Brent McKnight

Brent McKnight

Director, Integrated Business & Humanities
  • Strategic Management
  • Faculty
  • Tags:
  • ug

Contact Information

Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 24704
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Dr. McKnight studies how firms and organizations address complex societal problems. Currently this interest has led to him to undertake research in the areas of responsible investing at the retail advisory, the role of firms in community resilience and adaptation to climate change induced natural disasters, and how non-profits and firms can improve integration outcomes for refugee newcomers.

Throughout his work, Dr. McKnight is driven by a fascination both with how firms bounce back from substantial adversity and in the increasingly important role that firms play in building community-level resilience across a range of shocks and disturbances. In Dr. McKnight’s research, resilience plays an important role in conceptualizing a firm’s pursuit of sustainability; resilience taps into the essence of what it is to be sustainable over long timelines.

  • Ph.D. General Management, Western University
  • M.B.A., McMaster University
  • B. Engineering and Management, McMaster University

Dr. McKnight is the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Interdisciplinary Minor in Sustainability at McMaster University. This minor allows undergraduate students from any faculty at McMaster to pursue an interdisciplinary study of sustainability by selecting from over 90 courses from all faculties. It is breaking down barriers across faculties and has served as a model for other minors that seek to include an interdisciplinary focus.

Dr. McKnight teaches courses in strategic management and those pertaining to environmental and social issues in business.  In particular he teaches a 4th year Commerce course called Sustainability: Corporations and Society (4SG3), a capstone course Strategic Management (P720) to final year MBA students, and a strategic management course for Integrated Business and Humanities students called Strategy for Organizations (IBH 3BB3) which covers strategic management concepts across non-profits, social enterprises and for-profit firms.

Dr. McKnight has served on the editorial board at the Academy of Management Review and is an ad hoc reviewer with top journals such as the Academy of Management JournalJournal of Business EthicsOrganization & Environment, and the Academy of Management Journal.

McKnight, B. and Linnenluecke M. (2019) Patterns of Firm Responses to Different

Types of Natural Disasters. Business & Society,  58(4)

McKnight, B. and Zietsma, C. 2018. Finding the Threshold: A configurational approach to optimal distinctiveness. Journal of Business Venturing. 33 (4), 493-512.

McKnight, B. 2018 The Role of Firms in Resilient Systems: A Multi-Level Framework, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences,

Branzei, O., Frooman, J., McKnight, B., and Zietsma, C. 2018. What Good Does Doing Good do? The Effect of Bond Rating Analysts’ Corporate Bias on Investor Reactions to Changes in Social Responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 148(1), 183-203.  

Linnenluecke, M. and McKnight, B. (2017) Community Resilience to Natural Disasters: The Role of Disaster Entrepreneurship, Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy , 1(1).

Linnenluecke, M. K., Smith, T., and McKnight, B. (2016). Environmental finance: A research agenda for interdisciplinary finance research. Economic Modelling, 59, 124-130.

McKnight, B. and Linnenluecke, M. (2016) How Firm Responses to Natural Disasters Strengthen Community Resilience: A Stakeholder-Based Perspective. Organization & Environment, 29(3):290-307.

Bansal, P. and McKnight. B. (2009), Looking Forward, Pushing Back, and Peering Sideways: Analyzing the Sustainability of Industrial Symbiosis.  Journal of Supply Chain Management, 45(4), 26-37

Zietsma, C. and McKnight, B. (2009). Building the Iron Cage: Co-creation work in the context of competing proto-institutions. Invited contribution to Lawrence, T.B., Suddaby, R. & Leca, B. (Eds.). Institutional Work: Actors and agency in institutional studies of organizations, Cambridge University Press.