IN THIS ISSUE: DUBS Mentoring//Learning from Samaritans?//Workplace Humour
“Gurus are creatures of the modern age, shaped to an extent by the modern media.” The Making of a Management Guru (see pages 8 –10)
Alumni Magazine for Durham University Business School
Autumn 2013 Issue 24
Four dazzling winter evenings Durham · 14–17 November 2013 Lumiere returns to transform the city into a winter wonderland. Dozens of artists will use light as their medium and the city as their canvas... Plan your visit now.
‘I cannot remember the last time I was in a British city so full of cheerful, excited people, and of every generation. … The throng was charmed and amazed, and it kept saying so, sometimes in reverent whispers, and sometimes with a joyful shout.’ Rachel Cooke, The Observer
coNTENTS IN THIS ISSUE...
DeAn’S WeLCoMe / neWS
ALUMnI UPDATe / 50Th AnnIveRSARy CeLeBRATIon WeekenD
The MAkInG of The MAnAGeMenT GURU
The MAkInG of The MAnAGeMenT GURU ConTInUeD... / Book RevIeW
MILL hILL LAne Re-oPenS
LeARnInG fRoM SAMARITAnS?
LeARnInG fRoM SAMARITAnS? ConTInUeD... / Q&A
SUMMeR GRADUATIon 2013
WoRkPLACe hUMoUR ConTInUeD... / DUBS MenToRInG
LoCAL ASSoCIATIon neWS
DATeS foR The DIARy
As recently as the early 1990s, most of a business school’s reputation was dependent on word of mouth, knowledge of the faculty, or from the reputation of notable alumni. This was, for some time, a functional system for a predominately national marketplace. This lingers today, and it remains tempting to associate a school’s reputation with that of their parent university, but this has never been an entirely reliable guarantee of quality. An accepted system of international benchmarks was and is needed.
Today there are three major international bodies that evaluate and certify the educational standards and rigour of business schools. The oldest is The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), founded in 1916 as a means of evaluating US business and accountancy education. This was followed by the Association of MBAs (AMBA), founded in 1967 in London, and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) in 1998, which expanded its remit across Europe. While all were originally focused regionally, they have all extended their scope to a wider international audience, with particular emphasis on Latin America and China. Triple accreditation, a status achieved by only 58 international business schools, is one means of determining a school’s high standards and commitment to best practice. Durham is one of these elite schools. Consequently, the School faces continual evaluation. I am pleased to say that earlier this year AMBA approved the School’s re-accreditation for a five-year period, the maximum award. In the next 12 months we will have visits from both the AACSB and EQUIS re-accreditation panels, each of which my staff and I take incredibly seriously. We may be reaching out to you to get involved and attend an alumni discussion as part of the School’s re-accreditation visits. I would be most grateful for any assistance you can provide
to the School, whether it is in support of the re-accreditation visits or indeed any other ambassadorial efforts. After all, the reputation and goodwill of our alumni is still a strong contributing factor to the School’s success and goes hand in hand with our triple accreditation status. Important factors which I am sure the re-accreditation panels will be considering will be the fantastic new facilities we have for our students in our recently extended and renovated Mill Hill Lane building (see pages 12–13), and the quality of our faculty. In this issue you can hear more about the research some of our academics have been working on. Professor Tim Clark, Professor David Greatbatch and Dr Pojanath Bhatanacharoen take a look at the emergence of the ‘Management Guru’ (pages 8–10). Dr Robert McMurray plans to see what valuable practices can be gleaned from the charity sector for use in business (pages 14–16). And finally, Dr Oliver Mallett explores how humour can be used positively and negatively within an organisational context (pages 20 –22). Should you wish to learn about becoming an ambassador and get more involved with the School and our activities around the world, please do get in touch via the Alumni Team. Professor Rob Dixon Dean
SCHOOL NEWS No fewer than three Business School MBA graduates participated in Banco Santander’s prestigious W50 Programme this year.
The seven-day course at the University of California (UCLA) was delivered by outstanding women in leadership positions. Durham alumnae in attendance were Lynette Crone, Linda Hicks and Lara Lill.
W50 is designed to promote excellence and leadership among women with substantive professional work experience and who have excelled in their academic careers.
Durham extended the invitation to join the programme to its female alumnae as part of its commitment to provide continuing development opportunities to its MBA graduates.
Durham graduates benefit from W50
UNESCO role for Durham Professor Professor Kiran Fernandes, Chair in Operations Management, has been appointed to the Board of the UK National Commission (UKNC) for UNESCO. Upon his appointment, Professor Fernandes joins an impressive list of well-known figures to provide overall governance, strategic leadership and oversight for the organisation, with ultimate responsibility for the National Commission’s work and conduct in the UK.
Islamic Finance Summer School Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin, Special Envoy to the President of World Bank, was a keynote speaker at this year’s annual Islamic Finance Summer School. A well-known Shari’ah scholar, he has also recently been appointed to the Business School’s Advisory Board.
Honorary professorship for leading Chinese academic Cheng Siwei, Dean of the School of Management at the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has been appointed Honorary Professor to the School. A leading Chinese statesman and economist, he visited Durham in May and delivered a guest lecture entitled ‘The Future of China’s Economy’.
UNIVERSITY NEWS Lindisfarne Gospels and St Cuthbert’s Treasures The Lindisfarne Gospels, an illuminated manuscript gospel book produced around the year 700, and the Treasures of St Cuthbert were brought together in Durham this summer for the first time since the Reformation in the sixteenth century. Housed in newly created world-class facilities in Durham University’s Palace Green Library, the spectacular exhibition ended at the end of September. It told the story of the incredible journey of the medieval monks who guarded these sacred items for generations, travelling the length and breadth of the North of England in search of a safe resting place, which they eventually found at Dunholm – modern-day Durham. For more information visit www.lindisfarnegospels.com Durham University honorary degrees The University honoured several national and international figures as part of its Summer Congregation celebrations in June. Durham’s Chancellor, Sir Thomas Allen, presented honorary degrees to prominent figures in their fields including:
Professor Peter Higgs (pictured left) – renowned theoretical physicist
Dame Lynne Brindley – former Chief Executive of the British Library
Sir Peter Lampl – founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust
Dame Gillian Weir – esteemed organ player and internationally renowned musician
Professor Adetokunbo Lucas – former Professor of International Health at the Harvard School of Public Health
Eamon Duffy – a leading historian of Catholicism in the English Reformation and a founding member of the Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain
Professor David Phillips – former president of the Royal Society of Chemistry and currently Senior Science Ambassador for Schools Judge Wolfgang Schomburg – prominent, internationally recognised judge
Madam Atifete Jahhaga – President of the Republic of Kosovo Dr Hussein Hamed Sayed Hassan – a well-respected Shari’ah scholar and prominent expert in Islamic finance.
ALUMNI – UPDATE Welcome to the autumn issue of DUBS Alumni News. The majority of Business School staff and students have now returned or relocated to Mill Hill Lane and are enjoying the contemporary and inspiring state-of-the-art facilities. If you are interested in returning to the School to see these first-class facilities for yourself we would love to welcome you back. In 2015 the School celebrates its 50th Anniversary so if you haven’t had an excuse to revisit Durham recently, this is it. With a formal ball at the beautiful Durham Castle and a tour of the School’s new facilities, you will be able to see where heritage and culture collides with cutting-edge technology and modern architecture (see page 7 for more details).
This year we have experienced some exciting developments across the alumni network. In July, we launched our second International Committee (DUBSIC). Whilst hosting the D8 in Mumbai and Delhi, Professor Geoff Moore chaired the inaugural meeting of DUBSIC India. You may recall from the last edition that we launched our first DUBSIC in China last year. Our alumni are committed to strengthening the network and enhancing the School’s activity in these regions. The Durham University Business School alumni directory has been highlighted as a key networking tool. Linked to the alumni database, the directory allows members of our online community to search for fellow members in a particular location, industry or indeed class. The system does however have restrictions, and individuals must allow other members to view their profile to ensure the directory continues to be an effective resource. If you haven’t already registered please do so, marking your profile as publicly available to the network.
