Professor Harry Sminia

Management Science

Personal statement

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 environments develop, but also how crucial things 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.

To do and to teach strategy, Harry believes 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.


Has expertise in:

    • Strategy process
    • Realising strategy
    • Strategic management capability
    • High value manufacturing
    • Process research


Making sense of high value manufacturing : relating policy and theory
Paton Steve, Ates Aylin, Sminia Harry, Smith Marisa
Production Planning and Control Vol 34, pp. 359-370 (2023)
Implementing strategy and avenues of access : a practice perspective
Sminia Harry, Valdovinas Salinas Fredy
Effective Implementation of Transformation Strategies How to Navigate the Strategy and Change Interface Successfully (2022) (2022)
Bridging differing perspectives on ecosystems research to understand co-opetition
Ates Aylin, Paton Steve, Sminia Harry, Smith Marisa
36th Annual Conference of the British Academy of Management (2022)
Firm strategy and the continuity and change in ecosystems
Sminia Harry, Ates Aylin, Paton Steve, Smith Marisa
R&D Management Conference 2022 (2022)
Strategic Thinking for Manufacturing Ecosystems
Sminia Harry, Paton Steve, Ates Aylin, Smith Marisa
The Strategic Manager : Understanding Strategy in Practice
Sminia Harry

More publications

Professional activities

Digital Strategy for Textiles
External Examiner Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow
External Examiner
External Examiner Warwick Business School
External Examiner
External Examiner Newcastle University Business School Joint Degrees with Rijksuniversteit Groningen in The Netherlands
External Examiner

More professional activities


KTP - JWF Process Solutions Ltd. Business model transition from sensor supply, to provision of a software-based data and information service sales solution.
Paton, Steve (Principal Investigator) Sminia, Harry (Co-investigator) Wallace, William (Co-investigator) Walls, Lesley (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 28-Jan-2023
KTP - Leonardo
Paton, Steve (Principal Investigator) Ates, Aylin (Co-investigator) Sminia, Harry (Co-investigator)
04-Jan-2019 - 03-Jan-2021
Strategy Capability Workshops for Turner & Co Ltd
McIntyre, Alan (Principal Investigator) Sminia, Harry (Principal Investigator) Nair, Anup (Co-investigator)
25-Jan-2018 - 08-Jan-2018
ERDF Atlantic Area Programme 2014-2020 IN. 4.0 Project
Ates, Aylin (Co-investigator) Sminia, Harry (Co-investigator) Walls, Lesley (Co-investigator) Quigley, John (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2020
Strategy Workshop for Turner & Co Ltd
Sminia, Harry (Principal Investigator) Nair, Anup (Co-investigator)
06-Jan-2017 - 12-Jan-2017
The interrelationship between strategic change and the emotional autonomy of employees: A Strategy-as-Practice view
Mittra, Pallavi (Post Grad Student) McInnes, Peter (Principal Investigator) Sminia, Harry (Academic)
We know little about how the unfolding process of strategic formulation and implementation impacts upon the individuals’ understanding of what they should, and can, do. Such questions are central to the internationally important field of strategy-as-practice. Here strategy is not seen as something organisations “have”, but as something people “do”. The focus is less, then, the techniques used to formulate business policy, and more the way individuals enact, and react to, the formulation, dissemination and implementation of strategy. While the literature suggests subjectivity is linked to the interpretation and enactment of strategy, the individual’s sense of place and value within the business has not been considered. Consequently, the recurring question in the literature concerns how ‘strategy’ reflects in the intangible embodied perceptions and practices that shape what gets done in organizations. Addressing this gap, this proposed research asks: What are the implications of strategic change on individual actors’ sense of ‘emotional autonomy’ as they formulate and respond to changes in strategy?
01-Jan-2013 - 30-Jan-2016

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