to Professionalization Human Relations, 61 (8), 1063-1086. [More Information]

Conference Proceeding

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 Conference ANZAM 2008; Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM), Auckland, New Zealand.

2007

Journal Article

Kitay J, and Wright C (2007) From prophets to profits: The occupational rhetoric of management consultants Human Relations, 60 (11), 1613-1640. [More Information]

Conference Proceeding

Wright C (2007) A Consultant to the Business: Professionalising the Human Resource Function? 5th International Critical Management Studies Conference CMS 2007; Informit e-Library, RMIT Publishing, New Zealand.

Seminar Paper

Nippa M, and Wright C (2007) Pay for Performance Based Consulting: A Contingency Approach Academy of Management Management Consulting Division Conference; Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Other

Kitay J, and Wright C (2007) Expertise and Organisational Boundaries: A Typology of Consulting Roles.

2006

Journal Articles

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, 21 (3), 199-214. [More Information]

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, 21 (3), 199-214. [More Information]

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, 21 (1), 2-15. [More Information]

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, 21 (1), 2-15. [More Information]

Grant D, Harley B, and Wright C (2006) Editorial Introduction: The Work and Organisational Implications of Enterprise Resource Planning Systems New Technology Work and Employment, 21 (3), 196-198. [More Information]

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, 42 (1), 58-75. [More Information]

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, 42 (1), 58-75. [More Information]

Wright C, and Kwon S (2006) Business Crisis and Management Fashion: Korean Companies, Restructuring and Consulting Advice Asia Pacific Business Review, 12 (3), 355-373. [More Information]

Wright C, and Lund J (2006) Variations on a Lean Theme: Work Restructuring in Retail Distribution New Technology Work and Employment, 21 (1), 59-74. [More Information]

Book Chapter

Lund J, and Wright C (2006) Integrating the Supply Chain: Industrial Relations Implications in US Grocery Distribution Supply Chains and Total Product Systems: A Reader; Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, England, 97-114.

Seminar Paper

Wright C, and Sturdy A (2006) A Consulting Diaspora? The Transition of Management Consultants into Organisational Roles 22nd EGOS Colloquium; 22nd EGOS Colloquium, Bergen, Norway.

2005

Journal Article

McIvor A, and Wright C (2005) Managing Labour: UK and Australian Employers in Comparative Perspective, 1900-1950 Labour History, 88 (May 2005), 45-62.

Conference Proceeding

Grant D, Harley B, and Wright C (2005) Critical Insights into the Organizational Implications of Enterprise Resource Planning Systems Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2005; Academy of Management, Glassboro, NJ, USA.

Seminar Papers

Suh C, Leggett C, and Wright C (2005) Strengthening Competitiveness through Globalised Production: The Case of Hyundai Motor Company Academy of International Business Southeast Asia Regional Conference (2005); Academy of International Business Southeast Asia, Manila, Philippines.

Wright C (2005) Inside Out? Identity and Ambiguities of the Internal Consultant Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2005; Academy of Management, Glassboro, NJ, USA.

Wright C (2005) Advocating Modern Management: The State and the Diffusion of Personnel Practice in Post-War Australia 20th International Congress of Historical Sciences. History in Global Perspective; University of Sydney, The University Of New South Wales, Sydney.

2004

Journal Articles

Kitay J, and Wright C (2004) Take The Money And Run? Organisational Boundaries And Consultants' Roles Service Industries Journal, 24 (3), 1-18. [More Information]

Lund J, and Wright C (2004) More Pain, Less Gain: New Compensation Systems for Grocery Truck Drivers Labor Studies Journal, 29 (2), 1-20. [More Information]

Wright C (2004) Book Review: Downey, G. (2002) Telegraph Messenger Boys: Labor, Technology, and Geography, 1850-1950. New York: Routledge Enterprise and Society, 5 (1), 149-151.

Wright C (2004) Snaford M. Jacoby, Employing Bureaucracy: Managers, Unions, and the Transformation of Work in the 20thCentury, Revised Edition Labour History, 87, 284-286.

