The David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah today announced Jay Barney, one of the country’s leading experts on strategy and strategic management, is joining the school as a Presidential Professor of Strategic Management and as Lassonde Chair of Social Entrepreneurship. He comes to the Eccles School after 18 years at Ohio State University.
“Jay’s hiring further reinforces the reputation of the David Eccles School of Business as being a home for strategic innovators,” said Taylor Randall, the school’s dean. “He is one of the top five management strategists in the world, and he brings with him a unique ability to do research that influences industry.”
Barney is among the most-cited strategic management scholars in the world. His lifelong research has focused on the relationship between firm skills and capabilities and sustained competitive advantage. His work has been cited more than 50,000 times. He has published more than 100 articles in a variety of journals—including Management Science, Sloan Management Review, and the Harvard Business Review—has published six books, and delivered scholarly papers at more than 70 universities around the globe, including the London Business School, Harvard Business School and the Wharton School of Business. Barney has also been given honorary doctorate degrees from Sweden’s Lund University in 1997, Denmark’s Copenhagen Business School in 2008 and Spain’s Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid in 2011.
Most recently, Barney published his sixth book, a novel entitled What I Didn’t Learn in Business School: How Strategy Works in the Real World, which he uses in some of his MBA and Ph.D. classes. “It’s a really fast, easy way to get to know what business is really like,” Barney said.
Barney says one of his goals as an educator is ensuring his students know the “real world” of business. When he’s successful, he says, it benefits both the students and the businesses that rely on the David Eccles School of Business to supply smart, savvy additions to their workforce.
“I’ve always said that a business school has one customer and two products,” Barney said. “Our customer is the business community. And our products are, first, our students—undergraduates and MBA students. What we’re looking for is not just educating our students in the traditional sense, but to transform the students. If we only provide the business community with great students, that’s important, but that’s only half the story. The other half is, we have to be thought leaders. We have to be able to work with organizations in town and we have to challenge those companies with our ideas and research findings, and be accessible to them.”
Barney’s hiring adds another top-tier educator to the David Eccles School of Business under the direction of Dean Randall. The combination of groundbreaking research and dedication to students in the classroom is foremost among faculty, who collectively make the Eccles School one of the best places in the nation for students to get hands-on business experience.
Dr. Barney has also been named the Lassonde Chair of Social Entrepreneurship. He will lead the innovative new program housed in the school’s Pierre Lassonde Entrepreneur Center that provides students of the David Eccles School of Business unique work experiences in impoverished countries around the world.
Barney has extensive experience teaching international development and entrepreneurship. While at Ohio State University, he took numerous groups of students to Bolivia and rural Peru, where they identified small businesses or non-profit organizations that could benefit from their expertise. He will expand this work as the Lassonde Chair of Social Entrepreneurship.
“I got very interested in the possibility that you could actually bring the principals of business and economics to questions of how to alleviate abject poverty,” Barney said, describing his interest in social entrepreneurship. “I tell the students, ‘The probability of us having a big impact on these people’s lives is pretty small. But the probability of them having a big impact on your lives is very high.’ That’s the kind of transformative educational experience for students I’m talking about.”
In addition to his work on campus, Barney acts as a consultant, implementing large-scale organizational change and strategic analysis for organizations ranging from Hewlett-Packard and Texas Instruments to Arco and Koch Industries Inc. He has also served on advisory boards for several privately held companies, and on the board of directors for one publically traded firm (Max & Erma’s Restaurants).
Prior to his time at Ohio State, Barney was on the faculty of the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA and on the faculty at Texas A&M. He received his master’s and doctorate from Yale University, and his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University. He has also taught in a variety of executive training programs at Ohio State, Texas A&M, UCLA, Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, the University of Michigan, and Bocconi University in Milan, Italy, as well as at several firms, including AEP, AT&T, Nationwide and McKinsey & Company.
Barney returns to Utah with his wife of nearly four decades, Kim. He has three grown children, and eight grandchildren.
About the David Eccles School of Business
Founded in 1917 in Salt Lake City, the David Eccles School of Business has programs in entrepreneurship, technology innovation and venture capital management. It launched the country’s largest student-run venture capital fund with $18.3 million, and is home to the Pierre Lassonde Entrepreneur Center and the Sorenson Center for Discovery and Innovation. Approximately 4,500 students are enrolled in its undergraduate, graduate and executive degree programs. For more information, visit www.business.utah.edu.