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David A. Owens

Professor for the Practice of Management and Innovation
Faculty Director, VU Accelerator-Summer Business Institute

Subject Area(s): Entrepreneurship, Organization Studies, Ethics and Social Responsibility

Professor Owens serves on the faculty at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management in the area of management, where he also directs the Executive Development Institute. Specializing in innovation and new product development, he is known as a dynamic speaker and is the recipient of numerous teaching awards. He provides consulting services for a wide range of clients around the world, and his work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, London Guardian and San Jose Mercury News, as well as on NPR's Marketplace.

Owens has consulted for NASA, The Smithsonian, Nissan LEAF, Gibson Music, American Conservatory Theater, Alcatel, Tetra Pak, Tennessee Valley Authority, Cisco, LEGO, The Henry Ford Museum and many other organizations. He has done product design work for well-known firms including Daimler Benz, Apple Computer, Dell Computer, Coleman Camping, Corning World Kitchen, Steelcase and IDEO Product Development. He has also served as CEO of a large consumer electronics firm, Griffin Technology.

Owens earned his Ph.D. in management science and engineering through a joint fellowship program between Stanford's Graduate School of Business and its School of Engineering. He holds an M.S. in engineering product design and is a registered professional electrical engineer (P.E). In his current work, Owens focuses on concrete strategies for creating positive change in all types of organizations.

Professor Owens' new book Creative People Must Be Stopped! Six Ways We Stop Innovation Without Even Trying, published by Jossy-Bass, will be available in November of 2011.

Ph.D., Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University, 1998
M.S., Engineering Product Design, Stanford University, 1993
P.E., Registered Professional Electrical Engineering, 1991
B.S., Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, 1987

Other Course(s):
Social Entrepreneurship,
Strategy in the New Economy,
Innovation Strategy (Executive Course)

Research Interest(s):
Professor Owens' research focuses the management of innovation in product, process, and and service industries. He also studies the effects of social status on organizational effectiveness and design.

Area(s) of Expertise:
Strategic Innovation, New Product Design and Development, Organizational Design


Ciampa, E.J., Hunt, A. A., Arenson, K.O., Mordes, D.A., Oldham, W.M., Woo, K.v., Owens, D.A., Canon, M.D., and Dermody, T.S. (2011), “A Workshop on Leadership for MD/PhD Students.” Medical Education Online 2011, 16, 7075.  
Phillips, D., and Owens, D. A., (2005), "Incumbents, Innovation, and Competence: The Emergence of Recorded Jazz, 1920 - 1929." Poetics Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media, and the Arts, Vol. 32. No. 3. London, UK: Elsevier BV.
Owens, D. A., M.A. Neale (2003), "Der Mythos vom egalitaeren Medium: Email und Status." in Vermittlungskulturen in Wandel: Brief, Email, SMS, edited by Joachim R. Hoeflich and Julian Gebhardt. Frankfurt Germany: Peter Lang GmbH.
Owens, D. A. and R. I. Sutton (2002), "Status Contests in Meetings: Negotiating the Informal Order," in Groups at Work: Advances in Theory and Research, edited by M. E. Turner. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates.
Owens, D. A., M. A. Neale, and R. I. Sutton (2000), "Technologies of Status Management: Status Dynamics In Email Communications." In Neale, M.A., Mannix, E.A., and Griffith, T.L. Research on Groups and Teams Vol. 3 - Technology. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Owens, D. A., "Structure and Status in Design Teams (2000) : Implications for Design Management." Academic Review of the Design Management Journal. Vol. 1, Boston, MA: Design Management Institute.
Owens, D. A., E. A. Mannix, and M. A. Neale (1998), "The Strategic Formation of Groups," in Research on Groups and Teams, Vol. 1, edited by M. A. Neale and E. A. Mannix. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Larsen, E. and D. A. Owens (1997), "Silicon Valley: The Model for 21st-Century Business Culture?" Daimler Benz Technology and Society Research Group, Delta Series.
Owens, D. A. (1997), "'Got Culture?' Products, Groups and Identity in the Age of Mass-Customization," in RANA Magazine, Volume 1, No. 3.
Owens, D. A. (1995), "Cultural Design: Accounting for User Values in a Multicultural Context." Daimler Benz Technology and Society Research Group, Research Series.


Owens, David A., Creative People Must Be Stopped:  Six Ways We Stop Innovation Without Even Trying.  San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass.
Owens, D. A., (1998), "Negotiating Order: Status-Ordering Dynamics in Ongoing Workgroups." Dissertation at Stanford University, Department of Management Science and Engineering.

Presentation(s) and Proceeding(s):

"Competitive Strength, Legitimacy, and Innovative Activity: The Birth of Recorded Jazz in Chicago and the Midwest, 1921 to 1929." Academy of Management, Washington D.C.: 2001
"Using the Business School Cirriculum in Design Management Education". National Science Foundation Roundtable, California Polytechnic Institute Pomona, CA. 2001
"On the Inside Looking Out: Constructing the Boundary Between Identity and Landscape in Early-Stage Ventures." Venture Entrepreneurship on the Technological Frontier Conference: Vanderbilt University, 2000
"Uncertainty and the Choice of Organizing Logic in Groups: The Effects on Performance." Symposium paper for Academy of Management Meeting: Organizational and Management Theory Division. Chicago, 2000
"Electronic Status Negotiation: Status-based Differences in E-mail Communication Patterns." Stanford / Columbia / JAI Conference: "Research on Groups and Teams : Issues in Technology." Columbia University, 1999

Podcast(s) & Video:

Thought Grenades Podcast
Owens on "Innovation"

Media Mentions:
Marketplace (NPR); Wall Street Journal; New York Times Magazine; Fast Company; Industry Standard; Money Magazine; San Jose Mercury News; Seattle Times; and others


Voice: 615-322-2673
Fax: 615-343-7177
Office #: 324 Mgmt. Hall
Email Professor Owens >