Harry Sminia is professor of strategic management.
Before joining Strathclyde in 2013, Harry held positions at the University of Groningen, the Vrije Universteit, Amsterdam and the University of Sheffield.
His research interests are in the area of processes of strategy formation, strategic change, and competitive positioning. He is eclectic in his theoretical tastes, as long as it helps to elucidate ‘how’ questions. Management reality is processual. It is not about the state of things and providing explanations why these are correlated with each other. It is about how things come into being, change or continue to be, and sometimes disappear again. It is about understanding how things happen and can be made to happen.
Harry has done research on how a top management team activity actually affects the strategic direction of a firm, how organizations change, how industries develop, but also how crucial things that take place within an industry remain unaltered over a period of time despite a strong impetus for change. He currently focuses on high value manufacturing. This is a particularly interesting problem area, not only because of its prominence in Scotland’s and the UK’s economic and innovation policy, but also because it is at the crossroads of strategy, innovation, and operations. He is also interested in process research methods and methodology. Hence his involvement in a website about process research methods.
To do and to teach strategy, Harry beliefs there is nothing so practical as a good theory (to paraphrase Kurt Lewin). Furthermore, he beliefs that learning is the most effective if you have to do what you are being taught. For those reasons he always tries to involve students in activities in which they have to use strategy theories to experience their practicality.
Harry is happy to supervise PhD students who – like him – are interested in finding out about 'how' questions in the broad area of strategic management. Yet he is particularly interested in projects that are at the crossroads of strategy, innovation, and manufacturing.