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Vol 3 Issue 1 2011

The New Marketing Throwing the Baby out with the Bathwater? P4

Tim Jones Theory in practice at Rolls-Royce SE Asia P6

In Praise of Myopia in Applying Business and Management Theory P10



Swansea Business School

Is aun su c e h

10 minute guide: Leadership Theory P8


inside 3

autumn/winter 2011 Volume 3 Issue 1

Welcome to our Re-launch Special:



Design & Print: SMU Print Unit Contributors:  Leigh L Jenkins

Business Perspective:


10 Minute Guide:




Welcome to this special re-launch issue of the South Wales Business Review. This first issue is designed to set the scene for what is to come from the SWBR by taking a closer look at the link between business theory and business practice.

Editor: Lucy Griffiths Editorial Board: Kathryn Flynn, Samantha Morgan, Pam Murray



...why do we need business theory?




Welcome to our Re-launch Special: From Blackboard to Boardroom...


News and Reviews


Next issue…



Email: Twitter: @SWBusReview Post:

Lucy Griffiths South Wales Business Review Swansea Business School Mount Pleasant Swansea SA1 6ED

Alternative formats If you require this document in an alternative format (e.g. Welsh, large print or text file for use with a text reader), please email Disclaimer The articles in this publication represent the views of the authors, not those of Swansea Metropolitan University. The University does not accept responsibility for the contents of articles by individual authors. Please contact the editor if you have further queries.

Leigh is a marketer and educator with a wealth of industry experience, and as Dean of the Faculty of Business and Management, Leigh is responsible for Swansea Business School and the School of Public Service Leadership.

 Dr Margaret Inman Margaret Inman is the Head of the Centre for Professional and Post Graduate Studies at Swansea Business School and Principal Lecturer in Human Resource Management (HRM). Her research interests focus on leadership assessment and development. She has co-authored a text book on HRM and has published in international journals on leadership.

 Steve Griffiths With a background in Economics and a strong interest in business ethics, Steve has taught at Swansea Business School for many years and has recently passed on his MBA Directorship to take up a new International Development portfolio where he will be continuing his work on cross-cultural business relationships.

Lucy Griffiths Editor

In a world where our personal fortunes are linked so strongly to national and international economic markets, the need to understand how business works is greater than ever, and yet there are still those who question the role of business theory, favouring practical and experience-based learning over the insights gained through rigorous academic research. The idea that business theory is far removed from business practice is, in my view, both a myth and a misconception. Yet I acknowledge that there are those for whom theory is synonymous with abstraction, complexity and inaction; thinking, not doing. Students sometimes tell me they see theory as the stuff in books that you need to know to pass exams, or a matrix, Venn diagram or pyramid with labelled sections and a surname attached. Paradoxically it seems the very things designed to simplify, explain and provide help are also the things that may appear most complex and challenging. So, have we lost touch with theory? Or does it just have a marketing problem? In this issue, some of Swansea Business School’s academic staff and our guest interviewee, Tim Jones, the Swansea-born former Regional Director of Rolls-Royce South East Asia explore the links between theory and practice, bringing their own unique perspectives on the role of business theory. Our Dean, Leigh Jenkins’s article on page 4 explores this theme in the context of marketing – with a provocative view of marketing academia’s preoccupation with novel ideas and theories as somewhat superficial when the theoretical ‘toolbox’ already has plenty of things in it that work. Dr Margaret Inman gives a brief overview of leadership theory through the ages (Page 8) and gives a sense of how it has shaped the way we think about organisations by transforming the way we think about those who lead them. Whereas Steve Griffiths presents a personal view of the benefits of ‘fuzzy’ thinking in ‘In Praise of Myopia in Applying Business and Management Theory’ on page 10. On behalf of Swansea Business School and the editorial team, I hope you enjoy this first issue of the re-launched South Wales Business Review and look forward to reading any comments or feedback you have.


Registered Charity Number / Rhif Elusen Gofrestredig 1139800 © Swansea Metropolitan University 2011, all rights reserved.

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Opinion: Recycling the Bath Water – Back to Marketing Basics

closely with colleagues and intermediaries in order to succeed with our best offerings, viz;  The right product for the target market  At a price, which the customer is willing and able to pay  Easily available when and where the customer can access the offering  With the real benefits of the offering having been clearly communicated to the customer and relevant stakeholders. Ring any bells? I am, of course, referring to the traditional marketing mix or 4 ‘P’s. I know it’s trendy to dismiss this approach as old hat and mainly about the transactional process, but there are some things which withstand the test of time. Add a fifth core ‘P’ of People, target your market appropriately and you have the basis for sound strategy. In order to help us focus, we should not be tempted to throw out this baby, and we should also recycle the bathwater! The bath waters in this instance being the macro and micro forces and factors in the marketing environment.

