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I joined Keele in January 2005, after a career with Marks & Spencer, where my principle roles included store and third party contract management, and global supply chain formulation. My academic CV includes visiting roles at the Universities of Cranfield, Warwick and Leeds, amongst others.
I am a fluent French speaker, have a BA in European Studies from the University of East Anglia, and an MSc in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from Cranfield University. I also have a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, and I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
My aim is to bring theory to life, calling on my practitioner background to explicitly demonstrate how the theory really does work in practice. The clever bit is to choose which theory is likely to be most effective in any given circumstance, as there most emphatically are not any ‘one size fits all’ solutions in the world of management. Management is essentially about people, and people – by and large – do not ‘follow the rules’.
I am also actively engaged in Continuing Professional Development and Management Education work with local companies having, for instance, recently helped a Macclesfield company prepare their second-tier management prepare to step up to Board level responsibilities.
Current undergraduate teaching includes Operations and Quality Management (Year 2) and Business Strategy (Year 3). In my view, quality is perhaps an unfashionable subject, but crucially important. If an organisation does not know what quality means to its customers, how can it deliver it? What makes a ‘quality’ car? Speed, comfort, price, environmental profile, looks? All, or indeed none, of the above? It’s about so much more than statistics and conformance to specification. Equally, and as the books say, ‘an organisation without a strategy is like a person without a personality’. Why teach strategy to young undergraduates who are unlikely to be asked to formulate it for some time? Because it will help them to understand their own organisation from within, and others from the outside, which can’t be a bad thing.
My Masters teaching is mainly in the area of corporate strategy, about which in my view far too much is written and far too little applied. My job as a teacher is to open a toolbox of possibilities from which students can choose items to take away, and make a difference.