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Wilfrid Laurier University Lazaridis School of Business & Economics
December 8, 2016
Canadian Excellence
Dr. Barry Colbert

Dr. Barry A. Colbert

Associate Professor (Policy) and Director, P&G Centre for Business & Sustainability

Contact Information
Phone: 519.884.0710 ext.2654
Fax: 519.884.0201
Office Location: Lazaridis Hall 4065
Office Hours: By appointment
Languages Spoken


Academic Background
Hons BA (Economics & English Literature); MBA; PhD (Strategic Management & Sustainability)

Dr. Barry Colbert is Director of the P&G Centre for Business & Sustainability and Associate Professor of Policy & Strategic Management in the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo.  His research is centred on societal learning for sustainability, and the means by which organizations align a vision for sustainability, corporate and business strategy, and multi-sector collaborative learning toward more sustainable business practice.  His writing has been published in the Academy of Management Review, Management Learning, and Business and Society, along with several book chapters, including 'The Business Case for CSR' in the Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility, and 'A Complexity Perspective of SHRM' in The Sage Handbook of Complexity and Management. He is co-author, with Elizabeth Kurucz and David Wheeler, of the book Reconstructing Value: Leadership Skills for a Sustainable World (2013) from the University of Toronto Press.

Dr. Colbert leads MBA and BBA classes exploring sustainable strategic management, in which social and environmental issues are taken as the strategic domain for value creation, and leads the Organization Theory Doctoral seminar at SBE Laurier.  He has served as Adjunct Faculty and taught at the Copenhagen Business School (Denmark), Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS), McMaster University (Hamilton, ON), the Ontario College of Art & Design (Toronto, ON), Audencia (Nantes, France) and Kedge Business School (Marseille, France). 

Barry stewards Laurier's participation in the Aspen Institute's International MBA Business & Society Case Competition ( In the seven-year history of this prestigious competition, the Laurier team has placed First four times (2011, 2014, 2015, 2016).

Barry was a founding Director and serves as Board Chair of Sustainable Waterloo Region, a collaborative non-profit organization focused on advancing the environmental sustainability of organizations across Waterloo Region:  The SWR model has been scaling out across Ontario since 2012 via Sustainability CoLab:

He directs the P &G Centre for Business & Sustainability at Laurier SBE:

Sample publications:

Kurucz, E., B. Colbert, F. Lüdeke-Freund, A. Upward, B. Willard, 2016. “Relational Leadership for Sustainability: Practices and Capabilities to Advance Strategic Sustainable Development.” In press: Journal of Cleaner Production.

Kurucz, Elizabeth C., Barry A. Colbert and Joel Marcus, 2014. “Sustainability as a provocation to rethink management education: Building a progressive educative practice.” Management Learning, 45(4): 437-457.

Kurucz, Elizabeth C., Barry A. Colbert and David Wheeler, 2013. Reconstructing Value: Leadership Skills for a Sustainable World. 327p. UTP/Rotman Press: Toronto.

Colbert, Barry A. and Elizabeth C. Kurucz, 2011. A Complexity Perspective on Human Resource Management. The Sage Handbook of Complexity and Management, P. Allen, S. Maguire, B. McKelvey (Eds.). Sage: London.

Marcus, Joel, Elizabeth C. Kurucz and Barry A. Colbert, 2010. “Conceptions of the Business-Society-Nature Interface: Implications for Management Scholarship”. Business & Society, 49(3): 402-438.

Kurucz, Elizabeth C., Colbert, Barry A., and Wheeler, D. 2008. The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility. In A. Crane, A. McWilliams, D. Matten, J. Moon, D. Seigel (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook on Corporate Social Responsibility, p. 83-112. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Colbert, Barry A., Elizabeth C. Kurucz and David Wheeler, 2007. Building the Sustainable Organization. In R. Burke and C. Cooper (Eds.), Building More Effective Organizations. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

Colbert, Barry A., 2004. “The Complex Resource-Based View: Implications for Theory and Practice in Strategic Human Resource Management”. Academy of Management Review, 29(3), 341-358.

Wheeler, David, Barry A. Colbert, and R. Edward Freeman, 2003. “Focusing on Value: Reconciling Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability and a Stakeholder Approach in a Network World”. Journal of General Management, 28(3), 1-28.

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