Nottingham University Business School
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Dr Jeannie Holstein

BA (Oxon), MBA (The University of Nottingham), MA (Oxon), Associate Teacher Programme (Nottingham), PhD (University of Nottingham), Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Higher Education Academy), UoN 30 credits of PGCHE (2001-current) (The University of Nottingham)
Assistant Professor in Strategic and Public Sector Management

Department: Strategy and International Business
Tel: +44 (0) 115 8466408
Location: C38 (North Building, Jubilee Campus)

Dr Holstein is Assistant Professor, Strategic and Public Sector Management at Nottingham University Business School.

In my work I combine an interest in practically relevant topics such as the role of language, openness, and participation in strategic change (strategizing) and organizing, with a theoretical interest in discursive and narrative processes (dialogicality). The broader academic conversations I'm associated with are: strategy as narrative; processual views of strategizing organizing; strategy as practice; and open strategy. I mainly focusses on policy-rich pluralistic contexts, more recently social care, where the practical impact of my work has greatest potential, alongside a theoretical contribution to open strategizing and open organizing.

My research has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including Strategic Organization (AJ3), Organization Studies (AJG4*, FT50); International Small Business Journal (ISBJ) (AJG3), and in European Management Review (AJG3). Supporting this developing body of work is the chapter Vaara, Rantakari and Holstein (2019) on participation in strategy in the field defining Cambridge University Press Handbook on Open Strategy (2019, eds., Seidl, Whittington, and Von Krogh), where we elaborate three distinctively different approaches to participation that might inform our understanding of inclusion in open strategy and open organizing. I have shared my research at prestigious conferences (Academy of Management, European Group of Organisation Studies (EGOS), Process Organisation Studies (PROS) and British Academy of Management (BAM)).

I am a second career academic. I successfully completed my PhD in 2015 at the University of Nottingham. My doctoral research was funded by the ESRC and investigated strategy as an intertextual narrative (relationship between policy and strategy) within the pluralistic setting of Higher Education. In addition to my PhD, I have a degree in Modern History from the University of Oxford and hold an Executive MBA from the University of Nottingham. Prior to my academic career I worked as a senior business strategist in the tabletop (ceramics and glass) industry, running the UK subsidiary of a German plc profitably, among other roles, and then moving into Higher Education sector, where I led several significant organizational change projects. I continue to be enchanted by the craft of glass and ceramics, and am open to participating in discrete research projects that examine place, the resilience of craft and craft learning, in addition to my main research focus on the role of language in opening up organizing processes.

Areas of Expertise
Strategic Change, Open Strategy, Participation, Inclusion, Transparency, Strategy-Making, Strategizing, Strategy as Narrative, Strategy as Practice, Processual Lens on Strategic Organization, Dialogicality (Bakhtin), Polyphony, and Carnival


The following lists my publications from 2014 to the present day.

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Since joining Nottingham, I have taught and developed the curriculum across all levels, UG, MBA (full time and Executive (UK and Singapore)), MSc, PhD, Executive Education.

In my teaching and scholarship, I currently lead the strategic management component on the Executive MBA (UK and Singapore), convening the core Strategic Management module, and the strategy content element on the School's Executive Education programme for example Growth 100, Aspire to Grow, Strategic Technical Leadership. I also lead on the public policy (in respect of societal challenge) and its intersection with business and organisations, on the UG programmes, where I am also Module Convenor for an extremely popular third year undergraduate module Business, Government and Public Policy, where we critically explore the political economy, using grey as well as academic materials, to enable students to develop an understanding of how political institutions, the political environment, and the economic system influence each other and the policy process. In the past I have led the academic citizenship element within the PhD Programme.

Some examples on my current Executive Education work include: Designing and delivering the session on networking and advocacy for inaugural Executive Programme in Strategic Technical Leadership. Co-designing with Professor Toby Greany (School of Education) and Association of College and School Leaders (ASCL) a Senior Leaders Development Programme, for Multi Academy Trust Chief Executive Officers. Third cohort starts in 2024. This builds strategic and leadership capacity among new CEOs in Academy Trusts.

I supervise student dissertations at UG, and MSc level.

Jeannie is module convenor of the following module(s):


Business, Government and Public Policy (BUSI3035)


Strategic Management - Exec (BUSI4018)

Details of all modules can be found on MyNottingham

My research interests are in the role of language in strategizing and organizing processes in policy-rich pluralistic contexts, such as social care. I am interested in those discursive practices that determine greater inclusiveness and/or transparency, and enable or hinder wider engagement in strategic and organizing processes.

On a practical and theoretical level my work has the potential to open up strategy making, planning and organising in practice, making it more inclusive and diverse, and thereby better serving the needs of stakeholders, including wider society.

Over the summer I have led the development and submission (September 2023) of an interdisciplinary bid on "improving the experience of social care in England" , which is currently under consideration. The aim is to analyse change in care home sector in England and how ownership and care quality relate, as well as explanations for the differences in the adoption of (open) management practices across cases, considering both contrasting ownership and financial structure as well as idiosyncratic contextual factors.

In consultancy work I offer my expertise to organizations who need to redesign their strategy and/or achieve better strategic outcomes and alignment, by developing and delivering be-spoke one-day workshops that open up strategy-making processes, to increase diversity of ideas, strategic solutions, and overall organizational engagement.

PhD Students

I would welcome PhD students looking at the role of language/narrative in the practice of strategy or policy-making, especially open strategy (or more broadly open governance), in pluralistic contexts, such as social care and/or higher education.

I recently successfully supervised a doctoral student to completion (Mixue LI, The Process of Learning Craft Knowledge: the Case of Pottery) and we have already published part of this work (Li, Holstein, and Wedekind, 2023) in the International Journal of Training and Development. I would be open (with my colleagues in the School of Education) to co-supervising doctoral work on place and craft learning and resilience.

I currently supervise two PhD students. Their research covers the following:

Monique Steijger-Storm, on strategizing in response to mandated regulatory change, in the energy industry.

Soma Mukherjee, on examine REF management in HE, using a narrative lens.

Jeannie is currently supervising the following Research Students:

Mixue Li
Monique Steijger-Storm
Soma Mukherjee
University Administrative Roles
Member of the University's Regional and Civic Engagement Committee

School Administrative Roles
Research Series Co-ordinator (Strategy and International Business)
Load Model Group Chair

School and University Committee Memberships
Athena SWAN Working Group 2020
Load Model Group 2024 Chair


Nottingham University Business School

Jubilee Campus

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