David Obstfeld

David Obstfeld is an Associate Professor at The Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). Prior to Mihaylo, David taught at the Stern School of Business, New York University and the Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine.

A well-known researcher in the areas of social networks and innovation, David’s research and teaching examines how organizations engage social networks and knowledge to create innovation and entrepreneurial success. His work unpacks how networks can be leveraged to advance collaboration across departments, distributed organizations, and between firms. He has studied and consulted with firms in the automotive, financial services, microprocessor, pharmaceutical and hotel industries.

His book-length study, Getting New Things Done: Networks, Brokerage, and the Assembly of Innovative Action (Stanford University Press 2017), focuses on how managers coordinate action for innovation and value creation in multiple business and social contexts. David’s research has been funded by major grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Academy of Finland, and was honored with the W. Richard Scott Award for Distinguished Scholarship for an outstanding contribution to the organizational discipline by the American Sociological Association. His research has been published in top journals, including Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, and Industrial and Corporate Change.

His research and consulting leverages over 10 years of management experience in a Fortune 50 company. His highly-cited study of how network orchestration led to product innovation within an automotive design process was based on a multi-year study of the design process that combined exhaustive field observation of engineers and designers on the ground, ongoing dialogue and interviews with middle and senior managers, followed by a large social network study to pinpoint where and how innovation originated. More recently, he has partnered with a leading Orange County incubator in guiding dozens of student teams to help entrepreneurs solve fundamental design, marketing, and organizational problems.

David received his A.B. from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. from the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. Before his academic career, he served as an executive at the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) for 10 years.