Another useful tool is available at www. linkedin.com/alumni. If you have Durham University Business School within your education profile, this allows you to view up to 45,000 records of Durham University alumni, where you can narrow your search by sector, organisation or geographical area. Whilst you’re online don’t forget to join our group – Durham University Business School Alumni Network. You may also be interested to join one of our 12 sub-groups including Durham MBAs, DUBS Alumni London, DUBS Alumni North America and Class of 2012/13. I have been privileged to meet many of our international alumni this year. One of the most productive trips was a visit to North America, where I accompanied Dr Mike Nicholson who delivered four D8 master-class events and represented the School at various recruitment fairs (see pages 28–29). The schedule for the next 12 months will see Durham University Business School host alumni events in Canada, China, Geneva, India, Singapore, Taiwan, the USA and the UK. To learn more about activity in your area contact the Alumni Relations Team.
We are extremely grateful for alumni contributions to this magazine; our alumni Q&A features Paul Madden, who was recently presented an award as part of the Queen’s birthday honours (see page 17); our book review, written by alumna Jayne Drew, features a book authored by an alumnus Graham Kenny (page 11); and we announce the Durham University Business School Mentor of the Year, Ho Tung Lee (page 23). If you wish to contribute to future editions of the magazine or indeed get involved in any of our alumni activities, please get in touch. Best wishes Alexandra McNinch Alumni Relations Manager
50th Anniversary Celebration Weekend Dear alumni, You are cordially invited to join classmates, fellow alumni and staff for Durham University Business School’s golden anniversary celebration weekend. The 50th anniversary will be celebrated with a formal ball at Durham Castle on Saturday 11 April 2015. There will also be a range of other activities taking place over the weekend including seminars led by the Business School faculty and visits to local attractions such as Durham Cathedral, the Botanic Gardens and the Oriental museum. There will also be plenty of opportunities throughout the weekend for you to relax and re-discover Durham’s idyllic city centre as well as chances to informally network and socialise with your classmates and other Business School alumni.
The reunion weekend will also provide alumni, and their families, with an occasion to visit the School and view all our new state-of-the-art facilities following our £15m make-over. It will be a great opportunity for those alumni who chose to support the School’s Take Your Seat campaign to view their plaque in the newly built lecture theatre. If you would like to register your interest in attending this event, or plan to arrange a class reunion to coincide with this activity, please contact the Alumni Relations Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Making of the Management Guru Chances are that through your work you have come into contact with several management consultants but are you influenced by so-called ‘Management Gurus’? Here Professor Tim Clark (far left), Dean of Postgraduate and Undergraduate Education, and Business School colleagues, Professor David Greatbatch and Dr Pojanath Bhatanacharoen (left), explore the recent growth in the management consultancy sector and the emergence of the consultant guru.
Management consultancy is a booming industry and has been for some decades. Growth in the sector, in terms of the ratio of consultants to managers, increased rapidly over a period of thirty years from one in a hundred in 1965 to one in thirteen in 1995 – and the number of consultants continues to increase at a rapid rate. What’s caused such a dramatic expansion in this particular sector, persisting even through times when other areas of the economy have experienced difficulty and decline? According to researchers Timothy Clark, David Greatbatch and Pojanath Bhatanacharoen of Durham University Business School, there are many factors at play, including an overall shift in emphasis in the economy from manufacturing to service industries. But, they argue, the influence of individual thinkers within management and the development of new styles of consultancy have had an important role to play in the emergence of the management guru. Management gurus, according to Dr Bhatanacharoen, differ from management consultants by virtue of their high profile. “They are celebrity consultants in the sense
that their fame and renown stem from their bestselling books and high-profile lectures and seminars in which they convert the readers’ and audience’s attitudes, beliefs and feelings,” she explains. “The conventional consultants, by contrast, work closely with clients on an individual basis and maintain close and continuous relationships to secure future contracts.” Who Are These Gurus? The so-called ‘management gurus’ bring a strong streak of charismatic individualism to the table which distinguishes them from other successful business operators. Over the years several have become household names. Men (and they are almost exclusively men) such as entrepreneur Richard Branson, television trouble-shooter John Harvey-Jones and Chrysler executive Lee Iacocca, who are active in business in the most obviously hands-on way, have earned themselves the sobriquet ‘hero managers’. They aren’t alone. There are others, less visible but just as influential, working in the background. They have been loosely defined as the ‘consultant gurus’ (selfexplanatory, as they work within the
9 Entrepreneur and household name, Richard Branson
consultancy industry) who include Michael Hammer and Tom Peters, and the equally self-defining ‘academic gurus’, whose ranks include highly-regarded professors such as Michael Porter, Gary Hammel and a rare female guru, Rosabeth Moss Kanter. Gurus are creatures of the modern age, shaped to an extent by the modern media (which, of course, they are skilled in using). Their ideas, say the researchers, “rise and fall in popularity” like so many other elements of our popular culture. They become media figures; they offer those who listen to them a magic solution (at least until it’s succeeded by the next one); they aim to make an impact – and again in the media-driven age, they actively set out to broadcast their ideas to as wide an audience as possible. Selling the Management Idea Both gurus and consultants essentially use the same approach in disseminating their ideas, and researchers have identified a number of the techniques they adopt. We’re familiar with the management views of entrepreneurs expressed on our TV screens through programmes such as Troubleshooter and Undercover Boss.
In addition, bookshops now offer specialist management consultancy and business self-help sections stocked with bestsellers such as In Search of Excellence and Who Moved My Cheese? (the latter of which later achieved the compliment of a parody, Who Moved my Blackberry? by a respected journalist). These books have become must-reads for aspiring board members and have found their way onto bookshelves across the western world. Prompted by the population explosion in the management consultancy sector, the researchers set out to try and isolate the factors behind the (perhaps unlikely) success of these men in suits. A number of different influences emerged, mostly focusing on a perceived need among businesses for constant change and constant improvement. New equals better, it appears, and change is necessary: in the books readers are encouraged to have “a moral responsibility and capacity for the improvement of themselves and/or their organisations”. In support of this, the gurus serve up case studies in which the application of new principles leads to improvement and measurable business success.
“ They are celebrity consultants in the sense that their fame and renown stem from their bestselling books and high-profile lectures and seminars in which they convert the readers’ and audience’s attitudes, beliefs and feelings.” Presentation of these management ideas to the public in book form isn’t, however, just the work of the so-called gurus themselves. It involves the support and participation of editors whose role is to make the structure and language of management consultancy as accessible as possible to the wider public – hence the use of case studies, with their impressive and obvious results. But such management books, like other genres of both non-fiction and fiction, aren’t guaranteed success even with all the required, formulaic elements in place. Why? It’s back to the over-riding story of media and society again: to be a success a book needs to catch the right moment, so that even in their timing the big sellers may need an element of luck.
“ They need to have a nose for zeitgeist to generate fashionable ideas which are then drawn upon by management consultants.” Out of the Bookshop: Spreading the Message Further The book in the hand is not, it seems, the only tool which allows management gurus to spread their urgent now-is-better gospel among the faithful. Beyond the burgeoning self-help sections in Waterstones, Blackwell’s or on Amazon a thriving, specialist management consultancy lecture circuit has grown up. Aspiring and successful managers can hear their heroes speak, can listen, learn and hope that some of the gold dust of success will fall upon them. Men such as Daniel Goleman have become highly regarded and much sought-after as conference speakers – presumably enhancing their own success in dollars. Academics have paid close attention to the factors underpinning success in the lecture theatre just as they have in the bookshop. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the results reveal that a particular set of skills is brought to bear. For all the mockery which is directed at ‘management speak’ the key appears to be reaching out to the audience not just through the content of a speech or lecture (carefully targeted and rehearsed jokes and an emphasis on the key parts of the message are crucial here) but through non-verbal techniques. The gurus reach out to their audience, inviting them to participate, to take up their ideas and run with them, themselves becoming part of a great business success story. What can we learn from this? Well, the fast-moving nature of consultancy clearly requires a constant stream of new – and ever-improving – ideas and methods. But as the rise of the management consultancy bestseller has previously demonstrated, there’s more to it than that – more, even, than just the careful practising and cultivation of body language or the scripting of humour.
