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Our leading teaching team

The University of Exeter Business School's first-class academic reputation attracts internationally renowned researchers and skilled educators, with over 73% of Business School research rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

On The Exeter MBA, you will benefit from direct and immediate access to top researchers in the teaching team and work with experts in the latest business ideas, theories and approaches. You will discuss and debate the current challenges and opportunities facing businesses with some of the top business professionals and leading business academics in the world, sharing insights from their vast and varied years working in industry around the globe.

Jackie Bagnall, MBA Director

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.

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Professor Saeema Ahmed-Kristensen

Saeema was the Head of Design Products and a Chair of Engineering Design at the Royal College of Art. Prior to this, she was Deputy Head and Prof of Design Engineering at the Dyson School of Design Engineering, Imperial College London.

Her role at Imperial included the Head of Global Innovation Design (MA/MSc) programme, which was delivered jointly with the Royal College of Art. She spent thirteen years with the Technical University of Denmark and led the Design Engineering and Innovation section. She completed her PhD in the Engineering Design Centre, University of Cambridge and then held a fellowship with Murray Edwards College.

She has a funding portfolio of £4.6 million, and led two large research projects, Global Product Development, and Growth Opportunities of Danish Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and New Ventures in Emerging Market funded by the Danish Industry Fund (£1.1m). In addition to generating academic knowledge, these led to tools and guides to support Manufacturing Industry. She has held invited keynotes for leading Engineering Design conferences (CIRP, NordDesign, DESIGN), 100 full peer reviewed publications. She has graduated 14 PhDs.

Saeema’s research focuses on design engineering including the impact and integration of digital technologies on: creativity and cognition, data and knowledge structuring, data-driven design process to customise products and quantifying and predicting user experiences. She works closely with a range of industries; complex product, aerospace (Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems); oil (AK MH); consumer (GN Netcom); medical (Novo Nordisk), and across disciplines of psychology, computing and design, for example leading to approaches to auto-index aerospace reports, through an ontology based on design cognition and Natural Language Processing.

Her research was one of the first to use a human-centred approach to structuring and automating indexing of knowledge, and; to develop approaches to quantify user experiences, leading to a data driven-approach to assess comfort in headsets (now embedded within GN Netcom Product development processes and leading to awards for comfort).

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Dr William Casely

William Casely leads our popular module 'The Entrepreneurial Mind-set', and is the academic tutor 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’.

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Professor Fiona Charnley

Fiona joined Exeter Business School in May 2019 after working for eight years at Cranfield University as a Senior Lecturer in Circular Innovation. Fiona has a background in Industrial Design and has established herself as a thought leader in the Circular Economy, working at the interfaces of Design, Innovation and Manufacture.

Fiona is an investigator on a number of research grants including the EPSRC funded projects 'Circular4.0: Data-Driven Intelligence for a Circular Economy', ‘Small is Beautiful’ and 'Manufacturing Immortality'. Fiona also successfully led the EPSRC funded Network in Re-Distributed Manufacturing, Big Data and Consumer Goods (RECODE) and is a member of the management group for the Connected Everything Network Plus.

Fiona has extensive experience of working with organisations from across sectors to identify new approaches to design, innovation, manufacture and business modelling to transform resource use and value creation. She has also led multiple education and executive training programmes to support future leaders in developing the skills and capabilities necessary to transform our industrial system from linear to circular. In 2018 Fiona was recognised as one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering by the Women's Engineering Society and the Telegraph for her contribution to Circular Economy research and education.

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Dr Cecile Emery

Cécile Emery joined the Business School in May 2019 as a Senior Lecturer in Leadership. Previously, she has held posts at the University of Surrey, University of Greenwich and London School of Economics & Political Science. Her research uses advanced social network techniques - exponential random graphs and longitudinal network analysis - to study relationships in the workplace and, more precisely, the relationship that leaders develop with their followers. Cécile has published her work in outlets such as the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Organization Science, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Social Networks.

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Professor Oliver Hauser

Dr. Oliver Hauser is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Exeter Business School. His research focuses on understanding the moral underpinnings of both individuals and societies — when we help others, why we cheat, and what we can do to reduce inequity. He has previously taught and researched at the Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Extension School. He received his Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard University in 2016 and his B.Sc. in Physics at the University of Innsbruck in 2010.

