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Trey Sutton
Assistant Professor of Management

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I am an assistant professor in the Management Department in the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond. The University of Richmond is a private, highly selective, nationally ranked liberal arts institution in Richmond, VA. I have a PhD in Strategic Management from the College of Business at Florida State University.

I currently teach five management courses per academic year (3-2 load). I have taught the Strategic Management capstone course every year since joining the Robins School. It is a case-based course required for seniors across all business majors. I also teach Environmental Management, a course that I designed several years ago. Environmental Management takes an innovation-based approach to sustainability, considering how organizations can perform well while reducing or reversing environmental damage.

Curriculum Vitae (As of May 2020)

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Research Statement

Research Statement (as of 5/28/2020)

Summary of Published Research & Selected Working Papers

Click on the title of each article to view the abstract and the links to the full papers.

Published Papers

Sutton, T., Devine, R. A., Lamont, B. T. & Holmes, R. M. (2020). Resource Dependence, Uncertainty, and the Allocation of Corporate Political Activity across Multiple Jurisdictions. Academy of Management Journal, In Press.

Abstract: This paper contributes to the resource dependence theory literature and corporate political activity literature by distinguishing dependence from uncertainty and explaining how two different types of uncertainty have opposite effects on dependence management. We draw on Milliken's (1987) uncertainty typology to explain how some environmental factors increase the state uncertainty associated with firms' dependence on government jurisdictions, whereas other factors increase response uncertainty. We hypothesize that, due to the historical influence of the media and social movement organizations (SMOs) on politics, negative national media tenor and oppositional SMO resources increase state uncertainty (i.e., government's likely behavior toward firms becomes less predictable), strengthening the relationship between firms' dependence on jurisdictions and their use of political contributions in those jurisdictions. Further, we hypothesize that TMT turnover and politician turnover increase response uncertainty (i.e., the effectiveness of firms' efforts to manage their dependence becomes less clear), weakening the relationship between dependence and political contributions. We find support for our theory in an examination of statelevel political contributions of firms in environmentally intensive industries from 2009 to 2016. Interviews with senior executives, political consultants, and senior government employees directly involved in corporate political activity help illustrate the hypothesized relationships.

DeGhetto, K., Sutton, T., & Zorn, M. (2018). Institutional Drivers of Born Public Ventures. Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, 7(1): 13-33.

Abstract: The authors develop theory that explains how the government influences the pursuit of public sector opportunities, thereby influencing where new ventures expend their finite effort. Specifically, the authors use institutional theory to delineate the regulatory, cognitive, and normative drivers of born-public ventures. In doing so, the authors highlight both the government's regulative and non-regulative institutional influences. Finally, the authors present a research agenda to encourage further understanding of this important phenomenon.

Holmes, R. M., Zahra, S. A., Hoskisson, R. E., DeGhetto, K., & Sutton, T. (2016). Two-way streets: The role of institutions and technology policy in firms' corporate entrepreneurship and political strategies. Academy of Management Perspectives, 30(3): 247-242.

Abstract: Technology policy influences the incentives and opportunities firms have to innovate and adapt to changing environments and thus has important implications for strategy and entrepreneurship. However, to date, strategy and entrepreneurship scholars have paid insufficient attention to technology policy. We underscore the importance of two dimensions of technology policy: (1) state funding for research and (2) state protection of intellectual property (IP). We then illustrate how interactions between these two dimensions of technology policy influence (1) the corporate entrepreneurship (CE) strategies through which firms innovate and adapt and (2) the political strategies through which they attempt to influence and secure the benefits of technology policy. Given differences in the goals, incentives, capabilities, and relative power among the various players affected by technology policy, our discussion contributes to a more thorough understanding of the dynamic interplay between government institutions and firms, the potential complementarity (and substitutions) between firms' CE and political strategies, and interdependent effects of state funding for research and IP protection across different international environments.

Holmes, R. M., Li, H., Hitt, M. A., DeGhetto, K., & Sutton, T. (2016). The effects of location and MNC attributes on MNCs' establishment of foreign R&D centers: Evidence from China. Long Range Planning, 49(5): 594-613.

Abstract: This study examines factors affecting MNCs' establishment of R&D centers in China (i.e., China R&D centers). We argue that China offers not only location advantages (e.g., economic growth) that encourage MNCs to establish R&D centers there, but also location disadvantages (e.g., weak intellectual property protection) that discourage MNCs from doing so. Examining a sample of China R&D centers established by U.S. MNCs over fifteen years, we find that China's location advantages and location disadvantages have both independent and joint effects on MNCs' establishment of China R&D centers. We also find that MNC attributes moderate these effects.