It’s all about timing. Successful gurus have to be tuned in to the exact age in which they operate: essentially, they lead and the management consultants follow. “They need to have a nose for zeitgeist to generate fashionable ideas which are then drawn upon by management consultants,” says Dr Bhatanacharoen. “Successful consultants similarly need to have a sense for zeitgeist to offer ideas to clients which are appealing.”
Gurus differ from other management consultants as movie superstars differ from run-of-the-mill actors: as the researchers put it, they “rely on their personal charisma to gain authority, whereas consultants rely on their techniques”. To be a success they must “not only offer novel insights into organisational issues but also illustrate many of the factors required to have an impact on a very mixed audience”. To find out more about this research please contact Tim via email – email@example.com
BOOK REVIEW 11
Crack Strategy’s Code: Build and Sustain Your Competitive Edge Jayne Drew (Global MBA 1994–03) gives her verdict on this book written by fellow alumnus Dr Graham Kenny (MSc Management 1970–71). Jayne gained 20+ years of management experience before she left the corporate world and co-founded a start-up. She is currently Managing Partner and CFO of Smashing Golf & Tennis – an innovative fashion company. In today’s challenging economy, companies are looking for ways to get the edge on their competitors, often hiring consultants to help them develop and implement strategy. Having been on both sides of the table as either a management consultant or client, there have been many times when these efforts have not generated the promised results. Graham Kenny’s book, Crack Strategy’s Code: Build and Sustain Your Competitive Edge, aims to lay out a simple and effective framework to create an effective organisational strategy. Graham Kenny heads Strategic Factors and is an expert in strategy and performance measurement. As a consultant, he guides organisations with strategic analysis, to develop and implement strategic plans, and measure their performance. Kenny has created a “facilitation process designed to ensure that his clients retain ownership of whatever is produced”. Kenny also conducts seminars on strategic planning and performance measurement; plus has considerable executive and managerial experience, as a CEO, a Plant Manager, a Market Development Manager, a Design Engineer, and Construction Supervisor. Crack Strategy’s Code brings together the summation of 13 years as an academic and 25 years of management and consulting experience.
There are many strategy books on the market from very experienced and well-respected professionals. What makes this one different?
or business unit, while the latter focuses on the identifications of strategic factors for each key stakeholder. For example, Kenny explains that “instead of the key result area called ‘people management’, which is very broad, a strategic-factor approach would substitute this with the key stakeholder, employees, and then identify the specific strategic factors of this group….rewards, work location…”. This approach is also different by the fact that the key stakeholders themselves will identify the strategic factors, rather than by the management team alone. Kenny sees this as essential to developing an effective strategy later.
First of all, Kenny explains that many strategy books “adopt a didactic tone... managers don’t like...” and others are “full of relational diagrams and dry case studies”, and the rest are “light, betraying superficial knowledge”. Kenny, therefore, set himself the challenge to “produce a book that had substance, wasn’t academic, was grounded in literature and was practical” and “to make a difference”. Having laid out these goals at the outset of the book, my expectations were high, The book continues with Kenny but also curious if he would in fact highlighting some subtle, yet critical achieve his goal. Immediately, I found differences to his strategy formulation the book very readable and appreciated approach. He illustrates with several the first person conversational tone, but useful case studies from his own practice wondered if it would then be a ‘fluff piece’ on the effectiveness of his different with little substance. My skepticism was approach, and even his own mistakes and quickly proven unfounded and I found “eureka moments” during his career that very practical advice, and a process that have influenced his framework. I could use as I develop a strategy in my own start-up, Smashing Golf & Tennis. For a book of less than 200 pages, Crack Strategy’s Code is one of the most useful In his chapter Discover the Ingredients of and practical books I’ve ready on strategy Success, Kenny illustrates the difference and I highly recommend it. between a traditional “inside-out” strategic development approach versus an “outside-in” approach. The first approach Crack Strategy’s Code: Build and focuses on critical success factors and/ Sustain Your Competitive Edge can be or key result areas for the organisation purchased from the Strategic Factors website at www.strategicfactors.com
Mill Hill Lane Re-opens We are delighted to be back in the newly extended and renovated Business School. The contractors and School’s redevelopment team have been working tirelessly in order to get the building ready for the 2013/14 academic year. This means that our new students will have an undisruptive start to their year and be able to benefit from the state-ofthe-art facilities and teaching space as soon as they arrive. After seeing so many architect’s impressions over the past few years, we thought you would appreciate seeing the real thing, here, in our photo collage.
We invite you all to come and visit the School in person in the near future. One thing you will notice is that the School has had several benefactors, from sponsorship of individual seats within our largest 220 seater lecture theatre, to sponsorship of some of the other teaching space; alumnus Bryan Morton (MBA 1993–96) and Solebay Shipping, a connection of another MBA alumnus, Alex (Yuqing) Hu (MBA 2000–01), have both generously sponsored two of our seminar rooms. See photographs ‘A’ and ‘B’ respectively, opposite page.
There are still opportunities to support the School philanthropically through the ‘Take Your Seat’ campaign as well as sponsoring one of our lecture theatres, the IT lab or indeed, the library. For more information on ‘Take Your Seat’ please visit www.durham.ac.uk/business/ take-your-seat/campaign To discuss other sponsorship opportunities please contact Professor Rob Dixon via firstname.lastname@example.org
Captured above: Collingwood College’s artist in residence, David Venables, has been commissioned to paint this modern mural on Durham’s heritage and culture in the School’s reception. To learn more about David’s work please visit his website: www.durham.ac.uk/collingwood/about/artistinresidence
Learning From Samaritans? Dr Robert McMurray is a Senior Lecturer in Management at Durham University Business School. His research focuses on processes of relationality at work, be it in the constitution of professional identities, ethical selves or organising rationalities. He has pursued this concern with connectedness and continual becoming in the context of health care organisation in the main, but also through an on-going project on risk and the banking crisis. Robertâ€™s work in these areas has been published in journals including Organization, Public Administration and Culture and Organization. Here, he considers what business might learn from charity.
We all understand why researchers expend energy examining the workings of Fortune 500 companies, investment banks, multi-national corporations and even government organisations, but why might an academic from a leading business school spend time with a charity? Could it be to help the charity understand what it can learn from business? Possibly, though not in this case. Could it be that a charity has something to teach for-profit and governmental organisations? This is certainly the hope of Durham University Business School academic Dr Robert McMurray who is undertaking ethnographically informed research with Samaritans. Working with De Montfont University colleague Dr Jenna Ward, Robert is exploring the role that emotions and emotion management have in contemporary workplaces. Classic management theory has tended to have a pejorative view of the relationship between organising and emotions, with the latter often being seen as getting in the way of daily life. In this vein, organisations and arguably society seek to rationalise and control human emotion. Under Webarian archetypes of bureaucracy and Tayloristically inspired notions of efficiency the desire is to eradicate emotions as the messy feminine counterpoint to masculine rationality and effectiveness. The rise of service economies has however seen a growing concern with the commodification of emotion (that which Hochschild, 1983 would term emotional labour) as workers are required – “to induce or suppress feeling in order to sustain the outward countenance that produces the proper state of mind in others” (Hochschild,
2003:5-7). Think about the necessary friendliness and reassurance of airline cabin crew, the intimidation of the debt collector, the care of the nurse, or the hundreds of other roles in which a worker is required to manage their emotions (and those of others) in line with and for the benefit of their employing organisation. Indeed, it is increasingly the case that emotions are a necessary and unavoidable part of organising and managing.
