James Douglas Orton is an associate professor of business management and leadership at Southern Virginia University
Dr. Orton is an expert on the strategic leadership of complex organizations. His publications on complexity leadership, loosely coupled systems, national security management, iterative grounded theory, organizational sensemaking, human terrain teams, and cosmology episodes have been cited 3,088 times (Google Scholar, 8/16/16).
Before arriving at Southern Virginia University, Dr. Orton took courses, conducted research, and taught courses at Brigham Young University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Michigan, Boston College, MIT, UC-Irvine, and George Washington University.
At Southern Virginia University, Dr. Orton teaches the freshman-level Introduction to Business Management and Leadership course and the junior-level Organizations and Leadership course – focusing on ten core management skills: leadership, culture, structure, strategy, change, decision-making, learning, sensemaking, collaboration, and resilience.
Dr. Orton’s current teaching/research focus is resilience leadership during cosmology episodes (large-scale catastrophes that force a loss and reconstruction of meaning). With Dr. Kari A. O’Grady, Dr. Orton helped build the Center for Trauma Studies and Resilience Leadership from 2011-2016. They learned about resilience leadership in studies of earthquake survivors in Haiti, U.S. social science research teams deployed to Afghanistan, and women who have experienced extreme sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They have recently published articles on these topics in the Journal of Management, Spirituality, and Religion and the Journal of Psychology and Theology and have presented their research at recent conferences in Brooklyn, New York; New Haven, Connecticut; Denver, Colorado; Toronto, Canada; Barcelona, Spain, and Anyang, China.
Doug and his wife, Kari, enjoy cheering the accomplishments of their eight wicked-smart children, three of whom have thrived as students here at Southern Virginia University. As a hobby, Dr. Orton is conducting family history research on the lives of his distant cousins, the descendants of Peter Cropper and Elizabeth Osbourne, who landed at Jamestown in 1639 and settled in Accomack County, on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
B.A., Brigham Young University, 1983; M.O.B., Brigham Young University, 1985; Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1994
Southern Virginia University
One University Hill Drive
Buena Vista, VA 24416