Le SIG - Strategy, International Business and Governance


Le SIG is a Special Interest Group created within the School of Management at Massey Business School. Le SIG as a term has special meaning to our constituencies as it represents the overarching importance and influence of strategy and governance in organizations. The acronym ‘SIG’ stands for Strategy, International Business and Governance. International business is becoming one of the strategies that many local firms are actively beginning to adopt.   


We are a small team of pragmatic and experienced researchers, educators and consultants primarily motivated by engaging with domestic and international business seeking a positive outcome that adds value and improves overall business performance.   


Our purpose is to establish a voice and build a network for business at Massey University through research on business performance and business improvement. We are focused on attracting members of the business community, business students and other business researchers, by showcasing positive results from the practical and applied projects with which we have engaged.


Our immediate focus is on corporate and institutional governance, strategic management and business strategy; and how these influence many of the other disciplines found in today’s modern organizations, such as Human Resources, Marketing, Operations and Logistics, and Finance. The International business connection is an equally important contributor to our group because New Zealand operates in a global trade and business context, having done so since the mid-19th century. Specific topics that are of interest to us and our constituents are Board governance, director’s fiduciary and legal obligations, strategic analysis, formulation and implementation, change management, international business strategy, industrial networks and international trade.

We invite both international and New Zealand businesses to join us through a series of seminars and networking events to explore how we can strengthen the ties between academia and business performance in practical terms. We also invite interested business students at whatever level to participate and engage in practical, mutually beneficial business projects that add value.    

Le SIG group members:

Dr James Lockhart

James is a Senior Lecturer at the Massey Business School, Massey University, Palmerston North.  He has extensive business consulting and executive development experience in Australia, New Zealand and across the Pacific.  James has published on doctoral education, strategy, governance, and productivity improvement (kaizen/lean).  A stream of empirical and conceptual research exploring the ‘black box’ of governance has been produced for both academic and practitioner audiences.  The research techniques that have proven the most effective are the study of corporate failures and direct board room observations.  The study of corporate failures invariably result in pin-point accuracy of bad decision making, while board room observations yield all sorts of behavioural characteristics – the good, the bad and the plain ugly.  James is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand, and holds board appointments with two substantive companies.  He farms with his family north of Feilding.

Dr Wayne Macpherson

Wayne is a Lecturer at the Massey Business School, Palmerston North. He has comprehensive knowledge and extensive experience gained from tertiary-level instruction, practice-based research, and employment in major Japanese industrial corporations in Japan over the past 25 years. Born and raised in Palmerston North, Wayne has recently returned home with his wife and 2 daughters, and to Massey University. He conducts research into sustainable business excellence by way of Japanese-inspired kaizen for diffusion of knowledge and practice into New Zealand industry and commerce. Wayne’s major objectives include providing practical management education; developing beneficial collaborative ties between local business and academia; and, continuing research into business performance improvement and sustainable business excellence.

Dr David Liu

David is a Lecturer at the Massey business School, Massey University, Albany campus. David specializes in teaching international business and international management courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He also serves as supervisor and examiner for masters and PhD thesis students. His research interests include the internationalization strategies of emerging economy firms, corporate governance and innovation, and foreign direct investment in and out of emerging economies.

Dr Bill Kirkley

Bill is a Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management and Governance at the Albany campus of Massey University. He is also the Managing Director of a niche market Business Development practice that specialises in business transformation and reconfiguration. His research and consulting activities are primarily focused on strategic opportunity identification within a wide range of industry settings, assisting Boards of Directors with Organizational Governance, Strategy formulation and implementation. Bill is a member of the Institute of Directors (RSA), the British Law Society and the American Society for Training and Development. He is also a registered Business Mentor and assists small business as well as start-up ventures with pragmatic and applied advice that ensures maximised value and successful strategic outcomes. 

Recent Academic Publications

  • Yu, Y., & Liu,, YL. (2018). Country-of-origin and social resistance in host countries: The case of a Chinese firm. Thunderbird International Business Review. 60(3), 347-363 
  • Liu, Y., & Yang, Y. (2018). Institutions, firm resources and the foreign establishment mode choices of Chinese firms: The moderating role of home regional institutional development. Journal of Business Research. (Forthcoming)
  • Macpherson, WG., lockhart, JC., Kavan, H., & Iaquinto, AL. (2018). Kaizen in Japan: Transferring Knowledge in the Workplace for Sustained Performance. Journal of Business Strategy
  • Macpherson, WG., Lockhart, JC., Kavan, H., & Iaquinto, AL. (2018). The sustained pursuit of business excellence in Japan: Transferring kaizen knowledge in the workplace. Journal of Business Strategy
  • Macpherson, WG., & Lockhart, JC. (2017). Understanding the erosion of US competitiveness: Managed education and labor in Japanese “corporate castle towns”. Journal of Management History. 23(3), 315-336
  • Lockhart, JC., McKee, D., & Donnelly, D. (2017). Delivering effective blended learning: Managing the dichotomy of humility and hubris in executive education. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education. 15(1), 101-117
  • Macpherson, WG., & Lockhart, JC. (2017). Understanding the erosion of US competitiveness: Managed education and labor in Japanese “corporate castle towns”. Journal of Management History. 23(3), 315-336
  • Kirkley, WW. (2017). Cultivating entrepreneurial behavior: Entrepreneurship education in secondary schools. Asia Pacific Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 11(1), 17-37 
  • Kirkley, WW. (2016). Entrepreneurial behaviour: the role of values. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research. 22(3), 290-328
  • Crow, PR., & Lockhart, JC. (2016). How boards influence business performance: developing an explanation. Leadership and Organization Development Journal. 37(8), 1022-1037
  • Macpherson, WG., Lockhart, JC., Kavan, H., & Iaquinto, AL. (2015). Kaizen: a Japanese philosophy and system for business excellence. Journal of Business Strategy. 36(5), 3-9

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