Established in England in 1953, Samaritans are a charity dedicated to providing emotional support through active listening, with particular emphasis on reducing both the behaviours and distress associated with suicidal feelings. This support is provided by a network of 20,665 volunteers, working within one of 201 branches. In 2011, 20,655 Samaritan volunteers fielded 5 million contacts by phone, SMS, email or face-to-face (Samaritans, 2012).
“In 2011, 20,655 Samaritan volunteers fielded 5 million contacts by phone, SMS, email or face-to-face.” This got Robert thinking about how workers and managers deal with unwanted emotions. How does the call centre worker cope with the unwanted emotional baggage of being shouted at, or the receptionist deal with verbal abuse, or the sales person with the threat of physical harm? Then there are those professions that deal with the depths of human suffering and feelings: doctor, undertaker, vet, police officer. While there are some comments from psychology there is very little in the management literature on the organisation of difficult, dirty or unwanted emotions. This brings us to Samaritans.
Our aim has been to better understand how Samaritans organise the emotion work that is central to their volunteering. We have done this by conducting a multi-site study based on observation and interviewing. This means that we have spent time with individual Samaritans observing their listening work, training, recruitment, meetings and related activities. We have also conducted a number of interviews with individual Samaritans. We use these methods because, unlike surveys, they allow us to get an in-depth feel for the processes Samaritans use, as well as better understanding of the different cultures of the organisation. It also means that the Samaritans we meet can tell us what they think is important.
Given their work with emotional extremes such as suicide it might be objected that this is an unreasonable case from which to derive lessons for wider business and agencies, but the hope is that by experiencing and understanding the extraordinary we might, in Ronde’s (2012:260) words “unlock the ordinary. For the ordinary, or so it appears to me anyway, can be more difficult to decipher than its opposite.”
“ The training a Samaritan receives is intended to ensure listening without being judgemental, to respond without being directive, and to seek to help the caller explore their situation and feelings without offering solutions.”
The study is on-going, but we have come to understand something of Samaritans’ work. At its simplest Samaritans are there to listen. The training a Samaritan receives is intended to ensure listening without being judgemental, to respond without being directive, and to seek to help the caller explore their situation and feelings without offering solutions – their work is then very unlike that undertaken in many contemporary organisations. We were also astounded by the variety of people, issues, situations, contexts and problems that Samaritans encounter. These include but are not limited to calls ranged around thoughts or acts of suicide, depression, abuse, homelessness, violence, paedophilia, debt, drug issues, gender concerns, bullying, mental illness, bereavement, isolation and the effects of incarceration.
In seeking to better understand such interactions we are beginning to develop the concept of emotional dirty work, defined as ‘interactions or experiences that others would rather not know about or deal with because such encounters involve exposure to and the management of emotions that are difficult, unpleasant or out of place’. We have the suspicion that lots of roles might involve such emotional dirty work. Again think of emergency workers dealing with difficult emotions arising from bereavement, or the human resources professional dealing with the emotional outfall of redundancies or disciplinary procedures. What support do their organisations provide in respect of such emotion work? Do they provide any? What might they provide? What might such emotional support look like? These are the issues that we are now exploring with Samaritans. They have a
range of formal and informal mechanisms for helping their volunteers deal with the difficult emotion work and encounters they are engaged in. By better understanding these mechanisms (their strengths and weaknesses) we aim to develop a tool kit of procedures and systems that organisations could employ to promote the health and well-being of their staff – something which should be of interest to any manager who is concerned for the well-being of their workers, but who is also concerned to avoid the costs associated with stress, absenteeism and turnover that can arise from the demands of such work. The research is at an early stage, but if you are part of an organisation that would like to know more or even get involved, then please contact Dr Robert McMurray (email@example.com).
Q&A Business School alumnus, His excellency paul madden CmG (Global mBA 1999–2002), talks about his career and life post-Durham. He is currently the British High Commissioner in Australia and has been included on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list to receive a CmG in recognition of his services to British foreign policy. Q. What is your current role? A. I am the British High Commissioner in Australia. Q. What would you say has been the most satisfying aspect of your career so far? A. I have enjoyed the opportunity to work in a variety of overseas countries, including the US and the fast growing Asia-pacific region (Japan, Singapore and now Australia), and to contribute to British interests there. That means helping British companies in those markets, and encouraging inward investment into the Uk; supporting British nationals who get into difficulty; and all the defence and foreign policy collaboration which diplomats get involved in on a daily basis. Q. What would you describe as your main strengths and how have these led you to where you are today? A. When I entered the public service in my early 20s, intellectual abilities tended to be seen as most important but nowadays leadership skills and management of people and resources are rightly recognised as just as important to get to the top of the Foreign Office. I think curiosity is a really important attribute for a diplomat – always wanting to learn about new things. It’s always fascinating to move to a new country and learn what makes it tick and how you can influence it.
Q. What are your fondest memories of your time in durham?
Q. What is the most exciting thing you have done since graduating?
A. my mBA was by distance learning (I lived on three continents while I was doing it), so I only attended summer school in Durham but I was struck by the beauty of the city and the quality of the faculty.
A. You get the chance to do quite a lot of exciting things as a diplomat, landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier at sea; travelling in the Australian outback; going in to take charge of our embassy in Bangkok temporarily when rioters were surrounding our building. Helping grieving relatives in the aftermath of the Bali bombings was very challenging but rewarding. It’s a rich and varied life which means that most of us are pretty passionate about our job.
Q. do you feel that your durham degree and connections have helped your career? A. The mBA helped me do my job better in a number of ways. I specialised in international marketing and shortly after graduating became Head of public Diplomacy at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), working on many aspects of promoting the Uk ‘brand’, including the BBC World Service, the British Council, some big branding campaigns and our prize-winning pavilion at the 2005 World expo. I then moved to be a managing Director at Uk Trade & Investment, the government’s trade promotion agency. my mBA gave me the ability to speak the same language as the businesses we worked with and understand their priorities, and enhanced my credibility with them. I was pleased to be able to give something back to Durham University Business School by hosting an alumni event at my official Residence when I was High Commissioner in Singapore.
Q. if you were to offer some advice to current students, what would it be? A. Develop habits of curiosity and challenging yourself. In a globalised world, think about the importance of the international dimensions of what you do. Use your holidays to travel. It’s hard to predict how your career paths will develop, so you need to be adaptable and flexible and ready to learn continuously throughout your career. With the support of the FCO, I have twice returned to university since my undergraduate degree in Geography at Cambridge, once to learn Japanese (at the School of Oriental & African Studies) and the second time for my Durham mBA. Q. What about your plans for the future? A. I’m only halfway through my time in Australia. After this I may go off to be an Ambassador in another country but at some stage I’d like to move into business and use my Asian experience and networks.
SUMMEr grADUATIoN 2013 on Thursday 27 June 2013 a combination of Durham University Business Schoolâ€™s global, full-time and part-time students made their way across Palace Green to Durham Cathedral to celebrate the successful completion of their degrees. The graduands made the transition from student to member of the alumni community as they attended congregation presided over by the Universityâ€™s Chancellor, Sir Thomas Allen, and vice-Chancellor, Professor Christopher higgins.
Following the congregation ceremony the DUBS Alumni Network held a celebratory drinks reception in the Pemberton Rooms on Palace Green, to which graduands were invited to continue their celebrations. In addition to the welcome from the Dean, Professor Rob Dixon, presentations were made by programme directors to those who had won awards in recognition of their academic achievements.
