Professor John Brocklesby

Prof John Brocklesby profile picture

Professor of Management Studies School of Management


Teaching in 2020

Research interests

Organisation studies, systems thinking, organisation design, autopoiesis, business schools, business education, performance based research fund


Dr John Brocklesby is Professor of Management at Victoria University of Wellington, and works at the intersection of systems theory, organisation studies, and management theory and practice. He has written books on management science and competitive capability, and published extensively in prestigious journals across his primary fields.

Following six years as Deputy Dean and significant periods as Acting Dean and Pro V-C, John took on the role as Head of School from 2013-2018. He is a former New Zealand President of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management, currently serving a fourth term as an ANZAM Distinguished Research Fellow, and was a member of the NZ Performance Based Research Fund (Business and Economics panel) in 2003, 2006, and 2012.

In December 2016 John was awarded Life Fellowship status of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management.

Areas of potential PhD supervision

  • Organisational collaboration
  • Inter-agency collaboration
  • The organisation of crime and the law enforcement response to it
  • Self producing systems – autopoiesis
  • Systems thinking
  • Systems methodologies
  • Soft operational research


BA (Hons), Coventry University; MSc (Econ), London School of Economics; PhD, Warwick Business School

Selected recent publications (ABDC A* and A journals)

Beall, E., & Brocklesby, J. (2017). Exploring with Māori organizations comparative advantage in the context of climate change. Journal of Management & Organization, 23(6), 821-838. doi:10.1017/jmo.2017.65

Brocklesby, J, and E.Beall “Patterns of Engagement and Methodology Design in Community Operational Research – Lessons from the Indigenous Peoples Sector”. European Journal of Operational Research, 10.1016/j.ejor.2017.07.053 (2017)

Brocklesby, J. (2016) 'Using Systems Modelling to Examine Law Enforcement Collaboration in the Response to Serious Crime’, in A.J.Masys 'Applications of Systems Thinking and Soft Operational Research in Managing Complexity’, Springer International, Switzerland

Brocklesby, J. (2015). The what, the why and the how of Behavioural Operations Research, an invitation to sceptics. European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 232

Brocklesby, J. (2015). Boundary games: How teams of OR practitioners explore the boundaries of intervention. European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 232 with J. Velez-Castiblano and G.Midgley.

Brocklesby, J. (2012). Towards a new framework for evaluating systemic problem structuring methods. European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 229 with G.Midgley et al.

Brocklesby, J. (2012). Using the Viable Systems Model to examine multi-agency arrangements for combating transnational organised crime. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 62.

Brocklesby J.“From Cognitivism to Structural Coupling – an Autopoietic Theory Perspective on the Theory and Practice of Strategic Management”Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Vol 28 (2011)

Brocklesby, J. (2009). Ethics beyond the model: How social dynamics can interfere with ethical practice in operational research/management science. OMEGA – International Journal of Management Science, 37.

Brocklesby, J. (2007). Rethinking the theoretical underpinnings of soft systems methodology: Synthesising the contributions of Geoffrey Vickers and Humberto Maturana. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 24.


Teaching in 2020