Professor Thomas Diefenbach

PhD, MSc, BA

Professor in Management

Professor Thomas Diefenbach is an international academic with more than 20 years of teaching experience at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels in the fields of management,  business ethics, organisation studies, and strategic management.  He has been working and teaching in Germany, France,  former Soviet Union/Russia, UK (England and Scotland), Hong Kong,  Singapore,  Malaysia,  Egypt, Japan and Australia.

Prior to his appointment at Charles Darwin University (CDU) Business School, Thomas had been teaching at various business schools in East and Southeast Asia, North Africa and Europe.

Before his work in Higher Education, Thomas worked for quite some years as an independent business consultant and freelance lecturer in VET.  He also worked for several private and public sector organisations and business associations.

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Teaching

  • Management
  • Organisation Stuidies
  • Business Ethics
  • Strategic Management

Research

In his research, Thomas focuses on socio-philosophical and critical analysis of organisations, individuals within organisations, economies and societies. Thomas is particularly interested in theoretical and empirical concepts of democratic,  non-hierachical organisations, empowerment, participation, freedom, equality and just societies.

He has carried out empirical research projects in Germany, The Netherlands, England, Scotland, Egypt, Hong Kong,  Japan,  Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Thomas has published widely in academic journals such as Organisation Studies, Public Administration and Research in the Sociology of Organisations.  In his latest monograph, Hierarchy and Organisation (2013), he developed a general theory for analysing and explaining the emergence and continuation of hierarchical social systems.

Publications

Books published

Diefenbach, T.(2013): Hierarchy and organisation – Toward a general theory of hierarchical social systems, London: Routledge.

Diefenbach, T. / By, R.T. (eds.) (2012): Reinventing bureaucracy and hierarchy: From the bureau to network organisations, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Volume 35, Bingley: Emerald.

Diefenbach, T.(2009): Management and the dominance of managers, London: Routledge.

Diefenbach, T. (2003): Kritik und Neukonzeption der Allgemeinen Betriebswirtschaftslehre auf sozial-wissenschaftlicher Basis (‘Critique and new conception of business studies on a social sciences basis’), PhD thesis, Wiesbaden: Gabler Verlag.

Papers published

Diefenbach, T. (2016): Empowerment of the few and disempowerment of the many – Disempowerment in Thai ‘One Tambon One Product’ organisations (OTOPs), The South East Asian Journal of Management, 10 (1): 30-53. Chalermporn, S.

Diefenbach, T. (2016): Revitalising cooperatives of agricultural communities: OTOP organisations in Thai villages, Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia, Issue 19, without page numbers.

Diefenbach, T. (2015): Inclusiveness and exclusiveness of Japanese-style management abroad – Some evidence from Southeast Asia, The South East Asian Journal of Management, 9 (1): 52-69.

Hibbert, P. / Sillince, J.A.A. / Diefenbach, T. / Cunliffe, A.L. (2014): Relationally reflexive practice: A generative approach to theory development in qualitative research, Organizational Research Methods, 17 (3): 278-298.

Diefenbach, T. (2013): Interests behind managers’ decisions - Why and when do managers decide for managerial or alternative concepts?, International Journal of Management and Decision Making, 12 (4): 413-432.

Diefenbach, T. (2012): Incompetent or immoral leadership? - Why many managers and change leaders get it wrong, in: By, R.T. / Burnes, B. (eds.) (2012): Organizational Change, Leadership and Ethics: Leading Organizations toward Sustainability, London: Routledge: 149-170.

Diefenbach, T. / By, R.T. (2012): Bureaucracy and hierarchy - what else!?, in: Diefenbach, T. / By, R.T. (2012): Reinventing bureaucracy and hierarchy: from the bureau to network organisations, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 35: 1-27.

