David Obstfeld

David Obstfeld joined the Management Faculty of The Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) in 2011. His research and teaching examines how social networks and knowledge interact to drive innovation in organizations, entrepreneurship, and collective action.  He has developed specialized curricula in entrepreneurship, strategy, and the development of social capital, with an emphasis on how leaders manage innovation and change.  He has delivered courses to undergraduates, graduates and senior executives.

With over 8,000 research citations (Google Scholar), David is among the most widely-recognized researchers in the area of social networks and innovation.  His research investigating how social actors innovate through social network connecting has been cited in a wide range of disciplines, including organizational innovation, venture capital, creativity, leadership, sociology and social network theory, urban school reform, emerging markets, and transnational and public-private sector cooperation.  His work has appeared in many of the best journals in management and the social sciences, including Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, and Industrial and Corporate Change. He has received several prestigious grants, including a major National Science Foundation (NSF) award.  His research won the W. Richard Scott Award for Distinguished Scholarship for its outstanding contribution to the organizational discipline by the American Sociological Association.  His new book, Getting New Things Done: Networks, Brokerage, and the Assembly of Innovative Action (Stanford University Press 2017), focuses on how brokers coordinate action for innovation and value creation in complex contexts.  

Current research with collaborators in Europe and the US exploring the micro-mechanisms of brokerage-based innovation just received a major three-year Academy of Finland grant.  Another new research team recently assembled by David has major grant applications in process for a related project that explores how social capital and social skill influence academic and professional success for minority and first-generation college students in the United States. 

Prior to joining CSUF, David was on the faculty at the Stern School of Business, New York University and at Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine.  He received an A.B. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.  Before commencing his academic career, David spent 10 years as an executive at the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae).