James B. Shein
James B. Shein

Clinical Professor of Strategy

Print Overview

Professor James B. Shein is Clinical Professor of Strategy at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is the academic director of the Kellogg executive program Successful Corporate Renewal, and teaches Managing Turnarounds and Global Corporate Governance.

Professor Shein was previously counsel at McDermott, Will & Emery with practice in corporate governance, restructurings, acquisitions and fiduciary duties of officers and directors. Prior to that, he spent four years as the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.C. Manufacturing and ten years prior to that as President and Chief Executive Officer of Northbrook Corporation, a multi-unit company in manufacturing, leasing, and transportation businesses. He has decades of experience as a CEO running, advising, purchasing and reviving underperforming companies in a wide variety of industries. He also serves on the boards of directors of several public and private companies, chairing audit and governance committees.

A frequent lecturer and author on corporate renewal and corporate governance, Professor Shein is author of the book: Reversing the Slide: A Strategic Guide to Turnarounds and Corporate Renewal (Wiley Publishing, 2011). His work with corporate directors led to his article, "Trying to Match SOX: Dealing with New Challenges and Risks Facing Directors," published in The Journal of Private Equity. He has published over twenty cases on restructuring and global governance for use in MBA programs. He is also active in the International Corporate Governance Network, on the International Ethics Committee. Professor Shein has a BS in Engineering as well as an MBA, PhD, and JD, and has testified as an expert witness on governance in state and federal courts.  

Areas of Expertise
Corporate Governance
Distressed Investing
Turnaround Management
Venture Capital and Private Equity

Print Vita
JD, 1997, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
PhD, 1968, Indiana University
MBA, 1966, Indiana University
BS, 1964, Engineering, Purdue University

Academic Positions
Clinical Professor of Management & Strategy, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2005-present
Adjunct Professor of Management & Strategy, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2002-2005
Adjunct Professor, Loyola University of Chicago, 1994-2001

Other Professional Experience
President, J.S. Associates, 1994-present
Counsel, McDermott, Will, & Emery, 1997-2009
President, R.C. Manufacturing, Inc., 1990-1994
President and CEO, Northbrook Corporation, 1979-1990

Honors and Awards
First Prize for case on business ethics, Aspen Institute Business and Society, 1/16 to 12/16

Editorial Positions
Lead Articles Editor, LUC Journal, 1997

Print Research
Research Interests

Corporate governance, corporate renewal and turnaround management, issues in corporate finance, restructurings, start-ups and acquisitions.  Fiduciary duties of officers and directors.

Shein, James B. and Lauren Compere. 2016. "Corporate Lobbying Practices: U.S. and European Trends". Journal of the International Governance Network. 2016 annual
Shein, James B.. 2011. You Bought the Company: Now What?. The Journal of Corporate Renewal.
Shein, James B.. 2005. Trying to Match Sox: Dealing with New Challenges and Risks Facing Directors. Journal of Private Equity. 8(2): 20-27.
Shein, James B.. 2011. Reversing the Slide: A Strategic Guide to Turnarounds and Corporate Renewal. Wiley (Jossey-Bass).
Shein, James B. and Evan Meagher. 2008. Winn-Dixie Stores in 2005 (A): Cleanup on Aisle 11. Case 5-408-751(A) (KEL415).
Shein, James B. and Scott Kannry. 2012. The Chicago Blackhawks: Greatest Sports Business Turnaround Ever?. Case 5-112-007 (KEL671).
Shein, James B. and Loredana Yamada. 2008. Sara Lee: A Tale of Another Turnaround. Case 5-108-009 (KEL353).
Shein, James B., Rebecca Frazzano and Evan Meagher. 2010. A Tale of Two Turnarounds at EDS: The Jordan Rules. Case 5-409-754 (KEL425).
Shein, James B., Robert Anstey and Nathan Lang. 2010. Elan Corporation Turnaround. Case 5-210-262 (KEL507).
Shein, James B. and Jason P. Hawbecker. 2016. The Fall of Banco Espírito Santo: Holy Spirit or Devil in Disguise?. Case 5-116-004 (KEL969).
Shein, James B., Tim Joyce and Brandon Cornuke. 2010. Dry Goods. Case 5-210-263 (KEL509).
Shein, James B.. 2015. Flying J: Governance through Crash and Takeoff. Case 5-214-252 (KEL887).
Shein, James B. and Judith Crown. 2010. Atari: Between a Rock and a Hard Place. Case 5-210-260 (KEL539).
Shein, James B. and Evan Meagher. 2008. Winn-Dixie Stores in 2005 (B): Cleanup on Aisle 11. Case 5-408-751(B) (KEL416).
Shein, James B. and Evan Meagher. 2009. Leading Corporate Renewal: Selim Bassoul at Middleby Corporation. Case 5-209-253 (KEL422).
Shein, James B.. 2014. Corporate Governance at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia: Not "A Good Thing". Case 5-413-761 (KEL776).
Shein, James B. and Evan Meagher. 2017. Coming from Behind: The Chicago Cubs' Resurgence as a 100-Year-Old Startup. Case 5-117-004 (KE1000).
Shein, James B.. 2015. CBD vs. Casino: How Brazil’s Biggest Retailer Fought a French Governance Takeover—and Lost. Case 5-115-003 (KEL909).
Shein, James B. and Evan Meagher. 2017. Lie, Cheat, and Steel: Governance and Scandal at ThyssenKrupp. Case 5-117-001 (KE1006).
Shein, James B.. 2012. At Ford, Turnaround Is Job One. Case 5-211-250 (KEL663).
Shein, James B., Scott Whitaker and Matt Bell. 2011. Jonathan Miller: Custom Energy Bar Entrepreneur Pitches Sharks. Case 5-111-003 (KEL565).
Shein, James B., Rebecca Frazzano and Evan Meagher. 2010. Solo Cup in 2007: Dollars in the Details. Case 5-210-261 (KEL505).
Shein, James B., Nathan Haines, Matthew Horstmann, Tobias Kaulfuss, Craig Koester, William Koo and Juan Lariz Landin. 2008. Parmalat USA Turnaround. Case 5-208-253 (KEL356).

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests

Managing Turnarounds, Global Corporate Governance, Entrepreneurship

Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
Global Corporate Governance (KIEI-965-0)

Governance issues must be addressed by the power centers of all organizations, ranging from startups to mid-market and other non-public companies. Almost all Kellogg graduates will serve as an officer and director of one of these U.S. or foreign organizations during their career.

The aim of this interdisciplinary course is to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to handle controversial governance issues which often fall in the intersection of business, law and ethics. Concepts will cover private equity, professional service, and closely held firms, as well as the more stringent laws that exist in other countries. We will debate current issues and proposed regulations that affect directors in the U.S. and internationally to help executives do the right thing and avoid liabilities. Guests will include the heads of private equity, consulting and investment banking firms.

Managing Turnarounds (STRT-934-0)
This course was formerly known as MGMT 934
This course focuses on how to recognize, analyze and deal with the special problems of organizations facing turnarounds or crises. The course covers a framework that encompasses early warning signals to detect problems, then takes students through basic and advanced turnaround techniques and examines how to return to leadership. The multi-discipline causes and cures for turnarounds, including marketing, finance, strategy and human relations, are discussed. These principles apply to helping many different types of organizations, including early stage companies, mature corporations (or underperforming units of same) and not-for-profit organizations. The use of corporate bankruptcy as a sword or shield is also covered. Cases are assigned to teach how entrepreneurs and leaders of more mature companies have successfully and unsuccessfully dealt with serious problems. Note: This course may not be dropped after the second week of the quarter.