Matthew Grimes

Professor of Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Futures

Director of the MPhil in Innovation, Strategy and Organisation Programme

Co-Director of the Entrepreneurship Centre

BBA (College of William and Mary), MSc (Saïd Business School, University of Oxford), PhD (Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University)

My research interests include entrepreneurship and sustainable development. I examine how individuals and organisations create, introduce, and sustain positive social change by way of entrepreneurship by studying both the contextual and individual factors that contribute to innovation and the governance of innovation.

I’m a member of the Organisational Theory and Information Systems subject group at Cambridge Judge Business School, Academic Co-Director of the Cambridge Judge Entrepreneurship Centre, and current Associate Editor at the Academy of Management Journal.

Visionary leadership requires working through our tendency toward polarisation to embrace complexity and competing demands

Professional experience

Professor Matthew Grimes currently serves as Associate Editor of the Academy of Management Journal. He also serves on the editorial review boards of Academy of Management Review and Journal of Business Venturing. He previously served on the editorial review boards for Administrative Science Quarterly, Entrepreneurship, Theory, & Practice and the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal.

Prior to obtaining his PhD, Professor Grimes was an Associate Director for Research at CEB (now Gartner) in Washington DC, London and New Delhi.

Previous appointments

Matthew Grimes was previously Assistant Professor at the University of Indiana’s Kelley School of Business (2015-2018) and also at the University of Alberta School of Business (2012-2015). Dr Grimes was appointed a Visiting Scholar in the Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies at the University of Sydney Business School (2015) as well as an International Research Fellow at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University (2015-2018).


Selected publications

Journal articles


Book chapters

  • Busch, C. and Grimes, M. (2023) “Serendipity in entrepreneurship, strategy, and innovation – a review and conceptualisation.” In: Copeland, S., Ross, W. and Sand, M. (eds.) Serendipity science: an emerging field and its methods. Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp.69-99
  • Park, K., Grimes, M.G. and Gehman, J. (2022) “Becoming a generalized specialist: a strategic model for increasing your organization’s SDG impact while minimizing externalities.” In George, G., Haas, M.R., Joshi, H., McGahan, A. and Tracey, P. (eds.) Handbook on the business of sustainability: the organization, implementation, and practice of sustainable growth. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp.439-458
  • Cao, K., Gehman, J. and Grimes, M.G. (2018) “Standing out and fitting in: charting the emergence of Certified B Corporations by industry and region.” In Corbett, A.C. and Katz, J.A. (eds.) Hybrid ventures (Advances in entrepreneurship, firm emergence, and growth, vol.19). Bingley: Emerald Publishing, pp.1-38
  • Victor, B. and Grimes, M. (2014) “Making moral markets: a professional responsibility ethic for business and poverty.” In Fischer, E.F. (ed.) Cash on the table: markets, values, and moral economies. Santa Fe, AZ: School for Advanced Research Press, pp.171-186
  • Victor, B. and Grimes, M. (2013) “Why accountability in social entrepreneurship is crucial.” In Lyons, T.S. (ed.) Social entrepreneurship: how businesses can transform society: vol.3: accountability, performance measurement, and performance management in social entrepreneurship. Santa Barbara, CN: Praeger, pp.223-233

Awards and honours

  • Best Developmental Reviewer, Academy of Management Review, 2023
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award, Academy of Management Review, 2022
  • Responsible Research in Management Finalist, co-sponsored by the Community for Responsible Research in Business and Management and The International Association for Chinese Management Research, 2020
  • Developmental Reviewer Award, Academy of Management Review, 2020
  • Emerging Scholar Award, ENT Division of the Academy of Management, 2018
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award, Academy of Management Journal, 2018
  • Presidential Responsible Research in Management Award, co-sponsored by the Community for Responsible Research in Business and Management and The International Association for Chinese Management Research, 2017 (inaugural year)
  • Best Paper Award, 13th Annual Social Entrepreneurship Conference, 2016
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award, Academy of Management Journal, 2016
  • Best Paper Award, SAP Division, Academy of Management, 2016
  • People’s Choice Award from the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability, 2015
  • Research Fellow, Canadian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, 2012-2015
  • Nova Faculty Fellow, 2014-2015
  • Southam Edmonton Journal Faculty Fellow, 2013-2014

News and insights

Group of people working at a startup.

Entrepreneurship and innovation

How to better harness unicorn startups

Entrepreneurship needs to shift from a model that prioritises growth at all costs toward a more responsible model that controls negative consequences, argues research co-authored by Professor Matthew Grimes.

Online AI generator tool.

Academic publishing has long been based on the premise of elite scarcity. With generative AI promising to lower barriers for producing exceptional articles, Professor Matthew Grimes asks how this will change the scholarly profession.

MBA students in class.

On the eve of COP28 we examine the MBA curriculum pathway that focuses on careers in sustainability and ESG. We hear from Cambridge Judge Business School faculty member, Professor Matthew Grimes, together with MBA alumni, on the leadership skills required to forge a successful career in this sector and contribute towards lasting impact for the planet.

Media coverage

Network for Business Sustainability | 22 April 2021

Corporate sustainability reputation matters most during crises

Nareuporn Piyasinchai, a PhD candidate in the Strategy & International Business subject group at Cambridge Judge Business School, discusses reputation management during crisis. A recent study co-authored with Dr Matthew Grimes, suggests companies should pay more attention to reputation in times of upheaval. “That’s especially true when it comes to your environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. Our research found that during highly disruptive periods, public ESG criticism “imprints” on firms’ reputations, creating a long-lasting impression that shapes their future practices,” Nareuporn writes.

Barron’s | 12 April 2019

Why mission drift can be a good thing

“Mission drift” need not be negative and can help an organisation widen its initial focus productively, Dr Matthew Grimes, Reader in Organisational Theory & Information Systems at Cambridge Judge Business School, argues in an article in financial magazine Barron’s. If managed effectively, says Matthew, initiatives that move beyond a company’s initial focus can become “mission lift” rather than “mission drift”.