Saku Mantere

Integrated Management

Associate Professor Saku Mantere

Director, Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management



At the Desautels Faculty of Management, the Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management (MDIIM) champions an integrated management approach that includes cross-disciplinary programs and the linking of teaching, research, and practice.

We develop and foster an integrated approach to management education by:

  • Driving cross-disciplinary teaching across the different streams and programs within the Faculty. 
  • Leading innovative integrated research, teaching, and outreach initiatives. We leverage the research of our professors and the expertise of top business practitioners to create exceptional programs and course content. During their time at Desautels, students contribute to academic research and engage with practitioners through experiential learning opportunities, feeding directly back into practice.
  • Encouraging different understandings of value that go beyond business as usual to include economic, social, and ecological concerns.

These goals inspired us to develop a brand of management education with positive personal, organizational, and societal implications, driven by a wave of young new leaders with both a practical and theoretical appreciation of the importance of integrated management. This is why the Desautels Faculty of Management has become a global leader in integrated management education and why the MDIIM exists today.

What is Integrated Management?

The significant ecological, social, and economic issues with which our society is now wrestling and the major challenges confronting contemporary managers are closely related. As these challenges grow, leaders must be able to appreciate the interconnectedness of different forms of capital and develop innovative solutions that create value for their organization and its stakeholders.

Whether one considers the relationships between different functional areas inside an organization or the relationships between an organization and its external stakeholders, there is a growing need for managers who can articulate and reconcile issues from multiple perspectives.


MDIIM has several goals, which are to:

  1. Encourage management students, researchers, and practitioners to take a cross-functional, holistic, and context-sensitive approach to management and organizations to promote the validity and innovative potential of different perspectives on value;
  2. Foster within management students the capacity for the innovative and informed responsible decision-making required by today’s complex global environment through interdisciplinary curriculum design;
  3. Serve as a focal point for promoting collaborative, interdisciplinary management research by facilitating grant applications and sponsoring seminars, speaker series, workshops, networking events, etc., and in general providing a forum for sharing ideas and exploring collaborative research within the Desautels Faculty of Management and McGill University as a whole; and
  4. Improve integration between academia, policymakers, industry, and community leaders to better reflect the belief that management skills are applicable across all organizational sectors.

Pedagogical approach

Combining research, teaching, and practice.Combining research, teaching, and practice.

An integrated approach to management is embedded in Desautels' programs, including the redesigned MBA and PMBA, the McGill-HEC Montréal EMBA, and the IMHL and IMPM. Moving forward, the MDIIM continues to work with faculty members, areas, and program offices to prioritize – and expand – integrated management pedagogy and to develop bold new approaches to curricula, combining research, teaching, and practice.

We also work with other McGill faculties to develop innovative new inter-faculty programs, including entrepreneurship minors for non-management students, that leverage Desautels’ strengths in integrated management pedagogy. 

The following lists summarize the types of integrated management learning experiences and outcomes that we promote when designing new or modifying existing teaching programs.

Inside the classroom

  • Team teaching, with instructors covering multiple perspectives
  • Teaching cases analyzed from multiple perspectives
  • Real world cases analyzed from multiple perspectives, on an ongoing basis throughout a semester
  • Role-playing during case discussions
  • In-depth discussion and analysis of current events
  • Course materials that provide exposure to both success and failure in business situations
  • Courses on integrative thinking &/or creativity
  • Student teams competing in business simulation
  • Reflections on personal objectives, course materials and current events

Outside the classroom

  • Internships
  • Mentoring
  • Opportunities to shadow practicing managers
  • Guest speakers and panel discussions
  • Student-run businesses, creation of new enterprises, development of marketable quality products and services
  • Service learning / hands-on community service projects
  • Holistic understanding of organizations and their environments
  • Ability to identify, describe and summarize complex information relating to the nature of organizations
  • Ability to identify, describe and summarize complex information relating to the environments of organizations
  • Ability to identify, describe and summarize complex information relating to the people and processes within organizations
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Systems thinking skills
  • Integrative thinking skills
  • Appreciation of diverse values and perspectives
  • Worldliness
  • Ability to structure and enact self-directed learning
  • Teamwork and interpersonal skills
  • Collaboration skills
  • Conflict resolution skills, including negotiation skills and mediation skills
  • Tolerance for diversity
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Communications skills, including persuasive writing and argument construction
  • Personal accountability, ethics, social awareness and civic engagement

Meet the Team

Saku Mantere, Anna Birnie-Lefcovitch, Ellen McDill, Anita Nowak, Rosalie Nardelli, Omer Juma

Saku Mantere, PhD

Saku Mantere is an Associate Professor of Strategy and Organization in the Desautels Faculty of Management and Director of the Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management. Following work as a high school philosophy teacher and telecommunications engineer, he completed his PhD in Industrial Engineering and Management in his native Finland. Prior to joining McGill, Saku taught at the Warwick Business School, UK; Hanken School of Economics, Finland; Rouen Business School (now NEOMA Business School), France and Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University), Finland.