Diefenbach, T. / Sillince, J.A.A. (2012): Crossing of boundaries - subordinates’ challenges to organisational hierarchy, in: Diefenbach, T. / By, R.T. (2012): Reinventing bureaucracy and hierarchy: from the bureau to network organisations, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 35: 171-201.

Diefenbach, T. / Sillince, J.A.A. (2011): Formal and informal hierarchy in different types of organisations, Organization Studies, 32 (11): 1515-1537.

Klarner, P. / By, R.T. / Diefenbach, T. (2011): Employee emotions during organizational change – Towards a new research agenda, Scandinavian Journal of Management, 27 (3): 332-340.

Diefenbach, T. (2011): When does superiors’ deviance threaten organisational hierarchy?. Working Paper No. 27, March, Faculty of Management Technology, German University in Cairo, Egypt.

Diefenbach, T. (2009): The ideological use of new public management concepts during organizational change initiatives, in: By, R.T. / Macleod, C. (eds.) (2009): Managing organizational change in Public Services: International issues, challenges and cases,London: Routledge: 58-73.

Diefenbach, T. (2009): New public management in public sector organisations – the dark sides of managerialistic ‘enlightenment’, Public Administration: An International Quarterly, 87 (4): 892-909.

Diefenbach, T. (2009): Are case studies more than sophisticated story telling? Methodological problems of case studies mainly based on semi-structured interviews, Quality & Quantity, 43 (6): 875-894.

Diefenbach, T. / By, R.T. / Klarner, P. (2009): A multi-dimensional analysis of managers’ power - Functional, socio-political, interpretive-discursive, and socio-cultural approaches, management revue, special issue on 'Power in Organizations - Power of Organizations', 20 (4): 413-431.

By, R.T. / Diefenbach, T. / Klarner, P. (2008): Getting organizational change right in public services: The case of European Higher Education, Journal of Change Management, 8 (1): 21-35.

Diefenbach, T. (2007): The managerialistic ideology of organisational change management, Journal of Organisational Change Management, 20 (1): 126-144.

Diefenbach, T. (2006): Intangible resources: a categorial system of knowledge and other intangible assets, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 7 (3): 406-420.

Diefenbach, T. (2005): Competing strategic perspectives and sense-making of senior managers in academia, International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, 5 (6): 126-137.

Diefenbach, T. (2004): Different meanings of intangible assets and knowledge - and their implications for management and innovation, International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, 4: 553-567.

Diefenbach, T. (2004): Zur Möglichkeit der Deduktion des Wirtschaftlichkeits- und Gewinnmaximierungsprinzip aus dem Rationalprinzip (‘About the possibility to deduct the principle of profit maximisation from the principle of rationality’), in: Frank, U. (ed.) (2004): Wissenschaftstheorie in Ökonomie und Wirtschaftsinformatik, DUV Wiesbaden: 109-130.

Diefenbach, T. / Vordank, T. (2004): Erfassung und Bewertung von immateriellen Ressourcen im Rahmen betrieblicher Mess- und Bewertungssysteme (‘Capturing and assessing immaterial resources within organisational measurement and assessment systems’), in: Moldaschl, M. (ed.) (2004): Immaterielle Ressourcen: Nachhaltigkeit von Unternehmensführung und Arbeit I, München, Mering: Hampp: 177-220.

Moldaschl, M. / Diefenbach, T. (2003): Regeln und Ressourcen (‘Rules and resources’), in: Schmid, M. / Maurer, A. (eds.) (2003): Ökonomischer und soziologischer Institutionalismus - Chancen einer interdisziplinären Annäherung? Marburg: Metropolis: 139-162.

Conferences

Papers presented at conferences

Diefenbach, T. (2013): Does the Japanese management model work for Japanese companies abroad? – Some evidence from Vietnam, paper presented at ‘2013 Annual Conference on Management and Social Sciences’, 12/05-07/2013, Taipei, Taiwan.

