Research

I investigate how individuals and businesses respond to true uncertainty in causation and environment. My focus is on design principles that make organizations innovative, adaptable, and resilient to uncertainty.

The uncertainty mindset: innovation insights from the frontiers of food. This book analyzes some of the world’s most innovative culinary R&D teams to describe the uncertainty mindset—which acknowledges uncertainty and incorporates it in decisions about action—and argue that such a mindset modifies how individuals and organizations work in ways that make them more innovative and adaptable. (Columbia University Press, 2020.)

Using negotiated joining to construct and fill open-ended roles in elite culinary groups.” This paper updates conventional hiring theory and practice and suggests that what I call negotiated joining is a more appropriate approach to hiring for innovation teams where job descriptions cannot be fully defined in advance. I show how active negotiation and testing of explicitly provisional roles allows individuals to build roles tailored to their strengths and inclinations, while enabling organizations to build flexible and adaptable teams. (In Administrative Science Quarterly 60(1), p103-132. 2015.)

Teaching

Strategy and Design
MSIN0134; University College London, 2013-present.

Doctoral seminar exploring connections and complementarities between strategic management theory and design theory (broadly construed). You can find last year’s syllabus here, and the reading list here. I developed and currently teach this seminar.

Strategy by Design
MSIN0020; University College London, 2013-present.

Undergraduate lecture and case-based module using design thinking and structured analytical writing to motivate and update conventional strategic theory and practice. You can find the main readings here. I developed and teach this course.

Qualitative Research Methods for Management
MSIN0046; University College London, 2020

Doctoral seminar covering qualitative research methods used in organization and management studies, including ethnography and observation, case studies, and grounded theory building. I developed and taught the interview and observation/ethnography sections of this team-led seminar.

Managing Uncertainty
Executive education module; Singapore Management University, 2017.

1-day module for senior managers at a major technology firm on recognizing and managing uncertainty in their work portfolios. I developed and delivered this module.