Leigh L Jenkins Dean of Business & Management

For me the answer was aptly summed up by a colleague from one of the new London universities at a CIM seminar some years ago (I do not recall his name and cannot, therefore, attribute a direct quotation 4 │ Vol 3 Issue 1 2011

to him). As colleagues were metaphorically banging their heads against the wall and about to collectively conclude that, perhaps marketing is not a stand-alone business science, the loud protest came out like a breath of fresh air: “Marketing is the science which brings all the equally important factors of the business mix together. Marketing is, therefore, the Engineering of the business mix. And, more to the point, Marketers are the Engineers of business.” Hearing this straightforward definition made me realise that it was this approach which had helped me focus and succeed during my twelve years as a marketing practitioner prior to becoming a lecturer. This theme has been further developed by Lilien et al in their 2007 text Principles of

Marketing Engineering. They expand on the view that new marketing looks increasingly like engineering as it combines art and science to solve specific problems. I’d like, however, to consider a more straightforward view of what is meant by Marketers as Engineers. Just as Brunel needed a knowledge of physics, metallurgy, chemistry and mathematics and worked in close cooperation with physicists, metallurgists and mathematicians in order to produce his wonderful offerings such as the Tamar and Avon Bridges and the SS Great Britain, we marketers need a knowledge of quality and process management, financial and cost management, logistics and distribution, and communications strategy, working

image: ©

As a marketing academic I have attended numerous conferences, seminars and meetings over the years. Most of these are stimulating and informative and it’s always good to meet and debate with colleagues from other institutions. A theme which frequently recurs, however, is that of defining (or redefining) marketing. At breakout sessions, or later in the bar, the questions I often hear debated are ‘who are we?’ or ‘what is marketing?’ or ‘is marketing art or is it a science?’

In short, get your marketing mix right and keep it finely tuned whilst keeping a close eye on your marketing environment. Bear in mind also, that the mix should be right for your organisation as well as your target market. This is the balancing act, and the really difficult bit, which requires hard work and reliable, ongoing research. Always ensure you are acutely aware of what is happening in your marketing environment and your business offering, whether it is private, public or third sector, and you will be off to a good start and stand a chance of success.

elements of the rest of the mix out of tune, sometimes with dire consequences for the organisation. A recent BBC documentary highlighted the case, which is well used by marketing lecturers, of the original Mini. The British Motor Corporation produced what is, arguably, one of the most iconic products of all time. It had a network of hundreds of sales and servicing dealers in towns and cities across the country and in key export markets. The advertising was slick, the selling was professional, the promotions were exciting and the publicity was free and available in abundance with young royals, pop stars and film stars queuing up to buy one. The Mini Cooper version, driven by the well-liked driver Paddy Hopkirk, also won the Monte Carlo Rally. Three of the 4 Ps were in place, and how. Major competitor Ford UK, however, couldn’t understand why the Mini was priced significantly below its own, competing Anglia so they dismantled a Mini and costed everything part by part. No matter which way they looked at it they concluded that BMC was losing money on every Mini sold. Thus began, arguably, the demise of the once great British motor industry. I am not suggesting for one minute that we ignore new developments and research in marketing, neither am I am suggesting that we ignore the relational approach. The marketing mix and the forces and factors in the environment, however, can be looked upon as the engineer’s quality handbook. Use the

marketing mix, be that four, five, or seven ‘P’s as a checklist and always be acutely aware of the forces and factors, not least your customers’ wants and needs, which drive you to fine tune or even radically amend your offering, and it will stand you in good stead. In my experience as a practitioner, this approach always motivated me and was, I believe, instrumental in helping me manage time and resources. The beauty of the marketing mix is that as forces and factors in the environment develop, new tools can be added to the marketer’s tool box. As others become outdated they can be removed. It’s probably apparent from this article, that I am an unashamed admirer of the original American marketing gurus. Neil H Borden’s marketing mix, first referred to in the late 1940s was further developed by E Jerome McCarthy. I still treasure my first marketing text book – McCarthy and Perrault’s 1990 edition of ‘Basic Marketing’ and Kotler’s structured approach has always made sense to me. We live in a very different world to the post war boom times which inspired Borden et al to focus on the marketing approach to business, but my message is straightforward. Consider your relationships and review new thinking and theory at all times - but don’t throw out the baby, and always recycle the bathwater.

