I am Reader (if you are in the United States or Canada that’s something like associate professor) Management at the School of Management of the University of St Andrews, in Scotland.
Like many academics, I’m keen to communicate my knowledge and enthusiasm for what I think is an incredibly important area of research, and that has led me to writing for the general public.
On my home page you’ll find a scrapbook: occasional opinion pieces, reviews, speeches and broadcast work – as well as a miscellany of comments and reviews on my own work.
I have an unusual academic background: I hold a PhD in management from Lancaster University, an MPhil in medieval Arabic thought from the University of Oxford, and a BA in theology from the University of Leeds. My Masters dissertation was a translation and edition of a mediaeval Arabic text on Providence, a far cry from the research I do now! There’s more on my academic work here.
Between studies (in my adventurous twenties) I worked as a financial journalist and tried my hand at running a small business. While I wasn’t much of a business genius, working in London’s smaller quoted company markets got me interested in the investors who were funding these ventures, which led directly to my Ph.D. at Lancaster. I also realised just how hard good business is, a lesson that I haven’t forgotten: much of my teaching is about how, or what, good business might be.
Late in 2010 the Arts and Humanities Research Council, together with BBC Radio 3, advertised a new scheme, bravely titled ‘New Generation Thinkers’. I applied, alongside more than 1,000 others; 50 of us attended selection workshops, and in June 2011 I was one of the ten winners of the inaugural AHRC BBC Radio 3 ‘New Generation Thinkers’. The Guardian printed our photograph on its front page: I’m the short one put well out of the way at the back.
I live in Fife, near St Andrews. I am married to Jane, and we have three sons. When I’m not working, I like pottering in the garden (as much as Fife allows), the kitchen (I’m not a bad brewer either), and the occasional minor building project.