Paul Tracey

Professor of Innovation & Organisation

Vice Dean for Research & Impact

Co-Director of the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation

Fellow of Hughes Hall

BA, PhD (Stirling University)

My research interests include entrepreneurship, institutions and institutional change, regional innovation, and social innovation. I’m a Visiting Professor in the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of Melbourne, and a member of the Cambridge Corporate Governance Network. I serve as an Associate Editor at the Academy of Management Review.

I’m part of the Organisational Theory and Information Systems subject group at Cambridge Judge Business School, which is engaged with cross-disciplinary themes including leadership.

Professional experience

Prior to joining Cambridge Judge Business School, Paul was Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Warwick Business School. He has also held posts at the School of Geography at Oxford University and the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Newcastle. Paul serves on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Journal, and Strategic Organization, has previously served on the editorial boards of Administrative Science Quarterly and Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, and is an Associate Editor of Academy of Management Review, and Innovation: Organization and Management. He is Visiting Professor in the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of Melbourne, a member of the Cambridge Corporate Governance Network (CCGN), Fellow in Clayton State University’s Center for Social Innovation & Sustainable Entrepreneurship, and a Visiting Social Innovator at Memorial University’s Centre for Social Enterprise, Newfoundland, Canada.

Previous appointments

Selected publications

Journal articles

  • Hampel, C. and Tracey, P. (2017) “How organizations move from stigma to legitimacy: the case of Cook’s travel agency in Victorian Britain.” Academy of Management Journal, 60(6): 2175-2207 (DOI: 10.5465/amj.2015.0365)
  • Prabhu, J., Tracey, P. and Hassan, M. (2017) “Marketing to the poor: an institutional model of exchange in emerging markets.”AMS Review, 7(3-4): 101–122 (DOI: 10.1007/s13162-017-0100-0)
  • Smith, W.K., Erez, M., Jarvenpaa, S., Lewis, M.W. and Tracey, P. (2017) “Adding complexity to theories of paradox, tensions, and dualities of innovation and change.”Organization Studies, 38(3-4): 303-317 (DOI: 10.1177/0170840617693560)
  • Tracey, P. and Stott, N. (2017) “Social innovation: a window on alternative ways of organizing and innovating.”Innovation: Organization and Management, 19(1): 51-60 (DOI: 10.1080/14479338.2016.1268924)
  • Smith, W. and Tracey, P. (2016) “Institutional complexity and paradox theory: complementarities of competing demands.”Strategic Organization, 14(4): 455-466 (DOI: 10.1177/1476127016638565)
  • Tracey, P. (2016) “Spreading the word: the microfoundations of institutional persuasion and conversion.”Organization Science, 27(4): 989-1009 (DOI: 10.1287/orsc.2016.1061)
  • Tracey, P. and Phillips, N. (2016) “Managing the consequences of organizational stigmatization: identity work in a social enterprise.”Academy of Management Journal, 59(3): 740-765 (DOI: 10.5465/amj.2013.0483)
  • Dalpiaz, E., Tracey, P. and Phillips, N. (2014) “Succession narratives in family business: the case of Alessi.”Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 38(6): 1375-1394 (DOI: 10.1111/etap.12129)
  • Tracey, P., Heide, J.B. and Bell, S.J. (2014) “Bringing ‘place’ back in: regional clusters, project governance, and new product outcomes.” Journal of Marketing, 78(6): 1-16
  • Tracey, P. and Schluppeck, D. (2014) “Neuroentrepreneurship: ‘brain pornography’ or new frontier in entrepreneurship research?”Journal of Management Inquiry, 23(1): 101-103 (DOI: 10.1177/1056492613485915)
  • Phillips, N., Tracey, P. and Karra, N. (2013) “Building entrepreneurial tie portfolios through strategic homophily: the role of narrative identity work in value creation and early growth.” Journal of Business Venturing, 28(1): 134-150 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2011.12.002)
  • Lawrence, T., Phillips, N. and Tracey, P. (2012) “Educating social entrepreneurs and social innovators.”Academy of Management Learning and Education, 11(3): 319-323 (DOI: 10.5465/amle.2012.0224)
  • Tracey, P. (2012) “Religion and organization: a critical review of current trends and future directions.” Academy of Management Annals, 6(1): 87-134 (DOI: 10.1080/19416520.2012.660761)
  • Dacin, M.T., Dacin, P.A. and Tracey, P. (2011) “Social entrepreneurship: a critique and future directions.” Organization Science, 22(5): 1203-1213 (DOI: 10.1287/orsc.1100.0620)
  • Tracey, P. and Phillips, N. (2011) “Entrepreneurship in emerging markets: strategies for new venture creation in uncertain institutional contexts.” Management International Review, 51(1): 23-39 (DOI: 10.1007/s11575-010-0066-8)
  • Tracey, P., Phillips, N. and Jarvis, O. (2011) “Bridging institutional entrepreneurship and the creation of new organizational forms: a multilevel model.” Organization Science, 22(1): 60-80 (DOI: 10.1287/orsc.1090.0522)
  • Dacin, M.T., Munir, K. and Tracey, P. (2010) “Formal dining at Cambridge colleges: linking ritual performance and institutional maintenance.” Academy of Management Journal, 53(6): 1393-1418
  • Di Domenico, M., Haugh, H. and Tracey, P. (2010) “Social bricolage: theorizing social value creation in social enterprises.” Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 34(4): 681-703
  • Eisingerich, A.B., Bell, S. and Tracey, P. (2010) “How can clusters sustain performance? The role of network strength, network openness, and environmental uncertainty.” Research Policy, 39(2): 239-253
  • Moizer, J. and Tracey, P. (2010) “Strategy making in social enterprise: the role of resource allocation and its effects on organizational sustainability.” Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 27(3): 252-266 (DOI: 10.1002/sres.1006)
  • Bell, S., Tracey, P. and Heide, J.B. (2009) “The organization of regional clusters.” Academy of Management Review, 34(4): 623-642
  • Kneiding, C. and Tracey, P. (2009) “Towards a performance measurement framework for community development finance institutions in the UK.” Journal of Business Ethics, 86(3): 327-345
  • Di Domenico, M., Tracey, P. and Haugh, H. (2009) “The dialectic of social exchange: theorising corporate-social enterprise collaboration.” Organization Studies, 30(8): 887-907 (DOI: 10.1177/0170840609334954)
  • Di Domenico, M., Tracey, P. and Haugh, H. (2009) “Social economy involvement in public service delivery: community engagement and accountability.” Regional Studies, 43(7): 981-992
  • Phillips, N. and Tracey, P. (2009) “Dialogue: institutional theory and the MNC.” Academy of Management Review, 34(1): 169-171
  • Phillips, N., Tracey, P. and Karra, N. (2009) “Rethinking institutional distance: strengthening the tie between new institutional theory and international management.” Strategic Organization, 7(3): 339-348
  • Karra, N., Phillips, N. and Tracey, P. (2008) “Building the born global firm: developing entrepreneurial capabilities for international new venture success.” Long Range Planning, 41(4): 440-458

