Associate Professor Ljiljana Erakovic

PhD, MSc in Economics and BSc in Economics.


Ljiljana is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management and International Business. She received a BSc in Economics from the University of Split (Croatia), a MSc in Economics from the University of Zagreb (Croatia), and a PhD from The University of Auckland.

Before returning to university in 1995 to embark upon a PhD in Management, Ljiljana had worked for twelve years as a researcher and consultant specialising in the areas of organisational restructuring, business systems development and management information systems. In the years of radical changes in Eastern Europe she did consultancy work on privatisation programmes for various Croatian state-owned enterprises.

Her research interests and research projects have evolved out of her long-term involvement in various research and applied works in the field of organisation studies. Her primary goal as a researcher is to investigate contemporary organisational issues and to contribute to a better conceptual understanding of these issues. In line with this aim, she has made an important contribution to her academic field by analysing and explaining the major antecedents, challenges and outcomes of transitional organisational changes (i.e., privatisation, ownership restructuring, metamorphic transformation, life-cycle change, leadership transition, etc). Her current research interest includes organisational governance. This is a research platform in which she has developed several projects. 

Special Interests:

  • Corporate governance, boards of directors
  • Governance in not-for-profit organisations
  • Organisation theory
  • Organisational change
  • Qualitative research methods

Research | Current

Research Interests:

Ljiljana's current research programme (2010-present) involves studies on the subject of organisational governance. Within this programme she has developed two major projects which produced a number of outputs. They include: (1) exploring the crucial interface of governance and leadership processes in large organisations, and (2) exploring issues of governance in not-for-profit organisations. 

Governance and Leadership processes

In January 2014 Ljiljana was appointed to lead an interdisciplinary team investigating linkages between leadership and governance processes in large New Zealand organisations. The main aim of this research is to promote a novel interdisciplinary approach which is relevant and timely for both researchers and practitioners. Other members of the team are: Professor Brad Jackson, Griffith University Business School, Brisbane (AUS); Professor Susan Watson and Associate Professor Chris Noonan, The University of Auckland Law School; and Dr Monique Cikaliuk, Wisdom Work Strategies, Victoria (Canada).  

Specifically, this project seeks to understand decision-making processes at the board room level. Exploring the processes by which boards make decisions and exert leadership throughout the organisation is by no means straight forward. The team focuses on gathering in-depth qualitative data on traits and competencies, group dynamics and individual performances, formal procedures and informal processes to gain a deeper understanding of actual board behaviours and processes.

The project has generated 10 comprehensive teaching case studies illustrating the complexity of decision making by boards in New Zealand organisations as well as several academic publications including the book: Corporate Governance and Leadership: The Board as the Nexus of Leadership-in-Governance, published by Cambridge University Press in Elements in Corporate Governance Series (edited by T. Clarke). Published July 2020. 

Governance in NFP organisations (completed in 2016)

The most important output of this research is the book: ‘Stepping through transitions: Management, leadership and governance in not-for-profit organisations’, published in 2013. The book has strong theoretical foundations in the sociology of work and organisational development and is richly illustrated by stories and examples from a wide range of New Zealand organisations. The core to the book is the Common Good Organisation Development Model. The conceptual building blocks of the model give different perspectives on change and explain ways in which organisations can take ownership of their own development within the increasingly complex not-for-profit sector. Understanding the central and changing face of management, leadership and governance is, as the book suggests, the key to organisational development.

Business Case Studies

Ljiljana is a passionate business case writer. She has single-authored and co-authored, with her students and colleagues, more than 30 comprehensive business case studies. Her case studies embrace New Zealand’s large and small, for-profit and non-for-profit organisations. They typically cover various issues in strategic management and governance. Most of these cases are published in academic books, journals, and international textbooks.

Teaching | Current

  • Strategic Management, BUSINESS 304/MGMT 302 (2000-present)
  • Advanced Qualitative Research Methods, BUSINESS 712 (2019, 2021)
  • Understanding Business, BUSINESS 111 (2021)
  • Business and Enterprise 2, BUSINESS 102 (2017-2018)
  • Business and Enterprise 1, BUSINESS 101 (2018)
  • Governance, MGMT 738 (2010-2016)
  • Critical Issues in Organisations, MGMT 314 (2015)
  • Understanding Organisations, MGMT 211 (2014)

Postgraduate supervision

Ljiljana is interested in supervising students who are willing to pursue a PhD or master’s thesis in the area of organisational governance. She is currently supervising six PhD students who research the following topics: network governance in the health sector, board member identity work, organisational unlearning, boards of directors and the 4th industrial revolution, clinical governance, and directors' duty in considering the environmental impact of corporate decisions.