AWARDS AnD ACCoLADeS PhD ACCoUnTInG & fInAnCe AWARDS: Wenting Zhang: Best thesis eBS exeCUTIve MBA AWARDS: Stefano ferrari: Best overall academic performance Jens Schiefele: Best dissertation exeCUTIve MBA AWARDS: nicholas Green: Best overall academic performance Christopher Skelton-foord: Best dissertation neal Cumming: Best contribution to the course GLoBAL MBA AWARDS: Adrian Tanasescu: Best overall academic performance Martin Braches and Thomas hadig: Best dissertation GLoBAL MBA (fInAnCe) AWARDS: David Cook: Best overall academic performance and best dissertation GLoBAL MA MARkeTInG AWARDS: Susan Boyd: Best overall academic performance and best dissertation GLoBAL MA MAnAGeMenT AWARDS: Manuel Siskowski: Best overall academic performance BeTA GAMMA SIGMA MeMBeRShIP was awarded to the following students in recognition of their academic achievement: Global MBA: Martin Braches, David Cook, Thomas Hadig and Adrian Tanasescu executive MBA: Paul Hatchett, Joanna Sigsworth, Christopher Skelton-Foord, Nicholas Green, David Ellis, Neil Cumming and Mark Clement.
Workplace Humour Dr Oliver Mallett works at Durham University Business School as lecturer in Management following almost ten years working for the UK’s Department of Work and Pensions. His research interests lie in homeworking and employment relations in SMEs. Here, we take a look at a recent paper Oliver co-authored with Dr Robert Wapshott of Sheffield University on office humour and how it can often express resentment or aid communication. The beauty of humour is its tendency to tip into anarchy. Too often it takes us to places where we don’t intend to go; it has the capacity to turn and bite us on the backside when we least expect it. That’s why the direst situations are characterised by black humour (wartime is particularly fruitful in this regard) and why the jokes so often come from those in the least enviable position.
Office humour has developed almost as a genre of its own. ‘You don’t have to be mad to work here but it helps.’ ‘Work rules: death, your own… this will be accepted as an excuse but we would like at least two weeks’ notice…’ The list of jokes goes on; you may well have made a few of them yourself, at the very least turned in a wry smile at someone else’s attempt to raise a laugh. But humour has a serious side to it as well and academics have long studied the way in which it is used within the workplace to express resentment or aid communication.
Studying Workplace Humour To date most of the literature on the subject has focused on ways in which humour operates within larger firms, where it has generally been found to reinforce the established order (from the employer side) and also to function as a tool of resistance (among employees) – a generally, though not overwhelmingly, positive impact (and it’s worth noting that some studies have identified negative sides to humour as well). The limited amount of existing work relating to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) has suggested a more positive role for humour in smaller workforces. Here the relationship between employer and employee tends to be less formal, seeming to imply that growth leads to a requirement for increased levels of formality with the introduction of new management systems (and, correspondingly, there may be less room for humour, which can be “persistently ambiguous and potentially disruptive”). The range of existing studies identified many good things about workplace humour. It can act as a safety valve; be used to alleviate boredom and deal with discontent; and be utilised to defuse sensitive situations. Some researchers make a distinction between spontaneous humour (banter) and task-specific humour (teasing) but in all situations it remains difficult to pin down.
Dr Oliver Mallett of Durham University Business School and Dr Robert Wapshott of Sheffield University looked more closely at three small firms in just such a transitional stage. Growth and development leads to increasingly formalised working practices by way of paperwork and procedures such as timesheets: the researchers set out “to explore the ways in which the changing degrees of formality and informality in SMEs can affect not only the policies and practices in operation but also the ongoing, everyday social interactions between owner-managers and employees”.
The Study Method Because it is subjective (some may laugh when others remain stony-faced) humour cannot easily be quantified, either in terms of what is funny or how funny it is. To combat this, the researchers adopted a methodology which involved close observation and analysis of staff interactions in three small companies over an 18 month period. All were in the professional sector; all employed between six and fourteen people; and all were in the process of developing – and, as a result, experiencing change. With just three companies the sample size is small – but, Dr Mallett points out, “the aim of this type of qualitative research is to explore and to attempt to generate insights… The firms themselves may not be representative but the management challenges are (in a broad sense).” Thus, any lack of statistical significance is compensated for by the insights provided into the way informality operates in firms as they seek to develop.
The researchers adopted a triple-pronged approach over a period of 18 months. Extensive semi-structured interviews with staff members were augmented by their own observations of how those staff members shared or responded to humour and also by the analysis of company documentation.
“ Work rules: death, your own… this will be accepted as an excuse but we would like at least two weeks’ notice...”
Defining humour is as difficult as quantifying it and again three separate aspects were brought into play. Dr Mallett and Dr Wapshott reviewed and evaluated the results in terms of: what was actually described as humour by their interviewees; what was perceived as humour by others; and those elements which the researchers themselves considered were intended to be funny. This was particularly appropriate, Dr Mallett notes, in the light of the focus of the study on humour in on-going situations. “In many instances these moments of physical or verbal humour were not particularly funny in themselves,” he says, “but, representing patterns of repetition, habit and recognition, they elicited laughter as an appropriate social response or signal of recognition and participation.”
Findings It was evident that all three firms regarded humour as a positive input. There were high levels of informality, with humour regularly crossing the hierarchical barriers between employer and employee – and all workers, whoever they were, accepted and participating in maintaining the ‘fun environments’ with specific injokes particular to each operation. The researchers observed how such humour was used by both managers and workers as a means for informal negotiations over tasks and targets. Closer examination, however, appeared to show what the researchers describe as a ‘darker side’ previously unrevealed in studies of SMEs, where humour had previously been understood to be almost totally positive. They identified instances where individuals became the butt of jokes relating to the tasks they undertook or the hours they worked (even where, in one example, an early departure had been agreed and approved). This type of humour tended to be ‘top down’, emanating from the management. Crucially, the introduction of new working practices in all three firms led to increasing formalisation of working relationships and also introduced a new focus for the office humour. This time most of the response came from the ‘bottom up’ – directed towards the new practices by those on whom they were imposed. And although no formal definitions existed over what type of humour was acceptable, in what situation and between whom, it became clear that bosses, at least, understood that such lines existed – and that they were sometimes considered to have been crossed.
The split between the types of humour and the instigators of it led to the conclusion that the utilisation of humour in the workplace is, despite its benefits and the fact that it was embraced by workers at all levels, a reflection of a power relationship. Informal working and its associated banter suited bosses in a smaller workplace; but as the levels of structured working increased the nature of humorous interactions changed subtly. Mallett and Wapshott observed that managers were attempting to utilise humour as a management tool – and that this approach could not realistically be sustained. The problem is that this type of control, this employment of humour for communication or negotiation, is effectively a one-way process and as such can cause resentment. It’s a fundamental precept of the study that humour is subjective and ambiguous; as well as a tool for negotiation it can also be employed to avoid confronting and dealing with a problem. Believing that humour can be brought in as a management tool for a particular function is a potential problem as it can generate or amplify problems and resentments. And the highly subjective and individual nature of humour means that the results where it is brought into play aren’t always as predicted.
