Deborah Hurst, PhD

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Dean, Faculty of Business

Areas of Expertise: Leading Change; Women's Leadership; Cultural Change



  • PhD – University of Alberta
  • B.A – University of Toronto



Dr. Deborah Hurst is Dean of the Faculty of Business. She joined AU in 1995 as an academic coach for the executive MBA and became an Associate Professor in Organization Studiesin January 2001. Since that time, Dr Hurst has held numerous key roles, including Associate Dean and MBA Program Director.

Prior to obtaining her graduate education, Dr Hurst worked for 10 years at General Motors of Canada Limited in roles located within the departments of Traffic, Material Control, Parts Distribution and Export Operations. During her MA studies, she also worked for the non-profit Edmonton Social Planning Council and later between her MA and PhD, the Alberta Public Service as a Human Resources Consultant and Manager.

Dr Hurst’s work is focused on improving the human experience of the workplace through a better understanding of the cultural aspects of organization life. She also considers how leadership capability is developed through mechanisms of knowledge creation/transfer as well as during cultural organization change through the lens of institutional theory. In her role as Dean, Dr Hurst endeavors to put her learning and experience to work more directly to deal with challenges that impact employees daily.

Selected Recent Publications

  • Azevedo, A., Hurst, D., & Dwyer, R. (2015). Competency-based training program for international students. International Business Research, 8(3), 11.
  • Hurst, D., Cleveland-Innes, M., Hawranik, P., & Gauvreau, S. (2013). Online Graduate Student Identity and Professional Skills Development. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 43(3), 36-55.
  • Hurst, D., Lam, H., & Khare, A. (2013). Internationalizing MBA curriculum through overseas experiential learning courses: Insights on strategies, design, implementation, and outcomes. Journal of International Business Education, 8.
  • Azevedo, A., Apfelthaler, G., & Hurst, D. (2012). Competency development in business graduates: An industry-driven approach for examining the alignment of undergraduate business education with industry requirements. The International Journal of Management Education, 10(1), 12-28.
  • Kondra, A. Z., & Hurst, D. C. (2009). Institutional processes of organizational culture. Culture and Organization, 15(1), 39-58.
  • Redpath, L., Hurst, D., & Devine, K. (2008). Knowledge workers, managers, and contingent employment relationships. Personnel Review, 38(1), 74-89.
  • Hurst, D., MacDougall, S., & Pelham, C. (2008). Aligning personal and entrepreneurial vision for success: The entrepreneur counseling model of the Acadia Centre for Social and Business Entrepreneurship. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, 2(4), 367-386.
  • MacDougall, S. L., & Hurst, D. (2007). Surviving the transience of knowledge: Small high-technology businesses parting ways with their knowledge workers. Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship, 20(2), 183-199.
  • Hurst, D., & MacDougall, S. (2005). Knowledge transfer by teaming: mixing core and contingent professionals. International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, 4, 1035-50
  • MacDougall, S. L., & Hurst, D. (2005). Identifying tangible costs, benefits and risks of an investment in intellectual capital: Contracting contingent knowledge workers. Journal of Intellectual Capital, 6(1), 53-71.

Selected Recent Conferences Presentations

  • Hurst, D., & MacDougall, S. (2004). Culturally aligned teaming as the key knowledge transfer method. Presented at the 4th International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations, London, UK.