Rick Cotton

 Rick Cotton
Associate Professor


BS in Management Information Systems and Marketing, Syracuse University; MS and PhD in Organization Studies, Boston College

Office: BEC 242


  • Career Success
  • Developmental Networks and Mentoring
  • Cross-Cultural Management and Leadership
  • Talent Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Team Thriving and Resilience
  • Workforce Analytics

Dr. Rick Cotton began teaching at the Gustavson School of Business in 2015, bringing a passion for understanding how individuals thrive in their careers and how talent management practices can foster sustainable organizational, team and individual success in a variety of country, industry and occupational contexts.

Rick’s research focuses on better understanding how human capital, social capital and positive psychological capital foster success and resilience at multiple levels of analysis from individual to country levels.  He seeks to understand how individuals can better thrive in their careers and better handle challenging work contexts around the world.  In particular, Rick studies high achievers including hall of famers, leaders and managers as well as those in challenging work contexts including Australian women miners, correctional officers, serial entrepreneurs, HR professionals who have laid off thousands of employees and organizations recovering from scandal. He is also very interested in researching how countries and societies can move forward to achieve a variety of meaningful objectives.

Rick is a Principal Co-Investigator for the 160+ country Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) research program (https://www.globeproject.com; https://spark.adobe.com/page/r8gwS4op50IL9/), a core research team member of the 35+ country Cross-Cultural Collaboration on Contemporary Careers (5C) (https://5c.careers/), the current Program Chair for the Academy of Management’s 900+ member Careers Division, a Gustavson Center for Social and Sustainable Innovation Fellow and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).

Rick has written several book chapters and his research has appeared in the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Human Resource Management, Human Resource Management Journal, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Career Development International and the Journal of Management Inquiry as well as in media outlets including BC Business, CFAX 1070 radio, CHEK News, EFMD Global Focus, Globe & Mail, Inc., Toronto Star, UPI, Victoria News and Your Workplace. His research has been awarded several grants and he has won five Academy of Management Best Paper awards and has thirteen articles that have earned Academy of Management Proceedings honors in addition to being awarded two Gustavson Leader of Excellence in Research Awards and being recognized six times as a ‘Most Memorable Professor’ for his teaching prior to coming to UVic.

Before pursuing his PhD, Rick worked in financial futures for Citibank in London, as a change management consultant and manager with Accenture and as a SVP of Learning and Development supporting U.S. and Japanese employees at Putnam Investments (part of Great-West Lifeco). Rick earned his PhD from Boston College before working as an assistant professor at Appalachian State University prior to coming to UVic.  Rick also enjoys facilitating executive education sessions and consulting.  His clients have included Aetna, BC Ferries, General Electric, the Hay Group, Harbour Air, the Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria, Pepsi, Sapient, Tourism Victoria, United Technologies and several other primarily services-based firms, governmental entities and multinationals.

Journal Publications


Andresen, M., Lazarova, M., Apospori, E., Cotton, R., Bosak, J., Dickmann, M., Kase, R. & Smale, A. (Forthcoming). Does international work experience pay off? The relationship between international work experience, employability and career success: A 30 country, multi-industry study. Human Resource Management Journal. https://doi.org/10.1111/1748-8583.12423 


Bagdadli, S., Gianecchini, M., Andresen, M., Cotton, R., Kaše, R., Lazarova, M., Smale, A., Bosak, J., Briscoe, J., Chudzikowski, K. & Reichel, A. (2021). Human Capital Development Practices and Career Success: The moderating role of country development and income inequality. Journal of Organizational Behavior42: 429-447. 

Kaše, R., Dries, N., Briscoe, J., Cotton, R., Apospori, E., Bagdadli, S., Övgü Çakmak‐Otluoğlu, K., …, Shen, Y. et al. (2020). Career success schemas and their cultural embeddedness: A comparative configurational perspective. Human Resource Management Journal, 30(3): 422-440. https://doi.org/10.1111/1748-8583.12218

Andresen, M., Apospori, E., Gunz, H., Suzanne, P., Taniguchi, M., Lysova, E., Cotton, R., Shen, Y. et al., (2020). Careers in context: An international study of career goals as mesostructure between societies’ career-related human potential and proactive career behavior. Human Resource Management Journal, 30(3): 365-391. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1748-8583.12247