Essentially, the shift from informal to more formal working affects the hierarchical balance between employer and employee and the ways in which that balance is positioned in the employer-employee relationship. Humour won’t be eradicated from the workplace – nor would many people wish it to be – but the findings of the study indicate how complex its use can be. The research indicates that the introduction of new policies and procedures can lead owners and managers to underestimate the importance of informal communication – and that it is a mistake to believe that humour can be utilised as a management tool. Though based on a sample of just three organisations, the study has practical application in terms of management practice in that it makes a key contribution to possible avoidance of difficulties as firms strive to grow and develop, by encouraging straight-talking within the workplace. “Straight-talking recognises the limits to humour and resists attempts to deploy it as a functional tool,” points out Dr Mallett. “It acknowledges that increasing formalisation of working practices also affects how employment relationships are conducted, reinforcing arguments that formalisation involves complex processes of adjustment rather than a simple transition from informality to formality.” If you wish to learn more about this study please contact Oliver via email – firstname.lastname@example.org
DUBS mentoring: Put your expertise to good use The DUBS Alumni Network runs a mentoring scheme in which current students are matched with mentor volunteers from the alumni and business community. As most of our alumni work internationally, correspondence between mentee and mentor generally takes place by telephone, email or Skype. Meeting face to face is not essential. Starting in October/November the scheme runs for one academic year; however this may be longer for those on the Global or Executive programmes. Mentor volunteers submit a form outlining their areas of expertise, current job details, location and contact information. The Alumni Team then match the mentor to a suitable mentee based on the information supplied. The more detailed the information, the better the match will be.
Expectations of the Mentee:
Expectations of the Mentor:
• To be aware that the scheme does not provide a platform for job seeking
• To respond promptly to the initial contact from the mentee and encourage the mentee to clarify objectives
• To make initial contact with their mentor and to maintain regular contact with the assigned mentor • To be aware that mentors may give advice on local employment issues based on their own experiences. However, the mentor does not accept any responsibility for incorrect information • To ensure that any questions related to problems completing work, extensions, course transfers or any other problems are referred to the Programme Office not the mentor.
• To be aware of the mentee’s programme of study and impart relevant support based on their own experiences • If appropriate, to introduce other reliable contacts to enable the mentee to expand their own professional network • To submit feedback to the Alumni Relations Team (when prompted) after three and six months on the Scheme and submit the final evaluation form on completion of the partnership.
To get involved with the scheme, either as a volunteer mentor or mentee, please register your interest by emailing email@example.com. For further information or for support materials please visit the ‘DUBS Ambassadors’ section on the alumni website at www.durham.ac.uk/business/alumni
Mentor of the Year Award 2012/13: Congratulations to Ho Tung Lee (Global MBA, 2004, pictured left) on receiving our Mentor of the Year 2012/13 accolade. As a thank you he will be receiving a £100 Amazon voucher. Ho Tung was nominated by his mentee Duc Nhan Nguyen (Full Time MBA 2013) who stated that:
“Lee is doing a fantastic job as my mentor and I am receiving a number of insightful suggestions in my course of study, as well as about my career plan. Last year he helped me build up my business plan in the Blueprint competition where it reached the semi-finals, with the process aiding my understanding of how to apply business theory to practice. It also kept me working on my business plan for the future. During a charity project to help farmers in Uganda, I experienced conflict with a member of my team; Lee helped me step back and understand the bigger picture. I learnt how to put aside my ego and strive for common goals. That particular project was one of three international projects chosen to represent Durham University at the Enactus UK National
Competition, reaching the semi-final in April 2013. Moreover, Lee has motivated me significantly with regards my future career and has helped me gain the confidence to take up an internship. I would like to keep in touch with Lee and to say thank you to him.” We would like to thank all this year’s mentors for their continued support and contribution to the School and say congratulations, also, to our runner-up nominees below:
Mentor Nominated by Paul Taylor Duc Nhan Nguyen Frank Wege Ed Fincham and Susie Huang Arif Fahim
CLASS NOTES Dianne Sharp MBA (Executive) 1999–01
Saleem Zamindar MBA (Full Time) 2001–02
Kiran Ramakrishna MBA (Full Time) 2011–12
Congratulations to Durham University Business School alumna Dianne Sharp who took over the role of Chair of Durham Students’ Union Trustees from Andrew Young on 1 July 2013. She is also currently working as Managing Director of SCM Pharma, one of the world’s leading contract development and manufacturing organisations. Dianne would like to add that as an alumna of the Business School she is delighted to have an opportunity to be involved with the University supporting current and future students.
We are pleased to announce that Saleem was recently appointed on the Board of Directors of Pakistan-Kuwait Investment Company Limited, an AAA-rated bank/development finance institution on which he also serves as the Chairman of the Board Audit Committee. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Shezan International Limited (a publicly listed company on the Karachi Stock Exchange) and is a Member of the Board Human Resources and Remuneration Committee. He encourages any member of the DUBS community needing assistance in the Pakistan region to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are delighted that our very own MBA alumni rep for 2012/13 acquired such a great job shortly after completing his studies and not only that, he used his Durham connections to help him succeed. Kiran started working as Business Development Manager for Edit-place in Paris shortly after graduating from Durham and by mid2013 was asked to set up and run the UK operations in London. In order to operate a legal entity in the UK he needed support services and turned to the Durham networks for solutions. After contacting fellow MBA alumnus Michael Fenton (Exec MBA 2010–12), with whom he had taken couple of modules, he discovered that his accountancy and consultancy firm, Fenton & Co. Ltd, was a perfect fit for Edit-place’s business needs. This connection was possible as Kiran knew Michael through the DUBS Alumni Network, which not only played the role of connecting two people based on mutual interest but also made the connection very productive for their respective organisations. Kiran’s words of advice to other alumni are “know people around you, have a genuine interest in what they do, call them when you feel there is an opportunity for them and they will do the same for you”.
Zu’bi Al-Zu’bi PhD Business Studies 2004–09 We would like to congratulate Business School alumnus Zu’bi Al-Zu’bi who has recently been appointed the prestigious position of Dean at the University Of Jordan’s Faculty of Business.
1. Dianne Sharp 2. Saleem Zamindar 3. Gemma Pan 4. Eric Findlay
5. Kamales Lardi 6. Julie Bazinet and 6. Simon Blais 7. Sergio Brodsky
Chris Jones BA Economics 2010–13 Durham University First Team men’s captain, Chris Jones, was released by Durham University to play for Somerset against the Australian Test Team and top scored with 130 runs. Whilst playing the Australians, Chris had to miss his graduation ceremony at Durham Cathedral having gained a First Class degree in Economics.
Stephen Murtagh MBA (Full Time) 1987– 88
Eric Findlay MBA (Full Time) 2010–11
For a number of reasons we are thrilled to announce that Stephen recently secured the position of Chief Operating Officer at the International Students House in London. Obviously it is fantastic news that Stephen is progressing his career but we are also happy that he credits his registration on the 2013 DUBS webinar series as helping him acquire the position. With topics such as ‘Getting into Senior Roles’, ‘Becoming a Great Manager & Leader’ and ‘Selling Yourself with Confidence’ Stephen felt his personal effectiveness was improving. He was able to demonstrate this at a job interview and secured his dream role. International Students House is a very successful charity providing a home from home for approximately 700 international students representing over 100 different nationalities with their key aim being to provide an opportunity to foster better understanding among different cultures. www.ish.org.uk
On 4 August 2012 Leonidas Zion Brian joined the Findlay family. Born in the lucky Year of the Dragon, Leo is named after his zodiac sign. Eric and his wife, Maureen known as Mo, moved to the North West following graduation as Eric landed a Partnerships Manager role with Travelsupermarket. Earlier this year Eric moved to CNC International as a Sales Manager, also in Chester, UK.
Gemma Pan MA Management 2002–05 We would like to congratulate Business School alumna, Gemma Pan, who got married in Shanghai on 22 June 2013. Gemma is a member of the School’s Advisory Board and is currently relocating from the US to Shanghai with her husband and six-month-old son, Ty. Best of luck with the move Gemma.
Kamales Lardi MBA (Full Time) 2004–05 DUBS alumna, Kamales Lardi, would like to inform alumni of her book Social Media Strategy: A step-by-step guide to building your social business being published. The book presents a social media strategy framework which she developed which helps companies link social media back to the business goals and integrate it into various business areas. The book is complemented by an online collection of case studies of well-known companies. You can find out more about her book and social media strategy framework at www.build-yoursocial-business.eu/ We hope to have a review of the book in the next issue of DUBS Alumni News.
