Area of Expertise
- Competitive Advantage
- Organizational Learning
- Organizational Strategy
- Organizational Theory
- Strategic Management
Moshe Farjoun is a Professor of Strategy and Organization at the Schulich School of Business, York University and was recently a visiting Research Fellow at the Judge School of Business, Cambridge University. Moshe received his Ph.D. from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. His research is mainly conceptual and historical and focuses on strategy, organization and adaptation in novel, complex and dynamic contexts as manifest in processes such as organizational learning, discovery, strategy making, managerial cognition, and institutional and strategic change. His current projects explore themes such as the interplay of routine and non-routine, as well as stability and change, in and around organizations, coevolution and shaping, endogenous change and discontinuities and surprises, and draws on Pragmatism, Evolutionary Theory and Dialectics.
2017 Invited Keynote, Strategy as Practice (SAP) workshop, Cass business school, London.
2011 Invited keynote for a panel on cognition and strategic decision making, Strategic Management Society special conference on strategy process, Miami, Florida, U.S.
2011 Delivered the keynote lecture in the Israel Applied Sociology conference on organizational learning and strategic renewal, Haifa, Israel
2011 Paper selected as one of the top six Academy Management Review articles published in 2010
2009 Recipient, Dean’s annual merit award for professional contributions in research, teaching and service to York University.
2007 Finalist in the best paper award competition, Israel Strategy Conference (ISC)
2003 Finalist (top three) in the Academy of Management Journal Best Paper competition for 2002
2003 Letter of recognition for teaching quality from the Vice Dean, Tel Aviv University
1990 Finalist, best dissertation in strategy, Academy of Management
Farjoun, M. (2019), "Strategy and Dialectics: Rejuvenating a Long-standing Relationship", Strategic Organization, 17(1), 133-144.
This essay broadens the conversation on the state of organizational contradictions and paradox research by turning to dialectics—a time-honored, living perspective on social processes and relations, which continues to influence our understanding of the past, present, and future. Dialectics distinctive relational process worldview sets it apart from approaches stressing equilibrium, linearity, and coherence, making it highly relevant to a world in flux. I propose that dialectics is already present in strategy research and in contemporary business, and can become even more central to strategy, addressing core questions in the field and propelling it in new directions. Strategy scholars can draw on dialectics principles as a generative tool kit to construct new theories and managerial tools. Dialectics can also be used as a theoretical lens to understand emerging empirical phenomena such as the rapid advent of artificial intelligence. Finally, dialectics critical stance and philosophical grounding makes it a particularly attractive perspective for challenging existing theoretical models and for considering alternatives.
Eden, D., Farjoun, M., Kollenscher, E. and Ronen, B. (2017), "Architectural Leadership: The Neglected Core of Organizational Leadership", European Management Review, 14(3), 247-264.
The cornerstone of architectural leadership (AL) theory is to structure the organization in service to its strategy so as to improve its capabilities and enhance its value. Rather than relying on the CEO’s personal influence, AL centers on structuring and operating core organization‐wide processes that diffuse leadership influence across managerial levels and harness the whole organization better to attain its goals. AL is grounded in the academic management literature. It complements theories that focus on targets but neglect the means needed to achieve them. Though most managers spend much of their time dealing with the means while struggling with insufficient infrastructure, existing management theories ignore these issues or say little about them. Architectural leadership theory provides a solution to this lacuna. Applying AL can help managers create value by developing the infrastructure required for strategy implementation.
Ansell, C., Boin, A. and Farjoun, M. (2015), "Pragmatism in Organization Studies: Meeting the Challenges of a Dynamic and Complex World", Organization Science, 26(6), 1787-1804.Keywords
Organizational scholars have shown a growing interest in drawing on the philosophy of Pragmatism to address contemporary problems and theoretical questions. We elucidate Pragmatism’s core ideas and show their uniqueness and relevance to the field. We present Pragmatism as a problem-solving philosophy that builds on a rich and behaviorally plausible model of human nature, views reality in terms of processes and relations, and highlights the interplay of meaning and action. We demonstrate how Pragmatist ideas can help transcend the perennial problem of agency and structure and illustrate how these ideas might contribute to one specific domain of research on categories and categorization. More generally, Pragmatism is well suited to understanding the contemporary challenges of change and complexity especially as they play out across multiple levels of analysis. We argue that Pragmatism provides a “third way” between rational and structural approaches and represents a living school of organization theory in its own right.
Ansell, C., Boin, A. and Farjoun, M. (2015), "Dynamic Conservatism: How Institutions Change to Remain the Same", Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 44, 89-119.
The environment of most organizations is beset by continuous change, instability, flux, and unpredictability. If organizations are to survive and prosper under such conditions, they must be capable of dynamic adaption and stable and reliable performance. Organization theory recognizes the importance of both imperatives, but typically assumes that they pull organizations in different directions. Building on Selznick’s theory of institutionalization, we argue that institutions can, should and sometimes do master the challenge of being responsive and stable, while avoiding the potentially destructive tendencies of rigidity and opportunism. Contrary to a prominent view that strong institutionalization leads to inertia, Selznick’s theory suggests that strong institutions are capable of preemptive adaptation to protect the character of their institutions. We describe this state as one of dynamic conservatism and explore four types of preemptive internal reform strategies: strategic retreat, self-cannibalization, experimentation, and repositioning. We conclude with a consideration of factors that might moderate the ability of strong institutions to proactively change in order to remain the same.
Courses TaughtStrategic Management
Strategy in turbulent environment
Behavioral foundations of strategy (Doctoral seminar)
Organizations in their environments
Organizations in the movies