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James B. Thurman

Associate Professor Emeritus of Strategic Management & Public Policy

  • Department: Strategic Management & Public Policy
  • Email:
  • Phone: 202-994-5979
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  • Office: Funger Hall, 615
  • PhD, Penn State, 1978
  • MBA, Penn State, 1972
  • BA, Penn State, 1966


James B. Thurman is currently an associate professor of strategic management & public policy at the School of Business in the George Washington University.  Professor Thurman was also chairman of the SMPP Department from 2000-2006. Professor Thurman has been with the University since 1980 and has held both teaching and administrative assignments.  He received his PhD in strategic management, his MBA in management, and his BA in labor-management relations all from The Pennsylvania State University.  Prior to coming to GW, Professor Thurman taught at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Penn State, and Northeastern University.

Professor Thurman teaches the “capstone” strategic management course, primarily at the MBA level, although he teaches at the doctoral and undergraduate levels as well. Professor Thurman uses the case method supplemented by computer simulation gaming.  Professor Thurman was also the faculty director and lead case writer for the GW Non-Profit Organizations MBA International Case Competition.  His last nine cases are The United States Patent and Trademark Office, Greater Washington Urban League, The Green Building Council, AARP, Share Our Strength, The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, National Geographic, National Public Radio, and the American Red Cross.

Professor Thurman’s doctoral dissertation was an extension of Mintzberg’s seminal work on the nature of managerial work, as applied to the underground bituminous coal mining industry. Professor Thurman’s current research concentrates on writing case studies suitable for discussion in strategic management courses.  His Bishopic, Inc. case study resulted in over $100,000 being donated to GW.  Bishopric, Inc. (Enerfab) is the largest manufacturer of large-scale, food-grade aseptic storage tanks for breweries and not-from-concentrate orange juice producers and specialized, exotic metal storage tanks for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.  Professor Thurman has published nationally and internationally.

Professor Thurman has consulted for a variety of private sector, non-profit, and public-sector organizations.  He has appeared on CNN and has been interviewed by various business publications.


Research Summary

Professor Thurman’s research centers on writing cases suitable for discussion in graduate/undergraduate strategic management cases. Cases written by Professor Thurman include:  United States Patent & Trademark Office, National Geographic, National Public Radio, Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority, Share Our Strength, Greater Washington Urban League, Green Building Council, AARP, American Red Cross, American Legion Post 364, Rand Corporation, and Black Diamond Mining Company.