Our top-flight teaching team

Our MBA teaching team includes a diverse range of experts and business leaders. You will have access to the latest business ideas, theories and approaches and be able to discuss and debate the challenges and opportunities facing businesses with some of the top business professionals and leading business academics in the world.

Faculty staff with extensive research experience work in partnership with business men and women from across the globe to ensure you are exposed to both cutting-edge theoretical management concepts and inspiring practical insights gained from a depth and breadth of experience working in business and industry.

To help you be the best, we are working with some of the most inspirational figures in business to deliver an MBA programme at the leading edge of business teaching.

Jackie joined the Business School from the commercial sector in 2003, taking up the post of Director for Leadership Southwest a regional skills programme based within The Centre for Leadership Studies. She worked with businesses, public and commercial partners on developing the regional management and leadership skills strategy for the Southwest of England. In 2004 Jackie designed and led a three year European project, supporting businesswomen to achieve the Institute of Directors, Charted Director status. She has worked with the medical school and the clinical psychology department here at Exeter exploring how complexity and leadership come together in practise.

Having managed within the commercial world before coming to academia, Jackie has an academic background in Social and Organisational psychology and a consultancy background in personal coaching, action learning and leadership development. She is module lead for personal transformations and oversees the personal and professional development of MBA students.

John is the Chair in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Exeter Business School. He has lectured and consulted widely around the world and has acted as advisor to various national governments and international bodies including the United Nations, The World Bank and the OECD. Professor Bessant’s teaching focuses on how to organise and manage the innovation process effectively and how to extend and develop that capability as we encounter new challenges in an increasingly complex and turbulent environment - challenges such as sustainability and how businesses can meet the needs of a growing global population whilst simultaneously coming up with innovative solutions to problems like climate change and resource scarcity. John is module leader for the One Planet module ‘Strategic and Responsible Innovation Management.’

William Casely leads our popular module 'The Entrepreneurial Mind-set', and is the Cohort Director for our Executive MBA students. Prior to joining the Business School, William gained 28 years’ experience working in the retail industry, 16 of them in Senior Management roles.

Trained at Harrods, he has worked with a mix of retail names across a mix of retail sectors. Career progression with Debenhams culminated in him managing their Oxford Street store, before he moved across town to Kingston as General Manager of Bentalls. As Chairman of Kingston Town Management Ltd he developed one of the earliest town centre management organisations in the country.  He returned to Knightsbridge appointed as the first General Manger of Harvey Nichols and during this tenure became a Group Director at the Oxford Retail Summer School, Keble College. Returning to his roots in the South West, William became Managing Director of the Otter Nurseries Retail Group. 

He completed his MBA at the University of Exeter in 2012 graduating with a Distinction.  William’s research interest lies within the fields of Entrepreneurship and Corporate Entrepreneurship and is currently working on his PhD thesis centring on ‘The Entrepreneurial Process and Intelligent Failure’.

Alistair has spent much of his career working in corporate finance.  He initially developed his skills in finance by starting his own manufacturing company shortly after leaving university.  He progressed into the corporate sector, taking an MBA at Manchester Business School, and eventually becoming a Director of Mergers & Acquisitions for a £2bn international services company where he completed over 60 acquisitions and disposals with an aggregate value in excess of £500m.  After 20 years in mainstream corporate finance, Alistair studied Advanced Farm Management at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, before taking charge of the College’s external consultancy activities and finance and strategy teaching.  From here he used his individual combination of engineering, agriculture and finance skills to establish himself as an independent consultant. 

Alistair has a portfolio of activities including lecturing in finance (at the Open University, Oxford and Exeter), M&A consultancy, and a business advisory service guiding SMEs and social enterprises.  As part of recent DEFRA funded project, Alistair was lead consultant identifying and building sustainable business models for future agricultural marketing co-operatives.  Working with the Plunkett Foundation he has also developed a particular interest in sustainability, building business models, legal structures and funding schemes for village community shops, co-operative pubs, rural food enterprises and rural transport schemes. 

Ward Crawford's commercial and strategy experience includes Managing Director for businesses within Cadbury Schweppes in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India (including the famous Green & Blacks organic chocolate business), CEO of a start-up environmental NGO and Chief Operating Officer for LG Electronics in the UK and Ireland. Ward is a Fellow of the Business School’s Centre for Leadership Studies and leads the One Planet MBA ‘Collaborating and Partnering’ module.

Alexandra Gerbasi joined the University of Exeter in 2017. Previously, she has held posts at the University of Surrey, Grenoble Ecole de Management and California State University, Northridge. She received her Ph.D. is sociology from Stanford University and her undergraduate degree from Duke University. Her research focuses on the effects of positive and negative network ties within the workplace, and their effects on performance, leadership, well-being, thriving, affect and turnover. In addition, her research addresses how individuals recognize opportunities for collaboration and advancement in their networks. Her research has appeared in Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior, The Leadership Quarterly, Social Psychology Quarterly, and, Organizational Dynamics. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and Agence Nationale de la Recherche.

