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Professor Richard Dunford

Pro Vice-Chancellor

Office PVC - Business and Law

Career Summary


Professor Richard Dunford was Professor of Business Strategy and Chair of the Discipline of International Business at the University of Sydney Business School. Prior to joining the University of Sydney in 2008, Professor Dunford was Professor of Strategic Management at the Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Macquarie University, during which time he held the positions of Interim Dean, Deputy Dean and Associate Dean (Academic Programs).

Professor Dunford's previous academic appointments have also included Professor of Management and Head of the Management Discipline at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and Associate Dean for Research and Postgraduate Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. As well as working within the university sector, Professor Dunford has worked in business (the oil industry) and government (technology policy). Professor Dunford is a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management and was a member of the Excellence in Research, Australia (ERA) Social, Behavioural and Economic panel which in 2010 reviewed the research in these areas at all Australian Universities. He has also been a member of EQUIS accreditation review panels for universities in Asia and Europe.

Research Expertise

Research themes: Business Model Innovation Crowdsourcing Organizational restructuring ; The re-internalisation of market-based (outsourced) activities; The evolution of new organizational forms; Designing organizational structures and management control systems to achieve flexibility and consistency in the achievement of strategic objectives; Organising for control in innovation-driven firms; Sustainable organisational change; Organisational Discourse

Teaching Expertise
Subject areas include: Strategic Management Managing Change Research Methods

Professor Dunford's research interests are in the areas of strategic management, organizational design, organizational change and organizational discourse, with a particular focus on innovative business models and new organizational forms. He has received multiple Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grants and Linkage Grants and his research has been widely published in leading journals including Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Human Relations, Journal of Management Studies, Long Range Planning and Organization Studies. As well as undertaking research on various aspects of business, managing and organizing, Professor Dunford has provided consulting services on strategy, organizational change and executive education to a wide range of industries in Australasia and South-East Asia.


  • PhD, Australian National University
  • Bachelor of Commerce, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Victoria University of Wellington


  • Business Practice
  • Designing Organisational Structures
  • Hyper-competitive Environments
  • Management
  • Managing Change
  • Outsourcing
  • Professional Management
  • Research Methods
  • Restructuring
  • Small Business
  • Strategy

Fields of Research

150310Organisation and Management Theory30
150311Organisational Behaviour30
150312Organisational Planning and Management40

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
13/02/2015 - 15/07/2017Pro Vice-ChancellorUniversity of Newcastle
Office PVC - Business and Law

Academic appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/07/2008 - Chair (Head of School)The University of Sydney
Discipline of International Business and Professor of Business Strategy
1/07/2007 - 1/06/2008Visiting ProfessorThe University of Sydney
Faculty of Economics and Business
1/02/2006 - 1/06/2007Deputy DeanMacquarie University
Macquarie Graduate School of Management
1/10/2003 - 1/01/2006Interim DeanMacquarie University
Macquarie Graduate School of Management
1/08/2002 - 1/09/2003Deputy DeanMacquarie University
Macquarie Graduate School of Management
1/09/2001 - 1/01/2005Associate Dean (Academic Programs)Macquarie University
Macquarie Graduate School of Management
1/09/2001 - Professor & Chair of Strategic ManagementMacquarie University
Macquarie Graduate School of Management
1/09/2000 - 1/01/2001Associate Dean (Research)Macquarie University
Macquarie Graduate School of Management
1/01/1998 - 1/08/2001Associate ProfessorMacquarie University
Macquarie Graduate School of Management
1/01/1998 - 1/01/2003Discipline Convenor, Strategic Management & International BusinessMacquarie University
Macquarie Graduate School of Management
1/01/1998 - 1/01/1999Director (DBA)Macquarie University
Macquarie Graduate School of Management
1/07/1997 - 1/01/1998Professor of Management & HeadThe University of Western Australia
Department of Management and Marketing
1/01/1994 - 1/06/1997Professor of Management & Chairperson (Head)Victoria University of Wellington
Department of Business Administration
1/01/1991 - 1/01/1993Associate Dean (Research & Postgraduate Programs)University of Technology Sydney
School of Business
1/01/1988 - 1/01/1989Adjunct FacultyThe University of Sydney
Graduate School of Business
1/01/1984 - 1/01/1989Senior Lecturer and Head of DepartmentUniversity of Technology Sydney
Department of Administration Social and Political Studies
1/01/1982 - 1/01/1983LecturerCharles Sturt University
School of Commerce
1/01/1979 - 1/01/1980LecturerCharles Sturt University
School of Social Sciences
1/01/1977 - 1/01/1978Part-Time TutorAustralian National University
Department of Sociology
1/01/1975 - 1/01/1976Junior LecturerVictoria University of Wellington
Department of Business Administration


