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Dr Violetta Splitter

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Dr Violetta Splitter

  • Fellow and Tutor in Management


At St Peter's, I mainly tutor for Undergraduate General Management, and I am the lecturer for Undergraduate Strategic Management at Saïd Business School.

At the University of Zurich, I gained many years of experience in designing and teaching undergraduate, graduate, and executive courses. I have taught on a large variety of topics, including Strategic Management, qualitative methods, and social inequality (also at other institutions, such as the University of Fine Arts Berlin, or the Hebrew University Jerusalem).


I am interested in sociologically oriented management and strategy research. Within these broad fields of study, my research focuses on a new organizational trend towards more inclusive and ‘open’ forms of strategy making (often referred to as ‘Open Strategy’), and its implications for the social dynamics of strategy work. Empirically, I examine this trend by using ethnographic methods. For example, as a non-participant observer, I followed an inclusive strategy process over seven months at an international financial institution in which frontline employees were asked to develop the corporate strategy. Theoretically, my research is informed by social practice theories (such as Bourdieu or Giddens), which allow me to focus on the actual doings and practices of strategy work as well as its social dynamics (e.g., in terms of power relations, influence, or control).

With my background in sociological practice theories, I am particularly interested in the practices of strategy-making. The new trend towards more inclusive, open strategy-making gave rise to new strategy practices, such as crowdsourcing, blogging, or strategic decision-making by frontline employees. These new, open strategy practices are likely to change our (traditional) understanding of strategy dramatically because they are no longer based on the premises of top-down decision-making, exclusiveness, and secrecy. After all, Open Strategy questions the functioning of established power relations, hierarchy and control in conventional strategy making.

I co-edited a special issue on ‘Open Organizing’ for the journal Organization Studies. This issue aimed to facilitate cross-fertilization between so-far separated research on various domains of openness (open innovation, open strategy, open education, open science, open government, etc.). The publication led to the establishment of a common understanding and vocabulary of openness, which contributed to building more cumulative knowledge on openness across various domains and disciplines.

Select recent publications

V Splitter, D Seidl, R Whittington. 2024. 'Getting heard? How employees learn to gain senior management attention in inclusive strategy processes.' Strategic Management Journal.

V Splitter, P Jarzabkowski, D Seidl. 2023. 'Middle managers' struggle over their subject position in open strategy processes.' Journal of Management Studies 60 (7), 1884-1923.

V Splitter, L Dobusch, G von Krogh, R Whittington, P Walgenbach. 2023. 'Openness as organizing principle: Introduction to the special issue.' Organization Studies 44 (1), 7-27

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