Dr Will Lewis

Will LewisTeaching Fellow

Contact details

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 252 5134
  • Email: wl136@le.ac.uk
  • Office: Room 517, Level 5, Ken Edwards Building

Personal details

I am currently a Teaching Fellow at the University of Leicester. I hold a PhD in Strategic Management and Political Theory from the University of Essex, an MSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science and an MA and BA in Critical Theory and Literature from the University of Leicester. I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a member of the European Group of Organisation Studies.


  • MN1000 – Foundations of Management
  • MN3100 - Strategy
  • MN7405 – Strategic Management
  • MN7407 – Management in Practice
  • MN7558 - Strategy, Business Information and Analysis
  • MN7701 – Managing and Developing People and Organisations


I have multidisciplinary interests including political philosophy, economic theory, number theory, critical theory, literature and psychology, with a common theme of the interplay of ideas within and between people and societies and how boundaries of ideation and knowledge are formed and reformed. Applied to business, these interests concern the politics (and ethics) of strategic management, organisational psychology, organisational narratives, knowledge management and conditions of innovation. I am also interested in the psychology of digital organisations and social networks.

My doctoral thesis is titled ‘Reframing Strategic Inertia: the Politics of Innovation and the Case of GM Biotechnology’. It studies the dimension of politics and the legitimacy of power relations within the synchronization of time and space in social organisations, typically as part of the design and implementation of strategy, in context of organisational definitions of innovation and contestations of the new. With a conceptual archaeology, the thesis contends that strategy research focuses on the nodal concepts of 'inertia', 'adaptation' and 'friction', in context of three past conceptual frameworks: namely, Newtonian mechanics, Hobbesian interpretations of evolution, and Clausewitzian military theory. A genealogical approach is used to reveal the persistent influence of the Newtonian notion of simultaneity (absolute time and absolute space) across these three frameworks in their combinatorial guise in the discourse of strategic management. The genealogy unfreezes the nodal concepts by showing the history of their contingent construction and selection. Finally, a critical analysis scrutinizes the contextual appropriateness of applying the concept of simultaneity to social matters.

The thesis rejects simultaneity and its dominant position as an 'articulatory practice' of organisational strategy. By decoupling the notion of simultaneity from frames through which sense is made of motion and events, the grip that structuralism has on organisational strategy is loosened and by substituting simultaneity with political power the implications for strategic management become clear. The approach draws from Political Discourse Theory to reframe the orthodox strategy discourse as hegemonic and as an antagonistic system of Politics that, instead of facilitating either stability or innovation, leads instead to conceptual inertia and economic stagnation by repressing emergences of the Political. Rather than replacing one despotic concept with another, the thesis proposes a strategy of agonism as an alternative. As agonism allows for its own reinterpretation it does not represent a sedimented centre of a discourse and in this way is less susceptible to stagnation and more amenable to innovation.

The theoretical framework is accompanied with a study of the design and implementation of strategy within a research institute engaged with the innovation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) using the CRISPR-cas9 technique. The selection of the case organisation allows for an analysis of the politics and power relations at play in defining innovation, and a means to ground a study of the social construction of reality within an empirical setting regarding the strategic development of genetic constructs.


Conference Papers:


‘The Ethico-Politics of Innovation: Making (sense of) Genetic Modification Events.’ The 32nd EGOS Colloquium, Organizing in the Shadow of Power, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, 7 - 9 July 2016.

‘State of Mind: Mind of State.’ The 2nd International Conference of the International Association for Jungian Studies, Psyche, Power and Society, Cardiff University, Cardiff, 9 -12 July 2009.


‘Reframing Strategic Inertia.’ Research Conference, Essex Business School, University of Essex, May 2016.

‘The Politics of Innovation.’ Research Conference, Essex Business School, University of Essex, May 2015.

‘Mind: the Gap. Coherence and Dissonance between Workers’ and Organisational Identity.’ Research Conference, Essex Business School, University of Essex, May 2014.

‘Beyond GDP: Thermodynamics and Economic Theory.’ Research Conference, Essex Business School, University of Essex, May 2013.

‘State of Mind: Mind of State.’ Research Conference, London School of Economics and Political Science, March 2011.

‘A Topological Theory of Mind.’ Research Conference, University of Leicester, March 2007.

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Contact Details

School of Business
University of Leicester
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