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Book (4 outputs)

2009Palmer I, Dunford RW, Gib A, Managing Organizational Change: A Multiple Perspectives Approach, McGraw-Hill, Sydney, NSW/Australia, 432 (2009) [A2]
2006Palmer I, Dunford RW, Akin G, Managing Organizational Change, McGraw-Hill, Sydney, NSW/Australia, 384 (2006) [A1]
1992Dunford RW, Organisational Behaviour - An Organisational Analysis Perspective, Addison-Wesley, Sydney, NSW/AUS, 336 (1992) [A1]
1987McGraw P, Dunford RW, Quality circles, employee participation and industrial relations : a study in Australian industry, Australian Government. Information Management Office, Canberra, ACT/Australia, 50 (1987) [A2]
Show 1 more book

Chapter (25 outputs)

2013Kratochvil J, Miller M, 'Preface', , ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD 539-540 (2013) [B2]
DOI10.1016/j.ejc.2012.07.022Author URL
2010Palmer I, Benveniste J, Dunford RW, 'New Organizational Forms: Towards a Generative Dialogue', Directions in Organization Studies, Sage Publications Ltd, London, United Kingdom 431-450 (2010) [B1]
2009Dunford RW, Palmer I, 'Managing Change', Australian Master Human Resources Guide, CCH Australia Ltd, North Ryde, NSW/AUS 367-388 (2009) [B2]
2008Palmer I, Dunford RW, 'New Organization Forms: The Career of a Concept', The Sage Handbook of New Approaches in Management and Organization, Sage Publications Ltd, London, United Kingdom 567-569 (2008) [B1]
2008Dunford RW, Palmer I, 'Managing Change', Australian Master Human Resources Guide, CCH Australia Ltd, North Ryde, NSW/AUS (2008) [B2]
2007Dunford RW, Palmer I, 'Managing Change', Australian Master Human Resources Guide, CCH Australia Ltd, North Ryde, NSW/AUS 371-397 (2007) [B2]
2006Dunford RW, Palmer I, 'Managing Change', Australian Master Human Resources Guide, CCH Australia Ltd, North Ryde, NSW/AUS 355-376 (2006) [B2]
2004Dunford RW, Palmer I, 'Managing Change', Australian Master Human Resources Guide, CCH Australia Ltd, North Ryde, NSW/AUS 109-130 (2004) [B2]
2004Dunford R, 'Developing a research proposal', Surviving Your Thesis, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group 46-58 (2004) [B1]
2004Fulop L, Linstead S, Dunford RW, 'Leading and Managing', Management and Organization: A Critical Text, Palgrave MacMillan, Melbourne, VIC/Australia 324-363 (2004) [B1]
2003Dunford RW, Palmer I, 'Managing Change', Australian Master Human Resources Guide, CCH Australia Ltd, North Ryde, NSW/AUS 21-40 (2003) [B2]
2002Dunford RW, Palmer I, 'Managing Change', Australian Master Human Resources Guide, CCH, Sydney, NSW/Australia 21-40 (2002) [B2]
2002Dunford RW, 'Influence, Institutional Theory, and Language: An Analysis of Popular Management Discourse on Downsizing', Grounding Leadership Theory and Research: Issues and Perspectives and Methods, Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, NC/USA 57-78 (2002) [B1]
2001Palmer I, Dunford RW, 'Design and Form: Organizational', International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, Elsevier Science Ltd, London, United Kingdom 3535-3538 (2001) [B1]
1999Fulop L, Linstead S, Dunford RW, 'Leading and Managing', Management: A Critical Text, Macmillan, South Yarra, VIC/Australia 159-206 (1999) [B1]
1999Dunford RW, '"If You Want Loyalty Get A Dog!": Loyalty, Trust and the New Employment Contract', Global Management: Universal Theories and Local Realities, Sage Publications Ltd, London, United Kingdom 68-83 (1999) [B1]
1998Dunford RW, Palmer I, 'Discourse, Organizations and Paradox', Discourse and Organization, Sage Publications Ltd, London, United Kingdom 214-222 (1998) [B1]
1998Dunford RW, '"Lealtad, confIza y nuevo contrato laboral"', Administración global: tensiones entre universalismo teórico y realidades locales, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico City, Mexico (1998) [B1]
1996Palmer I, Dunford RW, '"Understanding Organizations Through Metaphors"', Organizational Development: Metaphorical Explorations, Pitman, London, United Kingdom 1-1 (1996) [B2]
1996Dunford RW, Palmer I, '"Metaphors in Popular Management Discourse: The Case of Corporate Restructuring"', Metaphor and Organizations, Sage Publications Ltd, London, United Kingdom 95-109 (1996) [B1]
1996Palmer I, Dunford RW, '"Interrogating Re-framing: Evaluating Metaphor-Based Analyses of Organizations"', The Politics of Management Knowledge, Sage Publications Ltd, London, United Kingdom (1996) [B1]
1994Johnson R, Davenport S, Dunford RW, Gilbertson D, Mabin V, 'Technology Strategy in Australian and New Zealand Industry', New Directions in Management, McGraw-Hill, Sydney, NSW/AUS 464-478 (1994) [B1]
1992Dunford RW, 'Leadership and the Manager', Management for Australian Business - A Critical Text, Macmillan, South Melbourne, VIC/Australia 56-76 (1992) [B1]
1989Dunford RW, McGraw P, '"Quality Circles and Labour Process Theory: A Study in Australian Industry"', Technology and the Labour Process: Australasian Case Studies, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, NSW/Australia 81-95 (1989) [B2]
1983Dunford RW, 'Politics and Technology: unravelling the connections', Public Sector Administration: New Perspectives, Longman Cheshire Pty Ltd, Southbank, VIC/Australia 183-199 (1983) [B1]
Show 22 more chapters

