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Cliff Hurst, Ph.D. - Fielding Graduate University. Santa Barbara, CA, US

Cliff Hurst, Ph.D.

Associate Faculty - School of Leadership Studies | Fielding Graduate University

Santa Barbara, CA, UNITED STATES

OD Practitioner, Professor, and Scholar Specializing in a Value Theory Known as Formal Axiology.






The Silicon Valley Entrepreneur - Entepreneurial Anthropology




As a scholar, I seek to be a generalist in an era of specialization. This means I eschew disciplinary boundaries. Our theories of organizations ought to be informed by the values and ethics best understood through the study of philosophy. Leadership ought to be informed by an understanding of human motivations and well-being brought to us by humanistic psychology. Economics is a valuable conceptual framework… up to a point. What harms our society is when economics becomes the predominant lens through which businesses operate. Likewise, accounting is an important discipline, but we must understand what it does not account for as well as what it does. Logistics and supply chain management, without the understanding provided by systems thinking, will inevitably overlook the resilience needed to prevent delays and shortages due to unforeseen events. That’s why I am drawn to the practice and study of OD. OD is inter-disciplinary by nature. It’s why I was drawn to Fielding, first as a student and now as an adjunct professor.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Organizational Development

Leadership Development




Accomplishments (1)

Outstanding Service Award, Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business (professional)


Education (3)

Fielding Graduate University: Ph.D., Human and Organizational Systems 2012

University of Virginia: B.A., Foreign Affairs 1975

Fielding Graduate University: M.A., Human and Organizational Systems 2009

Affiliations (5)

  • OD Network : Member, 2020-present
  • Association of Humanistic Psychology : Member, 2019 - present
  • Academy of Management : Member, 2012 - present
  • United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship : Member, 2011 - present
  • RS Hartman Institute of Formal and Applied Axiology : Member, 2002 - present

Media Appearances (5)

Podcast Episode #78: People Are Not Rational Actors

Wake Up Eager Workforce Podcast - Priceless Professional  online


Topic 1: Welcome Dr. Clifford Hurst; Talk About Robert S. Hartman’s Work, How You Came Across It and Why You Are Committed to Sharing it With Others

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Podcast Episode #58 Change How You Think, Act and Work: Cliff Hurst, PhD, Westminster College Talks About Robert S. Hartman's Work

Wake Up Eager Workforce Podcast - Priceless Professional  online


Topic 1: Welcome Dr. Clifford Hurst; Talk About Robert S. Hartman’s Work, How You Came Across It and Why You Are Committed to Sharing it With Others

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Dr. Clifford Hurst on Finding Your Superpower, The Life of Entrepreneurs and The Importance of Looking Inside

Barefoot: A Podcast from Boris A. Angelov  online


In this episode, Dr. Clifford Hurst, a professor teaching entrepreneurship and a yogi, shares some of his experiences in Silicon Valley studying the life of entrepreneurs and how he got to be a professor. He gives advice on choosing a career path, dealing with stress and the importance of looking inside.

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Episode 55 - Cliff Hurst

P3 People Podcast  online


Join P3 Utah's executive director, Steve Klass as he sits down with Cliff Hurst, Assistant Professor of Management at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. Cliff speaks on the entrepreneur incubator program at Westminster, as well as sustainability and ethical business. For this and many more great podcasts, visit p3utah.org.

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25: Cliff Hurst: I Needed to Grasp the Essence

Fast Leader Podcast  online


When Dr. Cliff Hurst was a Consultant and Executive Coach he often was met with a degree of defensiveness and people would put up a mask and a shield to avoid getting real. Cliff found himself spending a lot of time and effort trying to break through their defenses until he changed his methods. Once that happened he was able to have more genuine conversations than he was ever able to have before. And this is when Cliff started a new journey. Listen to Cliff’s story and learn how you might find a new way to get over the hump.

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Articles (3)

An axiological measure of entrepreneurial cognition

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

2018 The purpose of this paper is to expand the recent lines of inquiry into entrepreneurial cognition by focusing on the structure of values as an important aspect of cognition. Value theory, or axiology, posits that the capacity to value and to make value judgments is a distinctly human function – one that is a higher order process than is pure cognition alone.

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Discerning entrepreneurial judgment as reflected in entrepreneurs' responses to feedback

Fielding Graduate University

2012 An entrepreneur's judgment is perhaps the most important asset that a start-up company has. It is scrutinized by investors; it is relied upon by team members; it is tested in the marketplace by early customers. As important as entrepreneurial judgment is, it is a difficult characteristic for others to discern and to evaluate. The purpose of this research project is to bring greater insight and clarity to the process of evaluating the judgment capacities of entrepreneurs during this critical stage of the founding of their companies. This project applies the theory of formal axiology as a lens for studying entrepreneurial judgment and decision-making by analyzing how entrepreneurs receive and respond to feedback.

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The non-mathematical logic of a science of values

Journal of Formal Axiology: Theory and Practice

2011 This paper joins the ongoing debate that has taken place in the pages of this Journal around the type of mathematics that inheres in the logic of formal axiology. The author argues that the validity of formal axiology as a scientific theory rests on its axiomatic foundation. This foundation is independent of the explanatory value that various forms of mathematics may bring to our better understanding of axiological theory. This essay explores first the analogous nature of the relationship between math and the logic of value and second, it discusses the axiomatic foundation of the logic of formal axiology. The author proposes that three axioms, not just one, are needed in order to establish the science of values known as formal axiology.

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