Oliver's research combines game theory with laboratory studies, field experiments, big data and machine learning. He has worked with some of the world's leading organisations, such as Unilever, BlackRock, Deloitte, GE and Yelp; with governments in the U.K. (Behavioural Insights Team, aka “Nudge Unit”) and Australia, and the New Mexico state government in the U.S.; and charities such as GlobalGiving, and Kiva.

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Dr Alison Legood

Alison Legood is a senior lecturer in leadership in the Management department. Her main areas of research are relational leadership and trust. Specifically, Alison’s work examines the trust dynamics of leader-follower relationships and how trust is built and maintained effectively. Alison has published her research in outlets such as The Leadership Quarterly, The Journal of Organisational Behaviour, Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology and the Journal of Business Ethics. Alison has previously held positions at Aston Business School and the Centre for Trust and Ethical Behaviour (CETEB) where she worked with large public sector organisations looking to rebuild employee trust following large scale change.

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Professor Hannes Leroy

Hannes completed his PhD in authentic leadership development at the University of Leuven in 2012. After that he worked at Cornell University (Johnson School of Business) before continuing his academic journey at Rotterdam School of Management, currently as an Associate Professor.

Hannes Leroy is interested in authentic leadership and how to develop it. That interest includes not only a passionate and critical view of the concept of authenticity but his past work also includes a better understanding of its unique outcomes (e.g., safety, error hiding and work engagement), antecedents (e.g., mindfulness training), and similarities and differences from related concepts (i.e., leader behavioral integrity, leader communication transparency). On the development side he is passionate about authenticity both in terms of developing leaders to use their unique or authentic self as a source of their leadership strength as well as the idea of real (i.e., actually moving the needle) leadership development.

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Dr Stuart Robinson

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.

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Professor Philip Stern

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.

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Professor Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson is a Professor of Digital Economy in INDEX (Initiative for the Digital Economy).  He holds a BA in Human Sciences from University of Oxford, an MSc in Development Studies from SOAS, and a PhD in Information Systems from University of Cambridge.  Mark’s research draws on practice-based theories to investigate the intersection between emerging digital business models, and organisational innovation and transformation.

Mark has published articles in a broad range of journals including Information and Organization, Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Government Information Quarterly, Public Administration, Human Relations, Journal of International Development, and Journal of the Association of Information Systems.

He is acknowledged in the public domain as one of the architects of Digital service redesign within the UK public sector, and blends the roles of academic, practitioner, and policy commentator. He has chaired several of the large annual conferences on Digital in the UK public sector including the annual National Digital Conference, and contributes to Computer Weekly and a range of other practitioner publications.

Mark combines his University role with other roles as Board Member of TechUK, and Strategy Director for Methods, Methods Analytics, and Core Azure.  He has held previous roles as Senior Lecturer in Information Systems at Cambridge Judge Business School, and Change Management Consultant at Accenture.

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Caryn Vanstone

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.

 Morgen Witzel

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.

Professor Mike Yearworth

Professor Yearworth's research addresses the complex strategic decision making challenges faced by engineering organisations dealing with messy problems and is based on the use of Problem Structuring Methods (PSMs). Professor Yearworth has worked with a wide range of organisations in developing and applying systems modelling and problem structuring approaches to strategic decision making. These include Guardian News and Media (GNM), Defra, Rolls-Royce Defence Aerospace, Thales UK, Dstl, Toshiba Telecoms Research Laboratory, Frazer Nash Consulting and Bristol City Council.

Mike joined the Business School in 2016 and was previously Professor of Engineering Systems at the University of Bristol where he worked on the development of problem structuring methods to support systems practice in engineering organisations. This built on his previous work whilst Senior Research Manager at Hewlett-Packard’s European Research Laboratory (HP Labs) where he managed a number of projects researching the development and application of system modelling techniques to understanding the performance of very large complex managed services with focus areas in data centre operations, information security and automation. Before joining Hewlett-Packard, Mike was Director of the Intelligent Computer Systems Centre at the University of the West of England.

Mike is a Chartered Engineer (MINCOSE MBCS CITP CEng), originally a physicist (BSc, PhD University of Southampton), and also holds an MBA from the University of Bath.

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