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David Grant

David Grant

BA Essex MSc PhD London
Professor of Organisational Studies;
Acting Dean

Rm 209
H69 - Economics and Business Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Telephone +61 2 9351 7871
Fax +61 2 9351 6639


David Grant is Professor of Organisational Studies and Acting Dean of the University of Sydney Business School. He received his PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 2008 and is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Management, Kings College, London. He is co-director of the International Centre for Research on Organisational Discourse Strategy and Change. The Centre links researchers at eleven institutions in Europe, North America, Japan and Australia.

David has undertaken research and consultancy projects, and has designed and delivered change and leadership related executive education programs and professional workshops, for government, business, professional, community and labour organisations in North America, Europe, Australia and Japan. He has commentated in the media on a range of business and management related issues. His teaching focuses on organizational change and development and on leadership and presently he teaches at the executive level on the University of Sydney EMBA. As an expert on organizational discourse, his research examines how language and other symbolic media influence our understanding of, and the practice of, leadership and organization-wide, group and individual level change processes. Much of this work has been funded by government (Australian Research Council) and other grants amounting to over AU$1.2m. Currently, he is co-investigator on projects relating to ICT and change, new organization development practices, and business responses to climate change.

David is a member of the National Training Laboratories (NTL) Institute and is also a member of several other professional organizations including the Academy of Management (where he serves as an elected member of the Organization Development and Change division Executive Committee), the European Group for Organization Studies, the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies and the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management.

David has published in a range of journals, including: Organization Studies, Academy of Management Review, Organization, British Journal of Management, Human Relations, Journal of Management Studies, New Technology Work and Employment, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, International Journal of Human Resource Management and Journal of Organizational Change Management. In addition, David co-edited Metaphor and Organizations (1996, with Cliff Oswick), Organization Development: Metaphorical Explorations (1996, with Cliff Oswick) and Discourse and Organization (1998, with Tom Keenoy and Cliff Oswick). He is also co-editor of the Sage Handbook of Organizational Discourse (2004, with Cynthia Hardy, Cliff Oswick and Linda Putnam) which received the 2005 US National Communication Association, Organizational Communications "Book of the Year" Award. He has contributed to numerous handbooks and edited volumes and serves on several journal editorial boards including: Organization Studies, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Human Relations and Management Communication Quarterly. He is  also a regular contributor to several professional and practitioner journals.

Newsroom articles

  • Nokia sells to Microsoft, closing chapter in Finland's source of national pride 04 Sep 2013

    The Sydney Morning Herald

    Professor of Organizational Studies at the University of Sydney Business School, David Grant, comments on the move of the Nokia handset division to Microsoft.

  • Finnished: Nokia sells handset business to Microsoft 04 Sep 2013

    The Age

    Professor David Grant, Co-Dean of the Business School, has been quoted by Fairfax Media in an article about the sale of mobile phone giant Nokia to Microsoft.

  • Steve Ballmer's eternal quest to rescue Microsoft 19 Jul 2013

    The Sydney Morning Herald

    "Are Steve Ballmer's latest efforts to turn around the fortune of Microsoft too little, too late?" ask Professor David Grant, Co-Dean of the University of Sydney Business School, and Abz Sharma, PhD candidate. Read more

  • MBA flagship sets sail again 13 May 2013

    Australian Financial Review

    The Australian Financial Review has interviewed Professor Tyrone Carlin and Professor David Grant, Co-Deans at the University of Sydney Business School, on our flagship Master of Business Administration Program.

  • Reshaping Apple's Core 06 Sep 2012

    The Australian Financial Review

    The first year without Steve Jobs has been most eventful for Apple. In particular, much has been made of CEO Timothy Cook's leadership style in contrast to that of Jobs', say Abz Sahrma and David Grant, Deputy Dean of the Business School.

See all Newsroom items for David Grant

Research Grants


Sustainable organisational change: Australian business responses to climate change

Australian businesses are expected to play a leading role in the fight against global warming. This project will generate new insights into how, though organisational change initiatives, Australian corporations are responding to the issue of climate change, as well as the sustainability of these initiatives.

ARC Discovery Project


New technology and talent acquisition in Australian professional services firms

The project examines the adoption and use of new recruitment related technologies by Australian professional services firms. It will provide insights into how Australian organisations can make more effective use of internet and social media technologies to attract new talent - a critical challenge affecting many Australian businesses.

ARC Discovery Project

See all Business School Grants

Research Expertise

  • Organisational discourse
  • Organisational change & development
  • Leadership

Recent Units Taught