Diefenbach, T. (2013): OTOPs in Thailand - Economic success and social failure, paper presented at ‘Annual Meeting of the Japan Society for Business Ethics Studies (JABES)’, 06/15-16/2013, Tokyo / Oyama, Japan.

Zhao, R. / Diefenbach, T. (2013): Knowledge-sharing between medium-sized companies across borders, paper presented at ‘APUGSM Conference 2013 - International Winter Conference on Business & Economic Research’, 01/18-19/2013, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU), Beppu, Japan.

Siriwichai, C. / Diefenbach, T. (2012): Potential impact of the political movement in the Thai red-shirt village on OTOP (One Tambon One Product) organizations, paper presented at ‘2012 Asia Pacific Conference’, 12/07-09/2012, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU), Beppu, Japan.

Diefenbach, T. (2012): Moral dimensions of empowerment and dis-empowerment in post-modern organisations, paper presented at ‘ICBMR - The 7th International Conference on Business and Management Research’, 11/16/2012, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Diefenbach, T.(2012): Reasons for managers‘ poor moral performance, paper presented at ‘acerp 2012 - The Asian Conference on Ethics, Religion & Philosophy‘, 03/30-04/01/2012, Osaka, Japan.

Diefenbach, T. (2012): Why empowering employees (often) does not empower them, paper presented at ‘ICBEM - ‘International Conference on Business, Entrepreneurship and Management “Spirituality, Values, Ethics and Culture: Capturing the Asian Business Flavour”‘, 01/25-26/2012, Manila, Philippines.

Diefenbach, T. (2011): Immoral managers or immoral organisations?, paper presented at ‘27th EGOS colloquium’, European Group for Organizational Studies, 07/07-09/2011, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Diefenbach, T. / Sillince, J.A.A. (2010): Paradoxes in subordinates’ challenges to organisational hierarchy, paper presented at ‘IFSAM World Conference’, International Federation of Scholarly Associations of Management, 07/08-10/2010, Paris, France.

Diefenbach, T. (2010): Incompetent or immoral leadership? - Why (some) managers and change leaders get it wrong, paper presented at ‘26thEGOS colloquium’, European Group for Organizational Studies, 06/30-07/03/2010, Lisbon, Portugal.

Diefenbach, T. (2010): Challenges to superiors’ and subordinates’ hierarchical relationship - crossing of boundaries, paper presented at ‘IABE Summer Conference’, International Academy of Business and Economics, 06/04-06/2010, Bangkok, Thailand.

Diefenbach, T. / Sillince, J.A.A. (2009): Hierarchical order in different organisational forms, paper presented at ‘15th World Congress of the International Industrial Relations Association (IIRA)’, 08/24-27/2009, Sydney, Australia.

Hibbert, P. / Sillince, J. / Diefenbach, T. (2009): Why new theories of organization are unlikely – and what to do about it, paper presented at ‘Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management’ (AOM), 08/07-11/2009, Chicago, USA.

Diefenbach, T. / By, R.T. / Klarner, P. (2008): Managers’ multi-dimensional power - links between functional, political, and discursive approaches, paper presented at ‘24th EGOS colloquium’, European Group for Organizational Studies, 07/10-12/2008, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Diefenbach, T. (2007): New Public Management in Public Sector organisations – the dark sides of managerialistic ‘enlightenment’, paper presented at ‘British Academy of Management Conference’ (BAM), 09/11-13/2007, Warwick, United Kingdom.

Diefenbach, T. (2005): The managerialistic ideology of organisational change management, paper presented at ‘2nd International Business Research Conference’, 12/05-08/2005, Sydney, Australia.

Diefenbach, T. (2005): The clashes of cultures in a Higher Education institution, paper presented at ‘The Fifth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations’, 07/19-22/2005, Rhodes, Greece.

Diefenbach, T. (2005): Are case studies more than sophisticated story telling? Methodological problems of case studies mainly based on semi-structured interviews, paper presented at ‘4th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies’, 04/21-22/2005, Paris, France.

