Trained initially as a nuclear engineer with Rolls-Royce & Associates Ltd. Worked on the power-plant for UK nuclear submarines (1960-1965). Joined IBM for several years as large account team manager, then worked as a strategy consultant before joining Slater Walker as an investment banker.
Entered the Manchester Business School PhD programme in 1971.
Completed PhD in Strategic Management, which thesis won the 1980 Academy of Management AT Kearney Prize, later published as Industry Recipes (Blackwell 1989).
After being on the faculty at various universities retired in 2003 as Dean of the School of Technology & Business at SUNY/FIT (New York). Aside from on-going Visiting appointments, served as the 2007-2008 Fulbright-Queen s Research Chair at Queen s University, Kingston, Canada.
Currently researching theorizing firms, managing, and markets under conditions of Knightian uncertainty. Additional interests and publications on the history of management education, strategy, knowledge management and the problems of accounting for intangibles .
Kraaijenbrink, J., Spender, J.-C., & Groen, A. (2010). The Resource-Based View: A Review and Assessment of Its Critiques. Journal of Management, 36(1), 349-372.
Burton-Jones, A., & Spender, J.-C. (Eds.). (2011). Oxford Handbook of Human Capital. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Locke, R. R., & Spender, J.-C. (2011). Confronting Managerialism: How the Business Elite and Their Schools Threw Our Lives Our of Balance. London: Zed Books.