Dastmalchian, A., Bacon, N., McNeil, N., Steinke, C., Blyton, P., Kumar, M. S., Bayraktar, S., Auer-Rizzi, W., Ahmad, A., Cotton, R.  et al. (2020). High-performance work systems and organizational performance across societal cultures. Journal of International Business Studies, 51, 353-388. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41267-019-00295-9  

Smale, A., Bagdadli, S., Cotton, R., Dello Russo, S., Dickmann, M., Dysvik, A., Verbruggen, M. (2019). Proactive career behaviors and subjective career success: The moderating role of national culture. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 40(1), 105–122. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.2316

Parker, P., Cotton, R., Yates, M., Baxter, J., & Arend, S. (2019). Developmental network structure and support: Gendered consequences for work-family and work-parenting strain in the Australian mining industry. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 30(10), 1635–1665. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2017.1299195

Wang, L., & Cotton, R. (2018). Beyond Moneyball to social capital inside and out: The value of differentiated workforce experience ties to performance. Human Resource Management, 57(3), 761–780. https://doi.org/10.1002/hrm.21856

Shen, Y., Cotton, R., & Kram, K. (2018). Personal development also requires an advisory board (REPRINT IN MANDARIN). Business Review, (247), 6–17.

Cotton, R., Stevenson, W. B., & Bartunek, J. M. (2017). A way forward: Cascading ethical and change leadership, values enactment and group level effects on commitment in corruption recovery. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 53(1), 89–116. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021886316682591

Hsu, D., Wiklund, J., & Cotton, R. (2017). Success, failure and entrepreneurial reentry: An experimental assessment of the veracity of self-efficacy and prospect theory. Entrepreneurship, Theory and Practice, 41(1), 19–47. https://doi.org/10.1111/etap.12166

Clair, J. A., Ladge, J. J., & Cotton, R. (2016). This is how we do it: How perceived prosocial impact offsets negative personal outcomes associated with carrying out necessary evils. Journal of Management Inquiry, 25(3), 301–321. https:/doi.org/10.1177/1056492615612577

Clair, J., Ladge, J., & Cotton, R. (2016). Coping with the effects of emotionally difficult work. Harvard Business Review.

Shen, Y., Cotton, R., & Kram, K. (2015). Reunir un consejo asesor personal (REPRINT IN SPANISH). Harvard Duesto Business Review (Harvard Business Review - Spanish Translation), (247), 6–17.

Shen, Y., Cotton, R., & Kram, K. E. (2015). Assembling your personal board of advisors. MIT Sloan Management Review, 56(3), 81–90.

Cotton, R. (2013). Going global: The historical contingency of baseball hall of famer developmental networks. Career Development International, 18(3), 281–304. https:/doi.org/10.1108/CDI-12-2012-0127 

Cotton, R., & Shen, Y. (2013). The company you keep: The relational models and support expectations of key developer relationships. Career Development International, 18(4), 328–354. https:/doi.org/10.1108/CDI-09-2012-0093

Cotton, R., Shen, Y., & Livne-Tarandach, R. (2011). On becoming extraordinary: The content and structure of the developmental networks of Major League Baseball Hall of Famers. Academy of Management Journal, 54(1), 15–46. https:/doi.org/10.5465/amj.2011.59215081


Javidan, M., Dorfman, P., Cotton, R., Bullough, A. & Kumar, M.S. (Forthcoming). GLOBE 2020: A Large-scale Multi-Country Multi-Method Study of the Relationship Between National Culture and Ideal Leadership. In Goethals, Allison, & Sorenson (Eds), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Leadership Studies. Sage Publications. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-85033-3 

Ghosh, R., Murphy, W., Cotton, R. & Kram, K. (2022). Seeking support from multiple developers: How to assess optimal structure, content, antecedents, and outcomes of developmental networks. In Ghosh & Hutchins (Eds), Connecting and Relating – HRD Perspectives on Developmental Relationships. Palgrave.

