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Oana Branzei

Professor, Strategy & Sustainability

Director, Sustainability Certificate Program
Western Faculty Scholar
Champion, United Nations’ Principles of Responsible Management Education
Founder, Ivey/ARCS PhD Sustainability Academy
Co-founder, Spring Institute
Paul MacPherson Chair in Strategic Leadership

Oana Branzei is the Paul MacPherson Chair in Strategic Leadership and Professor of Strategy and Sustainability at the Ivey Business School at Western University in Canada. She is also the founding Director of the HBA Sustainability Certificate program and the Master of Science Graduate Diploma in Sustainability; the founder, convener and host of PhD Sustainability Academy, an annual event of the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability; and co-founder of the recently inaugurated virtual-based and accessible Spring Institute. Ivey’s champion for the United Nation’s Principles for Responsible Education for a decade (until 2019), Oana has since pioneered the ESG and SDG case curations and global conversations for Ivey Publishing. Oana heads her global Resilience lab, originally formed with funding from her 2010 Early Researcher Award, and currently featuring collaborations with rapid-response research teams tackling grand challenges on five continents.

Professor Branzei, a Western Faculty Scholar (2018-2020) currently cross-appointed with Western University’s Centre for Climate Change, Sustainable Livelihoods and Health, vice chairs the Western University Research Board, represents Ivey on Western’s Senate, is an Advisory Board member for the Africa Institute, and sits on the Steering Committee for Western’s Carbon Solutions Fund. Oana served as adjudicator for the Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund and has chaired the Social Sciences Panel for the Early Researcher Awards for Ontario’s Ministry of Innovation since 2018.

Oana held a 2012-2014 visiting appointment with the Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship and the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. She was the inaugural Larry & Eris Field Family Visiting Scholar at the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship at Baruch College, City University of New York in 2019. Dr. Branzei also held a 2020 Visiting Professorship with the Centre for Research in Sustainability (CRIS) at Royal Holloway, the University of London. Oana maintains additional affiliations and has supervised students at the Stellenbosch University, the University of Liverpool, the University of Cape Town, and the University of Waterloo.

Since joining Ivey in 2007, Oana has taught in the HBA, MBA, MSc, EMBA and PhD programs. She developed and delivered multiple curricular and extracurricular innovations, including indigenous co-led programming, Hult Prize competitions, World’s Challenge-Challenge, and designed signature events such as the Social Innovation Forum, Ivey Impact Day, and worldchangers. Before joining Ivey, Oana started her academic career at the Schulich School of Business, York University where she served as Deputy Director of the Erivan K. Haub Program in Business and Sustainability (2005-2007) and taught the sustainability curriculum for all Kellogg affiliates and global executives enrolled in the world-first Sustainable Enterprise Academy (SEA). Previously, Oana had been a research associate with FEPA (Forest Economics and Policy Analysis), one of the world’s first think-tanks on sustainability issues, where she engaged with several of Canada’s research initiatives in fisheries, food, and forestry, documenting the collapse, collaboration, and conservation of endangered natural commons.

Oana’s research interests, at the intersection of strategy and sustainability, focus on novel forms and functions of business that purposefully address environmental, social, and governance (ESG) grand challenges. Professor Branzei leads major research initiatives on prosocial, circular, place-based, regenerative, and restorative organizing. She has convened communities of inquiry that actively promote positive social change through social innovation, social enterprise, sustainable communities, and cross-sector partnerships, such as the Sustainability, Entrepreneurship & Ethics annual conference and the Cross-Sector Social Interactions (CSSI) conference and their dedicated doctoral and faculty development consortia.

Oana pursues problem driven research and builds inclusive programs and platforms that engage critically and constructively with grand challenges. She has published more than 130 works to date (37 peer-review journal articles, 14 book chapters, 24 proceedings, 36 case studies, 7 technical reports and 3 conversation pieces). Professor Branzei’s contributions were published in several top research journals including the Academy of Management Discoveries, Business & SocietyJournal of Business Venturing, Journal of Business EthicsJournal of World BusinessJournal of International Business StudiesOrganizationOrganization Science, and Strategic Management Journal. Her first co-edited book introduced cross-sector collaborations (now SDG#17). She is currently finalizing her second and third edited books, both forthcoming with Routledge in 2023. Dr. Branzei’s research was also featured in the popular press, including Ashoka, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Forbes, Harvard Deusto, MIT Sloan, and The Globe and Mail.

Dr. Oana Branzei guest-edited special issues of the Journal of Business VenturingJournal of Business Ethics (2), and Organizations and Environment. Oana currently serves her second term as a Field Editor for the Journal of Business Venturing, commenced her first term as an Associate Editor for Business & Society. Professor Branzei completed full terms on the Editorial Review Boards of the Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Learning and Education, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management, and Journal of Trust Research.