Joanne Horton joined the Business School here Exeter in October 2009. She was formerly a Senior Lecturer at the London School of Economics, in the Department of Accounting.

Joanne graduated with a PhD from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and went on to work for KPMG in London. She was also awarded a Research Fellowship by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Joanne specialized in accounting for banks and insurance companies and has worked for the OECD in training former Soviet countries (e.g. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) in the art of insurance reporting.

Joanne has published extensively in leading academic journals and was recently commissioned by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales on behalf of the EU Commission to investigate the impact of International Financial Reporting Standards on EU countries.

Joanne’s current research activity involves investigation of the effects of social networking on certain corporate governance mechanisms and corporate disclosure e.g. impact of networks on analysts forecast accuracy, impact of executive and non-executive connectedness on their remuneration package, and the impact of networks on corporation’s level of communication with the market.

For the last 25 years Mike has worked in a variety of educational roles as a trainer, high school teacher and training consultant. He has provided customer and internal training in a range of topics including, but not limited to data warehousing and analytics. Latterly his role has been to consult and build global training programs within SAP, including a program to ensure software development techniques are secure and the development of an innovative open-source training program.

Mike has a strong interest in education for sustainable development and is working through a doctorate on this topic with the Exeter OPMBA as its research site. His interest is in how the sustainability challenges being faced should not only be reflected in the changed content on courses such as the OPMBA, but also in the underlying and practised course pedagogy.

Mike has a variety of other experience including 5 years as European director of TSANET, an IT cross-industry body, a governorship of a school for boys with behavioural challenges and 6 years volunteering for a charitable foundation in London focused on educational disadvantage.

Adam is an architect by training and came to the circular economy through William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s work ‘Cradle to Cradle’. He focuses on restorative organisational clusters and circular economy regions/cities. He has guest lectured for the University of Western Australia and the University of Technology Sydney’s Business School. After securing a small project with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Isle of Wight, in January 2013, he returned to Australia and worked closely with thought leaders in Sydney on circular economy implementation. Now based back in the UK, Adam is focusing on a regional/city approach to implementing the circular economy and continues to contribute to the formation of the framework while delivering circular economy content on the One Planet MBA and leading integrative, advanced modules on the MBA. 

Olga Matthias is Visiting Professor of Operations Management within the Business School at the University of Exeter. Olga is also currently Professor of Management at Sheffield Hallam University.  Prior to this she was Senior FME Fellow at the University of Bradford, School of Management. Olga has lectured in Operations Management, Performance Management, Management Consultancy and Project Management to MBA and MSc students. She has also lectured to MBA students in Cardiff, York and Warsaw. On the Editorial Board of the Journal of Operations Management, Olga is also a regular reviewer for other key Operations Management journals.

Previously, she had a long career at PA Consulting Group, in the Business Operations and Performance practice, prior to which she was briefly at Cap Gemini. Her consulting work focused on customer service and performance improvement through enhancing process, people skills and IT. She led large business-transformation programmes for blue-chip companies in the UK and in New Zealand, concentrating on aligning business and systems operations.

Olga's research interests are multidisciplinary in nature, and developed from the deep experience gained from her consulting clients, for whom she improved networks, relationships and organisational performance. She has published extensively in numerous outlets and formats, including most recently an edited book on Management Consultancy.

Dr Nayak joined the University of Exeter Business School in 2010. Dr Nayak’s primary area of interest is processual approach to understanding human agency. He is committed to engaging with philosophical ideas and developing new ways of thinking about organizations. Previously, he has examined issues relating to strategy practice, decision making, creativity, consumption, theory and entrepreneurship. He is currently working on understanding the Indian business context. Dr Nayak has published in Organization Studies, Business History, Long Range Planning, Organization and Marketing Theory.

Dr Nayak’s research interests revolve around the ways we relate to others and make our lives meaningful.  Empirically, his main research project is on the Indian business context which aims to understand the lives, experience and networks of people who run India’s largest corporation. He also hopes to contribute to our understanding of ‘an Indian way of thinking’ and India’s success on the global stage. Overall, process, practices and identity are theoretical themes that inform all of Dr Nayak’s research. His aim is to theorize and develop new empirical avenues for researching human agency in the process of wealth creation.

John joined British Aerospace at the age of 30 as a system engineer, working initially on the early versions of Typhoon.  He specialised in avionic system modelling and soon took up a series of project development leadership roles, including NATO and European-wide intelligence systems.  His most senior posts were at board level, specialising in underwater and submarine projects, responsible for the setting up of multi-firm mega-projects such as the Astute class submarine.

John moved to the academic world in 1996, gaining a PhD in strategic conflict at Cranfield. He has won two academic medals, namely HM The Queen’s Gold Medal for academic excellence and latterly, the President’s Medal of the OR Society. He is also the holder of a 6 year funded Fellowship from South Africa (NRF).

