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George Foster

Professor, Accounting
GeorgeFoster
Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Management
Director of the Executive Program for Growing Companies
Academic Area: 
Accounting

Research Statement

George Foster’s research and teaching includes entrepreneurship/early-stage companies; financial analysis, especially in commercial disputes; and sports business management. His recent research includes asset creation and destruction, global entrepreneurship, and the role of financial and other systems in the growth and valuation of companies. He also is researching globalization challenges facing both sporting organizations and companies.

Bio

George Foster holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from the University of Sydney and a doctorate from the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. He taught at the University of Chicago and the Australian Graduate School of Management prior to joining the GSB faculty at Stanford University.

His writings include over 50 research articles, over 100 cases, three monographs, as well as multiple editions of several textbooks. Foster’s early and continuing research was on the role of financial analysis in the valuation and growth of companies. He subsequently broadened his research interests to include management control systems, entrepreneurship/venture capital, and sports business management. His textbook writings include Financial Statement Analysis; Cost Accounting: A Managerial Analysis; and The Business of Sports.

Foster works extensively with the World Economic Forum and is a member and former Chair of their Global Agenda Council on Fostering Entrepreneurship. He led the research team on the 2011 Forum publication on Global Entrepreneurship and the Successful Growth Strategies of Early-Stage Companies. He co-led the research team on the 2013 Forum publication on Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Around the Globe and Company Growth Dynamics.

Foster’s 2010 California Management Review co-authored paper on “Building Sustainable High-Growth Startup Companies” won the 2011 Accenture Award for the article that “has made the most important contribution to improving the practice of management.” He has won multiple other research awards including the AICPA Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Accounting Literature (twice) and the Competitive Manuscript Award of the American Accounting Association (twice). He is a winner of the Distinguished Teaching Award at Stanford Business School and has been awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Ghent (Belgium) and the University of Vaasa (Finland).

He is actively involved in the business community, especially with venture-capital backed startup companies and has served on the Board of Directors of multiple companies. He is also actively involved with sporting organizations around the globe, including directing executive programs for the National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA).

Academic Degrees

  • Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Vaasa, 1988
  • Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Ghent, 1987
  • PhD, Stanford University, 1975
  • MEc, University of Sydney, 1972, BEc, 1970 (First Class Honours, University Medal)

Academic Appointments

  • At Stanford since 1978
  • Associate Professor, Australian Graduate School of Management, 1977–1978
  • Assistant Professor, University of Chicago, 1974–1977

Awards and Honors

  • World Economic Forum/Davos Participant, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Accenture Award, California Management Review, 2011
  • Advance 100 Leading Australians Member, 2006
  • Outstanding Educator Award, American Accounting Association, 1993
  • Distinguished Teaching Award, MBA, Stanford Business School, 1989

Publications

Journal Articles

George Foster, Norman O’Reilly, Carlos Shimizu, Neal Khosla, Ryan Murray. Journal of Sports Management. 2014.
Christopher S. Armstrong, Antonio Davila, George Foster, John R.M. Hand. Australian Journal of Management. April 2011, Vol. 36 , Issue 1, Pages 15-57.
Antonio Davila, George Foster, Ning Jia. California Management Review. March 2010, Vol. 52, Issue 3, Pages 79-105.
Christopher S. Armstrong, Antonio Davila, George Foster. Review of Accounting Studies. January 2006, Vol. 11, Issue 1, Pages 119-154.
Mary E. Barth, Michael B. Clement, George Foster, Ron Kasznik. Review of Accounting Studies. 1998, Vol. 3, Issue 1-2, Pages 41-68.

Books

George Foster, Stephen A. Greyser, Bill Walsh Mason: Thomson/South-Western, 2006.
George Foster, C. Horngren, S. Datar Prentice-Hall, 6th, 1987 to 10th, 2000 editions, 2000.
George Foster Prentice-Hall, 1st, 1978 and 2nd, 1986 editions, 1986.

Courses Taught

Degree Courses

2014-15

This course is elected as soon as a student is ready to begin research for the dissertation, usually shortly after admission to candidacy. To register, a student must obtain permission from the faculty member who is willing to supervise the...

This course will examine the diverse management challenges facing the sports industry. The course will cover issues at the league level, the team level, the athlete/agent level, and the college level. The diverse constituencies with interests in...

Need approval from sponsoring faculty member and GSB Registrar.

