James Robert Dillon
James Dillon is a PhD candidate in Organizational Behavior at Harvard Business School. His current research examines strategy-formulation processes within the ranks of senior management. It explains how CEOs use multiple “strategy teams” to impose discipline on an unwieldy stream of strategic issues, while simultaneously creating an adaptive strategy process and superior innovation and competitive outcomes. This team-based view of strategic work in top management offers new insights into the activities, tasks, and routines of strategic leadership.
James's research merges insights from studies of work-team effectiveness with research on organizational strategy processes to describe how the design of group work in top management shapes strategic and organizational outcomes. This research builds on his prior work on learning in teams and the process of leadership development, including the effects of career experiences on the performance of leadership teams and their firms.
Long term, James’s research program is devoted to understanding how organizing practices can foster adaptive processes in organizations.
Prior to joining the doctoral program at Harvard, he worked as a strategy consultant at Monitor Group and a research associate at Harvard Business School. He continues to advise companies on the relationship between organizing and strategizing in the context of competitive and technological change. James holds a degree in accounting from Brigham Young University and masters degrees in social psychology and in education from Harvard University.
Team-based strategic work among senior executives
My research centers on a study of organizational design for senior-executive work on strategy. I examine the role of small groups that are tasked with resolving strategic issues, and I consider the effects of such team-based organizing models on strategic innovation and performance. Primary data about organizing practices for this comparative case study comes from interviews---with senior executives and other managers---that I am conducting at 6 large corporations. Outcome data comes from public filings, financial databases, and qualitative assessments made by interviewees.