Professor J. Ignacio Canales

Professor J. Ignacio Canales
Professor J. Ignacio Canales

Professor J. Ignacio Canales

Com. Eng, Bsc, PhD


Accepting PhDs




Professor J. Ignacio Canales is the chair in Strategic Management at the Business School of the University of Aberdeen. Previously he held posts at the University of Glasgow as Professor, Reader and Senior Lecturer in Strategy; and at the University of St Andrews as Lecturer in Management. His academic publications have appeared in the Academy of Management Review, Journal of Management Studies, Long Range Planning and the British Journal of Management. 


Prof. Canales is the research director for Business and Management and as such he sits in the Research Committee. He also serves as director of the MA in International Business and acts as an Academic Line Manager. He has previously been Head of Business and Management, and in other institutions director of MBA Programmes, AMBA accreditation champion, Convener of the Ethics Committee and International Exchange Officer. Before academia Prof. Canales was CFO in several firms.


Editorial board member 


Journal of Management

Journal of Management Studies 

Long Range Planning


Watch the video describing My Research 

Listen my latest podcast The end of strategy

Listen my latest podcast series: Escaping Lockdown 


  • PhD Management  
    2004 - IESE Business School - U. de Navarra 
  • BSc Ingeniero Comercial (Business and Management) 
    1992 - PUC Chile 
  • BSc Bachelor in Business and Management 
    1992 - PUC Chile  
  • PhD Business and Management (Revalidated PhD) 
    2004 - Universidade de Brasilia 2017 

External Memberships

Visit my academic profile in the Strategic Management Society 

Visit my Youtube channel for brief lectures and more

Prizes and Awards


Research Honours and Awards


SMS Best Paper nomination “Joining the Dots: Inclusion, Transparency and Open Strategizing” nominated for the SMS London Research Methods Paper Prize 2020.

PhD Dissertation Committee of Strategic Management Society 2012-2014

Research Committee of the Business, Policy and Strategy Division (BPS) of the Academy of Management (AOM) 2012-2014

Outstanding Reviewer Award, granted by the Business Policy and Strategy division of the Academy of Management, Anaheim, 2008

Outstanding Reviewer Award, granted by the Business Policy and Strategy division of the Academy of Management, Honolulu, 2005

Outstanding Reviewer Award, granted by the Business Policy and Strategy division of the Academy of Management, Seattle, 2003

Awarded best PhD student paper as the Booz Allen Hamilton Fellowship, Strategic Management Society, Baltimore, Nov. 2003.

Awarded the IESE Business School fellowship from 1999 to 2003. 

Invited to participate in the Business Policy and Strategy division Doctoral Consortium, AOM, Denver, 2002



Leadership of the Strategic Management Society (SMS)


-       Elected Associate Program Chair of the Strategy Practice Interest Group 2022-2023

-       Elected Chair of the Strategy Process Interest Group 2017-2018

-       Elected Program Chair of the Strategy Process Interest Group 2016 -2017

-       Elected Associate Program Chair of the Strategy Process Interest Group 2015-2016.

-       Elected Representative at large of the Strategy Process Interest Group. 2011-2013

-       Appointed to Best PhD Dissertation Panel 2012-2014





Research Overview

My research interest is Strategic Management from a Strategy Process perspective and within it I am interested on the Strategy making Process. I have worked in Strategy Process including Leadership, Subsidiary Strategy, Evolution of organizations, Actors in Strategy and lastly with PhD students in Mergers and Acquisitions as well as Energy transition. 

My research focuses in the relationship and interaction between asymmetric organizational players when they formulate and implement strategy.

I profess that organizations can be managed by strategy because in its genesis lies the capacity to bring organizational players together in coordination to internalize strategy and encourage subsequent action. 

I am happy to consider potential PhD students on all strategic management areas but specially in the broad theme of the social phenomena that underpins implementation of Strategy 

PhD Supervision

PhD finalized passed with minor corrections. 

Dr. Javier Yáñez-Arenas: Thesis title: Service Innovation, Supply Chain Management, Strategy
 2013. Co-supervisor: Prof. Robert Paton

Dr Haitham Jafar. Thesis title: Middle Managers Connectivity in Strategy making, 2016. Co-supervisor: Prof. Robert Paton

Dr Yameng Zhang. Thesis title: Too Comfortable in the Saddle ? CEO Tenure, Board Attributions of Poor Performance and CEO Dismissal, 2017. Co-supervisor: Prof Trevor Buck and Dr Stephan von Delft.

Dr  Abdulaziz A. Alturiqui. Exploring the Relationship between the Components of Transformational Leadership and the Satisfaction of the Followers' Basic Psychological Needs in the Public Sector, 2019. Co-supervisor: Prof Iain Docherty.

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in Management.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me


Accepting PhDs

Research Specialisms

  • Business and Management
  • Social Theory
  • Strategic Management
  • Evolution

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

In 3 mins watch this Video describing my research 


Knowledge Exchange



Times they are a-chainging... or so it seems

Toys R'...there's an app for that 


Visit My Podcast series on Escaping Lockdown 

Escaping Lockdown 


Popular Press and Managerial Publications.

·      CGTN News 29.08.2019. China Central Television interviewed for a feature on the origin of Unicorn firms.  

·      STV News 29.05.2019. Interviewed by Business News on the Strategy of First Group.

·      The Herald. The Herald Business Magazine P4. 14.04.2016. Strategy in the Middle Ground. 

·      IESE Insight .2016. Beyond the Task, with Carlos Garcia-Pont. 



My current supervision areas are: Management.


·      Angel Patricio González Prado. MNC strategy 

·      Agostinho Abrunhosa. Business Models of Business Schools 





Teaching Responsibilities

MS4536 Business Strategy

IN4001 Contemporary Issues in International Business I

IN 4502 Contemporary Issues in International Business II

MA in International Business and MBus Programme Director 


Non-course Teaching Responsibilities

Teaching Philosophy.


Students are not consumers and it is wrong to consider them as such. Please read thsi extract from Michel Serres 

If you have a loaf of bread and I have a coin, and I buy the bread from you, I will have a loaf of bread and you will have the coin, and you will see a balance in that exchange, that is, A has a coin and B has bread, and conversely, B has the bread and A has the coin. So this is a perfect balance.But if you have a sonnet by Verlaine, or the theorem by Pythagoras, and I have nothing, and you show them to me, at the end of that exchange I will have the sonnet and the theorem, but you will have kept them.In the first case, there is balance. That's commerce. In the second, there is growth. That's culture. Michel Serres



If you are a student in one of my courses take a minute to read my teching philosophy below: 

My teaching philosophy for years has been to enable learning by encouraging a student led teaching for Strategy and Entrepreneurship. If you attend one of my courses you will get involved rather than being passive. The payout is that you will genuinely learn startegy for a lifetime.

The following quotes illustrate this. 

Tell me and I will forget, teach me and I will remeber but involve me and I will learn

wrongly attributed to Benjamin Franklin  

...or this one

Not having heard of it is not as good as having heard of it. Having heard of it is not as good as having seen it. Having seen it is not as good as knowing it. Knowing it is not as good as putting it into practice. Learning arrives at putting it into practice and then stops.

Original quote found “Xunzi: The Complete Text”


For more details visit





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