Wisconsin School of Business

Russell (Russ) Coff

Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research

Professor - Management & Human Resources, Office of the Dean
UW Foundation Chairman Orr Bascom Professor of Strategic Management

Russell Coff is the UW Foundation Chairman Orr Bascom Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research explores the role of human assets in innovation, creativity, and, ultimately in competitive advantage. For example, he studies management dilemmas associated with human capital including: 1) the management of strategic investments in knowledge-based assets under great uncertainty 2) appropriating value (rent) from competitive advantages, 3) creativity & innovation under conditions of asymmetric information and uncertainty, and 4) how buyers cope in mergers and acquisitions that involve human assets. Coff received his Ph.D. from UCLA and has previously been a faculty member at Emory and Washington Universities.

Russ has served the research community through his participation on a variety of editorial boards including Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, and Strategic Organization (where he is currently a Co-Editor). He also chaired the Business Policy and Strategic Division of the Academy of Management and the Strategic Human Capital Interest Group of the Strategic Management Society. He is currently the President-Elect of the Strategic Management Society.
 

Selected Accepted Journal Articles


Bacon-Gerasymenko, V. & Coff, R. & Durand, R. (2016). Taking a Second Look in a Warped Crystal Ball: Explaining the accuracy of revised forecasts. Journal of Management Studies

Selected Published Journal Articles


Raffiee, J. & Coff, R. (2016). Micro-Foundations of Firm-Specific Human Capital: When Do Employees Perceive Their Skills to be Firm-Specific?. Academy of Management Journal (59), 766-790.
Coff, R. & Raffiee, J. (2015). Toward a Theory of Perceived Firm-Specific Human Capital. Academy of Management Perspectives (29), 326-341.
Wright, P. & Coff, R. & Moliterno, T. (2014). Strategic Human Capital: Crossing the Great Divide. Journal of Management (40)
Campbell, B. & Coff, R. & Kryscynski, D. (2012). Re-thinking Competitive Advantage from Human Capital. Academy of Management Review (37), 376-395.
Coff, R. & Kryscynski, D. (2011). Drilling for Micro-Foundations of Human Capital Based Competitive Advantages. Journal of Management (37), 1429-1433.
Coff, R. (2010). The Co-evolution of Rent Appropriation and Capability Development. Strategic Management Journal (31), 711-733.
Makadok, R. & Coff, R. (2009). Both Market and Hierarchy: An incentive-system theory of hybrid governance forms. Academy of Management Review (34), 297-319.
Coff, R. & Lee, P. (2007). Insider Trading as a Path to Competitive Advantage?. Strategic Organization (5), 1-5.
Coff, R. & Laverty, K. (2007). Real Options Meet Organizational Theory: Coping with path dependencies, agency costs, and organizational form. Advances in Strategic Management (24), 333–361.
Coff, R. & Coff, D. & Eastvold, R. (2006). The Knowledge Leveraging Paradox: How to scale up without making knowledge imitable. Academy of Management Review (31), 452-465.
Ahuja, G. & Coff, R. & Lee, P. (2005). Managerial Foresight and Attempted Rent Appropriation: Insider Trading on Knowledge of Imminent Breakthroughs. Strategic Management Journal (26), 791-808.
Blyler, M. & Coff, R. (2003). Dynamic Capabilities, Social Capital, & Rent Appropriation: Ties that Split Pies. Strategic Management Journal (24), 677-686.
Coff, R. & Lee, P. (2003). Insider Trading as a Vehicle to Appropriate Rent from R&D. Strategic Management Journal (24), 183-190.
Coff, R. & Kevin, L. (2001). Roadblocks to Competitive Advantage: How institutional constraints and decision biases hinder investments in strategic resources. Journal of High Technology Management Research (12), 1-24.
Flamholtz, E. & Coff, R. (1994). Human Resource Valuation and Amortization in Corporate Acquisitions: A Case Study. Advances in Management Accounting (3), 55-83.

