Surrey Phone: 778-782-7446
For Dr. Jill Shepherd, becoming a professor was the key to a lifestyle change that still involves the intellectual challenge and contact with managers (through teaching, consulting and research) that she enjoyed during her career in industry and business.
Specialization and Research Interests
Jill teaches strategic management on the Management of Technology MBA. Her approach to teaching involves embracing the complexity of strategy. Becoming a strategic manager involves understanding how and why strategy means something different at different times in an organization's history, at different levels within the company and between different stakeholders and managers tasked with strategizing. It involves dealing with the consequences of data meaning different things to different people and being a factor, rather than the factor in making strategy. Emphasis is placed on the role of reflective practice in learning to think strategically, and the fruitful sharing and generation of experience in the class room, as much if not more, than the use of analytical case studies. Jill's research uses evolutionary theory. Interests include using the meme as a knowledge-based, micro unit of analysis to understand the co-evolutionary dynamics of knowledge creation within firms. What does this mean? It means understanding how knowledge generation and survival in firms is affected by organizational culture and how dynamics can be changed to ensure they are aligned, and stay aligned, to the environment the organization is working within. Knowledge diversity in the organization must mirror knowledge diversity in the environment. Reflective practice is part of this work. For evolutionary reasons, attentive and focused reflection is neither spontaneous nor effortless, nor is it obvious how the myriad micro events of the everyday can, and should, be reflected upon. Understanding how managers become better at managing through reflective practice is an active research project.
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