Business Talk and Coffee: Power in organizations by Dr. Onajomo Akemu

2020-02-26 17:42:52

Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Business is hosting series of free-of-charge masterclasses “BUSINESS TALK & COFFEE”. You will have an opportunity to meet our faculty, talk to them over a cup of coffee, ask your questions and meet professionals from various fields.


Power has fascinated thinkers from Ancient Greece to the Renaissance. This fascination continues in modern popular culture. In hit shows such as Games of Thrones powerful characters evoke admiration as well as disapproval from viewers. Power, in the words of Stanford University Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer, is a four-letter word: it is not a word that is repeated in polite company.

Yet, it is vital that we understand power within organizations. Power is not simply a fascinating concept for scholarly study—it certainly is!—it is also the means by which anything of lasting value is created in an organization. Computers will not get built, diseases will not be combated, and schools will not be built unless organizational actors understand how to develop power and use it effectively.

In this Business Talk and Coffee session, Dr. Akemu will discuss the following questions:

  1. What is power?
  2. What are the various types of power within organizations?
  3. Why is it important that we understand how power works within organizations?
  4. How might one gain power to use it effectively?

He will draw primarily on research in the field of organizational theory to address these questions in an engaging and thought-provoking manner.

Date & time: March 5, 18:30-20.30

Venue: Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Business, Block C3, room 3030, 53 Kabanbay Batyr, Nur-Sultan

Price: free

Language: English


OnaDr. Onajomo (Ona) Akemu received a Ph.D. from the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM). He is fascinated by the role small business organizations play in creating economic value for their owners and employees and for the broader societies in which they are located. His current 2 research interests are on decision making processes in small, innovative companies and on improving the practice of ethnography in digitally-mediated settings. As such, he currently focuses on firm emergence, strategy making and implementation in these firms using rich, idiographic qualitative methods. His work has been published in top journals such as Journal of Management Studies and Organizational Research Methods.

Prior to graduate studies, Onajomo worked in the oil industry in the Netherlands and in Western Siberia, Russia. He is fluent in English, Dutch, Yoruba and West African Creole.