Proven Leader: John Dencker


John Dencker
Associate Professor, Management and Organizational Development 
PhD Harvard University


Dencker brings his expertise in entrepreneurship, labor markets, and organizational restructuring to a number of industries with a focus on the energy sector.

His research examines the effects of corporate restructuring on the employment relationship, public policy programs designed to help the unemployed transition into entrepreneurship, and generational dynamics in the workplace.

He is a recipient of the “IDEA Thought Leader Award” from the Academy of Management and sits on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Journal and Administrative Science Quarterly.

Dencker’s ongoing research examines necessity entrepreneurship and the relationship between race and employment. 

Q: What are your areas of expertise/research focus?

I examine the effects of corporate restructuring on the employment relationship, public policy programs designed to help the unemployed transition to self-employment (entrepreneurship), generational dynamics in the workplace, and causes and consequences of domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions.

Q: What industries are or could be impacted by your research?

My research results can be generalized to a number of industries, some studies are specific to the energy sector.

Q: What topics do you teach?

Organizational behavior and leadership.

Q: What research projects are you currently working on or planning?

Necessity entrepreneurship and race and employment relationships.

Q: What are some of your most seminal publications?

Dencker, J. C., Gruber, M., & Sonali, S. (2009). Individual and Opportunity Factors Influencing Job Creation in New Firms. Academy of Management Journal. 52, 1125- 1147.

Dencker, J. C. (2009). Relative Bargaining Power, Corporate Restructuring and Managerial Incentives. Administrative Science Quarterly, 54, 453-485.

Joshi, A., Dencker J. C., Franz, G., & Martocchio, J. J. (2010). Unpacking Generational Identities in Organizations. Academy of Management Review, 35 392-414.

Q: What are some awards that you have received?
  • IDEA Thought Leader Award, Entrepreneurship Division. For “Individual and Opportunity Factors Influencing Job Creation in New Firms.” Academy of Management.
  • Saroj Parasuraman Award Finalist, Gender and Diversity in Organizations Division. For “Unpacking Generational Identities in Organizations.” Academy of Management.
  • Carolyn Dexter Award Finalist, Entrepreneurship Division. For “Individual, Organizational, and Environmental Drivers of Job Creation in New Firms.” Academy of Management.