Dr Rebecca Bednarek

Dr Rebecca Bednarek profile picture

BCOM(Hons) & MCOM Director School of Management


Teaching in 2019


Rebecca’s research investigates the social practices of organizations and (financial) markets and has advanced the field of strategy-as-practice. She is also an expert in qualitative methods, publishing on issues such as global ethnography, studying paradoxes, and writing persuasive ethnographic findings. Her research has been published in top-tier management journals such as Strategic Management Journal, Organization Studies, Human Relations, Long Range Planning, and Strategic Organization.

Rebecca’s research investigates strategizing practices in complex, often paradoxical, organizational settings. Her research projects in this regard have included studies of the New Zealand Science Sector as well as public-private collaborations globally to address the grand challenge of global insurance protection gaps. A recent co-authored report on this issue of global insurance protection gaps can be found here: https://www.poolre.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/PGE-Report.pdf

Based on a long-term qualitative programme of research into the global (re)insurance industry, Rebecca also has expertise in financial markets and the various practices, including competitive dynamics, through which they are constructed. Her co-authored research monograph Making a market for Acts of God: Risk-trading in the Global Reinsurance Sector was published by Oxford University Press. You can hear Rebecca discussing this research project on the BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08nqb18


  • PhD (in Management, Victoria University Wellington)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education – Higher Education. Birkbeck, University of London

Research interests

  • Strategy as practice
  • Organizational paradoxes and contradictions
  • financial markets/(re)insurance
  • Qualitative research methods/ethnography

Publications and presentations


Jarzabkowski, P., Bednarek, R. & Spee, P. 2015, Making a market for Acts of God: Risk-trading in the Global Reinsurance Sector. Oxford University Press;


Journal articles

Jarzabkowski, P. Bednarek, R., Chalkias, K. & Caccatori, E. Forthcoming. Exploring inter-organizational paradoxes: Methodological lessons from a study of a grand challenge. Strategic Organiztion.

Jarzabkowski, P. and Bednarek, R. 2018. Toward a social practice theory of relational competing. Strategic Management Journal, 39(3), pp. 794–829.

Bednarek R, Paroutis S, Sillince JAA. 2017. Transcendence through rhetoric practices: Responding to paradox in the science sector. Organization Studies. 38(1): 77-101

Bednarek, R., Burke, G., Jarzabkowski, P., Smets, M. 2016. ‘Leveraging client relationships to support knowledge generation: An organizational ambidexterity perspective.’ Long Range Planning.49 (3), 324-341.

Jarzabkowski, P., Bednarek, R., & Cabantous, L. 2015. ‘Global Ethnography: Some challenges and advice from a research team.’ Human Relations. 68(1): 3-33.

Sinha, P. Daellenbach, U., Bednarek, R. 2015. ‘Legitimacy defense during post-merger integration: Between coupling and compartmentalization. Strategic Organization 13(3): 169-199.

Jarzabkowski, P., Bednarek, R & Le, J. 2014. ‘Producing Persuasive Findings: Demystifying Ethnographic Textwork in Strategy and Organization Research’. Strategic Organization. 12(4): 274-287.

Jarzabkowski, P. Smets, M., Bednarek, R., Burke, G., Spee, P. 2013. Institutional Ambidexterity: Leveraging Institutional Complexity in Practice. Research in the Sociology of Organizations. 39: 37-61

Bednarek, R., Blumenfield, S. & Riad, S. 2012. Union and division: Paradoxes of purpose and scope within union amalgamation. Industrial Relations Journal, 43(6): 548-571.

Ahn, M., Zwikael, O. & Bednarek, R. 2010. Technological invention to product innovation: A project management approach, International Journal of Project Management, 28 (6): 559-568.

Ahn, M., Meeks, M., Bednarek, R., Ross, C. & Dalziel, S. 2010. Towards a High Performance Bioeconomy: Determining Cluster Priorities and Capabilities in New Zealand, International Journal of Commerce and Management, 20 (4): 308-330. [2011 Outstanding Paper Award Winner]

Ahn, M., Davenport, S., Meeks, M. & Bednarek, R. 2010. Exploring Technology Agglomeration Patterns for Multinational Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Firms,Journal of Commercial Biotechnology, 16: 17–32

Ahn, M., Meeks, M., Davenport, S. & Bednarek, R. 2009. Death of Distance? Biotechnology Agglomeration Patterns, Alliance Proximity, and Firm Performance.International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management, 6(3): 247-264. [2009 IJTPM Best Paper]

Book chapters

Jarzabkowski, P., Bednarek, R. & Lê, J. (2018) Studying Paradox as Process and Practice: Identifying and Following Moments of Salience and Latency. Perspectives on Process Studies. W. Smith, M. Farjoun, A. Langley and H. Tsoukes (eds). Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Le, J. & Bednarek, R. Paradox in everyday practice. 2017. Oxford Handbook of Organizational Paradox: Approaches to plurality, tensions, and contradictions. P. Jarzabkowski, A. Langely, M. Lewis, & W. Smith (eds). Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Jarzabkowski, P., Bednarek, R., Spee, P. 2015. The role of artifacts in professional routines. Perspectives on Process Studies. J. Howard-Grenville, C. Rerup, A. Langley and H. Tsoukes (eds). Oxford: Oxford University Press

Industry reports

  • Jarzabkowski, P., Chalkias, K., Cacciatori, E. and Bednarek, R. (2018). Between State and Market: Protection Gap Entities and Catastrophic Risk. https://www.poolre.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/PGE-Report.pdf
  • 2013. Global Reinsurance Strategy Masterclass Series (2013). With Jarzazbkowski, P., Smets, M., Burke, G., Cabantous, L., and Allocato, A., Cass Business School.
  • Chalkias, K.C., Jarzabkowski, P., Bednarek, P. and Cabantous, L. (2013). Reinsurance 2020: Strategic think tank for industry leaders. Cass Business School.
  • Jarzabkowski, P., Bednarek, G., Burke, G. and Cabantous, L. (2012). Beyond Borders: Charting the Changing Global Reinsurance Landscape. London: Cass Business School, City University London.

Awards and prizes

  • 2017. Best Paper Award. Academy of Management. Strategizing Activities & Practices
  • 2015. Best Paper Award. Academy of Management. Strategizing Activities & Practices
  • 2014. Best Paper Award. Academy of Management. Strategizing Activities & Practices


  • 2016 Higher Education Academy (United Kingdom), Fellow (“demonstrates a personal commitment to professionalism in learning & teaching in higher education”: heacademy.ac.uk/individuals/fellowship).
  • 2015-2018 Academy of Management, Strategizing, Activities, and Practices, Interest Group, Representative at Large.


Teaching in 2019