Professor Fran Ackermann is Dean, Research and Development, Curtin Business School having previously been Head of Department of Management Science at Strathclyde Business School in Glasgow.
Fran’s main research interests lie in two areas. The first is complex project management with a particular interest in systemic risk which stemmed from extensive work in disruption and delay modelling. Fran is interested in helping project managers avoid many of the pitfalls experienced on projects. The second is strategy development concentrating on elements of strategy making such as the identification of distinctive and core competences and stakeholder management within a negotiative paradigm. With Professor Colin Eden, Fran has developed an approach to strategy making that is extensively used in organisations and has been adopted in a number of university courses. Fran is keen to ensure that strategy is developed that is both robust and owned.
Both research arenas are supported by cause/cognitive mapping (a technique for modelling complex qualitative data) and Group Support System (software tool enabling group productivity and anonymity). Both the tool and techique were developed as part of the research work.
Fran has held positions at Bordeaux Business School, The University of Western Australia, Tillburg University and has strong ties with the University of Minnesota and State University of New York. She is a BAM Fellow, a senior editor of Decision Support Systems and has been both an ESRC and EPSRC grant assessor.