SBS DPhil research seminar

Said Business School doctoral research seminar next week features two interesting talks with relevance to organizational history:

The TOPOS DPhil developmental research seminar on Tuesday 28th June, 16.00-17.30, in the Boardroom. Heli Helanummi-Cole and Jessica Stitt will each present their current work, seeking feedback from the academic community.

Heli Helanummi-Cole
Phoenix rising: The role of relational imprinting in organisational regeneration following a large-scale corporate failure

This research explores the regeneration of organisational structures following a corporate failure. The research builds on the theory of imprinting (Stinchcombe, 1968) focusing specifically on relational imprinting of laid-off corporate employees who turn to entrepreneurship following their redundancy. While earlier research has proven the correlation between the prominence of entrepreneurs’ past employers and superior performance of their ventures (Burton et al., 2002), less is understood about new ventures that have been imprinted by failure. How does the phoenix arise from the ashes? This study aims to contribute towards the imprinting theory by exploring the question of how the biographies and relational imprints of the post-corporate-failure venture founders influence the regeneration of the organisational structures. With work being increasingly transferred outside the traditional boundaries of the firm (Neff, 2012), a better understanding of the dynamics of the emergent organisational structures is of importance for academics and practitioners alike.

Jessica Stitt 
Documentation backlogs in museums: An operations management perspective

Cultural organisations which have heritage collections can face a documentation backlog where a proportion of their collection is not recorded or is recorded inadequately. Incomplete documentation means that not only are collections not being used to their full potential, but also they cannot be cared for in the most appropriate way. What is striking about these backlogs is their scale, prevalence and persistence. This research aims to examine the causes of these documentation backlogs from an operations management perspective. Museums are unusual in the cultural and creative industries because they hold vast inventories of objects on a permanent basis. However, a conventional inventory management approach is not applicable. This study will therefore explore the way that museums acquire and use their objects, as well as the role of the museum professional, in order to understand what drives museum operations and what may lead to the accumulation of backlogs.

Please note that these are early stage projects so the focus of the seminar is discussion and feedback rather than a fully-fledged presentation of findings.


Please let me know if you would like to attend, if you have not already done so. Refreshments will be provided.


Many thanks





Bethsheba McGill

Academic Area Administrator

Faculty Services

Saïd Business School

University of Oxford


T +44 (0)1865 288827


Saïd Business School, Park End Street, Oxford OX1 1HP


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