Kevin Morrell is a Professor of Strategy at Durham University Business School. He is also Associate Dean of Postgraduate Research and Director of the PhD Programme.
Kevin was previously a British Academy Mid-Career Fellow (2015-16). He was also a Professor of Strategy at Warwick Business School as well as Head of the Strategy and International Business Group.
Kevin’s research focuses on governance in corporations and society. In his consultancy practice he specialises in translating frontier research insights into accessible executive briefings and reports.
He also offers fee based 1-1 coaching for advanced Postgraduate Students and Early Career Researchers (ECRs).
I am fascinated by a fundamental strategic question: how can private corporations, public organizations and other stakeholders enhance the public good? My interests branch out to other fields in management such as Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Leadership and the relationship between business research and practice – the relevance debate.
To provide distinctive answers to this question I draw on my first degree – philosophy and am known internationally as a committed and passionate advocate of drawing on the humanities to understand organizations; for instance as the leading critic of the “evidence-based” approach to business research.
Recent career achievements:
• 2015 awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship. There were 35 of these awards across all the Social Sciences and Humanities.
• 2014 the Academy of Management Learning & Education Editor invited me to write an Exemplary Contribution, as the leading critic of evidence-based management. This was judged runner up for best paper of 2015.
• 2013 awarded the Haldane Prize, an annual best paper award, for my paper in Public Administration ‘What is Governance in the Public Interest’.
1999-2002 PhD in Organizational Behaviour, University of Loughborough.
1998-9 MSc in HRM Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Business School.
1992-5 BA, MA in Philosophy, Jesus College, Cambridge.
2017- Professor of Strategy, Associate Dean, Durham University Business School.
2012-17 Professor of Strategy, Warwick Business School.
2007-12 Reader in Organizational Behaviour, University of Birmingham, Business School.
2003-7 Principal Research Fellow in Political Leadership, WBS.
2003 Research Officer, King’s College London (p/t).
2002-3 ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Loughborough University, The Business School.
1995-8 Xerox and Paigelaw: Business Analyst and Consultant.
Selected Published Articles
Learmonth, M. and Morrell, K. (2017) Is Critical Leadership Studies ‘Critical’, Leadership, 13(3): 257-271 (invited contribution). ABS 2
Arikan, O., Reinecke, J., Spence, C. and Morrell, K. (2017) ‘Signposts or Weathervanes? The Curious Case of Corporate Social Responsibility and Conflict Minerals’, Journal of Business Ethics, 146(3), 469-484. ABS 3, FT Listed
Morrell, K. and Brammer, S. (2016) ‘Governance and Virtue: The case of riot police’, Journal of Business Ethics, 136(2), 385-398. ABS 3, FT Listed
Jayawardhena, C., Morrell, K. and Stride, C. (2016) ‘Fair Trade and other Ethical Consumption Behaviours in Shoppers’, Journal of Marketing Management, 32(7-8): 777-805. ABS 3
Currie, G., Tuck, P. and Morrell, K., (2015) ‘Contesting, accepting, or escaping normative governance? The narration of tax inspectors’ ‘Professional’ identity’, Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal, 28(8): 1291-1309. ABS 3
Morrell, K. and Learmonth, M. (2015) ‘Against Evidence-Based Management, For Management Learning’, Academy of Management Learning & Education. Runner up for Outstanding Article in AMLE of 2015. ABS 4
Morrell, K. Learmonth, M. and Heracleous, L. (2015). ‘An Archaeological Critique of ‘Evidence-Based Management’’, British Journal of Management, 26(3): 529–543. ABS 4
Morrell, K. and Currie, G. (2015). ‘Impossible Jobs or impossible tasks? Client volatility & front line policing practice’, Public Administration Review, 75(2): 264-275. ABS 4
Morrell, K. and Tuck, P. (2014). ‘Governance, Tax and Folk Tales’, Accounting Organizations and Society, 39(2): 134-147. ABS 4*, FT Listed
Morrell, K. (2012) ‘Evidence-Based Dialectics’, Organization, 19(4): 461-79. ABS 3
Morrell, K. and Harrington, N. (2012) ‘What is Governance in The ‘Public Interest’?, Public Administration, 90(2): 412-428. Won the Haldane Prize, an annual best paper award, according to a distinguished jury. ABS 4
Morrell, K. and Clark, I. (2010) ‘Private Equity and the Public Good’, Journal of Business Ethics, 96(2): 249-263. ABS 3, FT Listed
Morrell, K. and Jayawardhena, C. (2010) ‘Fair Trade, Ethical Decision Making and the Narrative of Gender Difference’, Business Ethics: A European Review, 19(4): 393-407. ABS 2
Morrell, K. (2009) ‘Governance and the Public Good’, Public Administration, 87(3): 538-556. ABS 4
Morrell, K. (2008) ‘The Narrative of ‘Evidence based’ Management: A polemic’, Journal of Management Studies, 45(3): 613-635. ABS 4
Morrell, K. and C Jayawardhena (2008). ‘Myopia and (Ethical) Choice: Framing, Screening, Shopping’, Journal of Marketing Management, 24(1-2): 135-152. ABS 3
Morrell, K. (2007). ‘Aesthetics and Learning in Aristotle’, Leadership, 3(4): 497-500. ABS 2
Morrell, K. (2006). ‘Policy as narrative: New Labour’s reform of the National Health Service’. Public Administration, 84(2), 367-385. ABS 4
Morrell, K. (2006) ‘Aphorisms and Leaders’ Rhetoric’, Leadership, 2(3): 367-382. ABS 2
Morrell, K. and Hartley J. (2006) ‘A Model of Political Leadership’, Human Relations, 59(4): 483-504. ABS 4
Morrell, K. and Hartley J. (2006). ‘Ethics in Leadership: The Case of Local Politicians’, Local Government Studies, 32(1): 55-70. ABS 2
Morrell, K. and Anderson M. (2006). ‘Dialogue and Scrutiny in Organisational Ethics’, (on Enron) Business Ethics: a European Review, 15(2): 117-29. ABS 2
Morrell, K. (2006). ‘Governance, Ethics and the National Health Service’, Public Money and Management, 26(1): 55-62. ABS 2
Morrell, K. (2004) ‘Decision Making and Business Ethics’, Journal of Business Ethics, 50, 239-252. ABS 3, FT Listed
Morrell, K. (2004) ‘Socratic Dialogue as a Tool for Teaching Business Ethics’, Journal of Business Ethics, 53, 383-392. ABS 3, FT Listed.
