James W. Dean Jr.

American academic administrator

James W. Dean Jr. (born 1956) is an American organizational theorist, and Professor of organizational behavior at UNC Kenan–Flagler Business School and its Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, known for his work in the fields of "leadership, organizational change, strategic decision making, international management, and organizational performance improvement are the focus of his research, teaching and consulting" (source: kenan-flagler.unc.edu).


  • The increasing importance of advanced manufacturing technology, total quality management, and just-in-time to manufacturing firms raises some basic questions as to the strategic use of these techniques in manufacturing. Does strategic use of these techniques influence performance? How is the impact of these techniques influenced by the competitive environment? Are the techniques actually being used strategically? A study in a large sample of manufacturing organizations confirms that the use of integrated manufacturing techniques-particularly total quality-influences performance, and that these effects are magnified or diminished by both the competitive environment and manufacturing strategy. It also shows that, in some cases, firms are missing opportunities to combine integrated manufacturing and strategy in ways that would substantially impact their performance.
    • James W. Dean Jr. and Scott A. Snell. "The strategic use of integrated manufacturing: an empirical examination." Strategic management journal (1996): 459-480. Abstract
  • This study examines two alternative views—universal and contingency—of the human resources (HR)-performance relationship in manufacturing settings. Results from a survey of 97 plants primarily support a contingency approach to human resource management (HRM). An HR system focused on human capital enhancement was directly related to multiple dimensions of operational performance (i.e., employee productivity, machine efficiency, and customer alignment), but subsequent analysis revealed that this main effect was predominately the result of linking human-capital-enhancing HR systems with a quality manufacturing strategy. Other manufacturing strategies also moderated the HR-performance relationship.
    • Mark A. Youndt, Scott A. Snell, James W. Dean Jr., & David P. Lepak (1996). "Human resource management, manufacturing strategy, and firm performance." Academy of management Journal, 39(4), 836-866.
  • Adaptation is a crucial challenge for organizations, and an important theme in the strategy and organization theory literature. We still have much to learn, however, about the strategic processes by which adaptation is achieved. In this paper we focus on a basic element in the adaptation process, i.e. flexibility within the strategic decision-making process. We concentrate on strategic decisions because these choices are the most important adaptations the firm makes. We suggest that the core of all organizational adaptation is a decision-making process. Unless the decision-making process itself is flexible, it is unlikely the organization can be flexible enough to adapt.
    • Mark P. Sharfman,, and James W. Dean Jr. "Flexibility in strategic decision making: informational and ideological perspectives." Journal of Management Studies 34.2 (1997): 191-217.

"Management theory and total quality," 1994


James W. Dean, and David E. Bowen. "Management theory and total quality: improving research and practice through theory development." Academy of management review 19.3 (1994): 392-418.

  • We introduce this theory-development forum by comparing total quality and management theory at both global and topic-specific levels. Our analysis suggests that management research could be enhanced by incorporating some insights of total quality into management theory. We also conclude, however, that management practice could be improved by incorporating insights from management theory into total quality efforts, and that, in fact, total quality has already incorporated many such insights. Finally, we suggest some directions for theory development and research on total quality.
    • p. 312; Abstract
  • Management theory is a multidisciplinary academic field, whose links to practice are controversial (eg, Astley & Zammuto, 1992; Barley, Meyer, & Gash, 1988; Hambrick, 1994).
  • Quality management is ... an approach to management made up of a set of mutually reinforcing principles, each of which is supported by a set of practices and techniques.

Total quality: Management, organization, and strategy, 1994


James W. Dean, and James Robert Evans. Total quality: Management, organization, and strategy. West Publishing Company, 1994.

  • Total Quality Management presents the basic principles and tools associated with TQ and provides many illustrations and end-of-chapter cases that can be used as the basis for class discussion. Many cases focus on large and small companies in manufacturing and service industries in North and South America, Europe, and Asia–Pacific. Unlike most books on TQ, this one is organized according to traditional management topics. This organization helps students to see the parallels between TQ and management theories in areas such as organizational design and leadership. TQ is often presented as new or different, which it clearly is not. This book has three objectives: to show students how these principles and methods have been put into effect in a variety of organizations, to illustrate the relationship between TQ principles and the theories and models studied in management courses and to familiarize students with the basic principles and methods associated with total quality.
    • Book abstract
  • Total quality is a matter of survival.
    • p. 43
  • Building the house of quality requires six basic steps:
  1. Identify customer attributes.
  2. Identify technical features.
  3. Relate the customer attributes to the technical features.
  4. Conduct an evaluation of competing products.
  5. Evaluate technical features and develop targets.
  6. Determine which technical features to deploy in the production process.
  • p. 269
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