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Dr Anna John

Profile summary

Professional biography

Personal information 

  • Postal address and contact details: D1 Wing Michael Young Building, Department of Strategy and Marketing, Faculty of Business and Law, Walton Hall, Open University Campus, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, Tel: +44 1 908 65 50 19; Email:
  • Nationality: British 
  • Research languages: English and Portuguese 
  • Family & children: Daughter 
  • Hobbies: Music of Georgian and Victorian periods
  • Profile: Dr Anna John | OU people profiles (

Academic experience and education 

Dr Anna John holds PhD from Dublin City University Business School in Ireland (2011) and an Exec. MA in International and European Relations and Management from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands (2004). Having completed her post-doctoral research in strategy in the Open University Business School (Milton Keynes, the UK) and the IC4 (Centre for Cloud Computing and Commerce, Dublin, Ireland), Dr Anna John joined the University of Derby and then, in 2013, became an academic member of the Open University Department of Strategy and Marketing where she is now Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management. Prior to that, Dr Anna John had taught on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Dublin  City University and higher education institutions in Mozambique (e.g. Pegagogical University, Superior Institute for International Relations and University Eduardo Mondlane). She has bidded for, and was awarded funding for academic projects from, the following schemes: UK Researcher Links from the British Council, Santander Research Funding, Santander Mobility Grants, SAIA SNP, OU FBL Seedcorn funding, OU Scilab funding, and Matra programme (EU). 