Julie Bazinet and Simon Blais MBA (Full Time) 2010–11 Julie and Simon met whilst studying law at Université de Montréal and came to Durham as a couple in 2010. Originally from Montreal, Canada the MBA classmates recently announced their engagement as well as a move to Barbados via a transfer with Julie’s company, Gildan Activewear. Julie will be Director of Legal Affairs and will support the company in the drafting, revision and negotiation of various contracts with counterparts all over the world, as well as participating in market development. We are thrilled to hear their news and wish them a long, happy married life together. Sergio Brodsky MBA (Full Time) 2010–11 Sergio and his wife, Andreia, welcomed their second child and first son into the world on 17 March. Samuel Joseph Brodsky is named after two of his greatgrandfathers and will be known as Samy and joins big sister, Gabriela. Sergio, originally from Brazil has worked all over the world including Israel and Australia before settling in the UK following the successful completion of his MBA. He currently works for Starcom MediaVest Group as Human Experience Strategist in London.
introducing... Robert Lord, Professor of Leadership, joined Durham University Business School in March 2013. His wife, Rosalie Hall, Professor of Management, joined him in June 2013. Prior to Durham, Robert was a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Akron where he held a position for 38 years. He has published more than 125 journal articles and book chapters in leading Industrial/ Organisational Psychology, and management sources. Also at the University of Akron, Rosalie held an Associate Professor position for over 25 years where she specialised in Industrial/Organisational Psychology within the Department of Psychology.
What are the most challenging parts of your job? RL: Working with many different colleagues in many parts of the world as well as here at Durham University Business School can pose challenges. I like to focus intensely on a project until it is completed, then move on to another one, and that can be hard to do when you have many colleagues who also have demands on your time and energies. It is also challenging to keep up with new literature. Social science and the science of management are developing so quickly. And, you not only need to read about new developments, you need to think about how they relate to your own research and teaching.
RH: I am very excited to be making a transition from a Department of Psychology to a Business School setting. As I’ve prepared for the transition, I have put a lot of thought into the issue of what the knowledge of organisational research methods and of specific research results offers to the practitioner (and even to society in general), and think conveying this to a generation of postgraduate students would be a worthwhile achievement. Also, a dream is to pursue some of my applied research interests with organisations based here in the UK.
What drives you?
RH: One of the biggest challenges is to remain fresh and open to the excitement of pursuing new knowledge and research ideas while still completing one’s more mundane day-to-day tasks. For me, it is the stimulation of other people (students, other academics, even family and friends), and of reading widely, that help maintain this. Being an academic in contemporary times shares many of the same juggling challenges as being a manager. It is easy to get focused on details and not devote enough time to the larger strategic issues, but in the long run, it is absolutely critical to do the latter.
RL: Other people. I am quite happy with what I have achieved in my career, yet when continually working with graduate students and young scholars, their needs to be productive spill over and affect my own motivation. It is also fun working with younger colleagues who have new ways of seeing things and are enthusiastic.
What do you want to achieve?
What was the best career advice you were given?
RL: I would like to help develop the already excellent management area at Durham University Business School and to advance the area of leadership research and teaching. Leadership is such a broadly studied domain, but the sub domains – of leadership at the dyadic, group, organisational levels, and leadership in static versus changing organisations – are not always seen as needing unique theories, but I believe that they do. By helping to clarify such issues and building both research and teaching strategies for focusing on these micro aspects of leadership theory, we can make a lasting contribution to the field.
RL: I really don’t remember any of the advice I was given. My advice is to stay open to new opportunities. You never know what might develop. But at the same time, you need to cherish and nurture the relationships you have. I have many colleagues I’ve worked with for 10, 20, or even 30 years. That is by far the best part of this profession.
RH: The thought that I might be able to contribute – in a small way – to our understanding of the behaviour of humans and larger entities including groups and organisations.
RH: Not to get discouraged – if you work hard and thoughtfully, persistence will pay off. Young academics especially can be surprised at how much work it takes to publish.
What are you currently working on at Durham University Business School? RL: I am currently working on a number of projects at Durham University Business School. Many involve the social processes related to leadership perceptions. We approach this from an information processing perspective, and current projects involve individual differences in followers and how they affect the perception of leadership. We have also developed implicit measures, that is measures that do not reflect conscious processing in a specific domain, for a number of areas: values, identity, affect, and theories about what characteristics leaders tend to possess. This methodology is pretty neat because we have subjects complete word fragments related to the domain of interest – i n _ e _ _ i g _ _ t might be completed as intelligent, which is a characteristic associated with leadership. Perhaps the most novel project involves analysis of responses from US soldiers in Iraq from a large survey we conducted in May of 2009. We have already shown that ethical leadership influences the ethical culture of a squad which in turn affects ethical behaviour with respect to prisoners or other civilians. Abusive leadership in contrast increases such unethical conduct. We are currently working on models showing the relation of ethical and abusive behaviour to measures of soldier well-being. This is an important issue as it bears on the many negative outcomes for soldiers while in the military (suicide) as well as after they are discharged (post-traumatic stress syndrome).
RH: With respect to teaching, I am preparing for a variety of methods and statistics modules that I will be giving in the spring. With respect to research, my focus is on submitting articles started at my prior institution while at the same time laying groundwork for some new projects to pursue here at Durham. Some of my activities will involve colleagues Birgit Schyns and Robert Lord and their plans for the International Centre for Leadership and Followership.
What advice would you offer to someone thinking of an academic career? RL: Read widely and don’t be afraid to bring in new ideas to your focal area. And don’t get discouraged. Publishing is often a slow process, taking several years from conceptualisation to collecting and understanding data to getting something accepted. Similarly, applied projects often take time to develop as they may require many layers of approval and customisation. You rarely do your intended study in an organisation, but rather one that evolves from your ideas, the needs of the organisation, and a collaborative process between the people involved. RH: While you are a student, try to get as much experience as possible in all aspects of an academic career, such as developing skills in researching and in making all sorts of presentations to various types of groups. With respect to the latter, think not only about teaching but also about presenting research ideas or results, and about presentations that will occur while working collaboratively with organisations. Also, become acquainted with people who are already doing what you hope to do, so that you can learn from their examples. You can read more about Robert and Rosalie’s work and interests on the Academic Faculty section of the Business School website: www.durham.ac.uk/business
local association news DUBS Alumni Global Network
29 As part of our on-going D8 series Dr Mike Nicholson and Professor Geoff Moore delivered a series of master-classes to current and prospective students, corporates and alumni on the topics of ‘Crisis Management’ and ‘Corporate Social Responsibility Matters,’ respectively. Dr Mike Nicholson’s interactive masterclasses, which took place in the UK, Canada and the USA, focused on how natural disasters, political unrest, product safety scares and industrial sabotage can all lead an organisation to encounter a crisis situation and how organisations have used social media to limit damage to their business with varying degrees of success.
London The London D8 took place on Thursday 11 July in the London headquarters of leading accountancy firm, Mazars. Following the D8 event the DUBS Southern UK Local Association organised an informal get-together event in London on Friday 6 September 2013. To find out more please contact one of the Association’s leaders, Michael Lee (email@example.com) or Kiran Ramakrishna (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Toronto Alex Sedgwick, Alumni Relations Manager and Rebecca Topping, PA to Dr Mike Nicholson hosted a networking session following the D8 master-class on Wednesday 17 July. Its success sparked renewed interest in the Local Association and a second get-together took place at The Strathcona Hotel on Thursday 26 September. It proved a great success with alumni getting the chance to network, reminisce on their experiences whilst at Durham and share their latest news. To find out more please contact the Association’s leader, Adam Crawford (email@example.com).
