Jean Helms-Mills (Canada)
PhD in Behaviour in Organisations, 2000
After seventeen years in the Canadian airline industry, I came to the Department of Behaviour in Organisations (now known as the Department of Organisation, Work & Technology), on the recommendation of one of my professors in Canada. When I completed my MA in the department, in 1991, I knew I wanted to continue my studies towards a PhD and there was never any question that this wouldn't be done at Lancaster, if they would have me back!
As an overseas student, I can't pretend that it wasn't lonely at times, but I have never for a minute regretted my decision to pursue my postgraduate studies in the UK. The grounding in critical analysis, combined with Lancaster's inter-disciplinary approach, is what drew me here in the first instance.
The opportunity to work with scholars associated with what is known internationally as the 'Lancaster School' have provided me with an education that is well respected in the academic community. Walking across the platform on degree day was one of the proudest moments of my life and I know that contacts and friendships I have made at Lancaster will and have continued through the years.
Jean is an Associate Professor at Mount Allison University, Canada.
Jean has recently signed a contract with Routledge for the publication of a book 'Making Sense of Organizational Change', which is based on her PhD thesis. The book is a longitudinal case study of a Canadian electrical utility that has undergone a series of changes and takes a sensemaking approach to understanding the change process.