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J. Brock Smith

Gustavson's J. Brock Smith


Office: BEC 232 250-721-6070
BCom University of British Columbia; PhD in Marketing, University of Western Ontario
Area of expertise:
Marketing strategy, new venture marketing, entrepreneurship, market research, tourism


“Entrepreneurship is mainly about what you know and what you do, as such it is a cognitive task that can be learned,” says Dr. J. Brock Smith, who teaches marketing and entrepreneurship courses at the undergraduate, graduate and executive program levels at the Gustavson School of Business.

Brock joined UVic in 1991 as a founding member of Gustavson’s academic staff. He previously served as undergraduate program director and academic director of Gustavson’s Hospitality Management program. Since 2007, Brock has championed Gustavson’s entrepreneurship team and specialization. Brock founded the Innovation Centre for Entrepreneurs (ICE), which now serves the university community as the Coast Capital Innovation Centre. Most recently, he developed Kidovate, a youth-focused entrepreneurship initiative that is aimed at developing entrepreneurial skill among middle-school and high-school students.

Brock’s research interests are in the areas of entrepreneurship, marketing strategy, and the interface between entrepreneurship and marketing, with a particular focus on the general question 'How does (should) value get created?‘ His PhD work focused on the facilitators and barriers of team selling effectiveness—in essence, how value should be created in cross-organizational sales contexts. Another stream of his work focuses on entrepreneurial cognition; using expertise theory to understand new venture creation decisions and how experts perceive and realize opportunities to create value differently than novices. One article on creativity focuses on how to generate better product concepts (expressions of new value). He also co-wrote a well-cited theoretical paper on value creation, introducing a practical framework for understanding value propositions. Most recently, he has 2 publications that focus on understanding the effective use of online social networks to create and extract the social capital needed by founders to create their ventures. His work has been published in leading journals such as the Journal of Marketing, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, the Journal of Business Venturing and the Academy of Management. He is also the lead Canadian author of a popular marketing principles textbook.

In addition to his teaching and scholarly activities, Brock is involved in community consulting and training projects. Recent clients include the Victoria Foundation, the Victoria International Airport Authority and Peninsula Co-op. Brock has also been involved in the development of online course materials for UVic, BC Open Learning and Thompson Rivers University, and is currently co-delivering a First Nations entrepreneurship program.

After graduating from UBC in 1984, Brock worked for IBM Canada in a variety of sales and marketing positions in Vancouver and Calgary. He left IBM to complete a PhD in marketing from the Ivey School of Business where he won the international 1992 Academy of Marketing Science Doctoral Dissertation Award.


Courses taught

  • New Venture Marketing (MBA)
  • Venture Market Expertise (BCom)
  • Marketing Principles & Management (BCom)

Selected publications

Journal publications

Smith, C. G., & Smith, J. B. (2019). Founders' uses of digital networks for resource acquisition: Extending network theory online. Journal of Business Research.

Smith, C., Smith, J. B., & Shaw, E. (2017). Embracing digital networks: Entrepreneurs' social capital online. Journal of Business Venturing, 32(1), 18-34.

Smith, J. B., Mitchell, J. R., & Mitchell, R. K. (2009). Entrepreneurial scripts and the new transaction commitment mindset: Extending the expert information processing theory approach to entrepreneurial cognition research. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33(4), 815-844.

Mitchell, R. K., Mitchell, J. R., & Smith, J. B. (2008). Inside opportunity formation: Enterprise failure, cognition, and the creation of opportunities. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 2(3), 225-242.

Smith, J. B., & Colgate, M. (2007). Customer value creation: a practical framework. Journal of marketing Theory and Practice, 15(1), 7-23.

Mitchell, R. K., Busenitz, L. W., Bird, B., Marie Gaglio, C., McMullen, J. S., Morse, E. A., & Smith, J. B. (2007). The central question in entrepreneurial cognition research 2007. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 31(1), 1-27.

Mitchell, R. K., Busenitz, L., Lant, T., McDougall, P. P., Morse, E. A., & Smith, J. B. (2002). Toward a theory of entrepreneurial cognition: Rethinking the people side of entrepreneurship research. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 27(2), 93-104.

Mitchell, R. K., Smith, J. B., Morse, E. A., Seawright, K. W., Peredo, A. M., & McKenzie, B. (2002). Are entrepreneurial cognitions universal? Assessing entrepreneurial cognitions across cultures. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 26(4), 9-32.

Mitchell, R. K., Smith, B., Seawright, K. W., & Morse, E. A. (2000). Cross-cultural cognitions and the venture creation decision. Academy of management Journal, 43(5), 974-993.

Murphy, P., Pritchard, M. P., & Smith, B. (2000). The destination product and its impact on traveller perceptions. Tourism management, 21(1), 43-52.

Smith, J. B., & Barclay, D. W. (1999). Selling partner relationships: The role of interdependence and relative influence. The Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 19(4), 21.

Smith, J. B. (1998). Buyer–seller relationships: similarity, relationship management, and quality. Psychology & Marketing, 15(1), 3-21.

Smith, J. B., & Barclay, D. W. (1997). The effects of organizational differences and trust on the effectiveness of selling partner relationships. Journal of marketing, 61(1), 3-21.

Smith, J. B. (1997). Selling alliances: Issues and insights. Industrial Marketing Management, 26(2), 149-161.


Smith, B., Solomon, M., Marshall, G. W., & Stuart, E. W. (2011). Marketing: Real people, real decisions (4th ed). Toronto: Pearson Education Canada.


Mitchell, R. K., Smith, J. B., Stamp, J. A., & Carlson, J. (2015). Organizing Creativity: Lessons from the Eureka! Ranch Experience. In Oxford Handbook on Creativity (pp. 301–388).


Tremblay, C., Smith, B., & McRae, N. (2018). Engaging with the UN Sustainable Development Goals: the impact of the charitable nonprofit sector in the Capital Regional District. Victoria Foundation.

Awards & grants

Recognition & awards

  • 2017 - IAB Community Engagement Award, Gustavson School of Business

  • 2016 - Global Best Award (Gold Medal) in the category of Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Skills , International Education Business Partnership Network (IPN) in partnership with the Conference Board of Canada

  • 2015 - Outstanding Reviewer Award, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice

  • 2012 - Top Research Productivity in Marketing (shared), Higher Education Strategy Associates

  • 2009 - Faculty Innovation Award, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria

  • 2009 - Faculty Research Award, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria

  • 2001 - Model Undergraduate Program Award, United States Association of Small Business Enterprise 

  • 1991 - American Marketing Association Doctoral Dissertation Award


  • Founder Use of Social Media, Funded by UVic Travel Grant (June 3, 2018 - June 10, 2018), awarded June 1, 2018 ($1,250.00), Completed, Summer 2018, PI Brock Smith
  • Vancouver Island Social Innovation Zone, Funded by McConnoll Foundation (September 1, 2015 - December 31, 2016), awarded May 1, 2014 ($200,000.00), Completed, Fall 2016, Other Brock Smith (20%)
  • Product Development Research, Funded by MITACS (May 1, 2013 - October 1, 2013) ($15,000.00), Completed, Fall 2013, PI Brock Smith with CoInvestigator Roger Angus