As Philip Kotler, (in various recent texts), and others have pointed out, marketing history is littered with excellent products which never make it to the market place or, which fail soon after launch. Some excellent products make it all the way with Vol 3 Issue 1 2011 │ 5



Business Perspective:

Tim Jones

on the Rolls-Royce of Leadership Theories Lucy Griffiths interviews Tim Jones, born in Swansea, and the former Regional Director of RollsRoyce South East Asia, on his experience of using leadership theory to inform his leadership practice. ________________________________ LG Firstly, can you tell us a bit about your background and business career? TJ I was born and brought up in Parkmill, Gower and was educated at Gowerton Grammar School. My parents were both born in Swansea where my father was a Solicitor. My mother succeeded him as a Gower Councillor and then went on to become a Swansea City Councillor and eventually Mayor of Swansea. I joined the RAF from School and was commissioned into the RAF Regiment serving in operational, training and staff appointments in Europe, the Middle East and Far East, including active service in Aden, Borneo, Malaysia, Northern Ireland and Oman. I left the RAF in mid-career as a Wing Commander to pursue a business career, initially in Political Risk insurance. In 1985 I became an overseas Regional Director for RollsRoyce Aero Engines initially based in the Middle East, then South East Asia and finally India. These roles involved developing the company's position and business in those areas. During this period Rolls-Royce grew from being a UK midlands-based engineering firm into a global power systems leader and underwent dramatic transformation. It was immensely challenging to be at the heart of that process working with the 6 │ Vol 3 Issue 1 2011

CEO and Chairman to effect change and win major new business. I retired from RR 3 years ago to become a business consultant and am now based in the UK. ________________________________ LG What skills and qualities do you think are needed to make a good leader? TJ These are very different issues as skills are easily identifiable and can be taught and practised to improve performance whereas qualities are less tangible, and more subjective. Business leadership requires a sharp sense of awareness or keen sensitivity to changing circumstances in order to anticipate the likely needs of the changing business situations so that the leader can react in good time by taking appropriate action and influence the outcomes. The actions may be those related directly to the task or those to keep the team working effectively together, or be related to dealing with an individual - or all of these! But, unless the leader has sufficient awareness to recognise the various demands of changing situations, he or she will not be able to take appropriate action regardless of skill or knowledge. ________________________________ LG Do you believe leadership can be taught, and if so what are the best methods? TJ Leadership can certainly be improved through training and practice provided the leader has the awareness mentioned earlier and is open to constructive criticism.

Training through exposure to various situations is important and should focus on the actions a leader takes. Simple team exercises such as crossing obstacles, finding hidden items, building a raft etc all generate basics tasks the leader must perform effectively to get the job done whilst keeping the team and individuals motivated and satisfied. It is also useful to enable young leaders to observe other leaders in action and to note what actions are done well and what could be done better to improve performance. ________________________________ LG What role does theory play in the development of good leadership skills? TJ Leadership used to be taught by examining the qualities that recognised leaders displayed and then seeking to encourage new leaders to show the same qualities. However, this was very subjective and difficult to quantify. For example, how much courage does a leader need? How much does he have? From where can he obtain the rest? Now it is more common to take a functional approach to leadership training where the emphasis is on what a leader needs to do to address the Task, Team and Individual needs of a situation and to discuss actual performance in terms of what was done well and what could have been done more effectively. Professor John Adair developed and refined this approach in the early 1970s and it is now widely recognised as an effective approach to the development of leadership capabilities. I have used this approach successfully in military and business circumstances for many years and find it extremely effective primarily because it focuses immediately on actions which can be seen and gives a us a vocabulary for meaningful discussion rather than struggling with vague intangibles.

Advice for aspiring leaders

 Don't be afraid of making decisions or mistakes.  You can never eliminate all the risks in deciding a course of action. Minimise as many as you can but be prepared to take the remaining risks boldly and with confidence.  Seek challenging leadership situations - stretch yourself.  Listen and be prepared to adjust plans if it is right to do so.  Don't avoid responsibility. When you delegate tasks you still remain responsible for their achievement to the required standard. Check and check again.  Set and maintain high standards.

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10 Minute Guide: Leadership Theory While many different leadership theories have emerged over the past fifty years or so to define and explain what constitutes effective leadership, most can be classified in to one of six types.