Research outputs 

  • Anna John, Johan Coetsee and Patrick Flood (2023) A transition from neo-capitalist approach towards sustainable capitalist approach: a systematic qualitative review of the new institutional research,1-6th September, Annual Conference of the British Academy of Management, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK.
  • John, A., Coetsee, J., Flood, P. (2022) Understanding the Mechanisms of Sustainable Capitalism: 4S Model, Business Ethics, the Environment & Responsibility, (Accepted and In Production).
  • Anna John, Johan Coetsee and Patrick Flood (2022) Achieving Net-Zero: Towards Sustainability Strategies, Strategy SIG Series for Post-Pandemic Recovery, the British Academy of Management, 29th November, the United Kingdom. 
  • Anna John, Patrick Flood and Johan Coetsee (2022) Exploring Mechanisms of sustainable capitalist strategies: the cases of Unilever and Patagonia, The British Academy of Management Conference proceedings, 31st August – 3rd September 2021, Virtually, the United Kingdom. 
  • Anna John (2021) ​Developing employability strategic systems on a blended MBA: a design theory approach. PVCS Employability Scholarship Network. 18th May 2021, The Open University.
  • John, A. and Lawton, T. (2020) International political risk management. In Bailey, K. and Breslin, D. Virtual Issue Covid-19 Pandemic: What can we learn from past research in management and Organizations. International Journal of Management Reviews.
  • John, A. and Vicente, G. (2020) Institutional foundations of management of natural disasters. In Leite et al Humanitarian Questions and Airforce Power. Chapter 11. Luzes - Comunicação, Arte & Cultura: Rio de Janeiro: Brazil.
  • Anna John, Baltov, M., Neycheva, M. and Yorgova, Y. (2020) Extending a theory of collective corporate political activity to emerging economies: the case of Bulgaria. the British Academy of Management, Aston University, 2nd – 4th September 2020, Manchester, the United Kingdom
  • Anna John and Baltov, M. (2020) Collective corporate political activity: an emerging economy perspective. the Faculty of Business and Law Research Festival, June 2020, the Open University, Buckinghamshire, the United Kingdom.
  • Anna John (2020) Graduate employability strategic systems in business education: a research synthesis and agenda for the future research. the Faculty of Business and Law Research Festival, June 2020, the Open University, Buckinghamshire, the United Kingdom.
  • Canal, E., Garcia R., Mendez, L., John, A. and Lawton, T. (2019) Serving Two Masters: A Content Analysis of the Market and Non-Market Factors behind the Consolidation of European Airlines. Henley Business School 7th University of Reading - UNCTAD International Business Conference, 5th-6th April, 2019, Reading; the United Kingdom.
  • Anna John (2019) Institutional strategies of businesses in solar energy sector: insights from Mozambique. In: OU Workshop ‘Alternatives sources of energy in Africa: institutional perspectives’, 15th May 2019, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, the United Kingdom. 
  • John, A., Maureen Meadows, and Thomas Lawton (2018) Chapter 23: Managing Cross-border M&A: Three approaches to takeovers in Europe ISBN: Print ISBN: 9781138226586 and eBook ISBN: 9781315397306 |In Suder, G., Riviere, M., & Lindeque, J. (Eds.) Routledge Companion to European Business, Publisher: Routledge│ Published: UK
  • John, A. and Lawton, T. (2018) Managing international political risk: perspectives and approaches. International Journal of Management Reviews 20(4) (2018): 847-879. CABS 3* and JCR Impact Factor: 7.600 (2018) John Wiley and Sons Publisher has recognised this IJMR paper as one of the 20 top most read papers since its publication in 2018.
  • Anna John, Maureen Meadows and Thomas Lawton (2018) Managing Cross-Border Mergers and Acquisitions: Exploring Failures and Successes. the British Academy of Management, 4 -6th September 2018, Bristol; the United Kingdom.
  • Anna John, Maureen Meadows and Thomas Lawton (2017) Approaches to Managing European Cross-Border Mergers and Acquisitions: Exploring Failures and Successes. In: the British Academy of Management, University of Warwick, 5 -7th September 2017
  • Anna John (2017) Exploring Temporal Capabilities in Corporate Political Strategies the Annual Strategic Management Society Conference, Houston, the United States of America; 29th October - 3rd November, 2017
  • Anna John and Thomas Lawton (2016) Managing political risk: a multi-level approach the European International Business Academy Conference, Vienna, Austria, 3-5 December, 2016
  • John, A. Tazeeb Rajwani and Thomas Lawton (2015) Chapter 8: Corporate political activity ISBN: 0415712319 | Routledge Companion to Nonmarket Activity, Publisher: Routledge│Published: UK
  • John, A (2014) Trading bloc ISBN: 978-1-119-97251-8│Publisher: Wiley Encyclopaedia of Management│Published: Chichester, UK
  • John, A. (2014) Country of origin ISBN: 978-1-119-97251-8│Publisher: Wiley Encyclopaedia of Management│ Published: Chichester, UK
  • John, A (2014) Ethnocentric ISBN: 978-1-119-97251-8│Publisher: Wiley Encyclopaedia of Management Published: Chichester, UK
  • Thomas Lawton and Anna John (2014) Political risk management: a literature review and research agenda In: 41st Annual Academy of International Business – UKI Chapter Conference (10th – 12th April 2014, York)
  • Brice Dattee, Paolo Barbieri, Thomas Lawton, Anna John, Paolo Aversa and Duncan Angwin (2014) Micro-foundations of relational ambidexterity: a study of Lamborghini’s supply chain network SMS Special Conference on Micro-foundations for Strategic Management Research: Embracing Individuals (13th-15th June 2014, Copenhagen)
  • Anna John, Howard Viney and Thomas Lawton (2014) Can you teach reflective practice? Investigating the applied outcomes of online strategic management education. 34th SMS International Conference on Strategies in a World of Networks (20th- 23rd September 2014, Madrid) 
  • Mac an Bhaird, Lynn, T. and Anna John (2014) Seeding the cloud: Funding SMEs in the application software sector. Financing SME Growth in the UK: Meeting the Challenges after the Global Financial Crisis. In: CEEDER Conference, June 2014, Middlesex, the United Kingdom 
  • Theo Lynn, Anna John, van der Werff, L., Corcoran, D., Hunt, G. (2014) Towards a framework for defining and caterogising business process as a service. 21st International Product Development Management Conference, June, 2014 Limerick, the Republic of Ireland.
  • Anna John, and Malcom Brady (2011) Exploration of the dimensionality of the consumer ethnocentric tendencies scale in Mozambique. Journal of African Business 12(1): 114-132.
  • Anna John, and Malcolm Brady (2011) Consumer ethnocentrism and attitudes toward South African consumables in Mozambique. African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, 2(1), 72-93.
  • Anna John, and Malcolm Brady (2010) Consumer ethnocentrism and conspicuous consumption of domestic and foreign consumer goods in Mozambique, a less-developed SADC country. Irish Journal of Management, 30(1): 41-62.

Research interests

Ontological focus 

Ontologically, Dr Anna John's research focuses on the phenomenon of an organisation’s resilience—the capacity to recover quickly—in the face of external challenges. An emphasis is made on strategies for resilience of organisations (e. g. businesses, non-profits, and education institutions) to external challenges, especially those associated with high nonmarket risks (e. g. socio-political risks, institutional uncertainty, political change), environmental risks (e. g. severe climate conditions, anthropogenic disasters and natural hazards including earthquakes, tsunami, cyclones, and floods), and international health crises (e. g. national and regional epidemics and pandemics). Sustainability, or a delicate balance among people, profits and planet, is the central concept in this research, with most projects aiming at committing to UN Sustainable Development Goals. An overarching question in Dr Anna John's research is:

How do organisations use formal and informal strategies individually and collectively as members of meta organisations (e. g. associations, federations, and alliances) to achieve their pro-resilience strategic objectives (e. g. value creation, survival, and growth)?