John co-teaches our Global Strategic Analysis and Management module with Dr. Ajit Nayak.  The module focuses on developing key analytical and diagnostic skills in developing strategy in large organizations.

Stuart joined the Business School in 2012 as a Practitioner Research Fellow following an industrial career in telecom and finance.

He started work with BT as a sponsored student and after finishing his engineering degree at Oxford worked for the company in marketing and product management roles. Between 1996 and 1998 he completed an Executive MBA at London Business School. Subsequently he spent 10 years in the Netherlands working for Telfort, a mobile telecom business, here he was initially financial controller and then managed large teams in billing, IT and network technology. During this period he formed an interest in IT outsourcing and its longer term implications for business performance.

In 2007 Stuart returned to London where he took up a role as senior research analyst for Alliance Bernstein, an international asset management firm. At Bernstein he was responsible for European investments and holdings in telecom, media and technology stocks a role which required him to become familiar with many of the larger listed firms operating in these sectors as well as the competitive and regulatory issues that drive the industry.

Bill has worked in globally focused marketing, commercial and Board positions for 27 years, including 12 years as a Board Director of Emerald Group Publishing Ltd. Particular achievements included a complete overhaul and repositioning of the brand in the digital environment, and the setting up and running of a global network of offices which drove significant growth, especially in Asian markets.

He secured a strong grounding in business to business marketing and branding working with Castrol for 13 years. Highlights included managing Castrol’s international motorsport programme, developing business to business partnerships with Toyota and Honda, and operating as Sales and Marketing Director for Castrol Spain in Madrid. He has also worked for the American based Hallmark group as a Sales Director, responsible for customers such as Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Morrisons and Boots.

In the Academic sphere he has been a Visiting Professor at University College London, and has served on AACSB’s Committee for Issues in Management Education (CIME), the first publisher to do so. He researches into how publishers sense and respond to the waves of disruption (MOOCs, digitization, changing assessment methods, globalization) fundamentally changing Higher Education.

Philip Stern joined Exeter Business School in September 2013. He previously worked at Loughborough, Bangor and at Warwick Business School. He holds a visiting Professorship at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute at the University of South Australia.

He has managed and contributed to numerous executive courses for companies including Unilever, TNT, Barclay’s, Diageo, Carlsberg, HSBC, and Severn-Trent.

His expertise and research has been sought by companies including Bristol Myers Squibb, GfK, Glaxo Smith Kline, Novartis, Lilly Industries, Napp Pharmaceuticals, Organon, Procter and Gamble, IMS, Premier Farnell, Atkins and the National Audit Office.

Before becoming an academic Philip worked in new product development for Unilever and spent time in Nigeria running a cosmetic factory. He also worked for Avon in European category management.

Jamie started his career in the 1970’s as a Town Planner for a District City Council in the UK. He moved to the United Stated in 1980 and worked in a variety of roles in development training using the outdoors as one of many training vehicles.

In 1984 he founded a training and development group in the United Kingdom which over time become a executive development consulting practice, based in the UK and operating in the UK and in a variety of other countries around the world.

Consulting career

Jamie formed a training and development practice in 1984 which went on to focus on Executive and Leadership development in the 1990’s. Jamie works with clients from his own practice and in partnership with a number of other global and small niche consultancies.

Main types of role with clients

Executive Coaching, facilitation, consultant, OD consultancy, training and development.

Dr Rajesh Tharyan joined the Xfi - Centre for Finance and Investment at the University of Exeter Business School as a lecturer in 2010. Prior to that he was an Associate Research Fellow at the Xfi (2008-2010).

Dr Tharyan holds a PhD in finance from the University of Exeter Business School and an MSc in International Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics. He has extensive teaching experience at undergraduate, postgraduate and MBA level.

His current research covers empirical asset pricing, directors’ trading, the value premium, mergers and acquisitions and valuation effects of corporate social responsibility.

Caryn’s practice is influenced by formative years working as both a Line Manager and Change Specialist in the post-privatisation UK Water Industry in the early 90’s. She led major org design, restructuring and downsizing programmes as well as strategic projects including outsourcing, mergers and JV’s, customer centricity, IT system change and individual/team leadership development. She designed and led projects with the fundamental principle of high participation leading to sustained, high levels of engagement.

With an international reputation for innovative thinking on a range of management issues, Morgen has written or co-written 18 books, published articles in leading business magazines (such as the FT and the LA Times) and since 1999 has served as editor-in-chief of Corporate Finance Review. Morgen has undertaken numerous business research and consultancy projects, with clients including the Tata Group, McKinsey & Company, the Indian School of Business, Rabobank International and Ernst & Young. Morgen is also a Fellow of the Business School’s Centre for Leadership Studies.

Academic tutors