Dr Margaret Inman

“Leadership is rather like beauty: it is hard to define but individuals can recognise it when they see it” Bennis (1989)

Defining what a leader is and what is effective leadership has long been debated. In the words of Bennis (1989) “Leadership is rather like beauty: it is hard to define but individuals can recognise it when they see it”. It is clear that neither one theory nor any one approach can encapsulate the complexities of leadership and that to search for an all encompassing theory may be illusory. Understandably practitioners tend to be dismissive of theories for their perceived remoteness from the real situation. Academics can be seen to develop and refine theory while leaders engage in practice. I would argue however that theory can be valuable and significant if it serves to help explain practice and inform leadership action which can then be used towards the resolution of practical problems. 8 │ Vol 3 Issue 1 2011




1/ Trait or ‘Great Man’ Theory

3/ Contingencysituational Theory

6/ Dispersed Theory

Early studies of leadership concentrated on a search for personal characteristics which leaders possessed. The trait approach arose from the “Great Man” theory as a way of identifying key characteristics of successful leaders. Although some traits such as ‘extroversion’, ‘conscientiousness’ and ‘openness’ were found in a considerable number of studies, a definitive list of traits has yet to be established. Traits were not only hard to measure (how do you measure loyalty, integrity, honesty?) but the absence of them did not necessarily mean that the person was not a leader.

///////////////////////// 2/ Behaviourist Theory

As a reaction to the innate nature of trait theories, behaviourist theories were developed suggesting that great leaders are made, not born. They go beyond considering the leader themselves but focus on the actions of the leaders and the effects they have on their followers. In the main the concern is on the extent to which the leader focuses on either the task and/or people. Blake and Mouton (1964) proposed that ‘team management’ where a leader has high concern for both employees and production was the most effective type of leadership behaviour. Whilst this may help leaders recognise and develop particular behaviours, they give little guidance as to what constitutes effective leadership in different situations.

Contingency-situational theories, on the other hand, tried to do just that. Such theories recognised that the style of leadership is contingent upon variables related to the internal and external environment such as the situation, the organisation, the task, and the type of people. Whilst some situations may require the leader to take decisions without consultation through an autocratic approach (for example in an emergency), others may need a more participative approach when there is time, and in the leader’s interest, to reach a more considered decision.

The importance of social relations for effective leadership and the realisation that no one individual is the ideal leader in all circumstances has given rise to the latest school of leadership thought – that of ‘dispersed’ leadership. It is proposed that individuals at all levels in the organisation can exert leadership influence, moving the focus from the individuals to an identification of what constitutes a more effective leadership approach within an organisation.

///////////////////////// 4/ Transactional Theory

The importance of the relationship between the leader and the ‘follower’ was developed in transactional theories. Transactional leaders exchange things of value with subordinates to advance their own and their subordinates’ agendas. For example a typical transaction would be to offer promotion in return for achieving targets.

///////////////////////// 5/ Transformational Theory

In contrast transformational theories focus upon the connections formed between leaders and followers. Leaders create high levels of motivation and commitment by generating and communicating a vision and appealing to the values of followers. They are more concerned with emotions, values, ethics, standards and long-term goals in order to ‘transform’ performance. Vol 3 Issue 1 2011 │ 9



Point of View: In Praise of Myopia in Applying Business and Management Theory

News and Reviews Events @ Swansea Business School 2 November 2011

dominate. Interpreting results requires the acknowledgement of several “realities”. Any project might employ

As a short-sighted person of many years I am often asked why I don’t seek laser solutions. Apart from a strong element of cowardice, I remain uncorrected, as I quite like the element of haziness which I can revert to when not wearing my specs. It is quite nice to awake and see a blurred world, especially when looking in the mirror. This comfort with indistinctness colours my feelings about the application of theory in business and management. My early training as an economist was all about precision and definitive hypothesis testing, but as I gained more experience applying theory and dealing with an imperfect world that never came up to scratch from a theoretical viewpoint, I began to appreciate ambiguity, juxtaposition of different interpretations and the strengths of more qualitative approaches. “There is always an alternative” and “it depends” are my mantras. Initially students may seek the one ‘right answer’ to the questions we ask, however the best students realise that answers depend on context and the strength of explanatory data. Since data collection is seldom perfect, analysis of it normally requires several interpretations. As one of my MBA Finnish students remarked, 10 │ Vol 3 Issue 1 2011

“As I gained more experience applying theory and dealing with an imperfect world that never came up to scratch from a theoretical viewpoint, I began to appreciate ambiguity, juxtaposition of different interpretations and the strengths of more qualitative approaches.” In my areas of research interest, especially business ethics and cross cultural studies, where I may be investigating sensitive issues, qualitative methods

South Wales Business Review Launch Event

South East Asia

Tim Jones, former Regional Director Rolls-Royce

17 November 2011

Leading the Enterprising Organisation

Chris Ward, ‘The Management Preacher’

5 December 2011

Kraft Branding and the Olympics

Duane Edwards, Kraft Business Development Manager Wales

“…there is unlikely to be any theory which fits all cases, so there will always be a case for embracing complexity.”

