- Mgt - Policy & Strategy
- Office: M4131
- Phone: (403) 329-2759
- Phone: (403) 329-2759
DegreesB.I.A. (Organizational Development); M.B.A. (Personnel and Labour Relations); Ph.D. (Organizational Behaviour)
ExpertiseOrganizational ecology - specifically niche-width theory, Strategic alliance formation, Complex adaptive systems, Institutionalization theory, Multi-unit organization strategy (franchises, chains), Industrial strategy in emerging economies, Organizational learning, Social responsibility, Social capital
Research AreasStrategic alliance formation, Complex adaptive systems, Organizational learning, Social responsibility, Social capital
Previous Research AreasOrganizational ecology - specifically niche-width theory, Multi-unit organization strategy (franchises, chains), Organizational learning, Complex systems theory, Medical ethics
About MeDr. Usher is Professor of Organization Theory
Fall 2016 - Spring 2017 Classes:
Study leave / No classes scheduled
BiographyDr. Usher is Professor of Organization Theory and a former President of the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association (ULFA). He was Dean of the Faculty of Management from July 2002 until February 2004. Dr. Usher came to Alberta from St. John's, NL, where he was in the Faculty of Business Administration at Memorial University from 1994 until 2002, most recently as Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Research. Dr. Usher served as a faculty member at the University of Alberta from 1988 until 1994 and was an academic coach and course developer with Athabasca University's distance EMBA program from 1994 until 2003. Dr. Usher has extensive expertise in the business world as a strategic planning specialist, production supervisor, senior factory accountant and quality control supervisor gained at General Motors of Canada over a ten-year period.
Research InterestsDr. Usher's research interests and activities are primarily in the area of organizational ecology, specifically niche-width theory, which examines the success of organizational fitness strategies (specialism, generalism and polymorphism) under various conditions of spatial and temporal environmental heterogeneity. His most recent work with co-authors Dr. Filippo Carlo Wezel (University of Lugano) and Dr. Gabor Peli (University of Utrecht) seeks to integrate a formalized theory of Multi-Unit Locally Adapted organizations (MULAs) into organizational ecology using the non-monotonic logical machinery of Hanna, Polos & Carroll, 2007.
Wolfe, Richard, Karl Weick, John Usher, Jim Terborg, Laura Poppo, Audrey Murrell, Janet Dukerich, Deborah Crown, Kevin Dickson, Jessica Jourdan, Sport and Organizational Studies: Exploring Synergies. Journal of Management Inquiry, Vol. 14, No. 2, June 2005.
Usher, J.M., Review of "The Dynamics of Rules: Changes in Written Organizational Codes," James G. March, Martin Schulz and Xueguang Zhou, Administrative Science Quarterly. Vol. 47, No. 3, September 2002.
Baum, J.A.C., X.S. Li and J.M.Usher, "Making the next move: Influences of intra- and inter-organizational learning and strategy in the spatial evolution of chains." Administrative Science Quarterly. Vol. 45, No. 4, December 2000.
Usher, J.M., "Dust in the Wind: A Lesson from Maslow's Monkeys" Academy of Management Review. Vol. 25, No. 4, October 2000. Usher, J.M., "Monkeys to Managers: A Bridge Too Far?" Academy of Management Review. Vol 24, No. 4, October 1999.
Usher, J.M., "Specialists, Generalists and Polymorphs: Spatial Advantages of Multiunit Organization in a Single Industry." Academy of Management Review. Vol 24, No 1, January 1999.
Usher, J.M. and M.G. Evans, "Life and Death Along Gasoline Alley: Darwinian and Lamarckian Processes in a Differentiating Population," Academy of Management Journal, Special Forum: Extending the Frontiers of Organizational Ecology. Vol 21, No 4, October 1996.
MSc Students Supervised / Co-supervised:
Carolin Kellermann 2011. Bridging and Bonding in HEI Research Centres
Patricia Vadnais, 2010. An Exploration of Non-Profit Governance Configurations
Gail McKenzie 2008. Partnerships between Non-Profit Organizations and
Businesses: Legitimacy for sale, but at what cost?
Stewart Whillans 2007. The Impact of Role Ambiguity on Knowledge
Laurie Ingraham 2006. Seeing Stars: A Typology of Constellation Networks
Salvador Barragan, 2005. Assessing the Power of Porter's Diamond
Model in the Automobile Industry in Mexico After
Ten Years of NAFTA in Mexico
Weijian Lin, 2005. Institutional and Learning Effects in a Newly Opening
Economy: An analysis of foreign entry mode choices as
Canadian universities and colleges go to China
Eamonn Lynch, 2004. Leadership: An Open Palm Conversation
Jared Cutting, 2003. Deinstitutionalization in Major Sports Leagues
|Title||Grant Agency||Completion Date|
|Challenges and opportunities in the knowledge based economy||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)||2000-2003|
|Niche width theory and competitive strategy: exploring polymorphism||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)||2000-03|
|Dynamic and evolutionary models of urban and regional systems||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)||2000-03|
|Commercially sponsored genetic research||Ministry of Health and Community Services||2002-03|