Working Papers


Coff, R. & Moliterno, T. (2016). Ice Rents in Strategic Management: A Longitudinal Exploration. UW Working Paper Series

Practitioner-Oriented Publications


Raffiee, J. & Coff, R. (2016). Video: When Do Employees Perceive Their Skills to be Firm-Specific?. Video Abstract of Academy of Management Journal
Coff, R. & Laverty, K. (2001). Real Options on Knowledge Assets: Panacea or Pandora's Box?. Business Horizons (November/December), 73-79.
Coff, R. (1999). Boundary decisions. Sloan Management Review (41), 7.
Coff, R. & Flamholtz, E. (1993). Corporate Investments in Human Capital: How Financial Accounting Standards Undermine Public Policy. Stanford Law and Policy Review (5), 30-40.
Flamholtz, E. & Gerald, S. & Coff, R. (1988). Developing Human Resource Accounting as a Decision Support System. Accounting Horizons (2), 1-9.

Graduate Courses


PhD Orientation Pro-Seminar
Course DescriptionProvides in-depth coverage of contemporary topics emphasizing new and emerging issues for PhD students in business or in majors related to business. Students will meet in a seminar format that incorporates discussions,presentations,lectures by the instr
(BUS 965 Section 1), Fall 2014. Download Syllabus

PhD Seminar in Strategic Management
Course DescriptionApplication of management processes and decision theory to the analysis of cases and critical incidents in management. Cases and incidents deal with both administrative or corporate strategy and with supervisory tactics.
(MHR 870 Section 1), Fall 2014. Download Syllabus

Strategic Management (PhD Seminar)
Course DescriptionThis doctoral level strategy seminar invites students to explore drivers of performance heterogeneity among firms. Why do some firms out-perform others? The topic is integrative in that the answer draws on theory from economics, sociology, and even psychology as well as management and organizational theory that is interdisciplinary. In studying this topic, we will also focus on the process of conducting management research. What is the anatomy of a scholarly contribution and how does one conduct research in this field?
(MHR 765 Section 6), Spring 2012. Download Syllabus

EMBA - Business Strategy
Course DescriptionIntegrative approach to strategic management,including strategy formulation/implementation at business unit,corporate levels. Cases,discussion,lecture,simulation are used to communicate concepts. Emphasizes development of unique tools for analysis of
(MHR 723 Section 031), Fall 2015. Download Syllabus

Business Strategy (Full time MBA)
Course DescriptionThis course examines how firms gain and sustain competitive advantages. To be successful, the firm’s strategy must permeate all departments and functional areas. As such, this course integrates knowledge and skills gained from your prior studies (e.g., marketing, management, finance, accounting...). In drawing on these tools, we explicitly apply a general management point of view –we will analyze strategies in light of the total enterprise.
(MHR 723 Section 1), Fall 2012. Download Syllabus



Learning/Teaching Oriented Publications


Maggitti, P. & Coff, R. & Hatfield, D. & Ferrier, W. (2012). Dynamics of Rivalry. Journal of Industrial Organization Education (6), 1-10.
Coff, R. & Hatfield, D. (2003). Tinkering in Class: Using the Tinker Toy Exercise to Teach First Mover Advantages and the Resource-based View. Journal of Strategic Management Education (1), 289-303.

Professional Organizations


Strategic Management Society. President Elect

Academy of Management. Assistant Program Chair - Division Chair of the BPS division (2005-2009)

Strategic Management Society. Founding Chair of the Strategic Human Capital Interest Group

Strategic Management Society. Elected to the Board of Directors


Editorial and Reviewing Activities


Journal of Management (Co-editor of the Strategic Human Capital special issue) - Since July 2013
Special Issue Editor

Strategic Organization (Co-Editor) - Since November 2011
Editor

Strategic Management Journal - Since August 2007
Editorial Board Member

Academy of Management Journal - August 2004 - December 2010
Editorial Board Member

Organization Science - Since August 2002
Editorial Board Member

Journal of Strategic Management Education - Since August 2002
Editorial Board Member

Academy of Management Review - August 1998 - December 2002
Editorial Board Member


Photograph of Russell Coff

Russell (Russ) Coff

Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research
 
Professor | Management & Human Resources, Office of the Dean
UW Foundation Chairman Orr Bascom Professor of Strategic Management
(608) 263-6437
4259 Grainger Hall