Saku’s research focuses on strategic organizations with a particular interest in strategic change, middle management and organizational communication, as well as the methodology of studying management and organizations. He holds several awards for his teaching and research, most recently for his co-authorship of the best published paper in Organization and Management Theory (Academy of Management, 2015).

Anna Birnie-Lefcovitch, MA 
Managing Director, Strategy and Operations

As Managing Director, Ms. Birnie-Lefcovitch is responsible for MDIIM’s general administration and oversees the development and implementation of the institute’s strategic initiatives.

Anna previously held the position of Advisor in the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations) at McGill, where she was part of a core team tasked with research planning, advocacy, and policy review. Prior to arriving at McGill, Anna worked in academic publishing, and as a public historian for a community archive in Toronto. She has volunteered with several local and international organizations, and as a student she worked as a public policy analyst for both the Quebec and Ontario governments on women’s health and family violence programming. Anna earned a BA (Honours) in Political Science and History at the University of Toronto, and completed a Master’s degree in Canadian social history at Dalhousie University.

Ellen McDill, MBA 
Managing Director, Program Development

Ms. Ellen McDill is responsible for facilitating the development of interdisciplinary programs and courses that partner the Desautels Faculty of Management with other McGill faculties and with other academic institutions.

Ellen has experience in project management, business development and communications for academic, international development and management consulting organizations. She is a McGill MBA graduate and has participated in several McGill initiatives. She was part of the team who developed and launched the McGill-HEC Montréal Executive MBA and was Associate Director of the program. She was a communications consultant on the university’s Greening Lower Campus project, which partnered McGill with the Ville de Montréal, in creating a greener, pedestrian-friendly, downtown campus. Ellen has also worked in business development and program management in the McGill Executive Institute.

Anita Nowak, PhD
Academic Associate

Anita Nowak is the Academic Associate for the Integrated Management Student Fellows Program under which she co-designed and co-facilitated the Managing for Impact course - an idea to action course to implement SDGs in Montreal.
A Montreal native, she holds a doctoral degree from McGill University where she was named Professor of the Year in 2014. She’s held a variety of leadership and advisory roles within the private and non-profit sectors and has served as a volunteer for many social purpose organizations over the past 15 years, both locally and internationally.

Rosalie Nardelli, MA
Senior Communications Manager

Rosalie is the Communications Manager at the Desautels Faculty of Management since 2016. She is also the Editorial Assistant for an international academic journal published by Springer since 2014 and a freelance editor for an array of publications, from top-tier academic research to art exhibition catalogs, marketing brochures, and blog posts. Rosalie holds a Master’s degree in the History of Art from Queen’s University, a BA with Distinction from McGill University, and is currently completing a graduate certificate in Public Relations at McGill.

Omer Juma 
Project Manager

Omer Juma is responsible for leading various programs primarily under the Social Economy and Thought Leadership Initiatives at MDIIM as well as being the first point of contact for students.

Prior to his position with MDIIM, he worked in various community organizations to ideate and map connections among stakeholders. He also co-created strategies for partnership development. He has a background in Social Innovation and NGOs in Canada and Pakistan. Omer holds a Bachelors in Economics and Psychology from McGill University.


Contact MDIIM

MDIIM general inquiries

mdiim.mgmt [at]

MDIIM mailing address

Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management, Desautels Faculty of Management
McGill University
680 Sherbrooke Street West, 8th Floor
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 0B8
T.: 514-398-6061

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated: 2020/03/26

In accordance with the Quebec government’s latest directive, McGill University will remain closed until further notice, except for necessary activities. Your program office is still available to support you during this time. Should you have any questions or concerns, you may email your program office directly.

Please visit our COVID-19 FAQ page for the latest information.

Back to top