The Wheatley Institution

Ronald K. Mitchell


Ronald K. Mitchell

Ronald K. Mitchell is a Fellow at the Wheatley Institution, and currently holds the Jean Austin Bagley Regents Chair in Management in the Jerry S. Rawls School of Business at Texas Tech University. In addition, he is a Distinguished Francis G. Winspear Visiting Scholar in Business and Public Policy at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Previously Dr. Mitchell was also a jointly-appointed Professor of Public Policy and Strategy at the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University from 1999 – 2002.

Transferring from BYU to return to Alberta, Canada for family reasons, Dr. Mitchell obtained his undergraduate degree in 1976 from the University of Calgary and began his career. During his years in the business sector, Dr. Mitchell was instrumental in creating sustainable systems and institutions within business, church, and civic organizations. After 18 years in practice as a CPA, internal auditor and economics coordinator for the LDS Church, turnaround CEO, consultant, and entrepreneur, Dr. Mitchell returned to school and received his PhD from the University of Utah in 1994. From 1994 – 2005, he served as a professor at the University of Victoria, where he held the Francis G. Winspear Chair in Business and Public Policy from 2000 – 2005.

His dissertation won the 1995 Heizer Award for path-breaking research in entrepreneurship; and it led Dr. Mitchell to become one of the founders of the field of entrepreneurial cognition research. Dr. Mitchell is well cited in management, entrepreneurship, and business ethics journals, publishing over 100 peer reviewed articles and five books; and receiving numerous awards for excellence in teaching and research.

His current academic mission centers on the problems and possibilities in opportunity emergence, and it focuses on better understanding the core systems and institutions that enable greater human capacity and liberty by identifying and removing relevant obstacles. Some present interests include research at the intersection of stakeholder theory and social welfare, development of the “public utilities” of innovation, and exploration of the cognitions of exchange. Dr. Mitchell publishes and serves in editorial review capacities in the top business journals, and was the 2008 – 2009 Chair of the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management. He researches, consults, and lectures worldwide. Selected publications are available on his website:

Ron fulfilled his LDS Church missionary service (1970-1972) in both the Southern States Mission and the Nauvoo Mission. After 18 months in the Southern States Mission, he was selected to join fellow missionaries from other missions on the US Eastern Seaboard to reopen Nauvoo for proselyting. He is married to the former Cynthia K. Terry. They have four wonderful sons, four marvelous daughters-in-law, and ten exciting grandchildren.

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