Simon Pek

 Simon Pek
Associate Professor; UVic President's Chair

Office: BEC 476


  • Organizational democracy
  • Employee ownership
  • Organizational culture
  • Corporate sustainability
  • Deliberative democracy

Simon Pek, associate professor of business and society, joined the Gustavson School of Business in 2017. Simon teaches and researches in the area of business and society. His research explores how organizations and the individuals within them embed social and environmental sustainability into their cultures, strategies, and daily operations. His primary research interests centre on helping democratic organizations like co-operatives, schools, and unions achieve their social and environmental objectives through the use of democratic innovations. He is particularly interested in collaborating with organizations on joint action research projects. He is available to and interested in supervising full-time or visiting graduate students pursuing related research interests. 

Simon's research has appeared in top-tier outlets including Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Business Ethics Quarterly, and Journal of Business Ethics. He has presented his work at numerous national and international conferences, and has engaged with various media to discuss his work, including Radio-Canada International, the CBC, and Co-operatives First. He has received numerous awards and grants, including a President's Chair from the University of Victoria, the Ascendant Scholar Award from the Western Academy of Management, the Dean’s Convocation Medal from Simon Fraser University and the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship. He currently serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Management Inquiry and co-edits the journal’s Generative Curiosity section. 

Simon currently serves as the Steering Committee Lead of the Ontario Assembly on Workplace Democracy. Simon also co-founded and serves as a member of the board of directors of Democracy In Practice, a non-profit dedicated to democratic experimentation, innovation, and capacity-building. In this capacity, he spoke at the Council of Europe's World Forum for Democracy 2016, where Democracy In Practice was selected as a finalist for the Democracy Innovation Award. He loves to travel, explore the outdoors, and gain exposure to new cultures, languages, and ways of thinking.

Journal Publications


Pek, S., Mena, S., & Lyons, B. (in press). The role of deliberative mini-publics in improving the deliberative capacity of multi-stakeholder initiatives. Business Ethics Quarterly.

Pek, S. (in press). Business and the climate crisis: Towards engagement with climate assemblies. Business & Society.

Pek, S. (in press). Book review: Carl Rhodes Woke capitalism: How corporate morality is sabotaging democracy. Organization.

Pek, S. (2022). The Tip of the Iceberg: A Roadmap for Management Research on Tipping. Journal of Management Inquiry, 31(3). 

Pek, S. (2021). Drawing out democracy: The role of sortition in preventing and overcoming organizational degeneration in worker-owned firms. Journal of Management Inquiry. 30(2), 193-206.

Howard-Grenville, J., Lahmneman, B., & Pek, S. (2020). Organizational culture as a tool for change. Stanford Social Innovation Review. Summer, 2020.

Pek, S. (2019). Rekindling union democracy through the use of sortition. Journal of Business Ethics, 155(4), 1033–1051.

Pek, S., Kennedy, J., & Cronkright, A. (2018). Democracy transformed: Perceived legitimacy of the institutional shift from election to random selection of representatives. Journal of Public Deliberation, 1(14), Article 3.

Pek, S., Oh, C. H., & Rivera, J. (2018). MNC foreign investment and industrial disasters: The moderating role of technological, safety management, and philanthropic capabilities. Strategic Management Journal, 2(39), 502–526.

Lyons, B. J., Pek, S., & Wessel, J. L. (2017). Toward a "Sunlit Path": Stigma Identity Management as a Source of Localized Social Change Through Interaction. Academy of Management Review, 42(4), 618–636.

Pek, S., Tucker, S., Turner, N., Kelloway, E. K., & Morrish, J. (2017). Injunctive safety norms, young worker risk-taking behaviors, and workplace injuries. Accident Analysis & Prevention, (106), 202–210.

Bertels, S., Howard-Grenville, J., & Pek, S. (2016). Cultural molding, shielding and shoring at Oilco: The role of culture in the integration of routines. Organization Science, 27(3), 573–593.

Bertels, S., Cody, M., & Pek, S. (2014). A responsive approach to organizational misconduct: Rehabilitation, reintegration, and the reduction of re-offense. Business Ethics Quarterly, 24(3), 343–370.

Practitioner and policy-oriented publications

Pek, S., Gibson, A, & Gomez, R. 2022. The voice of workers must be heard. Hamilton Spectator

Pek, S., & Kennedy, J. (2020). Open government, anti-corruption, and democratic lotteries in education. UNESCO ETICO Program. 

Fitzsimmons, S., and Pek, S. (2022). A better way to get citizens involved in decisions. Times Colonist 

Pek, S. (2022). The future of tipping should be driven by Canadians, not businesses. The Conversation 

Pek, S. (2022). New budget offers Canada a chance to get employee ownership right. The Conversation

Kennedy, J., Pek, S., & Smith, G. (2020). Universities should be spaces for democratic innovation. Times Higher Education.  

Cronkright, A., & Pek, S. (2020). 7 Reasons Schools Should Switch from Elections to Lotteries. newDemocracy Foundation Research and Development Notes. 

Cotton, R, & Pek, S. 2020. Getting charged up about carbon neutrality: How one business school achieved net-zero carbon emissions. Biz Ed. XIX(1): 46-48. 

Pek, S., Cotton, R., & Ford, M.  2019. Positive learning on carbon neutrality: A leading Canadian school helps students to live their sustainable curriculum. Global Focus. 13(2): 66-70.

Cronkright, A, & Pek, S. (2019). Sharing sortition with some soul. Democracy R&D.


Recognition & Awards

2022 Social Capital Partners Fellow, Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing
2022 Western Academy of Management’s Ascendant Scholar Award
2020 President's Chair 
2020 Rutgers Research Fellow
2018 Dean's Convocation Medal, Simon Fraser University
2017 Honourable Mention, ONE Division Dissertation Award 2017
2015 Best Doctoral Student Paper Award, 56th Annual Meeting of the Western Academy of Management


  • Democracy at work: Democratizing organizations through the use of random selection, Funded by University of Victoria Office of Research Services - IRCPG Grant (April 1, 2018 - March 31, 2019) ($6,090.00), Completed, Summer 2019, PI Simon Pek

  • Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Funded by SSHRC (September 1, 2015 - August 31, 2017) ($70,000.00), Completed, Summer 2017, PI Simon Pek

  • A systematic review and analysis of business practices to foster cultural sustainability. , Funded by University of Victoria Office of Research Services - IRCPG Grant (April 1, 2019 - March 31, 2020) ($6,428.00), Funded - In Progress, Summer 2019, PI Simon Pek

Courses Taught and in development

  • Research Foundations (PhD)
  • Managing People and Organizations (TELUS MBA)

  • Designing Innovative Organizations (MBA)
  • Business & Sustainability (BCom)