Wright C, and Kitay J (2004) Spreading The Word - Gurus, Consultants And The Diffusion Of The Employee Relations Paradigm In Australia Management Learning, 35 (3), 271-286. [More Information]

Seminar Papers

Wright C (2004) Researching Management Consultants: Overview of an Interview-Based Research Project Qualitative Research Network; Faculty of Commerce & Economics, University of New South Wales, University of New South Wales.

Wright C (2004) The More Things Change…: Reassessing the Transformation of Work From a Historical Perspective Taking Care of Business? Historical Perspectives of Management Practice in the Twentieth Century Conference; Historical Perspectives of Management Practice in the Twentieth Century Conference, Women’s College, University of Sydney.

Wright C, and Kwon S (2004) Business Crisis And Management Fashion: Korean Companies, Restructuring And Consulting Advice Academy of International Business Annual Meeting; Academy of International Business, Stockholm, Sweden.

2003

Journal Articles

Kitay J, and Wright C (2003) Expertise and Organizational Boundaries: The Varying Roles of Australian Management Consultants Asia Pacific Business Review, 9 (3), 21-40. [More Information]

Lund J, and Wright C (2003) Building Union Power Through the Supply Chain: Mapping Opportunities and Jurisdictional Boundaries in Grocery Distribution Labor Studies Journal, 27 (4), 59-75. [More Information]

Lund J, and Wright C (2003) Integrating the Supply Chain: Industrial Relations Implications in US Grocery Distribution New Technology Work and Employment, 18 (2), 101-114. [More Information]

Wright C, and Lund J (2003) Supply Chain Rationalisation: Retailer Dominance and Labour Flexibility in the Australian Food and Grocery Industry Work, Employment and Society, 17 (1), 137-157. [More Information]

Conference Proceedings

Grant D, Hall R, Wailes N, and Wright C (2003) The false promise of technological determinism: the case of enterprise resource planning systems 3rd International Critical Management Studies Conference CMS3 2003; AMS Systems & Rebyte, United Kingdom.

Wright C (2003) Innovation, Continuity and Conservatism: Australian Employers and Changes in Labour Management, 1900-1950 Anglo-Australia Labour History Conference (2003); Anglo-Australia Labour History Conference, Manchester-Metropolitan University, UK.

Wright C, and Lund J (2003) Workplace Convergence: The Diffusion of Lean Logistics in Grocery Retailing 1st ANZAM Operations Management Symposium; University of Sydney, University of Sydney.

Seminar Paper

Wright C (2003) How To Get the Most Out of Consultants Newcastle Branch of the Industrial Relations Society of NSW; Newcastle Branch of the Industrial Relations Society of NSW, Newcastle.

Selected grants

2018-2020

2017-2018

2016-2018

2011-2013

Recent Units Taught

  • SUST5006 Sustainability, Society and Change

  • WORK6033 Organisational Sustainability

  • WORK6111 Management Consulting

Newsroom articles

  • Institutional investors pressure G7 leaders for action on climate change 08 Jun 2018

    ABC Radio National

    ABC Radio National interviewed Professor Christopher Wright from the Business School about global investors calling on the leaders at the G7 summit to take tougher action on climate change.

  • We can’t rely on corporations to save us from climate change 03 Feb 2018

    LSE US Centre

    Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg co-authored an article for the LSE US Centre on why corporations can’t be relied on to relieve climate change.

  • Banks to step up climate disclosure 19 Dec 2017

    RFi Group

    Professor Christopher Wright was quoted by RFi Group on how banks approach climate change.

  • Christopher Wright in The Hobart Mercury 13 Dec 2017

    Hobart Mercury

    Hobart Mercury mentioned research by Professor Christopher Wright and Honorary Professor Daniel Nyberg on the climate change responses of five big Australian corporations in media, finance, insurance, energy and manufacturing.

  • Empty promises, broken dreams 02 Dec 2017

    Deccan Chronicle

    Deccan Chronicle (India) quoted Professor Christopher Wright on his research on the disconnect between the promises corporations make on climate change and what they actually deliver.

See all Newsroom items for Christopher Wright

Videos

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.

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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.

3:21 mins Play video   Watch on YouTube


BERN is interested in how business can better balance economic, environmental and social concerns while creating value for a wide range of stakeholders.

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