Course examines investment and financing issues that face a diverse set of participants in the sports industry (defined very broadly). A key theme is using general financial concepts to better structure decision making in the sports industry....

This Sports Marketing course combines (a) a focus on key marketing themes (such as branding, customer attraction/retention, and celebrity power) and (b) an analysis of marketing in diverse areas of the sporting industry: the league level, the...

Doctoral Practicum in Teaching

Doctoral Practicum in Research

This course is offered for students who at some time may want to undertake an entrepreneurial career by pursuing opportunities leading to partial or full ownership and control of a business. The course deals with case situations from the point of...

2013-14

This course will examine the diverse management challenges facing the sports industry. The course will cover issues at the league level, the team level, the athlete/agent level, and the college level. The diverse constituencies with interests in...

Course examines investment and financing issues that face a diverse set of participants in the sports industry (defined very broadly). A key theme is using general financial concepts to better structure decision making in the sports industry....

This Sports Marketing course combines (a) a focus on key marketing themes (such as branding, customer attraction/retention, and celebrity power) and (b) an analysis of marketing in diverse areas of the sporting industry: the league level, the...

This course is offered for students who at some time may want to undertake an entrepreneurial career by pursuing opportunities leading to partial or full ownership and control of a business. The course deals with case situations from the point of...

Stanford Case Studies

Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics (A): Disruptive Innovation in Major League Baseball | SPM53A
George Foster, Norm O’Reilly, Ryan Lippert, Carlos Shimizu, Kyle Udseth2014
Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics (B): Advanced Metrics Beyond Baseball | SPM53B
George Foster, Norm O’Reilly, Ryan Lippert, Carlos Shimizu, Kyle Udseth2014
The USGA and the State of Golf in the United States | SPM52
George Foster, David Hoyt2014
Wildfire Interactive Inc. (A) | E506A
George Foster, Jason Luther2014
Wildfire Interactive Inc. (B) | E506B
George Foster, Jason Luther2014
Tough Mudder | E464
George Foster, Sara Rosenthal2013
Waypoint Reinventing Single Family Home Rental | E467
George Foster, David Hoyt2013
Financial Engines | E399
George Foster, Sara Rosenthal2012
FullBloom Baking Company | E410
George Foster, Sara Rosenthal2012
Stonestreet Farms, Making a Business in the "Sport of Kings" | SPM50
George Foster, David Hoyt2012
Women's Professional Soccer (B) | E411B
George Foster, Arar Han2012
WineInStyle | E401
George Foster, Arar Han2011
Global Events as Drivers of Growth: The Case of Hockey Canada | SPM42
Darryl Boynton, George Foster, Norman O'Reilly2010
Homeless World Cup: Social Entrepreneurship, Cause Marketing, and a Partnership with Nike | E376
George Foster, Jocelyn Hornblower, Norman O'Reilly2010
Infineon Raceway (Sears Point Raceway): Marketing in the Motor Sports World | SPM41
George Foster, David Hoyt, Norm O'Reilly2010
Suntech Power Holdings (A): The Pre-IPO Years | E347A
Antonio Davila, George Foster, Ning Jia2010
Suntech Power Holdings (B): The Post-IPO Years | E347B
Antonio Davila, George Foster, Ning Jia2010
Anaheim Ducks (A): Three Eras of Professional Hockey in Anaheim | SPM39A
Antonio Davila, George Foster, Norm O'Reilly2009
Anaheim Ducks (B): Managing the 2007 Stanley Cup Champions | SPM39B
Antonio Davila, George Foster, Norm O'Reilly2009
Baidu.com, Inc., Valuation at IPO | A197
George Foster, Martin Haemmig, Ning Jia, Sara Leslie, Joseph Piotroski, Jennie Tung2009
Focus Media (A): Building a Chinese Media Giant | E330A
George Foster, David Hoyt2009
Focus Media (B): A Chinese Shooting Star Crashes | E330B
George Foster, David Hoyt2009
San Diego Padres: PETCO Park as a Catalyst for Urban Redevelopment | SPM37
Antonio Davila, George Foster, David Hoyt2008
Futbol Club Barcelona: Globalization Opportunities | SPM33
Antonio Davila, George Foster, Jaume Llopis2007
