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Jacqueline Fendt is professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at ESCP Europe and Scientific Director of the school’s Chair of Entrepreneurship. She holds bachelors in organization science and business administration (distinction), an MBA from GSBA/Boston University and a Ph.D. in organization science (cum laude) from Leiden University, Netherlands. After teenage years as a national swimming champion Jacqueline Fendt founded and managed her first company at age 23 in Malta: a translation and interpretation service. Back in her native Switzerland she then embarked upon a corporate career with executive positions at Ciba-Geigy Basel (now Novartis), Digital Equipment Corporation (now HP) in Zurich and Siber Hegner Group (now DKSH) in Tokyo. In 1994 she was appointed CEO of Swiss Shipping and Neptune Co. Ltd (now Rhenus) in Basel, and radically restructured this mythical but deficitary European inland navigation group. In March 1997 Jacqueline Fendt was appointed by the Swiss Government to head Expo.01, a large once-in-a-generation national exhibition for which she raised several hundred million Euros before leaving the project in a highly mediated political clash. In 1999 she founded and chaired Business Angels Schweiz, www.businessangels.ch), an organization that identifies, finances and coaches promising seed and start-up companies, mainly in bio- and nanotech. From 2001-2004 she was Dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration (www.gsba.ch). Jacqueline also serves on the boards of international companies in the life sciences and transportation industries and is a long-standing trustee of the International Center for Economic Growth (www.iceg.org), California.
Complexity Management, constructionism and the CEO
Professor Fendt’s research is eclectic and transversal. It is mainly concerned with the management of complexity and multiple realities from the leaders‘ perspective both in corporate environments and in entrepreneurship. This discussion is nourished from such diverse fields of management theory as leadership, change management, complexity theory, stakeholder theory, culture management, human resources, knowledge and learning, business ethics and politics, power and the executive psyche. It takes a variety of angles looking at global strategy, mergers & acquisitions, business development, leadership, change management and, last but not least, CEOs. The latter are also the subject of her latest book: ‘The CEO in Post-Merger Situations: An Emerging Theory on the Management of Multiple Realities’, Eburon Publishers, Delft, 2005 (www.jaygroup.ch).
Relevance and Rigor in Management and Entrepreneurship Education
Professor Fendt (in collaboration with Prof. W. Sachs from ESC Rennes and Prof. Kaminska-Labbe from Ceram Sophia Antipolis) also studies the sometimes dysfunctional relationship between management education, management research and the practice of management. She collects and discusses views on intellectual and sociological roots of extant malaises, advocating an epistemological stance rooted in Pragmatism.
Qualitative Research Methods in Management Research
Still with Prof. W. Sachs, she studies the determination of quality in qualitative research, especially in studies using Grounded Theory Method. By means of a practical example on the one side and current critical GTM literature on the other, she examines seven major inconsistencies with GMT, namely: the concept of quality, the neutral role of the researcher and blank slate approach, a cost/benefit view, the notions of ground, emergence and discovery, validation and generalization, the pretense of theory, and the pretense of grand theory. The researchers posit that the very arguments for the use of GTM, namely its potential for reflection, interpretation and narrative can be undermined by a too canonical application of its rigorous objectivization procedures and propose new approaches.