Journal article (31 outputs)

2013Dunford R, Cuganesan S, Grant D, Palmer I, Beaumont R, Steele C, '"Flexibility" as the rationale for organizational change: A discourse perspective', Journal of Organizational Change Management, 26 83-97 (2013) [C1]

Purpose: The concept "flexibility" is ubiquitous as a rationale for organizational change. However, its broad application is accompanied by a general lack of definitional agreement or theoretical cohesion. The purpose of this paper is to propose the merits of an alternative approach - applying a discourse perspective to the use of flexibility as a rationale for organizational change. Design/methodology/approach: This paper first illustrates the broad referencing of flexibility as a desired organizational characteristic. It then discusses the associated lack of theoretical coherence associated with the use of the concept "flexibility" before arguing the merits of a discourse perspective on flexibility as a rationale for organizational change. Findings: This paper identifies a set of questions to frame a discourse perspective on the use of "flexibility" as a rationale for organizational change. Research limitations/implications: The questions derived in this paper provide a research agenda for an investigation of the use and effects of the concept "flexibility" in the context of organizational change. Practical implications: The questions derived in this paper provide practice-based insights into how the concept "flexibility" is and/or could be used in the context of organizational change. Originality/value: "Flexibility" is a ubiquitous concept as a rationale for organizational change and its use is accompanied by a diversity of definitions and conceptual frameworks. The originality of this paper is that rather than seeking to provide yet another definition - or attempting a resolution of definitional differences - it argues the merits of a discourse perspective on the use and effect of the concept flexibility in the context of organizational change. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

CitationsScopus - 4
2012Cuganesan S, Dunford RW, Palmer I, 'Strategic management accounting and strategy practices within a public sector agency', Management Accounting Research, 23 245-260 (2012) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 4Web of Science - 2
2010Dunford RW, Palmer I, Benveniste J, 'Business model replication for early and rapid internationalisation. The ING direct experience', Long Range Planning, 43 655-674 (2010) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 6Web of Science - 5
2008Palmer I, Dunford RW, 'Organizational change and the importance of embedded assumptions', British Journal of Management, 19 s20-s32 (2008) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 22Web of Science - 6
2008Bryant P, Dunford RW, 'The influence of regulatory focus on risky decision-making', Applied Psychology: an international review, 57 335-359 (2008) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 18Web of Science - 13
2007Dunford R, Palmer I, Benveniste J, Crawford J, 'Coexistence of 'old' and 'new' organizational practices: Transitory phenomenon or enduring feature?', ASIA PACIFIC JOURNAL OF HUMAN RESOURCES, 45 24-43 (2007) [C1]
DOI10.1177/1038411107073597Author URL
CitationsScopus - 9Web of Science - 7
2007Palmer I, Benveniste J, Dunford R, 'New organizational forms: Towards a generative dialogue', ORGANIZATION STUDIES, 28 1829-1847 (2007) [C1]
DOI10.1177/0170840607079531Author URL
CitationsScopus - 15Web of Science - 14
2006Dunford R, Palmer I, Benveniste J, 'Knowledge practices in the roll-out of a global network: Retention, adaptation, transference and experimentation', Academy of Management 2006 Annual Meeting: Knowledge, Action and the Public Concern, AOM 2006, (2006)

