People. Culture. Humanity.

Dr. David L. Harkins is a social scientist focused on helping people create a better world through stronger connections with each other.

People. Culture. Humanity.

Dr. David L. Harkins is a social scientist focused on helping people create a better world through stronger connections with each other.

Dr. David L. Harkins

Dr. David L. Harkins is a researcher and assistant professor of social entrepreneurship at Belmont University‘s Jack C. Massey College of Business.  He is also the Managing Partner of David Harkins Company, LLC, a socially focused management consulting company working with organizations, companies, and community leaders to solve pressing and difficult problems.

He has earned a Doctorate in Organization Development and Change (D. ODC) from Bowling Green State University, a Master of Entrepreneurship (ME) from Western Carolina University, and a BBA in entrepreneurial and small business management from American Public University. He is also a Certified Professional Coach.

Dr. Harkins is a scholar-practitioner, meaning his interests are grounded in theory and informed by practical experience. His research interests focus on the human experiences of organizational culture, collective empathy, complex social systems, entrepreneurial thinking processes, leadership for sustainable change and social impact, and creativity in organizational problem-solving.

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For consulting inquiries, visit:

What I do

"A career is not something you plan, it's something you look back on and realize you had."

This site archives Dr. Harkins' writing, work, and career. It is a work-in-progress.

About Dr. David L. Harkins

Dr. David L. Harkins is a human experience researcher and assistant professor of social entrepreneurship at Belmont University‘s Jack C. Massey College of Business.  He is also the Managing Partner of David Harkins Company, LLC, a socially focused management consulting company working with nonprofit organizations, companies, and community leaders to solve pressing and difficult problems.

He has earned a Doctorate in Organization Development and Change (D. ODC) from Bowling Green State University, a Master of Entrepreneurship (ME) from Western Carolina University, and a BBA in entrepreneurial and small business management from American Public University. He is also a Certified Professional Coach.

Dr. Harkins is a scholar-practitioner, meaning his interests are grounded in theory and informed by practical experience. His research interests focus on the human experiences of organizational culture, collective empathy, complex social systems, entrepreneurial thinking processes, leadership for sustainable change and social impact, and creativity in organizational problem-solving. He is a frequent speaker on these and other topics. 

Learn more >>>

For consulting inquiries, visit:

On the blog

Office Building at Night

A culture-first perspective on Organization Development and Change

Over the last fifty years, many definitions of Organization Development (OD) have focused primarily on organizational effectiveness and performance improvements. As a behavioral science, the field’s interdisciplinary nature looked across the organization’s systems at various types of connectors and nodes that might be evaluated and collaboratively diagnosed to benefit the...

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Is COVID-19 the accelerator of nonprofit transformation change?

The COVID-19 pandemic provided a window into the future. It is a disruptive force that affected all levels of a nonprofit organization’s system. It highlighted the necessity for rethinking operations and leadership approaches. The vast interconnectivity of actors required to fulfill the mission of many public sector nonprofit organizations creates...

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shallow focus photography of man in white shirt

Your target market is not as big as you think

Misidentifying your target market can be disastrous for your startup. Learn about the difference between the total available market (TAM) and target market (TM), and how a narrowly defined TM can improve your marketing efforts, reduce costs, and increase customer engagement and loyalty.

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assorted title book lot

Thoughts on Entrepreneurial Education

Too many entrepreneurs are flying by choice or necessity by the seat of their pants, throwing things against the wall and hoping they will stick. What I have learned through experience and formal entrepreneurial education is there is not a magic formula that will breed successful ventures, but there is...

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Silver Macbook on Brown Wooden Table

The Founder’s Identity Crisis

The individual who can get a company off the ground is usually quite different than the individual who can run it well as it grows. The skills and abilities required of each are very different. A founder must take the time to learn new skills to transform from the role...

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Recruitment Lettering Text on Black Background

Interview: Lynda Liner on Entrepreneurial Recruiting

In my interview with executive recruiter Lynda Liner, she offers, among other things, that entrepreneurs should not rush the process in hiring those first employees, the importance of communication about the position's authority and responsibility in the hiring process, and tips for identifying a top recruiter for your firm.

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Is your startup hiring?

You often have many needs, but you also have a limited payroll budget. The temptation is always to hire the most technically skilled person for the job, for the least amount of payroll. Getting the biggest bang for your buck sounds logical, but is it?

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