photo of Stephan Manning

Prof Stephan Manning

Post:Professor of Strategy and Innovation, Innovation Management (Strategy and Marketing)
Location:JUBILEE BUILDING JUB-104A Jubilee 104A

Telephone numbers
UK:01273 877404
International:+44 1273 877404

Research expertise:
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Stephan is a Professor of Strategy and Innovation in the University of Sussex Business School, Department of Strategy and Marketing. He joined the University of Sussex in 2019. Previously, he worked at the University of Massachusetts Boston (2009-2019), Duke University (2006-2009) and Free University Berlin (2002-2006). He has been Visiting Scholar at Copenhagen Business School, Erasmus University Rotterdam School of Management, and Imperial College London.

Stephan's current research focuses on the interplay between business strategy, social innovation and international development. He studies the role of local, digital and transnational ecosystems in supporting social entrepreneurship; the development and cross-industry adaptation of sustainability standards; and the role of businesses and intermediaries in tackling grand challenges. He has also studied the role of project network organizations in facilitating inter-organizational collaboration in various contexts, and the dynamics of global services outsourcing. He has done field research in China, Germany, Guatemala, Kenya, Romania, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and the United States. His research has been published in top-tier academic journals, such as Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies, Human Relations and Research Policy. He serves as Senior Editor of Management and Organization Review. He has also written blog articles for various outlets, including The Conversation. He is co-founder of the Organizations and Social Change Blog. Stephan previously served as the Chair of the Academy of International Business (US-Northeast Chapter, 2015-2016), and he was the lead researcher of the international Offshoring Research Network at Duke University Fuqua School of Business (2006-2009). His research has received several impact awards, including the 2017 Journal of Management Studies Best Paper Award (with David L. Levy and Juliane Reinecke), the 2013 and 2016 Emerald Management Reviews Citation of Excellence Award (with Silvia Massini and Arie Y. Lewin, and Marcus M. Larsen and Torben Pedersen), and the 2013 Academy of Management Perspectives Impact Award (with Silvia Massini and Arie Y. Lewin). Stephan is among the top 10% (out of 430,000) authors of the Social Science Research Network by all-time downloads. 

Stephan's research has been funded by international funding programmes, e.g. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI, EU funding); foundations, e.g. Meridian Institute; business associations, e.g. The Conference Board; and consulting groups, e.g. PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has further collaborated with various firms, e.g. Henkel and Continental, and government agencies, e.g. ICT Board in Kenya and BPeSA business promotion agency in South Africa.  

Stephan is accepting qualified PhD students interested in topics such as social innovation and entrepreneurship, multi-stakeholder processes, sustainability standards, grand challenges and global governance. 

Publication Highlights [ABDC/CABS Ranking, Financial Times 50 Listing]:

Manning, S., Massini, S., Peeters, C., Lewin, A.Y. 2018. “The Changing Rationale for Governance Choices: Early vs. Late Adopters of Global Services Sourcing”. Strategic Management Journal, 39(8), 2303-2334. [A*/4*, FT50] DOI: 

Davies, A., Manning, S., Soederlund, J. 2018. “When Neighboring Disciplines Fail to Learn From Each Other: The Case of Innovation and Project Management Research”. Research Policy, 47, 965-979. [A*/4*, FT50] DOI: 

Manning, S. 2017. “The Rise of Project Network Organizations: Building Core Teams and Flexible Partner Pools for Interorganizational Projects”. Research Policy, 46, 1399-1415. [A*/4*, FT50] DOI:

Manning, S.; Bejarano, T.A. 2017. “Convincing the Crowd: Entrepreneurial Storytelling in Crowdfunding Campaigns”. Strategic Organization, 15 (2), 194-219. [A/3] DOI:

       - Most highly cited paper in Strategic Organization from 2017

Manning, S., Reinecke, J. 2016. “A Modular Governance Architecture In-The-Making: How Transnational Standard-Setters Govern Sustainability Transitions”. Research Policy, 45 (3), 618-633. [A*/4*, FT50] DOI: 

       - In top 5% most impactful papers measured by AltMetric

Levy, D.L., Reinecke, J., Manning, S. 2016. “The Political Dynamics of Sustainable Coffee: Contested Value Regimes and the Transformation of Sustainability”. Journal of Management Studies, 53(3), 364-401. [A*/4, FT50] DOI: 

       - Winner of the 2017 Journal of Management Studies Best Paper Award

Larsen, M.M., Manning, S., Pedersen, T. 2013. “Uncovering the Hidden Costs of Offshoring: The Interplay of Complexity, Organizational Design and Experience”. Strategic Management Journal, 34 (5), 533-552. [A*/4*, FT50] DOI:

       - Winner of the 2016 Emerald Management Reviews Citation of Excellence Award 

Reinecke, J., Manning, S., Von Hagen, O. 2012 “The Emergence of a Standards Market: Multiplicity of Sustainability Standards in the Global Coffee Industry”. Organization Studies, 33 (5/6), 789-812. [A*/4, FT50] DOI:

       - In top 5% most impactful papers measured by AltMetric

Manning, S., Massini, S., Lewin, A.Y. 2008. ”A Dynamic Perspective on Next-Generation Offshoring: The Global Sourcing of Science and Engineering Talent”; Academy of Management Perspectives, 22 (3), 35-54. [A/3] DOI:

       - Winner of the 2012 Emerald Management Reviews Citation of Excellence Award
       - Winner of the 2013 Academy of Management Perspectives Impact Award

Blog Highlights

Manning, S. 2017. “Will big data algorithms soon control our lives?” Organizations and Social Change Blog. (Published: September 18 2017; >1,000 views as of Oct 1 2019).

Manning, S., Reinecke, J. 2016. “We are failing to solve the world’s ‘wicked problems’. Here’s a better approach” The Conversation (Published: October 3 2016; >28,000 views as of Sept 1 2019)

Manning, S., Larsen, M.M. 2016. “Trump and Clinton want to bring back millions of outsourced jobs – here’s why they can’t“ The Conversation. (Published: May 19 2016; >44,000 views as of Sept 1 2018)

Manning, S. 2016. “Will U.S. Tech Jobs Turn All-Indian? The H1B Visa Dilemma“. Organizations and Social Change Blog. (Published: February 29 2016; >25,000 views as of Sept 1 2018)

Manning, S. 2013. “The Fashion Trap: Why Fairtrade Works in Coffee but not in Clothing“. Organizations and Social Change Blog. (Published: May 2 2013; >2,800 views as of Sept 1 2018)



Professor of Strategy and Innovation

Director of PhD Programme in Management

Head of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group