Margaret White, the Fleming Cos. Inc. Professor of Technology Management, retired from Oklahoma State University in August after 31 years in the Department of Management in the Spears School of Business.
Originally from Texas, she received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in history and a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in management and marketing from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.
Following graduate school, she was a statistical analyzer for an oil company. She also owned a catering business, was a housing administrator and coached softball at the community college level before pursuing a doctorate.
White says she never expected to be an academician before she was asked to teach some classes at Iowa Western Community College. “After several life-altering events, I sat down and reevaluated my life goals,” she says. That’s when she decided to go back to school in her 30s to become a professor.
She went on to earn a doctorate in management with an emphasis in organization theory and strategy plus a minor in industrial engineering and research methods from Texas A&M University.
White says she has most enjoyed providing a learning environment for her students and herself. She was also well-known for being a supportive mentor.
“Margaret White is the most senior faculty member teaching and doing research in Strategy. ... She has left a legacy in the many doctoral students that she has advised and is fondly remembered by the MBA students who had the good fortune to take her Strategic Management course,” says Scott Johnson, associate professor in the Spears School’s Department of Management.
“She will also be missed at the Strategic Management Society, where she was actively involved and well-respected. At her retirement party, we were reminded of her life outside of work as a frequent volunteer dedicated to addressing the needs of the less fortunate in Tulsa. I am personally grateful to Margaret for her mentorship in my years as a junior faculty member,” Johnson says.
White received the Outstanding Teaching Award from OSU-Tulsa in 2007 and 2015, the only recipient to receive it twice. She also was honored with the Chandler-Frates & Reitz Teaching Excellence Award (2012), the Spears School’s Outstanding Instruction Award (2005), the Outstanding MBA Professor Award (2004) and the CBA Greiner Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching (1995).
Her primary research involves the study of mergers & acquisitions (m&a), joint ventures and strategic processes. Throughout her career, White has had eight funded research projects. She has published more than 25 academic articles in journals and books, made numerous presentations at conferences and been a panel organizer or panelist multiple times. In addition, she has published over 80 practitioner articles.
Her 1984 paper, “Assessment of the Technological Change System: An Organizational Viewpoint,” was a finalist for the Outstanding Paper Award at the International Conference on General Systems Theory.
In 1997, her paper with co-author Jill Hough, “Using the ‘Pig Tale’ to Increase Prosperity: Frederick Taylor Revisited,” received the John F. Mee Award in the Management History Division by the Academy of Management.
In 1997, her paper with Susan Fisher, “Downsizing and Organizational Learning: A Question of Compatibility,” was named an Outstanding Paper in the Managerial and Organizational Cognition Division by the Academy of Management.
In 2005, her research paper with Robert Duesing, “Metatriangulation, Triangulation, and Elephants: Trying to Understand Phenomena,” was named an Outstanding Paper in the Research Methods Division by the Southern Management Association.
“When I think of Margaret, the one thing I think of is her willingness to help others,” says Aaron Hill, associate professor in the Department of Management. “She volunteers on committees at OSU, she is active in the professional organizations, she will give of her time to work with doctoral students. She also serves in endeavors outside of work — she has a seemingly boundless willingness to try to help.”
Throughout her career, White has been active in the profession and in the community. In the Strategic Management Society, she was the founding chair of the Research Methods group and an advising board member in several other groups. In the Academy of Management, she was on the Career Services Committee for a number of years. In the community, she has served on a number of community committees in both Stillwater (Chamber of Commerce Board, 20/20 Planning Committee) and Tulsa (Chamber Economic Development Group). Also, she is active in feeding the homeless (Oklahoma Foodbank of Eastern Oklahoma Partner Agency Committee) and cooks and serves at Manna Meals at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. In addition, White helps train laity in communities of faith to help families and friends deal with addiction.
White has had eight funded research projects. She has published more than 25 academic articles in journals and books, made numerous presentations at conferences and been a panel organizer or panelist multiple times.
After retirement, White plans to, “Become an East Texas hick once again and continue writing, working with social services agencies as well as continue training of laity through faith partners,” she says.