Victoria University of Wellington


Dr Jim Sheffield is Director of Case Competitions at Victoria University of Wellington and Senior Lecturer, School of Management. He has been employed as a software developer, project manager and consultant in the USA, South America and New Zealand. Jim graduated with a PhD from the University of Arizona in 1990. His doctoral work in group support systems led to the creation of a Decision Support Centre at the University of Auckland. He has designed, implemented and evaluated more than 100 action research initiatives. Most of these initiatives centred on complex inter-organisational situations involving considerable confusion and conflict. Major action research initiatives include the development of economic strategy, science policy, and comprehensive regional planning. He has over 100 publications. Books include: Globalization: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (with A. Korotayev, A., and L. Grinin); My Decisive Moment (Volumes I and II); Systemic Development: Local Solutions in a Global Environment. Articles have been published in various journals, including: Decision Support Systems; Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management; Emergence: Complexity & Organization; Group Decision and Negotiation; International Journal of Applied Systemic Studies; International Journal of Business Information Systems; International Journal of Health & Aging Management; International Journal of Project Management; International Journal of Human Technology Interaction; Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society; Journal of Globalization Studies; Journal of Knowledge Management; Journal of Management Information Systems; On The Horizon; People and Performance; and Systems Research and Behavioural Science.

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The soldier:
Volume: 18, Issue 1
'The Soldier' is a critical reflection on a decisive moment. It was initially submitted as an assignment to meet one of the requirements of an MBA course in managerial decision making. Previous research has discussed the design of this course, and has analysed more than 150 assignments for indicators that the course empowered students. In contrast, the current research provides an in-depth analysis of a single assignment. The nature of student learning is discussed at some length, along with the value obtained from critical reflection.

Critical reflections on decisive moments
Volume: 17, Issue 4
Managerial decision making is recognised as an important aspect of business school curricula, yet students often perceive a mismatch between pedagogy and preferred outcomes. If students view decision making as conflicted and confused, social and emotional, context-specific and time-urgent, how should the instructor respond? Can a business school decision course be designed so as to empower students? This report examines aspects of an innovative MBA managerial decision making course in which students critically reflect on a decisive moment that was important to their development. The research questions are: Did student feedback indicate that the course was successful? (RQ1) Did student’s critical reflections on decisive moments indicate that the course was empowering? (RQ2)