Diefenbach, T. (2005): Intangible resources - a categorial system of knowledge and other intangible assets, paper presented at ‘OKLC 2005 - 6th European Conference on Organizational Knowledge, Learning, and Capabilities’, 03/17-19/2005, Boston, USA.

Diefenbach, T. (2004): Different meanings of intangible assets and knowledge and their implications for management and innovation, paper presented at ‘The Fourth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organizations’, 08/03-06/2004, Greenwich, United Kingdom.

Diefenbach, T. / Hutchinson-Howorth, C. (2004): ICT-based strategic management systems and communication, paper presented at ‘Information, Knowledge and Management:  Re-assessing the role of ICTs in public and private organizations’ conference, 03/03-05/2004, Bologna, Italy.

Diefenbach, T. (2003): Internal value added and profit distribution, poster presentation at ‘Economics for the Future’ conference, organised by Cambridge Journal of Economics, 09/17-19/2003, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Diefenbach, T. (2003): Zur Möglichkeit der Deduktion des Wirtschaftlichkeits- und Gewinnmaximierungsprinzip aus dem Rationalprinzip (‘About the possibility to deduct the principle of profit maximisation from the principle of rationality’), paper presented at the conference ‘Wissenschaftstheorie in Ökonomie und Wirtschaftsinformatik’ (‘Sciences of Science in Economics and Economics Informatics’), Kommission Wissenschaftstheorie des VHB e.V., 06/05-06/2003, Koblenz, Germany.

Diefenbach, T. (2003): Innerbetriebliche Wertschöpfung und Gewinnverteilung (‘Internal value added and profit distribution’), paper presented at the workshop ‘Ungleichheit und Umverteilung’ (‘Inequality and redistribution’), Arbeitskreis Politische Ökonomie, 05/09-11/2003, Wittenberg, Germany.

Diefenbach, T. / Vordank, T. (2003): Intangible assets und internes Controlling (‘Intangible assets and internal Controlling’), paper presented at the workshop ‘Nachhaltigkeit von Arbeit und Rationalisierung’ (‘Sustainability of Work and Rationalization’), 01/23-24/2003, Chemnitz, Germany.

Moldaschl, M. / Diefenbach, T. (2002): Institutionen und Ressourcen – über die Beziehung von Institutionalismus und ressourcenorientierte Theorien (‘Institutions and Resources - About the Relation Between Institutionalism and Resource-Oriented Theories’), paper presented at the workshop ‘Ökonomischer und Soziologischer Institutionalismus’ (‘Economical and Sociological Institutionalism’), Arbeitskreis Politische Ökonomie, 09/25-27/2002, Tutzing, Germany.

Chairing of conference streams or sessions, opening or keynote speakers

  • Keynote speaker at ‘ConnextTalk - ASEAN Youth Development towards ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC)’, 26-29/02/2016, Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Session Chair (2 sessions) at 13th Asia Pacific Conference 2015 ‘Societal Transformation in Asia Pacific: Charting the Waves of Change’, 11/07-08/2015, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU), Beppu, Japan.
  • Chair for panel session ‘Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)’ at ‘2013 Asia Pacific Conference’, 11/02-03/2013, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU), Beppu, Japan.
  • Invited panel presentation and discussion at ‘2012 Joint Conference of KABE (The Korean Academy of Business Ethics) & JABES (Japan Society for Business Ethics Studies)’, 11/09/2012, Seoul, South Korea.
  • Opening speech, given at 1st International Workshop ‘Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability’, 2-day workshop at German University in Cairo (GUC), 03/01-02/2011, Cairo, Egypt.

Professional associations

  • Australian & New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM)
  • Asia Pacific Researchers in Organisation Studies (APROS)
  • Australasian Business Ethics Network (ABEN)

Contacts

T: 08 89468861
E: thomas.diefenbach@cdu.edu.au

CDU Business School
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