Methodological focus 

Methodologically, Dr Anna John's interests and expertise span the following approaches to data analysis and data synthesis. 

Data Analysis:

  • Quantitative (Multivariate analysis in SPSS, Structural Equation Modelling & Path Analysis in LISREL, AMOS, EQS and Partial least squares analysis in Smart PLS) 
  • Qualitative (Classification of data in NVivo)

Data Synthesis

  • Quantative techniques (Meta-analysis in Excel, RevMan and CMA and Meta-analytic structural equation modelling)
  • Qualitative techniques (Narrative summary, Textual narrative synthesis, Thematic synthesis, Framework synthesis, Meta-ethnography, Meta-narrative, Realist synthesis (CIMO), Design synthesis (CIMO), and Grounded formal theory synthesis) 

Teaching interests

Courses and modules 

Dr Anna John' teaching interests span various themes in strategic management. Since 2021, Dr Anna John has been co-chair on the B873 MBA Effective strategic management in business and the public sector. She was also chair on B301 Strategic Management 15J and 16J and co-author of B301 Open Learn module 14J (2014-2016) and then later became co-author, coordinator of accessibility and module team member on B302 Strategic Management and chair of the production of its Open Learn module (2020). She also chaired presentations of BB835 Dynamics of Strategy module (2018-2019) on the OU MBA programme and co-chaired presentations on B123 Management Practice (2015-2017). 

In addition to this, Dr Anna John is Lead Educator on a microcredential BZFM802 Management of Change: Organisation Development and Design and Internal Examiner for PG Microcredentials I3 CEAB BZFM801 and BZFM802. She has recently co-authored BG203 Executive Education Short Course: Strategy Create as well as acted as a Critical Reviewer on Executive Education Short Courses BG111 Start Managing, BG 113 Start Monitoring and Control, and BG205 Creating Management for Change.  

Since 2014, Dr Anna John has been Course Director on Online Residential Schools on MBA strategy modules (e.g. BB835 and B873). 

PhD projects 

Dr Anna John has been a member of doctoral research examinations and mock viva panels in the Open University (UK) and as an external examiner of viva at the University of Huddersfield (UK). She now co-supervises a doctoral project The Roles of Supply Chain Collaboration in Creating Resilience and is open to supervising or co-supervising doctocal projects looking into sustainability strategies for resilience in performance of organisations and/or meta-organisations in the conditions of disruptions or in the face of VUCA (vulnerability, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) challenges. 

Impact and engagement

Promoting institutional development 

Motivated to enhance the OU reputation, collaborations and partnerships, Dr Anna John became Panel Member and then Academic Reviewer of the OU Validation of BA (Hons) in Business and Entrepreneurship (Top-Up) of the North East Surrey College of Technology (Nescot) UK as well as joined the British Academy of Management community which aims at engaging with academic, pracademic and practitioner audiences to contribute to a better understanding of, and developing solutions to, emerging challenges in management of organisations. Since 2018, Dr John has acted as Chair of General Strategy Track and Committee Member of the Strategy SIG. In 2020, she was elected Vice-Chair and then later Co-Chair of the Strategy SIG of the British Academy of Management. 

Promoting inclusive ways of working 

An active advocate of EDIA (equality, diversity, inclusion and accessibility) values, Dr Anna John has represented the Department of Strategy and Marketing in the Working Ways working group at the Faculty of Business and Law during the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery and was invited to serve as an observer on the Athena Swan panel. 


Strategy as learning in multi-academy trusts in England: strategic thinking in action (2021)
Baxter, Jacqueline and John, Anna
School Leadership & Management, 41(4-5) (pp. 290-310)

International Political Risk Management: Perspectives, Approaches and Emerging Agendas (2018-10-05)
John, Anna and ,
International Journal of Management Reviews, 20(4) (pp. 847-879)

Understanding the mechanisms of sustainable capitalism: The 4S model (0202-04)
John, Anna; Coetsee, Johan and Flood, Patrick C.
Business Ethics, the Environment & Responsibility, 32(S1) (pp. 15-24)

Institutional Foundations of Management of Natural Disasters: Lessons from the Recent Cyclones in Mozambique (2020)
John, Anna and Vicente, Gil Jose
In: Leite da Silva, Carlos Alberto; Oliveira da Silva, Eduardo Sol and Vilar-Lopes, Gills eds. Questões humanitárias e poder aeroespacial. Comunicação, Arte & Cultura, (pp. 63-86)
ISBN : 9786599220746 | Publisher : Luzes | Published : Rio de Janeiro