Morrell, K., Loan Clarke J. and Wilkinson A (2004). ‘The Role of Shocks in Employee Turnover’, British Journal of Management, 15, 335-349. ABS 4
Morrell, K. (2004). ‘Enhancing effective careers thinking: scripts and Socrates’, British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 32, 547-558.
Morrell, K., Loan-Clarke J. and Wilkinson A. (2004). ‘Organisational Change and Employee Turnover’, Personnel Review, 33, 161-173. ABS 3
Morrell, K. (2004). ‘Socratic Dialogue as a Tool for Teaching Business Ethics’, Journal of Business Ethics, 53, 383-392. ABS 3, FT Listed
Morrell, K. and Wilkinson A. (2002). ‘Empowerment: through the smoke and past the mirrors’, Human Resource Development International, 5, 119-130.
Morrell, K. Loan-Clarke J. and Wilkinson A. (2001). ‘Unweaving leaving: the use of models in the management of employee turnover’, International Journal of Management Reviews, 3, 219-244. ABS 3, FT Listed
Morrell, K. (2012) Organization, Society and Politics: An Aristotelian Perspective. (Palgrave).
Relates Aristotle’s analyses of politics and ethics to the power, rhetoric and ethics of contemporary organization. Some of this has been done before, but rarely, if ever, has it been done so competently, critically, constructively and compellingly. Weaving together insights from several disciplines in arguing for Aristotle’s continuing importance, Kevin Morrell here establishes himself as an incisive voice in contemporary Aristotelianism. Dr Kelvin Knight, Director, Centre for Contemporary Aristotelian Studies in Ethics & Politics (CASEP)
Amply demonstrates the relevance of Aristotle’s thought to the twenty-first century world, suggests fresh approaches to the problems of modern organizations and of society at large. Richard Stalley, Professor of Ancient Philosophy, University of Glasgow.
An original and conceptually rigorous contribution to Management and Organization Studies Iain Munro, Professor in Business Administration, Innsbruck, Austria.
It is common that texts about management pretend to be clever, and decorate themselves with a little philosophy in order to do so. In Kevin Morrell’s book, we see the reverse, the intelligent and subtle use of Aristotle’s philosophy to try to understand the nature of the challenges which management and governance presents us with. This is an important work. Martin Parker, former Editor in Chief of Organization: The Critical Journal of Organization, Theory and Society, University of Leicester School of Management.
Morrell, K. and Bradford, B. (in press) Policing and the Public Good: Governance, vices and virtues. (Routledge).
Noon, M., Blyton, P. and Morrell, K. (2013) The Realities of Work. (4e Macmillan). I led in writing the 4th edition of this influential textbook, opening with an account of the Global Financial Crisis.
Mellahi K., Morrell, K. and Wood, G. (2010) The Ethical Business. (2e Macmillan). This textbook covers many aspects of CSR including chapters on Corporate Governance and Accounting, Economics and Finance
Selected Book Chapters and Reviews
Morrell, K. (in Public Administration). Review of Ian Dunt’s book: Brexit, What the Hell Happens Now? – Ian Dunt is a prominent Brexit commentator, he said of this review, “Means a lot when someone notices the core thing you were trying to achieve, but did not state. It’s one of the things that makes the entire gruelling process worthwhile.”
Morrell, K. and Learmonth, M. (2017). ‘Evidence based management’ in A. Wilkinson, Armstrong, S and Lounsbury, R. (Eds), The Oxford Handbook of Management, OUP: Oxford.
Morrell, K. and Heracleous, L. (2014). ‘Is Shareholder Empowerment a ‘good thing’?’ in M. Goranova and L. Ryan (Eds) Shareholder Empowerment, New York: Palgrave.
