Dr. John Usher

Dr. John Usher is a Professor of Organization Theory & Strategy, in the Dhillon School of Business, at the University of Lethbridge where he has served as Chair of Management, Policy and Strategy. He is also a Research Affiliate of the Prentice Institute for Global Population and Economy. He is 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. He 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.

Professor 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. He has worked 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.

Dr. Usher believes Managing Responsibly in a Global Environment (MRGE) has the ideal mix of topics (CSR, stakeholder management, ethics & globalization), examples (GMOs, Climate change, Animal rights, Social entrepreneurship, Organic food, Fair trade & Sweatshops), and pedagogy (weekly debates) to support the vision and values of Integrated Management Expertise (IME). He enjoys teaching IME students as they are engaged students with a cohort model who are dedicated to support of non-profits and social change.

Although Professor Usher was born in England, after living for six years in Edmonton, seven years in St. John’s and 17 years in Lethbridge, he no longer minds the cold (North wind).


Research Interests: Demographic Changes; Power and Organization; Cooperative Behaviours; Income Inequality; Sustainable Development; Role of Faculty Associations; Universities; Technological Innovations; Social, Economical, and Political Impacts of Innovations; Organization Design; Complex Adaptive Systems Theory; Categories of Businesses; Strategic Alliance Formation; Organizational Learning; Social Responsibility; Social Capital; Organizational Ecology - Specifically Niche-width Theory; Strategic Alliance Formation; Institutionalization theory; Multi-unit Organization Strategy (Franchises, Chains); Industrial Strategy in Emerging Economies; Medical ethics.

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