Recent developments in the multinational corporation (MNC) literature have conceptualized MNCs as an interdependent network of worldwide operations which create, integrate, transfer and apply knowledge more efficiently than markets. Within such a structure, subsidiary initiative and knowledge transfer are viewed as sources of competitive advantage. While research from this perspective is increasing, there is still much to learn about how strategy, structure and knowledge interrelate within MNCs. This paper reports the results of a study of how knowledge transfer has facilitated the sequential roll-out of discrete country operations of a global network service firm and identifies the role of four key practices: retention, adaptation transference and experimentation.

2003Littler CR, Wiesner R, Dunford R, 'The dynamics of delayering: Changing management structures in three countries', JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT STUDIES, 40 225-256 (2003) [C1]
Author URL
CitationsScopus - 50Web of Science - 46
2002Dunford RW, Palmer I, 'Managing for High Performance? People Management Practices in Flight Centre', Journal of Industrial Relations, 44 376-396 (2002) [C1]
2002Palmer I, Dunford R, 'Managing discursive tension: The co-existence of individualist and collaborative discourses in Flight Centre', JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT STUDIES, 39 1045-1069 (2002) [C1]
DOI10.1111/1467-6486.00323Author URL
CitationsScopus - 11Web of Science - 10
2002Palmer I, Dunford RW, '"Out with the Old and in with the New? The Relationship Between Traditional and New Organizational Practices"', International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 10 209-225 (2002) [C1]
2002Palmer I, Dunford RW, 'Who says change can be managed? Positions, perspectives and problematics', Strategic Change, 11 243-251 (2002) [C1]
2001Palmer I, Dunford R, Rura-Polley T, Baker E, 'Changing forms of organizing: dualities in using remote collaboration technologies in film production', JOURNAL OF ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE MANAGEMENT, 14 190-212 (2001) [C1]
DOI10.1108/09534810110388081Author URL
CitationsWeb of Science - 10
2001Palmer I, Dunford R, 'The diffusion of managerial innovations: A comparison of Australian public and private sector take-up rates of new organizational practices', International Public Management Journal, 4 49-64 (2001) [C1]

Innovative approaches to organization and management are advocated for both public and private sector organizations, yet few attempts have been made to compare the relative take-up rates of these innovations in the two sectors. In this paper we report the results of an Australian study of the use of nine new organizational practices and observe that managers in government-owned commercial enterprises and private sector organizations have a similar view of the nature of their external environment, a similar level of use of these new practices, and a similar level of formalization and centralization. We then discuss the relevance of economic/rational and neo-institutional theories to these findings. © 2001 Elsevier Science Inc.

CitationsScopus - 12
2001Steane P, Guthrie G, Dunford RW, 'Overviewing intellectual capital, the management of knowledge and organizational learning', Journal of Intellectual Capital, 2 339-343 (2001) [C1]
2000Dunford R, Jones D, 'Narrative in strategic change', HUMAN RELATIONS, 53 1207-1226 (2000) [C1]
Author URL
CitationsScopus - 84Web of Science - 71
2000Dunford RW, '"Key Challenges in the Search for the Effective Management of Knowledge in Management Consulting Firms"', Journal of Knowledge Management, 4 295-302 (2000) [C1]
1998Dunford RW, Bramble T, Littler CR, '"Gain and Pain: The Effects of Australian Public Restructuring"', Public Performance and Management Review, 21 386-402 (1998) [C1]
1997Palmer I, Kabanoff B, Dunford RW, 'Managerial accounts of downsizing', Journal of Organizational Behavior, 18 623-639 (1997) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 19Web of Science - 18
1997Palmer I, Kabanoff B, Dunford R, 'Managerial accounts of downsizing', Journal of Organizational Behavior, 18 623-639 (1997)

