WHU
We are particularly interested in ‘grand challenges’ such as energy security, climate change, economic independence, market regulation, and competition.

At the Chair of Strategic Management, our research focuses on how organizations and businesses deal with multiple competing, and often paradoxical demands, and how they develop strategies aimed at achieving long-term goals. We also question what constitutes a strategic activity and consider how such activities are linked with individual organizations’ strategizing processes. We study the social impact of organizations’ strategies, as well as considering interorganizational and industrial strategizing. 

Our research

The Chair of Strategic Management, held by Professor Jane Lê, focuses on practice-based studies of complex strategic contexts.

Our research specializes in energy, telecommunications, and water infrastructure, since businesses operating in these industries can have significant economic and societal impact. Professor Lê is particularly interested in paradox and materiality. She also has extensive training in psychology and sociology, and has a wealth of experience working in human resource management, strategy, and organizational studies. She has an impressive knowledge of research methods, using a range of research designs, including cross-sectional and longitudinal case studies, and drawing on multiple qualitative data sources including interviews, observations, and archival sources to study private and public sector organizations.

Professor Lê’s work has appeared in a number of prestigious journals including Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, and Organization Studies. She is actively involved European Group for Organizational Studies, having led the Research Community Platform, and the Academy of Management, serving five years in the leadership rotation of the Strategizing Activities and Practice interest group. Additionally, she has secured highly competitive grants, including an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant entitled ‘The Human Side of Energy Security’.

We aim to produce high-quality research with real world relevance, putting emphasis on how organisations can overcome the challenges of working in complex environments. We seek to understand organizations’ strategizing processes and their strategies’ consequences on both companies’ long-term outcomes, and society as a whole.

Our team

Professor Jane Lê
Professor Jane Lê
Chairholder
Alexandra Kalinina
Alexandra Kalinina
Personal Assistant
Katharina Weingärtner
Katharina Weingärtner
Research Assistant/ Internal Doctoral Candidate
Momin Durani
Momin Durani
External Doctoral Candidate
Margaret Koli
Margaret Koli
External Doctoral Candidate
Sadi Kurt
Sadi Kurt
External Doctoral Candidate

Recent publications of Professor Jane Lê

Management Group

Lê, J., Bednarek, R. (2023), Using interpretive methods to unleash the potential of human resource development, Human Resource Development Review, Vol. 22 (2), pp. 163-172.

Management Group

Lê, J., Schmid, T. (2022), The practice of innovating research methods, Organizational Research Methods, Vol. 25 (2), pp. 308-336.

Management Group

Gioia, D., Corley, K., Eisenhardt, K., Feldman, M., Langley, A., Lê, J., Golden-Biddle, K., Locke, K., Mees-Buss, J., Piekkari, R., Ravasi, D., Rerup, C., Schmid, T., Silverman, D., Welch, C. (2022), A curated debate: on using “templates” in qualitative research, Journal of Management Inquiry, Vol. 31 (3), pp. 231–252.

Management Group

Couture, F., Jarzabkowski, P., Lê, J. (2023), Triggers,traps and disconnect: how governance obstacles hinder progress on grand challenges, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 66 (6), pp. 1651 - 1680.

Management Group

Seidl, D., Lê, J., Jarzabkowski, P. (2021), The generative potential of Niklas Luhmann's theorizing for paradox research: decision paradox and deparadoxization, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 73b, pp. 49-64.

Management Group

Pradies, C., Aust-Gronarz, I., Bednarek, R., Brandl, J., Carmine, S., Cheal, J., Pina E Cunha, M., Gaim, M., Keegan, A., Lê, J., Miron-Spektor, E., Nielsen, R. K., Pouthier, V., Sharma, G., Sparr, J. L., Vince, R., Keller, J. (2021), The lived experience of paradox: how individuals navigate tensions during the pandemic crisis, Journal of Management Inquiry, Vol. 30 (2), pp. 154-167.

Management Group

Jarzabkowski, P., Lê, J., Balogun, J. (2019), The social practice of coevolving strategy and structure to realize mandated radical change, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 62 (3), pp. 850-882.

Future Leaders Fundraising Challenge

The “Future Leaders Fundraising Challenge” is a one-week leadership course at the outset of WHU’s MBA program that is designed to teach leadership through experience, to preview topics covered throughout the MBA program, and instill in students a lasting sense for leaders’ social responsibility beyond their organizations.

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