Sutton, T., Short, J. C., McKenny, A. F. & Namatovu, R. (2018). Institutional factors affecting expansion within the East African Community: An analysis of managers' personal stories. (2015) Africa Journal of Management, 1(4): 365-383.

Abstract: This study investigates the roles of the regulative, normative, and cognitive institutional pillars as perceived obstacles and facilitators of internationalization within an integrated region. Integrated regions involve efforts to create institutional similarities among member nations and encourage intra-regional trade. These efforts make integrated regions a theoretically interesting and important context for analyzing managerial perceptions of the institutional environment. We content analyze essays and questionnaires from managers in the East African Community (EAC) to compare the three pillars. Our findings suggest that managers perceive the regulative pillar to be the greatest source of institutional obstacles to expansion within the EAC. Interestingly, the managers also perceive the regulative pillar to be the greatest source of institutional facilitators of expansion within the EAC.

Published Book Chapters

Bosse, D. A., & Sutton, T. (2019). The Stakeholder Perspective in Strategic Management. The Cambridge Handbook of Stakeholder Theory. , (Eds. J. S. Harrison, J. B. Barney, R. E. Freeman, R. A. Phillips). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

DeGhetto, K., Sutton, T., Holcomb, T. R., & Holmes, R. M. (2018). It's who you know and what you do: How SMEs from emerging economies capitalize on founder ties to create bargaining power with foreign multinational alliance partners. Research in Strategic Alliances, (Ed. T. K. Das). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Research in Progress

Shareholder value creation, constrained stakeholder reciprocity, and nonmarket strategy, with Doug Bosse. Under review at Journal of Management.
Macro-nonmarket strategy and resource attenuation. Under review at Academy of Management Review.
Revisiting the strategic core theory of teams: Task interdependence and resource skills gaps as boundary conditions, with Parker Ellen and Tom Mattson. Analyzing data.
Publications, contributions, and citation patterns, with Jim Combs, Bruce Lamont, Christopher Stein, and Katia de Melo Galdino. Refining data coding approach.
Stakeholders, firms, and resilience. (Sole authored) Drafting manuscript.

Summary of Teaching

Teaching Responsibilities at the University of Richmond

BUAD 497: Strategic Management

Course Description:

Strategic Management serves as the capstone course in the Robins School of Business and is therefore a required course for all business majors in their senior year. About half of this course is built around the discussion of strategic management concepts, and the other half is case-based, requiring students to apply what they have learned. The pacing is designed so that one day per week involves a new topic, such as corporate strategy, and the other class per week involves case presentations and analysis.

MGMT 348: Environmental Management

Course Description:

Environmental Management is an elective for both the Consulting and Entrepreneurship concentrations. This course covers the environmental problems associated with several industries, primarily energy, transportation, and agriculture, as well as the emerging technologies that may diminish or eliminate some of these problems. We also cover broader concepts, such as the business case for sustainability and the role of technology ecosystems in determining when a new technology will be viable. There is no textbook that covers this material, in part because the relevant statistics and technologies change quite frequently. I develop a reading list consisting of academic research, practitioner-oriented papers and studies, and cases. The assignments are design to give students practical experience dealing with environmental problems. For example, in the spring semester of 2020, the class performed a financial and environmental analysis of gas and electric equipment for the University's landscape services group. Also, as part of a university-wide sustainability competition, teams in my class developed recommendations for reducing the number of single-use plastic bottles sold on campus without harming the University financially. A team from my class won the competition.

Summer Business Institute: Strategy Module

Course Description:

The Summer Business Institute is a two-week program offered to undergraduates and recent graduates who are not business majors. It is designed to give them a basic understanding of business. I have taught the strategy module of the Summer Business Institute since 2017.

MBA Capstone Advising

Course Description:

I have served as a capstone advisor for three MBA students and am currently advising a fourth. The capstones require MBA students to work with a client firm, determine a specific problem the client is facing, perform analyses, and design and deliver a recommendation.

Please click the Curriculum Vitae (As of May 2020) link to view a complete copy of my CV.

Contact Information

Postal Address
Department of Management
Robins School of Business
University of Richmond
102 UR Drive
Richmond, VA 23173

Office Information
Queally Hall 363


+1 804-287-6471