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Strategic Management and Leadership


This cluster addresses strategy research in its widest sense.

We have an inclusive and broad perspective on strategic management and leadership. In contrast to strategy groups in other business schools, we do not just focus on commercial organisations and the private sector, but also consider strategy in public service organisations – including the public sector and not-for-profit organisations – which better reflects the make-up of our student population and society in general. Being culturally diverse, we have a global perspective on strategy and leadership, and we conduct research in Africa and Asia as well as the UK and Europe.

We have incorporated our research insights, including our own case-based material, into Open University teaching materials, including B302 Strategic Management and the compulsory MBA module B873 Effective Strategic Management in Business and the Public Sector and have promoted doctoral research in this area, through several recent studentships.

Strategy researchers can make a contribution to society by investigating how business and public service organisations are responding to major societal challenges, including globalization, climate change and social inclusion. Our members have conducted research in areas such as sustainability and environmental management, solar energy sector in Africa, the role of alliances in innovation and open innovation, among others.

The cluster engages with the business community through panel discussions and blog posts. Watch below our business webinar series discussions with business panellists sharing their approaches to strategic agility and innovation to tackle strategic challenges. Our blog series contributions stem from our research and offer managerial insights to support business and public sector organisations in their new endeavours.

Business webinar series

Blogpost contributions

Selected recent publications

Cluster Members publish in academic peer review journals of global esteem and reputation and of international standing that have wide readership and high impact factors showcasing substantial contributions in subsequent developments in their respective fields. Examples of journals of recent and past publications include Human Relations, Journal of World Business, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management, Journal of Business Studies, British Journal of Management, International Business Review, Long Range Planning, R&D Management Journal, Public Management Review. Select the link in the boxes below to find more about our recent publications. All publications are available Open Access at Open Research Online.

Publications in 2023

Fleming, Peter, Godfrey, Richard and Lilley, Simon (2023). Conceptualizing business logistics as an ‘apparatus of security’ and its implications for management and organizational inquiry, Human Relations (on Early view).

de Souza, Eloisio Moulin, Brewis, Joanna and Godfrey, Richard (2023). Abjection in extremely gendered colonial organizations: female military firefighter officers in Brazil, Human Relations (on Early view).

Tarba, Shlomo, Frynas, Jedrzej George, Liu, Yipeng, Wood, Geoffrey, Sarala, Riikka and Fainshmidt, Stav (2023). Strategic agility in international business. Journal of World Business 58(2) (on Early view).

Kourti, Isidora (2023). Exploring identity interplay through performative textual analysis. In: Winkler, Ingo; Reissner, Stefanie and Cascón-Pereira, Rosalía eds. Handbook of Research Methods for Studying Identity In and Around Organizations: Usual Suspects and Beyond. Edward Elgar, pp. 26–39.

Filiou, Despoina; Kesidou, Effie and Wu, Lichao (2023). Are smart cities green? The role of environmental and digital policies for Eco-innovation in China. World Development, 165 p. 106212.

Kourti, Isidora; Charitaki, Garyfalia and Kypriotaki, Maria (2023). The critical role of personal and professional characteristics on teachers’ efficacy and attitudes towards inclusion: A comparative study between Greece and the UK. Trends in Psychology (Early Access).

Publications in 2022

Mbalyohere, Charles and Lawton, Thomas C. (2022). Engaging informal institutions through corporate political activity: Capabilities for subnational embeddedness in emerging economies. International Business Review, 31(2), article no. 101927.

Ongaro, Edoardo (2022). Strategic Management in Public Services Organisations: Concepts, Schools and Contemporary Issues (2nd ed.), London and New York: Routledge.

Sancino, Alessandro; Carli, Giacomo and Giacomini, Davide (2022). Relational leadership in local governance: the engagement of mayors with citizens, public managers and politicians. Public Management Review (Early Access).

John, Anna; Coetsee, Johan and Flood, Patrick C. (2022). Understanding the mechanisms of sustainable capitalism: The 4S model. Business Ethics, the Environment & Responsibility (Early Access).

Godfrey, Richard (2022). The politics of consuming war: video games, the military-entertainment complex and the spectacle of violence. Journal of Marketing Management, 38(7-8) pp. 661–682.

Externally funded research project

ICAERUS project logo

ICAERUS, Horizon Europe (2022-2026) funded project: ‘Innovations and Capacity Building in Agricultural and Rural UAV Services’; the consortium brings together a total of 13 partners from 8 European countries to explore the potential and impact of drones (UAVs) as multi-purpose vehicles in EU agriculture, forestry and rural areas. For further information and up to date progress visit the project’s website.

Meet the team

Membership is open to anyone in The Open University with an active research interest in strategic management. We also welcome associates from other institutions. If you are interested in joining, please contact us.

Cluster members:

PhD students

Any potential PhD students are invited to visit the Cluster Members webpages above to explore their research interests and existing projects. Currently, Cluster Members co-supervise the following PhD students:

  • Olamide Akintimehin: The application of games and gamification within a multi-national corporation training context
  • Rosie Boparai: Researching the lived experience of organisational paradox through contradictions and tensions, and its impact on organisational life
  • Benard Iyegudu: Resilience of SMEs: The role of supply chain collaboration in building supply chain resilience
  • Divyansh Sachan: Analysing the evolution of free-to-play mobile gaming in the Covid-19 pandemic through its sub-categories and associated user experiences.