Since obtaining her doctorate from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business in 2005, Oana has raised CAN$3.5 million in external funding by collaborating with, and impacting, more than 1000 organizations worldwide. Oana is a founding board member of Academia B and the Global Minds Collective.


  • PhD Grand Challenges
  • EMBA Sustainability
  • HBA & MSc Social Enterprise


  • PhD, Business Administration - University of British Columbia
  • MBA, International Business - University of Nebraska
  • HBA, Foreign Trade - Al. I. Cuza University

Recent Refereed Articles

  • Branzei, O., (Forthcoming), "Biocentric Work in the Anthropocene: How Actors Regenerate Degenerated Natural Commons", Journal of Management Studies
  • Lashitew, A. A.; Branzei, O.; van Tulder, R., 2024, "Community Inclusion under Systemic Inequality: How For-Profit Businesses Pursue Social Purpose", Journal of Management Studies, January 61(1): 230 - 268.
  • Gualandris, J.; Branzei, O.; Wilhelm, M.; Lazzarini, S. L.; Linnenluecke, M.; Hamann, R.; Dooley, K. J.; Barnett, M. L.; Chen, C., 2024, "Unchaining supply chains: Transformative leaps toward regenerating social–ecological systems", J. Supply Chain Manag., January 60(1): 53 - 67.
  • Zeyen, A.; Branzei, O., 2023, "Disabled at Work: Body-Centric Cycles of Meaning-Making", Journal of Business Ethics, July 185(4): 767 - 810.
  • Branzei, O.; Fathallah, R.; Jack, S.; Batjargal, B.; Wennberg, K.; Mickiewicz, T.; Stam, W., 2023, "The End of Resilience? Managing Vulnerability Through Temporal Resourcing and Resisting", Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, May 47(3): 104225872110538 - 104225872110538.
  • Ryan, A.; Geiger, S.; Haugh, H.; Branzei, O.; Gray, B.; Lawrence, T.; Cresswell, T.; Andersen, A.; Jack, S.; McKeever, E., et al., 2023, "Emplaced partnerships and the ethics of care, recognition and resilience", Journal of Business Ethics, May (184): 757 - 772.
  • Garst, G.; Blok, V.; Branzei, O.; Jansen, L.; Omta, O. S. W. F., 2021, "Toward a value-sensitive absorptive capacity framework: Navigating intervalue and intravalue conflicts to answer the societal call for health", Business and Society, July 60(6): 1349 - 1386.
  • Poldner, K.; Branzei, O.; Steyaert, C., 2019, "Fashioning Ethical Subjectivity: The Embodied Ethics of Entrepreneurial Self-formation, Organization", Organization, December 26(2): 151 - 174.
  • Parker, S. C.; Gamble, E.; Moroz, P. W.; Branzei, O., 2019, "The Impact of B Lab Certification on Firm Growth", Academy of Management Discoveries, March 5(1): 55 - 77.
  • Fathallah, R.; Branzei, O.; Schaan, J-L., 2018, "No place like home? How EMNCs from hyper turbulent contexts internationalize by sequentially arbitraging rents, values, and scales abroad", Journal of World Business, November 53(5): 620 - 631.
  • Branzei, O.; Parker, S. C.; Moroz, P. W.; Gamble, E., 2018, "Going pro-social: Extending the individual-venture nexus to the collective level", Journal of Business Venturing, September 33(5): 551 - 565.
  • Maslach, D.; Branzei, O.; Rerup, C.; Zbaracki, M., 2018, "Noise as signal in learning from rare events", Organization Science, April 29(2): 225 - 246.
  • Branzei, O.; Frooman, J.; McKnight, B.; Zietsma, C., 2018, "What Good Does Doing Good do? The Effect of Bond Rating Analysts’ Corporate Bias on Investor Reactions to Changes in Social Responsibility", Journal of Business Ethics, March 148(1): 183 - 203.
  • Moroz, P. W.; Branzei, O.; Parker, S. C.; Gamble, E., 2018, "Imprinting with purpose: new pro-social opportunities and B Corp certification", Journal of Business Venturing, March 33(2): 117 - 129.
  • Cui, V.; Vertinsky, I.; Robinson, S.; Branzei, O., 2018, "Trust in the Workplace: The Role of Social Interaction Diversity in the Community and in the Workplace", Business and Society, February 57(2): 378 - 412.

For more publications please see our Research Database

Honours & Awards

  • 2024 Ivey Research Merit Award


  • Statistics Canada Facilitated Access Researcher, the Science, Technology and Innovation Division, Survey of Innovation
  • Research Fellow, University of British Columbia
  • W. Maurice Young Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Research Centre
  • Business Consultant, Nebraska Business Development Center
  • Labor Market Researcher, HM Department of Employment, London

Research/Course Development

  • PhD Sustainability Academy
  • Sustainability Certificate
  • Corporations & Society
  • Social Innovation
  • Social Enterprise

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