Cotton, R. & Murphy, W. (2019). Your Success Network: Building key relationships that support your goals. In T. Skertich (Ed.), Career and Life Planning Guidebook for Medical Residents: The Best Part of Your Journey Is about to Begin, 10th Ed. Chicago, IL: Adventures in Medicine. http://physiciancareerplanning.com/ebooks/career-and-life-planning-guidebook-for-medical-residents/389/

Dries, N., Cotton, R., Bagdadli, S., & Oliveira, M. Z. (2014). Talent across cultures: Meanings and mindsets. In Global Talent Management – Challenges, Strategies, and Opportunities. Houten, Netherlands: Springer.

Cotton, R., Shen, Y., & Livne-Tarandach, R. (2013). On becoming extraordinary: The content and structure of the developmental networks of Major League Baseball hall of famers (REPRINT). In Sport Management (The International Library of Critical Writings on Business and Management Series #22). Cheltenham, England: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.


Cotton, R. (2022). New Models of Work for Public Organizations in a Post-Pandemic Environment:
Adapting to the “New Normal”. Presented to Memphis, TN and Shelby County, TN, USA government and non-profit leaders.

Cotton, R. (2022). Navigating the Job Reckoning. Interviewed for the Future of Remote Work Series as part of the University of Delaware (USA) Institute for Public Administration's First State Insights podcast.

Cotton, R. (2022). Leadership Resilience and Team Thriving. Presented as part of University of Victoria Leadership for Engagement series.

Cotton, R. (invited panelist). (2021). Developing International Human Management (IHRM) Insight Using Effective Cross-National Research. Presented for the IHRM Webinar Series hosted by the Centre for Global Workforce Strategy at SFU (Canada), the Penn State Center for International HR Studies (USA) & ESCP Business School (Europe).

Cotton, R. (organizer/facilitator). (2021). Out and About...Lessons Learned from Multi-Country Research Programs - 5C, CRANET and GLOBE Careers Division Plenary Session. Presented at the 2021 Virtual AOM Conference.

Javidan, M., Dorfman, P.W., Cotton, R., Egri, C., Bullough, A. & Kar, A. (2021). GLOBE 2020: A Study of National Cultural Practices and Leadership Ideals in Over 100 Countries. Presented at 2021 Virtual AOM Conference.

Kar, A., Elangovan, A.R., Matinkoosha, S. & Cotton, R. (2021). Meaningful moves: A meaning-based view of turnover intentions. Presented at the 2021 Virtual AOM Conference.

Cotton, R. (2021). Resilience in Leadership and Thriving in Teams for the Airline Industry. Presented to Harbour Air.

Cotton, R. (2021). Developing Personal Resilience, Part I: Developing Personal Resilience by Better Managing Yourself & Part II: Developing Personal Resilience by Better Managing Your Work. UVic Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost (VPAC) Brightspace course. UVic enroll: https://bright.uvic.ca/d2l/le/discovery/view/course/120893

Cotton, R., Pek, S., Berti, C., DeMille, M., & Majerbi, B. (2020). Community Engagement in the Transition to Carbon Neutrality. Webinar presented for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability Hub.

Andresen, M., Apospori, E., Gunz, H., Cotton, R., & Taniguchi, M. (2020). (Unconscious) differences in individuals’ career conceptions across market economies: A comparative empirical study about the role of Varieties of Capitalism for careers. Presented at the AOM Careers Conference 2020 in Vienna, Switzerland.

Lazarova, M., Mayhrofer, W., Cotton, R., De Vos, A., Dimitrova, M., Dysvik, A., Forrier, A., Gunz, H., Kozhevnikov, A., Louisgrand, N., Reiss, L., Shaffer, M. Dickman, M. & Casado, T. (2020). Teaching about careers in turbulent times. Presented at the AOM Careers Conference 2020 in Vienna, Switzerland.

Recognition & Awards


Excellence in Research, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria


GLOBE 2020 Certificate of Excellence in Cross-Cultural Research (Canada, Liberia), Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Excellence (GLOBE) Project


Gustavson Best in Class - Leader of Excellence in Research Award, Gustavson School of Business


Top 10% Downloaded Journal of Organizational Behavior Paper for 2018-2019, Wiley


Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Emerald Publishing Best International Symposium
2019 Top 20 Downloaded Article for 2017-2018, Wiley

2021, 2020 (2), 2019(2), 2018(2), 2017, 2016, 2014(2), 2013(2), 2010, 2008

Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings Papers (Top 10%)