Downsizing remains a popular management technique for restructuring organizations. This is despite evidence that, by itself, downsizing often fails to deliver promised benefits and can result in a range of staff and other problems. Within the management literature some have responded by identifying 'best practices' in downsizing, whilst others have argued for downsizing to be used strategically, not just for cost reduction. The study reported in this paper explores management accounts of downsizing, and the extent to which a strategic language can be detected. It is based upon a content analysis of 502 annual reports of Australian organizations over a 7-year period and it identifies nine key themes present in managers' discussion of downsizing. Further analysis suggests that managerial accounts of downsizing fall into three 'languages': a strategic language, a process language, and a cost versus consideration language. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

CitationsScopus - 24
1997Littler C, Dunford RW, Bramble T, Hede A, 'The dynamics of downsizing in Australia and New Zealand', Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 35 65-79 (1997) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 27
1996Palmer I, Dunford RW, 'Conflicting uses of metaphors: Reconceptualizing their use in the field of organizational change', Academy of Management Review, 21 691-717 (1996) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 73Web of Science - 63
1996Palmer I, Dunford RW, 'Reframing and organizational action: The unexplored link', Journal of Organizational Change Management, 9 12-25 (1996) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 12Web of Science - 10
1995Dunford RW, Palmer I, '"Claims about Frames: Practitioners' Assessment of the Utility of Reframing"', Journal of Management Education, 19 96-105 (1995) [C1]
1990Dunford RW, Dunphy D, Stace D, '"Strategies for Planned Change. An Exchange of Views Between Dunford, Dunphy and Stace"', Organization Studies, 11 131-135 (1990) [C1]
1987Dunford RW, 'The Suppression of Technology as a Strategy for Controlling Resource Developement', Administrative Science Quarterly, 32 512-525 (1987) [C1]
1987McGraw P, Dunford RW, '"The Strategic Use of Quality Circles in Australian Industrial Relations"', Journal of Industrial Relations, 29 150-168 (1987) [C1]
1986Dunford RW, '"Is the Development of Technology Helped or Hindered by Patent Law - Can Antitrust Laws Provide the Solution?"', University of New South Wales Law Journal, 9 119-136 (1986) [C1]
1985Dunford RW, 'The Problem of Relevant Collectivities: Solar Energy Research in Australia', Social Studies of Science, 15 455-474 (1985) [C1]
1983Dunford RW, '"Technology: The Contingent Nature of its Impact"', Prometheus: critical studies in innovation, 1 290-302 (1983) [C1]
Show 28 more journal articles

Review (2 outputs)

2013Dunford R, 'Not-Invented-Here (2013) [D1]
2013Dunford RW, 'Business Process Engineering (2013) [D1]

Conference (3 outputs)

2013Dunford RW, Cummings S, 'The Evolution of Innovation: Crowdsourcing as a Heterogeneous Organizational Practice', Academy of Management Proceedings 2013, Orlando, FL (2013) [E1]
2006Dunford R, Palmer I, Benveniste J, 'Knowledge Transfer in Global Networks: Retention, Adaptation, Transference and Experimentation', Academy of Management Proceedings, Atlanta (2006)
2000Dunford R, 'Key Challenges in the Search for the Effective Management of Knowledge in Management Consulting Firms', Academy of Management Proceedings, Toronto (2000)

Grants and Funding


Number of grants1
Total funding$5,000

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

20111 grants / $5,000

Organising for Control in Innovation-driven Firms: Managing the efficiency–flexibility duality$5,000

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding bodyARC (Australian Research Council)
Project TeamDr Fiona Sutherland, Professor Aaron Smith, Professor Ian Palmer, Professor Richard Dunford
SchemeDiscovery Projects
Funding Start2011
Funding Finish2011
Type Of FundingAust Competitive - Commonwealth


ERA Research Evaluation Committees 2015

ERA Research Evaluation Committees 2015

February 20, 2015

Nine University of Newcastle researchers have been selected by the Australian Research Council for membership of the 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) Research Evaluation Committees.

Professor Richard Dunford


Pro Vice-Chancellor
Office PVC - Business and Law
Faculty of Business and Law

Contact Details
Phone (02) 4921 7979
Fax(02) 4921 7977


BuildingSocial Sciences Building
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308