2008 The Best Paper Prize awarded at the 6th International Conference on Corporate Governance "The Evolution of Corporate Governance" in Birmingham, UK
2007 The University of Auckland Business School Research Excellence Award
2006 The University of Auckland Business School Teaching Excellence Award
2005 "Excellence in the mentorship of postgraduate students in case writing and teaching" awarded at the International Conference on Case Study Teaching and Learning in Auckland



  • Deputy Head of Department, 2010, 2018-2020
  • Management Group Lead, 2017-2019
  • Director, BUSINESS 101 and BUSINESS 102, 2018-2020
  • Chair, MIB Postgraduate Committee, 2011 & 2015, 2016
  • Director, MIB MCom programme, 2011 & 2015
  • Coordinator, MIB BCom Hons and PGDipCom programmes, (2005-2009)

Areas of expertise

  • Corporate governance
  • Boards of directors
  • Non-for-profit governance
  • Organisational change
  • Qualitative research methods

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • The University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee, member (2011-2014)
  • The University of Auckland Business School Staffing Committee, member (2013-2019)
  • International Corporate Governance Society, member
  • International Society for Third-Sector Research, member
  • European Academy of Management, member
  • European Group of Organization Studies, member
  • North American Case Research Association, member
  • The New Zealand Governance Centre, member
  • University of Auckland Business Review Editorial Board
  • MIB, PhD Committee
  • ANZAM, Conference Stream Co-convener "Leadership and Governance", Auckland, New Zealand, 2008
  • APROS, Conference Stream Co-convener "Integrating Leadership and Governance in Complex, Emergent and Uncertain Environments", Monterrey, Mexico, 2009
  • The University of Auckland Women in Leadership Programme 2002

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Cikaliuk, M., Erakovic, L., Jackson, B., Noonan, C., & Watson, S. (2020). Corporate Governance and Leadership: The Board as the Nexus of Leadership-in-Governance. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Pages: 88. 10.1017/9781108895385
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Chris Noonan, Susan Watson
  • Cikaliuk, M., Erakovic, L., Jackson, B., Noonan, C., & Watson, S. M. (2019). Board of directors: Building relationships with non-shareholder stakeholders. In J. Gabrielsson, W. Khlif, S. Yamak (Eds.) Research handbook on boards of directors (pp. 209-228). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Susan Watson, Chris Noonan
  • Cikaliuk, M., Eraković L, Jackson, B., Noonan, C., & Watson, S. (2018). Board leadership and governance for clear-sighted CEO succession at Air New Zealand. Journal of Management and Organization, 1-24. 10.1017/jmo.2018.23
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Susan Watson, Chris Noonan
  • Cikaliuk, M., Erakovic, L., Jackson, B., Noonan, C., & Watson, S. (2018). LEADERSHIP IN GOVERNANCE Women Board Chairs. In L. E. Devnew, M. J. LeBer, M. Torchia, R. J. Burke (Eds.) (pp. 269-283). INFORMATION AGE PUBLISHING-IAP.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Susan Watson
  • Erakovic, L., Watson, S., Cikaliuk, M., Jackson, B., & Noonan, C. (2017). Board of directors and stakeholders: Building bridges of understanding. New Zealand Business Law Quarterly, 23 (3), 202-215.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Susan Watson, Chris Noonan
  • Ferkins, L., Erakovic, L., & McMorland, J. (2015). Leading organisational change. In O’Boyle I, D. Murray, P. Cummins (Eds.) Leadership in sport (pp. 121-138). London: Routledge.
  • Erakovic, L., & McMorland, J. (2014). The major challenges in designing capable nonprofit boards. In J. Mueller, P. Wells (Eds.) Governance in action globally: strategy, process and reality (pp. 201-220). Oxford, UK: RossiSmith Academic Publishing. Related URL.
  • McMorland, J., & Erakovic, L. (2014). The ‘Am Calon’ case: A non-profit journey through transitions. In J. Mueller, R. Franklin, D. Warrick (Eds.) Non-Profit Excellence: Learning from Worldwide Best Practice Cases (pp. 131-144). Oxford, UK: RossiSmith Academic Publishing.

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 471
New Zealand

Web links