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Lee Watkiss draws on organizational theory and cultural analysis to explore how firms can influence the creation and alteration of the product and market categories they inhabit as well as how these categories provide stability for firms as they navigate turbulent environments.
Lee holds a Ph.D. from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. Earlier in his career, he worked in diverse fields including engineering, professional services, and executive education in both multinational (e.g., Arthur Andersen and Deloitte & Touche) and small start-up ventures in the United Kingdom and the United States. In these roles, Lee advised and consulted for organizations across the technology, finance, energy, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, media, real estate, retail, telecommunications, and transportation industries, including many of Fortune magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies.”
Lee currently teaches Strategic Analysis and Action and Cross-Enterprise Leadership in the HBA program, and Ivey Essentials - Strategy in the MSc program. He also teaches in the Ivey Frontline Leadership Program. While at Boston College, he received both the Donald J. White Teaching Excellence Award and the Carroll School of Management All Star Teacher Award for his teaching in the undergraduate program.
- Cross-Enterprise Leadership
- Strategic Analysis and Action
- Executive Education
- PhD, Boston College Carroll School of Management (USA)
- MBA, Emory University Goizueta Business School (USA)
- BSc, Loughborough University Department of Civil Engineering (UK)
Recent Refereed Articles
Watkiss, L.; Zbaracki, M.; McAlpine, C.; Barg, J., 2021, "Truth, Beauty and Justice in Models of Social Action", Research in the Sociology of Organizations, October 76: 159 - 177. Abstract: James G. March rejected relevance as a criterion for social science research, but he was concerned about the social implications of social science models. He argued that a focus on truth alone as a criterion for evaluating models meant that social scientists miss the implications of their models for beauty and justice. Here, we explore all three criteria to see what they bring to the practice of building social science models and how they interact in the models and in the world. We argue that the choices that social scientists make about these three criteria shape what they select to study in the models, what they see in the world, and what they imagine for the world. We also argue that how social scientists approach truth, beauty, and justice has implications for how they understand and engage the world.
Link(s) to publication:
Glynn, M. A.; Watkiss, L., 2020, "Of Organizing and Sensemaking: From Action to Meaning and Back Again in a Half‐Century of Weick’s Theorizing", Journal of Management Studies, October 57(1): 1331 - 1354. Abstract: The themes of organizing and sensemaking have reverberated throughout Weick’s remarkable career and constitute one of the hallmarks of his contribution. We review his major works and show how Weick differentially emphasizes organizing and sensemaking over time and, eventually, arrives at a fuller integration of meaning and action. Initially, Weick (1969; 1979) models their relationship as linear, focusing on how organizing functioned as a context for sensemaking, an approach we label Sensemaking in Organizing. Later, however, Weick (1995a; 2005) construes their relationship in more dynamic, interactive, and reciprocal cycles, modelling sensemaking as the process whereby organizing is achieved, an approach we label Sensemaking as Organizing. We explore the evolution and implications of these approaches and discuss their impact on management scholarship. Finally, we draw out potential future research directions at the interface of organizing and sensemaking.
Link(s) to publication:
Work in Progress
- Watkiss, Lee and Jungsoo Ahn: “Multi-Level Theorizing about Managing Equivocality in The Social Psychology of Organizing.” Under review.
- Glynn, Mary Ann and Lee Watkiss: “For Want of a Hyphen: Relating Cognition and Action in Weick’s Social Psychology of Organizing.” Under review.
- Watkiss, Lee: “Apple’s Secret Sauce: The Creation of the Tablet Category” Working paper.
- Watkiss, Lee, Mary Ann Glynn, and Maureen Blyler. “The Deployment of Institutional Logics and Cultural Codes: The Case of Olympism and the Salt Lake City Bribery Scandal.” Working paper.
- Lepisto, Douglas and Lee Watkiss: “The Old One Two Three: Temporal Dynamics in Category Formation.” Drafting paper.
- Gualandris, Jury, Hervé Legenvre, Davide Luzzini, and Lee Watkiss: “All in a Frame: Strategy Implementation in Novel Circumstances.” Analyzing data.
- Watkiss, Lee and Mary Ann Glynn: “Hidden in Plain Sight: Culture in Cultural Entrepreneurship.” Drafting paper.