29 February 2012

The Annual St David’s Day Lecture

Professor Laura McAllister, Chair Sport Wales

News Olympic Inspiration Students from Swansea Business School and the School of Public Services Leadership will be visiting the Olympic Park as part of national Enterprise Week this November. ‘Giving our students the chance to see the Olympics from a business perspective is an opportunity not to be missed,’ said the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Management, Leigh Jenkins, ‘we’re hoping they will gain an insight into the economic benefits and challenges this global event can bring’. Look out for a report in our special Olympic issue of the South Wales Business Review in August 2012.

many different research methods from observational, action, content analysis to narratives, focus groups and long term ethnographic studies. As Letiche (2006) says this phenomenological approach requires a complex adaptive system (CAS) and in reality we often end up with “fuzzy methodologies” as suggested by Liu and Wu (2007).

Lifestyle @ the Met

This may be frustrating for a business that wants clarity in plans for action and for students who seek to memorise “correct” answers, but I believe it treats the real world as it is. Theory is still important; Without it we have no starting point for analysis. There is a need to research the range of interpretations on every issue, however, there is unlikely to be any theory which fits all cases, so there will always be a case for embracing complexity.

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Steve Griffiths

following my reading of Elder (2009) in class, ‘I now force my 9 year old daughter to justify her comments over the breakfast table. I require evidence for statements and different interpretations of the key factors’. While this may seem tough on family relations, it is a good sign that he has absorbed the academic message about the need for critical appraisal.

For further details of these events and to register to attend please email or call our Faculty office on 01792 481132.

This Autumn, Swansea Business School’s Sports Management students will be launching a studentled society focused on promoting sport and physical activity services, programmes and teams within the University. Working alongside the Students’ Union and University staff final year students will form a management team to help run existing services and to support the development of a unique new health and wellbeing service for staff and students. The scheme will offer a range of health, fitness and wellbeing products and services to staff and students and is designed to benefit both the users and the student teams involved in setting up and running the service. Steven Osborne, the Sports Management Lecturer responsible for setting up this programme said ‘this scheme will not only provide health and wellbeing services to our staff and students on campus, but will enable our students to experience the realities of managing health, sports and leisure facilities and programmes first hand – giving them the employability skills they’ll need in today’s competitive job market.’


Open Leadership Charlene Li Jossey-Bass, £18.99 Review by Lucy Griffiths

The world of social technology clearly presents huge opportunities for the leaders of organisations to engage with staff, customers, investors and the media in new ways, but with high profile examples of illconsidered comments on social media backfiring on those in the public eye, many leaders may be wary of how exactly this can be done without getting your fingers burned. Charlene Li’s latest book ‘Open Leadership’ seeks to address this problem by providing structures and frameworks for leaders who want to integrate social media into their leadership practice. For Li, also the author of the more technical and data-driven ‘Groundswell’, this is a more accessible offering aimed at making senior executives feel more comfortable with the idea of social media as something they personally (rather than just the marketing department) should be using. To this end, she provides plenty of return on investment rationalisation along with a clear message that strategy and rigour are vital to making social media work as a leadership tool. This is a classic airport business book for those who are wary of wading too deeply into the waters of social media – even the cover suggests a clear, blue pool that you can jump into and create ripples – and if that’s what you’re looking for, it delivers. Anyone already immersed in the social media world or who is out there actively experimenting with it probably won’t find this so useful, but, if you’re at the top of an organisation and you’re worried about either missing the social media boat, or that it’s all getting a bit out of hand in the layers of staff beneath you, this could be the book for you. Vol 3 Issue 1 2011 │11

Next issue‌

The State of Our Nation Special issue on the Economic Future for Wales

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Out February 2012

To reserve a copy please visit or email your name and address to:

South Wales Business Review: Volume 3 Issue 1  

The newly re-launched South Wales Business Review, with business info, articles and update from Swansea Business School.