Morrell, K. (2014). ‘Organization as Koinōnia’ in A. J. G. Sison (Ed) Handbook of Virtue Ethics in Business and Management, New York: Springer.
Selected International Refereed Conference Papers
Uotila, J. and Morrell, K. ‘Can Strategy Be “Evidence-Based”? The Search for Actionable Knowledge in Strategy’ 77th Academy of Management Conference ATLANTA, August 5-9 2016.
Fernandes, O. J., Heracleous, L. and Morrell, K. ‘Bridging cognitive and sociopolitical legitimacy judgments: A host policymaker’s perspective on base erosion in Multinational Enterprises, 33rd EGOS Colloquium COPENHAGEN. July 6–8, 2017.
Ozcan, P., K. Gurses, B. Yakis-Douglas and Morrell. K. “Who Owns The Airwaves? Using Cases Of Disruptive Communication Technology To Teach “Public Interest”. DRUID17, NEW YORK, June 12-14 2017.
Learmonth, M. and Morrell, K ‘Evidence based management and the Medicine as Management Motif’. 76th Academy of Management Conference ANAHEIM, August 5-9 2016.
Morrell, K. and Javid, B. How do we measure Public Confidence in Policing? Analysis of large scale survey data targeting Public Administration Review. 76th Academy of Management Conference ANAHEIM, August 5-9 2016.
Morrell, K. and Lockett, A. ‘Organizational Identification In Start-Ups: An Existential Perspective’ 75th Academy of Management Conference VANCOUVER, August 7-11 2015.
Heracleous, L. and Morrell, K. ‘Space and Speech Act Theory’ 75th Academy of Management Conference VANCOUVER, August 7-11 2015.
Kravcenko, D. and Morrell, K. ‘A Narrative perspective on Materiality in Temporal Organizing’ 75th Academy of Management Conference VANCOUVER, August 7-11 2015.
Morrell, K. ‘Just how Impossible are ‘Impossible Jobs’? The case of riot policing’ 74th Academy of Management Conference PHILADELPHIA, August 1-5 2014.
Morrell, K. ‘Civilianization and its Discontents? Explaining the differential effects of organizational change on middle managers’ 74th Academy of Management Conference PHILADELPHIA, August 1-5 2014.
Cooper, S., Currie, G. and Morrell, K. ‘Influencing top tier internal and external executives: the case of the middle manager in shaping strategic decision making’, 30th European Group of Organization Studies Colloquia, ROTTERDAM, July 3-5 2014
Morrell, K. ‘Ballet to Bolshevism’, 73rd Academy of Management Conference FLORIDA, August 9-13 2013.
Morrell, K. ‘Corporate Governance and the Desperate Need for Mumbo-Jumbo’, 73rd Academy of Management Conference FLORIDA, August 9-13 2013.
Morrell, K. and Tuck, P. ‘Professions and Identity during Austerity: An Archaeological, Discursive Practice Perspective’ 7th Asia Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting Conference KOBE, July 26-28 2013
Morrell, K. and Tuck, P. ‘Global Crisis: Professions and Identity in Austerity’ 7th International Conference on Accounting, Auditing and Management MILAN, September 4-6 2012.
Morrell, K. ‘Policing Contested Space’, 7th Organization Studies Workshop, RHODES, May 24-26 2012.
Morrell, K. and Tuck, P. Tax and Fairy Tales’, 7th Triennial Critical Perspectives on Accounting Conference FLORIDA July 10-12 2011.
Morrell, K. ‘Governance as Narrative’, ‘Governing good and governing well’: The first global dialogue on ethical and effective governance, AMSTERDAM May 28-30 2009.
Purchasing Behavior’, 38th Academy of Marketing Science Conference “Marketing for a Better World”, (reviewed Poster) BALTIMORE, May 20–23 2009.
Morrell, K. ‘Communication, Ethics and Leadership’, Confederation of Indian Industry (practitioner conference on leadership) NEW DELHI, October 8 2007.
Hartley J., Rashman L., Radnor Z. and Morrell, K. ‘Rich aunts and poor cousins’, 9th International Research Symposium on Public Management, BOCCONI University, Italy, April 6-8 2005.
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Durham University Business School (May 2017-)
Associate Dean, Doctoral Programmes
WBS (2012- Apr 2017)
Head of the Strategy and International Business Group
Birmingham Business School (2007-12)
Reader in Organizational Behaviour
Principal Research Fellow Leadership and Governance
ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow
Reviewed for: Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, British Journal of Management, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Business Ethics, Critical Policy Studies, Group & Organization Management, Higher Education Research & Development, Human Relations, Human Resource Management Journal, International Journal of Management Reviews, International Journal of Nursing Studies, International Journal of Public Sector Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Leadership Studies, Journal of Organizational and Occupational Psychology, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Leadership, Local Government Studies, Management Learning Quarterly, Organization, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Organization Science, Organization Studies, Personnel Review, Policy & Politics, Public Administration, Public Administration Review, Public Money and Management, Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management. ESRC peer reviewer, perennial conference reviewer, reviewed numerous book proposals for CUP, OUP, Macmillan, Elgar, Cengage Learning, CIPD, Pearson, Prentice Hall, Polity, Sage.