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Nathan Barrymore

Assistant Professor

Department:     Business, Government & Society

Research Areas:     Diversity

Nathan Barrymore

Nathan Barrymore is an assistant professor of business, government, and society at The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business. He is also a senior fellow at the Wharton ESG Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania. Barrymore studies how firms respond strategically to stakeholders, and the performance results of these strategic decisions.

In one stream of research, he studies managers’ strategic choices around firm-level environmental and social actions. He examines firms’ decision to either substantively or symbolically address outside pressures for social performance. He’s found that although managers’ preferences for social performance predict substantive responses, firms symbolically respond to investor pressures (they greenwash), consistent with a principal-agent model. In a second stream of research, he uses experimental methods to examine how gender affects managers’ willingness to advocate for, or sponsor, subordinates. Although women and men are equally likely to compete for subordinates (unlike when competing for themselves), men compete much more often for other men. He finds that biases around perceived risk preferences drive this discrimination.

Barrymore’s work has been featured in the Strategic Management Journal, and The Hill.

Before joining Texas McCombs, he completed a Ph.D. at the University of Maryland. Prior to academia, he planned and was the founding principal of a charter high school in Los Angeles. The school received a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation next generation learning challenge grant to establish a project-based and blended learning environment. Barrymore guided curriculum development through extensive partnerships with major aerospace and design firms. The school qualified as a Title 1 school, meaning a significant number of students received free meals, and while he was principal, the students enrolled in the University of California system at double the state average rate.



Outstanding Paper Award, Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability Annual Conference


Barrymore, Nathan, Cristian Dezsö and Ben King.(2022)“Gender and Competitiveness when Earning for Others: Experimental Evidence and Implications for Sponsorship.” Strategic Management Journal, 43(5): 905–934