Charlene Zietsma

Charlene Zietsma


PhD University of British Columbia 2003
MBA Simon Fraser University 1996
BA Wilfrid Laurier University 1985

Charlene Zietsma is the Max McGraw Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the Ross School of Business and the School for Environment & Sustainability at the University of Michigan.  She previously held appointments at Pennsylvania State University, York University (Toronto), Western University and the University of Victoria. She is an International Research Fellow of the Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation and earned her doctorate at the University of British Columbia. 

Professor Zietsma’s research focuses on social innovation: the individual, organizational  and collective efforts to make (and resist) significant, large-scale change in the context of sustainability and social justice issues. She studies institutional work, institutional change processes, social and sustainable entrepreneurship, and social movements focused on grand challenges and wicked problems. She is interested in how business organizations move towards more sustainable  practices, particularly through voluntary governance such as certifications, codes of conduct and cross-sector partnership agreements. She has lectured extensively on these topics around the world and her work has been published in the top management journals, with several winning best article awards. She was awarded the Administrative Science Quarterly Scholarly Contribution Award for making a significant impact on the field of organization studies. Her work has been recognized for its societal impact by the Financial Times (Responsible Business Education for Academic Research), the Global Business School Network and EFMD Global’s Going Beyond Initiative, the Responsible Research in Business & Management Network, the Academy of Management Organizations and the Natural Environment and Social Issues in Management divisions. 

Professor Zietsma has held editorial and guest editorial roles with several journals and serves on the editorial board for the Academy of Management Journal and the Academy of Management Review. She has organized a number of conferences and conference tracks. She held a Chair of Excellence at Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, as well as visiting appointments at the University Technology Sydney, University of Sydney, Queensland University, Queensland University of Technology, Nottingham University in Ningbo, China, Hebrew University, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Liverpool.