December 9, 2015 at 9:30am
Dane Lisser

Managerial Forensics

In today's business realm, many organizations must be efficient and innovative in order to be successful. However, certain obstacles make it difficult for businesses to thrive and the end result could be bankruptcy. What are the reasons behind business failures and how could they be prevented?

Millikin University faculty members Dr. J. Mark Munoz, interim dean of the Tabor School of Business, and Diana Heeb Bivona, adjunct professor, have tackled these subjects in their latest book titled "Managerial Forensics," (Business Expert Press, 2015).

Managerial forensics is an approach to diagnosing, framing and solving business problems. The approach is used to gather historical corporate data for the purpose of analyzing and identifying reasons for management obstacles, mismanagement, bankruptcy and corporate demise.

Dr. Munoz and Professor Bivona assembled leading academic and business experts to share their views on the best practices of corporate analysis. The book offers strategies for corporate revival and turnaround.

Managerial Forensics

"The reason this is such an interesting area, particularly when we talk about business failure, is because this topic has been researched for decades," Bivona said. "There's no consensus within this particular area to what the patterns or processes of failure are, and when you start looking at the different components of a business, you can narrow down the cause of the problem."

The concept of managerial forensics was first developed during a Tabor School of Business curriculum meeting. Dr. Munoz and Professor Bivona developed a course that would serve as a Performance Learning lab for understanding the complexity of business failures. Millikin students would have the opportunity to understand the nature of business problems, and practice strategies that are critical to identifying problematic business issues. This led to the development of a model that would aid business managers in avoiding business failure.

"Diana came up with the idea for 'Managerial Forensics' as a possible course and I was very intrigued by the concept, especially for a book topic," Dr. Munoz said. "We were fortunate to get a number of experts who shared case studies and their thoughts on the best practices in terms of the approach."

The book features insight from 15 different contributors on topics including: forensic marketing, forensic accounting, corporate behavior, international forensics and entrepreneurship forensics. The book notes that the leading causes of business failure are largely a result of courses of action taken by an organization and its management.

Book contributor Colin Price, chairman of Co. Company, highlighted the need to examine nine elements of organizational health: direction, leadership, culture and climate, accountability, coordination and control, capabilities, motivation, external orientation, and innovation and learning. Dr. Munoz and Professor Bivona saw this process as the best opportunity to create management tools that will breathe new life into a failing business.

Managerial Forensics

"We wanted to create a toolkit that managers can use to take a scientific approach to organizational diagnosis," said Dr. Munoz. "It's about taking a holistic perspective and examining the interconnectedness of business systems and processes rather than focusing on one single operational flaw."

While it's the first book on the topic of managerial forensics, Munoz and Bivona see it as a foundation that has potential to evolve. Both authors hope that through the expanded knowledge of managerial forensics, the book can be useful for entrepreneurs, corporate executives, consultants, legal entities, government institutions and the academe.

"The managerial forensics model is valuable in the classroom, and provides fresh perspectives for consulting companies worldwide," said Dr. Munoz. "The book is applicable to diverse audiences and industries and offers an innovative framework for small business transformation and corporate turnaround."

For more information on "Managerial Forensics," visit

Managerial ForensicsAbout the Authors

Diana Heeb Bivona is the owner of an international business and management consulting firm. Her focus is emerging and developing markets. Prior to starting her own business 10 years ago, she worked in a variety of administrative and managerial roles in industries including executive recruiting, structured settlements, education, investigative services and retail. Diana teaches entrepreneurship, international business, management and organizational leadership courses at several area universities. She holds an MBA from New York Institute of Technology and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Business, specializing in International Business.

Dr. J. Mark Munoz is interim dean of the Tabor School of Business, and professor of management and international business at Millikin University. A Millikin faculty member since 2001, Dr. J. Mark Munoz is a former Visiting Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is a recipient of several awards, including four best research paper awards, an international book award, a literary award, and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) Teaching Excellence Award. In 2012, he was recognized as a Distinguished Scholar by the Academy of Global Business Advancement.

Dr. Munoz has authored, co-authored and edited numerous books including: "Winning Across Borders," "A Salesman in Asia," "International Social Entrepreneurship," "Contemporary Microenterprise," "Handbook on the Geopolitics of Business" and "Hispanic Latino Entrepreneurship."

Dr. Munoz holds a Ph.D. in Management and a Master of Business Administration from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. Prior to joining Millikin, he held senior management roles for diverse multinational organizations.