Winston Kwon Headshot

Senior Lecturer in Strategy

+44 (0)131 651 5980

Roles and Responsibilities

Course Organiser for Strategic Management (CMSE10002)


Before joining the Business School as a Chancellor’s Fellow in Strategy in 2014, he worked at Lancaster University. Winston holds a PhD in Marketing (Lancaster University) and a BCom in Finance (University of British Columbia). Prior to returning to academia, he worked at a number of corporate finance and business analysis roles within the technology and consumer sector for several Fortune 500 firms and a couple of startup ventures.

Winston is also a Research Fellow of the Advanced Institute of Management (AIM). His current research interests concern how language can serve to support or resist strategic change, and the role of social enterprises in challenging environmental sustainability and social inequality.

Research Interests

My research interests sit at the intersection of social and environmental concerns, and the role of language and power in affecting change. A central question common to my various research activities is how can individuals make a difference? My research concerns how strategies are practically accomplished through language and material practices and processes. I am examining this question from both micro- and macro-level perspectives. At the micro-level for example, how are strategies conceived, developed and enacted through discursive and material actions within dynamic interpersonal contexts such as meetings, interviews and negotiation? From a macro-perspective, I am interested in the forces that drive change over years and even decades through strategic initiatives within organizations and industries.

More recently, I have taken this approach to examine strategic change in social enterprises and other 3rd sector organizations whose strategic purpose is human development and environmental sustainability. These organizations are fascinating because they must create value for and cope with the competing demands of multiple stakeholders to gain the necessary resources and moral mandate to deliver upon their objectives. Given this complexity, I use process and practice approaches to explore how individuals can make a difference by affecting strategic change in these contexts.

My current research projects include:

  • Human development and sustainability: Why do local negotiated solutions tend to lead to a more sustainable use of resources than possible with centrally imposed policies? In particular, what is the role of language and material practices in creating and enforcing these solutions? How can individuals in 3rd sector and social enterprise organizations gain the reflexive ability to see through the taken for granted conditions that create and reinforce social inequality and environmentally unsustainable activities?
  • Self-organizing networks of social innovation: There is rapidly growing interest in social enterprises and other 3rd sector organizations that prioritise human development and environmental sustainability over profit. Certain cities such as Edinburgh have a much higher than average concentration of social enterprises and other 3rd sector organization. I am interested in better understanding how talented people, knowledge and resources flow between these organizations to nurture activities for social innovation and environmental sustainability. How do these ecosystems of social innovation form and develop?
  • Language, power and resistance in strategic change: What is the role of discursive skill (e.g. argumentation, humour, narratives, etc.) in conceiving, developing and implementing strategic change initiatives within executive team meetings? How does the way arguments and change narratives are framed affect the structure of stakeholder support and resistance in enabling or defeating initiatives for change.
  • Wine, ideology and ecological crises: How have wine critics and their systems of evaluation shaped the modern wine industry? What strategies and tactics have wine makers, industry associations and government bodies employed in response to this? In a current project, I examine the 19th Century French Phylloxera crisis, an epidemic that nearly destroyed wine as we know it today. The response to this crisis, shaped by profound ideological differences between stakeholder groups, has profoundly shaped the modern world of wine and may also have something important to say about how we view the world and our ability to work collectively towards sustainable solutions.

Read the Social Implications of Micromobility

Research Fingerprint

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Works Within

Research Area