Dr. Farshid Shams

Associate Professor

Phone Number: 
+1 (807) 343-8688
Office Location: 
RB 1031
Office Hours: 
Mondays and Wednesdays 2:00PM – 4:00PM by appointment via email.
Academic Qualifications: 

Dr. Farshid Shams is an Associate Professor of Strategic Management and Orgnisation Studies in the Faculty of Business Administration at Lakehead University. He received his PhD in Strategic Management from the University of Bath, United Kingdom. He also holds an MBA from the University of West London (UK) and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering.

Farshid's current research centres on contemporary professional work and matters of identity in and around organisations. He investigates these topics primarily in organisations that provide professional knowledge-intensive services such as universities and social work organisations. Through this research, he strives to understand how professionals’ everyday practices lend support to the long-term stability of their organisations or initiate a process of change from inside.

While having focused on the micro-level in his recent studies, Farshid had previously conducted research at the meso-level of professional organisations. His doctoral research was about the strategic entrepreneurial evolution of subsidiaries in transnational professional service organisations on the dichotomy of global integration versus local responsiveness. In his thesis, he drew on a range of theories from the strategic management, international management and organisation studies fields to investigate the strategic behavior of the subsidiaries of transnational universities. Following this line of research led him to delve into the micro-level practices (mostly discursive) in such organisations.

Farshid's work, therefore, corresponds to two broader research streams of social-symbolic work in pluralistic settings (e.g hybrid organisations) and strategic management. Additionally, he has conducted research and published in some other areas such as international entrepreneurship and new research methods such as the Fuzzy set-theoretic analysis. His publications have appeared in some highly-ranked journals including Public Administration (4* AJG/ABS), Journal of Strategic Marketing (A-ranked ABDC) and Studies in Higher Education (3* AJG/ABS). His areas of research interest include practice-driven institutionalism, inhabited institutions, institutional complexity in hybrid organisations, identity work and sensemaking.

Farshid has taught various Business and Management courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Additionally, he has supervised several MBA and MSc dissertations. He is currently teaching the following courses at Lakehead University:

  • Business 5071 WA/WB: Strategic Management (MBA)
  • Business 5731FDE: Managing career and organisational life (Advanced MBA)
  • Business 5091 SA/SB: Capstone Project (MBA)
  • Business 5211: Current Issues in Management (MSc)
  • Business 1511: Basics of Management

He taught the following courses in the past:

  • Business 3071: Strategic Management (I)
  • Business 5110: International Business (MBA)
  • Business 3255 WA: Entrepreneurial Venture Management


  • Shams, F. (2021). ‘A micro-process model of institutional complexity in public hybrid organisations: Construal of identity threats and mitigation strategies’. Public Administration: https://doi.org/10.1111/padm.12704
  • Shams, F., (2019). ‘Managing academic identity tensions in a Canadian public university: the role of identity work in coping with managerialism’. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management: 41(6): 619-632
  • Wilkins, S., Butt, M., Shams, F., Perez, A. (2019). ‘Product standardisation in the food service industry: post-purchase attitudes and repurchase intentions of non-Muslims after consuming halal food ’. Journal of Strategic Marketing: 27(3): 210-226
  • Wilkins, S., Butt, M., Shams, F., Perez, A. (2019). ‘The acceptance of halal food in non-Muslim countries: Effects of religious identity, national identification, consumer ethnocentrism and consumer cosmopolitanism’. Journal of Islamic Marketing: 10(4):1308-1331*
  • Shams, F. (2018). ‘ The determinants of enacting institutional logics on the ground: A set-theoretic approach’. Academy of Management Proceedings
  • Shams, F., Huisman, J., (2016). ‘The role of institutional dual embeddedness in the strategic local adaptation of international branch campuses: Evidence from Malaysia and Singapore’. Studies in Higher Education: 41(6): 955-970
  • Wilkins, S., Shams, F., Huisman, J. (2013). ‘The decision-making and changing behavioural dynamics of potential higher education students: the impacts of increasing tuition fees in England. Educational Studies: 39(2): 125-141
  • Shams, F., Huisman, J. (2012). ‘Managing offshore branch campuses: an analytical framework for institutional strategies’. Journal of Studies in International Education: 16(2): 106-127

* This paper won the best paper Emerald Literati Award in 2019.

Book Chapter (Peer-reviewed)

  • Shams, F. (2014). ‘Using crisp and fuzzy set-theoretic analyses for middle-range theorising: A configurational comparative approach to case-based research, in Huisman, J. and Tight, M. (ed.), Theory and method in higher education research II (International perspectives on higher education research, volume 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.161-182
  • Huisman J., Adelman, C., Hsieh, C., Shams, F. &Wilkins, S. (2012), ‘The Bologna process and its impact in the European higher education area and beyond’. in The SAGE Handbook of International Education 

   Conference and Seminars

  • ‘The past for the future? Rhetorical history and communicated identity of American business schools'. EGOS, Hamburg, 2020
  • ‘The determinants of enacting institutional logics on the ground: A set-theoretic approach’. Academy of Management Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, 2018
  • ‘Killing two birds with one stone: Targeting a market segment in a mass market’ Presented in the Academy of Marketing Conference, Stirling, United Kingdom, 2018 (paper presented by co-author Stephen Wilkins)
  • ‘Language, Visuals, Materiality, and Beyond: Multimodal Research in Organization and Management Studies’. EGOS, Naples, 2016
  • ‘Strategic management of transnational knowledge-intensive service firms: a holistic model for universities’ FDI’, presented at the 36th annual conference of European International Business Academy (EIBA), Porto, Portugal, December 2010
  • ‘Strategic management of transnational higher education institutions: localisation of branch campus practices’, presented at the annual conference, Observatory on Borderless Higher Education (OBHE), Kuala Lumpur, Global forum 2009
  • ‘Strategies for market positioning in the competitive higher education market: pitfalls for a professional service firm’, presented at the annual seminar of the internationalisation of higher education institutions, ICHEM, University of Bath, 2009

Working Papers

  • Identity work and the processes of organising in a mental health counselling organisation
  • Boundary work as a response to managerialism
  • The future of meaningful work in academia
  • Rhetorical history and organisational identity


Reviewed Papers 

Farshid has reviewed several papers for the followings:

  • Studies in Higher Education
  • The Academy of Management Annual Conference
  • Higher Education Policy [journal]
  • Academy of International Business (AIB) Annual conference 
  • Journal of Studies in International Education
  • Journal of Marketing for Higher Education
  • Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management
Previous Teaching/Work: 

Farshid has several years of experience in business analysis and management consultancy.  

Research Interests: 
  • Social-Symbolic Work (mainly identity work, emotion work and institutional work)
  • Strategic Management of Hybrid Organisations (e.g. universities, social enterprises, healthcare and the third sector)
  • Pluralistic Settings and Institutional Complexity
  • Organisational and Organising Professionalism
  • Power and Discourse