Red Bull and Auto Racing: Sponsor or Own a Formula One Team? | SPM35
George Foster, David Hoyt2007
Red Bull and the New York MetroStars | SPM36
George Foster, David Hoyt2007
WI Harper - Strategic Crossroads | E257
Patrick Arippol, George Foster, Martin Haemmig2007
Canary Fund and the San Jose Grand Prix (A) | SPM31A
George Foster, David Hoyt2006
Citizen Sports Network: Evolving the Product and Business Model | SPM32
George Foster, Mike Harkey, Claire Magat2006
Golden Baseball League (A): From Idea to "Play Ball" | SPM29A
George Foster, Mike Harkey2006
Golden Baseball League (B): Final Standings, Season One | SPM29B
George Foster, Mike Harkey2006
HRJ Capital: From Superbowls to Superfunds | SPM30
George Foster, Mike Harkey2006
Mountain Hardwear (A): The Early Years | E228A
George Foster, Joshua Spitzer2006
Mountain Hardwear (C): Working with Athletes | E228C
George Foster, Joshua Spitzer2006
Starbucks: A Global Work-in-Progress | IB74
Antonio Davila, George Foster, Corinne Putt, Anne Somjen2006
Colorado Crush And The Arena Football League | SPM7
George Foster, Alicia Seiger2004
Exclusive Resorts | E178
George Foster, Eric Liu, Emily Melton, Maria Taft2004
Jeremy Bloom: "Show Us The Money" | SPM12
George Foster, David Hoyt2004
Notre Dame: Stay Independent Or Join A Conference? | SPM15
George Foster, David Hoyt2004
The Bank of the West Classic and IMG | SPM13
George Foster, David Hoyt2004
Visa Sponsorship Marketing | SPM5
Victoria Chang, George Foster2004
Dallas Cowboys: Financing a New Stadium | SPM6
George Foster, David Hoyt2003
FOX Sports and News Corp.'s Sports Empire | SPM10
Victoria Chang, George Foster2003
Honda Performance Development: CART vs. IRL - Who Has The Inside Track? | SPM8
Tom Covington, George Foster, David Hoyt, Jake Moskowitz2003
Nike Corporation and Athlete Endorsements | SPM3
George Foster, David Hoyt2003
WebEx Communications (A): Navigating Through A Turbulent Market | SM121A
George Foster, Erin Yurday2003
Cochlear And Its Global Marketing Challenges | E146
George Foster, Alicia Seiger2003
Beatnik: Start-up Business Model Change | E115
George Foster, Roderick Morris2002
Computershare: Going Global Through Acquisitions | IB28
Victoria Chang, George Foster2002
GenPharm International | IB38
George Foster, Andrea Higuera2002
Liverpool Football Club: Valuing A Sports Team | SPM2
George Foster, Susan Mackenzie2002
ResMed, Inc.: Promoting Better Sleep Around the World | SM97
Antonio Davila, George Foster, Ning Jia2002
webMethods, Inc.: Global Sales Strategy | IB43
George Foster, Susan Mackenzie2002
Check Point Software Technologies: The Continual Building of a Global Technology Company | IB26
Victoria Chang, Antonio Davila, George Foster2001
E.piphany: International Strategy | E99
Victoria Chang, George Foster2001
eBay's Globalization Strategy | SM89
Antonio Davila, Janet Feldstein, George Foster2001
ECnet: Becoming a Global Player | E98
Victoria Chang, George Foster2001
netCustomer: A Global Start-up | EC26
Geoffrey Adamson, Antonio Davila, George Foster2001
NetLogic Microsystems | E94
Christopher Flanagan, George Foster2001

In the Media

San Francisco Chronicle, April 9, 2006
Front Office People Heading Back to School
USA Today, July 1, 2003
Stanford Tackles the NFL
CNBC Open Exchange video, July 2003
Australian Business Intelligence, May 10, 2002
Bloomberg Businessweek, October 30, 2001

Insights by Stanford Business

December 12, 2011
Venture capitalists who spoke at Stanford said available money and billions of internet users mean long-term prospects look good.
June 1, 2011
A professor says policymakers should better understand early-stage companies in their own area, rather than try to create another Silicon Valley.
June 1, 2011
Research shows that more formal management structures help young companies succeed.
February 1, 2005
A study shows that those with early financial monitoring systems grow faster in revenues and head count.
May 1, 2002
New research suggests that initially the amount is less important than the fact that venture funds were invested at all.

School News

August 21, 2012
Tralance Addy named SEED executive director.
June 23, 2004
The one-week, custom-designed NFL-Stanford Program aims to develop and deepen core business skills among NFL executives leaders.