Richard Wolfe

 Richard Wolfe
Adjunct Professor


BA, Sir George Williams University, Montreal; MA in Physical Education, University of Michigan; MBA, Pennsylvania State University; PhD in Organization Theory, University of Michigan



  • Business strategy
  • Sport management

Dr. Richard Wolfe joined the Gustavson School of Business in 2009 where he shares his love of sport with students. As a former football player and coach, he uses sports as a lens through which he researches and teaches corporate strategy, innovation, and leadership.

Richard investigates the factors that contribute to an organization being innovative and competitive over the long run. Using this information, he can then determine an organization's long-term performance and success. A specific focus of his research addresses the positives and negatives of athletic programs in universities, particularly, the question of whether academic excellence is sacrificed in favour of athletics in the United States. Richard’s work has been published in several journals including: Organization Science, Journal of Management, Human Resource Management Journal, Journal of Sport Management, Sport Management Education Journal, International Journal of Sport Finance, Human Resource Management Journal, Sport Marketing Quarterly, and the Journal of Management Inquiry.

From 2001 to 2007 he served as the director of the Sport Management Masters’ Program at the University of Michigan, and was the director of the Michigan Centre for Sport Management, also at the University of Michigan. Prior to that, Richard taught at the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta.

For more detailed background and a complete listing of his published research and other information, please review Dr. Wolfe's CV.

Bell-Laroche, D., MacLean, J., Thibault, L., & Wolfe, R. (2014). Leader perceptions of management by values within Canadian national sport organizations. Journal of Sport Management, (in press).

Babiak, K. & Wolfe, R. (2013). Perspectives on social responsibility in sport. In J.L. Paramio-Salcines, K. Babiak & G. Walters (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Sport and Corporate Social Responsibility (17-35). New York, NY: Routledge

Shaw, S., Wolfe, R. & Frisby, W. (2011).  A critical management studies approach to sport management education: Insights, challenges and opportunities.  Sport Management Education Journal, 5(1) 1-13.

Babiak, K. & Wolfe, R. (2009). Determinants of corporate social responsibility in professional sport: Internal and external factors. Journal of Sport Management, 23, 717-742.

Wolfe, R., Wright, P. & Smart, D. (2006). Radical HRM Innovation and Competitive Advantage: The Moneyball Story. Human Resource Management Journal, 45, 111-126.

Wolfe, R., Weick, K., Usher, J., Terborg, L., Poppo, A., Murrell, J., Dukerich, D., Core, K., Dickson, and Jourdan, J. (2005). Sport And Organizational Studies: Exploring Synergy, Journal of Management Inquiry, 14, 182-210

Smart, D. & Wolfe, R. (2003). The Contribution of Leadership and Human Resources to Organizational Success: An Empirical Assessment of Performance in Major League Baseball. European Sport Management Quarterly, 3(3), 165-188.

Wolfe, R. & Putler, D. (2002). How Tight Are The Ties That Bind Stakeholder Groups? Organization Science, 13, 64-80.

Smart, D. & Wolfe, R. (2000). Examining Sustainable Competitive Advantage In Intercollegiate Athletics: A Resource-Based View. Journal of Sport Management, 14, 133-153.

Wolfe, R. (1995). Human Resource Management Innovations: Determinants of Their Adoption and Implementation. Human Resource Management Journal, 34, 313-327.

  • From the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, “An examination of innovation in community sport organizations.” (2010)
  • Best Paper Award. Research Methods Division, Academy of Management Meeting, August, 1989, (with B. Gephart).
  • The Paul A. Hunsicker Memorial Award. Department of Physical Education, the University of Michigan, April, 1983.
  • Seminar in Strategic Management PhD (BUS603)
  • Strategic Analysis and Action (MBA550)
  • Strategic Management (COM400)
  • The Sport Industry (COM 450)