2019, 2010

Best Student Paper Award, Academy of Management Careers Division
2018 Academy of Management International Management Division Best Paper in OB/HRM/OT Finalist, Academy of Management
2018 Gustavson Best in Class – Leader of Excellence in Research Award, Gustavson School of Business
2017 Academy of Management Carolyn Dexter Best International Paper Finalist
2017,2016 Outstanding Reviewer Award, Academy of Management Careers Division
2014 Best Applied Paper Award, Academy of Management Careers Division
2014, 2013, 2012,
Most Memorable Professor Recognition, ASU Walker College of Business
2013 Honorable Mention Best Paper Award, Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS)
2012 Best Overall Paper Award, Academy of Management Careers Division
2008 Best Interactive Paper Award, Academy of Management Organization Development & Change Division



  • SHRM Foundation Research Grant, Funded by Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) (August 19, 2009 - August 11, 2016), awarded August 19, 2009 ($44,610 USD), Completed, Summer 2011, CoPI Rick Cotton with PI Judith Gordon

  • Leadership & Ethics Research Grant, Funded by Boston College Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics (March 15, 2006 - March 15, 2008), awarded March 15, 2006 ($18,600 USD), Completed, Spring 2008, CoPI Rick Cotton with CoPI Jean Bartunek

In Progress

  • Buffering the Suffering & Driving the Thriving in the New World of Work: A study of how societal context affects capabilities, jobs, meaningfulness and key work-life outcomes around the globe, Insight Grant funded by SSHRC (April 1, 2022), awarded April 6, 2022, ($295,020 CAD). Funded – Not Yet Started, PI R Cotton, CoPI S Fitzsimmons, CoPI M Lazarova, CoPI C Egri, CoPI A.R. Elangovan, CoPI T Griffith, CoPI A Ollier-Malaterre, Co-PI J Yip, CoInvestigator A Bullough, CoInvestigator M Javidan, CoInvestigator P Dorfman, CoInvestigator S Alshareef, M Andresen, R Bakuwa, T Casado, A Grobler, G Gupta, Y Shen, A Smale, A Velez-Calle, A Villegas
  • GLOBE 2020 Colloquium on Culture and Trust Connection Grant, Funded by SSHRC (March 23, 2020 – March 22, 2021), awarded March 23, 2020, ($24,350 CAD).  Funded – In Progress, Spring 2020, Ali Dastmalchian with CoInvestigator Carolyn Egri, Coinvestigator Mansour Javidan, CoInvestigator Rick Cotton

  • BC Corrections: Engagement and Retention Project, Funded by BC Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General (July 15, 2019) ($139,947 CAD). Funded – In Progress, Summer 2019, PI A.R. (Elango) Elangovan with CoInvestigator Rick Cotton

  • Women Leadership across Cultures (WomenLEAD): An exploration of the relationships among gender, organizational practices and societal culture, Funded by SSHRC (April 1, 2018), awarded April 1, 2018, ($200,000 CAD). Funded - In Progress, Spring 2018, CoPI Peter Dorfman with CoPI Stacey Fitzsimmons, CoInvestigator Amanda Bullough, CoInvestigator Ayman Ismail, CoInvestigator Kanika Bhal, CoInvestigator Mansour Javidan, CoInvestigator Mila Lazarova, CoInvestigator Rick Cotton, CoInvestigator Secil Bayraktar

  • Societal cultures, leadership and the human side of organizations: a multi-country study with a focus on women leaders and HR practices, Funded by SSHRC (April 1, 2016 - March 31, 2022), awarded October 1, 2015 ($270,000 CAD), Funded - In Progress, Spring 2016, PI Ali Dastmalchin with CoInvestigator S Fitzsimmons, CoInvestigator C Steinke, CoInvestigator P Dorfmann, CoInvestigator M Javidan, CoInvestigator Rick Cotton

Courses Taught

  • People and the Future of Work (Daytime & Weekend MBA)
  • Managing People and Organizations II (Daytime, TELUS, Weekend MBA)
  • Driving Performance through Human, Social and Positive Psychological Capital (TELUS MBA)
  • Service Management Module: Talent/HR Management (BCom)
  • Leading People and Organizations II (BCom)
  • Gustavson Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs (ACE Program), My Values, My Passion, My Prosperity (Executive Programs)