New York City Due to the connections of our alumni, the NYC D8 event was held at the British Consulate on Third Avenue on Monday 22 July. The evening was very well received by those in attendance including several prospective students hoping to join Durham, both for 2013/14 and 2014/15. One attendee, James Meakim, commented “Many thanks for inviting me to last night’s D8 event! I found it to be a fruitful and enjoyable evening.” If you are interested to learn about alumni activity in NYC, Durham University joins forces with other UK institutions in the tri-state area and these monthly events are communicated via LinkedIn and Facebook. Contact the Alumni Relations Team to learn more.
Washington DC The United Nations Foundation building was the venue for our third North America D8 event which took place on Wednesday 24 July. There were a number of current and prospective students, alumni and UN staff members in attendance. Alumnus Brad Atkinson (DBA) commented that a “good evening in DC was put on by the Durham Business School team at the UN Foundation”.
San Francisco The final leg of the North America tour saw Dr Mike Nicholson deliver his Crisis Management session at the University of San Francisco on Thursday 25 July. The session, held at the School of Management’s campus in the financial district, was thoroughly enjoyable. Jay Sethi (Global MBA) commented “It was great meeting the Durham team and fellow alumni and future students. I had a great time and very much enjoyed Mike’s talk.” After meeting at the D8, members of the California Local Association organised a networking brunch at the MarketBar Restaurant on Sunday 15 September. The get-together was open to current students and alumni of the Business School. It is hoped it will be the first of many Global Get-togethers. To find out more please contact the Association’s leader, Mary Douglass (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Professor Geoff Moore’s insightful master-classes took place in India and focused on the idea of strategic Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and portfolio of CSR activities. These sessions gave participants frameworks for analysing their own organisations’ current practices and enabled them to decide how they wanted to move these forward.
Mumbai The Mumbai D8 was held at the Taj Lands End Hotel on Wednesday 24 July for our D8 master-class event. The event was followed by a sit-down evening meal which allowed those in attendance to network and catch up on the latest school news with Geoff delivering a short presentation on the School rankings position and sharing pictures of the Mill Hill Lane redevelopment project.
New Delhi The last D8 event of the 2013/14 academic year took place in Delhi on Friday 26 July at the Jaypee Vasant Continental Hotel. Feedback showed that attendees enjoyed the master-class and took advantage of the engagement and networking opportunities provided afterwards. Attendees included the new International Committee (DUBSIC) members. The DUBSIC India will work with the School on matters of strategic importance in the region such as alumni engagement and career opportunities for recent graduates. If you wish to learn more about the DUBSIC or Local Association please contact the Alumni Relations Team. Local Associations are the perfect way to keep in touch with other Durham University Business School alumni in your area. The next Global Get-together date is 5 December 2013. As usual this is just a guide. If it is more convenient for your group to meet at another date and time please do so. If you are interested in joining these or any other groups throughout the world – in your location or perhaps in an area you frequent on business – please email us and we will put you in touch with a Local Association Leader. Alternatively, if there is not yet a Local Association in your area, contact the Alumni Relations Team and we can investigate setting one up. We look forward to hearing about your events and receiving photographs. If you require any help in arranging a Get-together please do get in touch.
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WHAT’S YOUR NEXT MOVE? Log on to www.durham.ac.uk/business/alumni and click on the Career Gateway/Resources/Video Library
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DAT E S FOR T H E D I A RY 31
EVENTS Sao Paulo Local Association Get-Together
Beijing Leading Edge Career Expert Panel
DUBS Alumni Network 20 Year Reunion Weekend
Sky Bar at the Unique Hotel, Avenida Brigadeiro Luis Antonio, 4700, Jardim Paulista, São Paulo Friday 18 October 2013, 9pm onwards
Crowne Plaza Beijing Wangfujing, No. 48 Wangfujing Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100006 Wednesday 23 October 2013, 7pm to 9pm
Durham University Business School, Mill Hill Lane, Durham, DH1 3LB Friday 15–Sunday 17 November 2013
Rio de Janeiro Local
Shanghai Leading Edge Career Expert Panel
Education UK Recruitment Fair, Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro, Rua Aquarela do Brasil, n° 75 - São Conrado Monday 21 October, 7.45pm onwards
Shanghai JC Mandarin Hotel, 1225 Nanjing Xi Road, Shanghai, 200040 Saturday 26 October 2013, 10.30am to 1.30pm
Durham Speaker Series –
DUBS Webinar – ‘Public Speaking with Confidence’
‘Building a Research Product from Data – The story from Bloomberg Industry’ with Dr Sam Fazeli, Director of Research, Bloomberg Industries
Bloomberg, City Gate House, 39–45 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1PQ Tuesday 22 October 2013, 6pm to 8pm
Tuesday 29 October 2013, 2pm to 3pm GMT
Frankfurt Local Association Get-Together
Messe Frankfurt – Congress Centre, Frankfurt, Germany Saturday 26 October 2013, 3.30pm to 6pm
Masters and MBA Access Fair Venue TBC, Bucharest, Romania Saturday 2 November 2013, 9am to 4pm
UG and Masters British Council Fair Venue TBC, Athens, Greece Saturday 9–Sunday 10 November 2013, 2pm to 8pm
Durham University Business School, Mill Hill Lane, Durham, DH1 3LB Thursday 28 November 2013, 6pm to 8pm
DUBS Webinar – ‘Launching Your Own Business’ Tuesday 26 November 2013, 2pm to 3pm GMT
Global Get-Together Thursday 5 December 2013
Venue TBC Thursday 7 November 2013, Timings TBC
RECRUITMENT EVENTS QS MBA Fair
Durham Speaker Series – Jean Marc Huet, CFO, Unilever
PREVIEW/OPEN EVENTS UG, Masters and MBA Europosgrados Fair Gonzalo Convention Centre, Bogota, South America Friday 15–Saturday 16 November 2013, 2pm to 8pm
UG, Masters and MBA Europosgrados Fair Plaza Mayor Medellin – Conventions and Exhibitions, Medellin, South America Monday 18 November 2013, 3pm to 8pm
MBA Open Event Durham University Business School, Mill Hill Lane, Durham, DH1 3LB 23 October 2013, 10.30am to 2pm
MBA Open Event Durham University Business School, Mill Hill Lane, Durham, DH1 3LB 28 November 2013, 6pm to 9pm
MBA Open Event Durham University Business School, Mill Hill Lane, Durham, DH1 3LB 6 January 2014, 10.30am to 2pm For a list of preview and open events, please visit the Business School website: www.durham.ac.uk/business/news/recruitment Please note that some dates, speakers and venues are provisional or yet to be confirmed.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO HELP PROMOTE DURHAM UNIVERSITY BUSINESS SCHOOL? We regularly attend recruitment events around the world and love it when we are joined by alumni. Not only does it give us the chance to catch up with you, but prospective students really value the opportunity to speak with our graduates. If you would like to volunteer to help at such an event in your country we would like to hear from you.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION To book places for these events, contact the Alumni Relations Team on: E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: +44 (0)191 334 5277
Alumni Relations Team Alexandra McNinch (nee Sedgwick), Alumni Relations Manager Katharine Aspey, Alumni Coordinator Alumni Relations Team Durham University Business School Mill Hill Lane Durham DH1 3LB t: +44 (0)191 334 5277 f: +44 (0)191 334 5218 e: email@example.com UK DUBS Alumni Network Local Associations Northern (based in Durham) Southern (based in London) International Local Canada Caribbean China, Beijing China, Shanghai Denmark Egypt Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Hong Kong Hungary India Indonesia Japan
Associations Jordan Malaysia Mexico New Zealand Nigeria Norway Pakistan Russia Singapore South Africa South America Switzerland Turkey United Arab Emirates United States of America
To be put in contact with other alumni in your area, please contact the Alumni Relations Team.
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