Special issues of journals

  • Smith, W.K., Erez, M., Jarvenpaa, S., Lewis, M.W. and Tracey, P. (eds.) (2017) “Special issue on paradox, tensions and dualities of innovation and change.” Organization Studies, 38(3-4)

Books, monographs, reports and case studies

  • George, G., Haas, M.R., Joshi, H., McGahan, A.M. and Tracey, P. (eds.) (2022) Handbook on the business of sustainability: the organization, implementation, and practice of sustainable growth. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • George, G., Baker, T., Tracey, P. and Joshi, H. (eds.) (2019) Handbook of inclusive innovation: the role of organizations, markets and communities in social innovation. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Tracey, P., Phillips, N. and Lounsbury, M. (eds.) (2014) Research in the sociology of organizations: vol.41: religion and organization theory. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing.
  • Clark, G.L. and Tracey, P. (2004) Global competitiveness and innovation: an agent-centred perspective. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

Book chapters

  • Hampel, C., Lawrence, T.B. and Tracey, P. (2017) “Institutional work: taking stock and making it matter.” In: Greenwood, R., Oliver, C., Lawrence, T.B. and Meyer, R. (eds.) The SAGE handbook of organizational institutionalism. London: Sage, 2nd edition, pp.558-590
  • Tracey, P and Creed, W.E.D. (2017) “Beyond managerial dilemmas: the study of institutional paradoxes in organization theory. In: Smith, W.K., Lewis, M.W., Jarzabkowski, P. and Langley, A. (eds.) The Oxford handbook of organizational paradox. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.162-177
  • Tracey, P., Phillips, N. and Lounsbury, M. (2014) “Taking religion seriously in the study of organizations.” In: Tracey, P., Phillips, N. and Lounsbury, M. (eds.): Research in the sociology of organizations: vol.41: religion and organization theory. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing, pp.3-21
  • Tracey, P. (2012) “Entrepreneurship and neo-institutional theory.” In: Mole, K. and Ram, M. (eds.) Perspectives in entrepreneurship: a critical approach. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.93-106

Awards and honours

  • Academy of Management Journal Best Article Award (with Laura Claus), 2021
  • European Group of Organization Studies Best Paper Award (with Lilia Giugni), 2020
  • ESRC Mid-Career Fellowship, April 2011-March 2013

News and insights

United Nations vehicle with soldiers.

Two papers co-authored by Cambridge Judge academics using social innovation approaches to solve defence issues will be presented at a military conference in the US this month. The first outlines suggested improvements to the United Nations (UN) deployment decision-making process, and the second addresses under participation of Asian American Pacific Islanders in the United States Air Force.

Mental health.

Articles on helping employees in distress and meeting strategic goals through innovation appear in the September-October issue of the HBR magazine.

A look at marginalised communities: what Cambridge Judge research and initiatives can teach us.

In this special insight article, we look at some of the work done at Cambridge Judge to highlight issues affecting the marginalised and point a way forward to solving them, and we also talk to some of those involved in these important initiatives.

Media coverage

Stanford Social Innovation Review | 11 January 2020

Researchers explain how international NGOs pursue advocacy in the face of government opposition

A research paper co-authored at Cambridge Judge Business School reconstructs how an international children’s rights organisation worked in Indonesia to disrupt highly institutionalised child marriage. The paper by Dr Laura Claus and Professor Paul Tracey examines how NGOs navigate such obstacles.

IEDP | 12 July 2019

The art of the strategic pivot

Research co-authored by Paul Tracey, Professor of Innovation & Organisation at Cambridge Judge Business School, looks at how business leaders can pivot when necessary yet maintain good relations with their stakeholders. “Ventures can remove the affective hostility of stakeholders and rebuild connections with many of them by exposing their struggles,” the study says.