Print
David Collins
PhD., affiliated Professor
Faculty of History and Social Sciences
Telephone 01603 507030/07787 514643
Show Faroese edition
  • About
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications
  • CV
  • Other activities
Description of teaching

External Examining

Previously I acted as the External Examiner for:

University of Staffordshire (PGT).

University of Hull (UG + PGT).

University Campus (Suffolk) (UG).

The School of Management, University of Leicester (UG).

Aberdeen Business School, University of Aberdeen (UG).

City College Norwich (UG).

PG (R) External Examiner for the University of Durham, Business School

 

PhD Examination/ Supervision

I have examined seven PhD theses:

University of Liverpool, 2005.

University of Leicester, 2006.

Universitat Pompeu Fabria, Barcelona 2008.

Imperial College, London 2010.

University of Lancaster 2013

University of Huddersfield 2014.

University of Hull 2014.

I have now supervised two PhD students to the successful completion of their studies. Petar Bachev (Hull) graduated in December 2018 and Bashir Al-Zawawi (Hull) graduated in July 2019.

Overview

REF 2020 – Relevant Publications: Refereed Articles and Books

REF 2020 Articles
(2019) ‘Auditors and Regulatory Work (1987-2013): From reporting accountants to skilled persons’ reports’, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 32 (7): 2088-2113. (joint with Ian Dewing and Peter Russell, UEA). [4]

(2019) ‘Success and Failure in Professional Projects: The Nature, Contours and Limits of Consulting Professionalism’, British Journal of Management, (joint with Nick Butler, Stockholm University) In Press (DOI 10.1111/1467-8551.12331). [5]

(2019) Hacer América grande…otra vez: el proyecto de excelencia be retrospective, Debats, 133 (1): 105-109.

(2019) Tornar a fer gran Amėrica: el projecte d’excel·lėncia en retrospective, Debats 133 (1): 105-109.

(2016) ‘Constituting Best Practice in Management Consulting’, Culture and Organization, 22 (5): 409-429. [4]

(2016) ‘The Failure of Consulting Professionalism? A Longitudinal Analysis of the Institute of Management Consultants (joint with Nick Butler, University of Lund, Sweden) Management and Organizational History, 11 (1); 48-65.
This paper was short-listed for the Urwick Prize which is awarded by the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants. [4]

(2015) ‘Between Maxwell and Micawber: Plotting the failure of the Equitable Life’, Accounting and Business Research, 45 (6/7): 715-737 (joint with Ian Dewing and Peter Russell, University of East Anglia, UK). [4]

REF 2020: Books
(2021) The Organizational Storytelling Workbook: How to harness this powerful management and communication tool, Routledge: London and New York.

(2021) Management Gurus: A Research Overview, Routledge: London and New York.

(2018) Stories for Management Success: The Power of Talk in Organizations, Routledge: London and New York.


REF 2020: Book Chapters
(2019) ‘Management’s Gurus’ in The Oxford Handbook of Management Ideas, Sturdy A, Heusinkveld S, Reay T and Strang D (eds), Oxford University press: Oxford.

(2015) Contributed entry on ‘Tom Peters’ to Augier M and Teece D (eds) The Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Strategic Management, Pakgrave-MacMillan, Hampshire and New York.

(2015) ‘Foreword’ in Örtenblad A (ed) Handbook of Research on Management Ideas and Panaceas, Edward Elgar Publishing: London.

All Publications:
Books

(2021) The Organizational Storytelling Workbook: How to harness this powerful management and communication tool, Routledge: London and New York.

This workbook has been developed in the light of recent Executive MBA teaching and related consulting activity conducted in the UK and across Europe.

Designed as a companion to Stories for Management Success, the book locates storytelling within an account of ‘culture’ and proceeds to develop a range of maxims and exercises designed to allow the user to craft and to cultivate narratives of management and organization that might be used to secure purposeful engagement with organizational strategies.

(2021) Management Gurus: A Research Overview, Routledge: London and New York.

This research monograph provides a critical review and reanalysis of some 30 years of academic engagement with management’s gurus. The text which advances through a consideration of ‘guru theory’; the ‘guru industry; and ‘guru speak’ concludes with a critical analysis of guru performance and suggests avenues for further research based upon a consideration of the affinities evident in guru performance and observational stand-up comedy.

Professor Bill Cooke, York observes: ‘This succinct and to-the-point volume exemplifies the rigor, insight and originality with which David Collins continues to address the Management Guru phenomenon. [This book] is a must for researchers and students in business, and for the general reader.’

(2018) Stories for Management Success: The Power of Talk in Organizations, Routledge: London and New York.

This book builds upon earlier research undertaken in connection with the storytelling of Tom Peters but was, in truth, developed to support executive development activities around leadership, change and culture undertaken in the UK and (especially) in Romania.

The text argues that attempts to codify the practice of management have led to an unhelpful separation of talk and action within managerial discourse. Challenging this dichotomy, the text suggests that while much of management knowledge is focused upon control the practice of management actually hinges upon persuasion. Locating storytelling as the means whereby managers situate themselves usefully in the company of others the book outlines the nature and variety of organizational storytelling. The book concludes with six key actions, which within the context of organizational storytelling should be regarded as central to managerial success.

This text has been used to underpin executive education activities in the UK and in Romania and has been used to assist the Aberlour charity in Scotland with its management training. In addition, this text has underpinned a management consultancy engagement recently undertaken on behalf of a major bank operating in southern Europe.

A one-day executive development programme, which builds upon this experience, has also been developed and is now being utilised by clients in Romania and the UK. A workbook (see above) to support this endeavour has now been published.

Prof. Yiannis Gabriel observed:
David Collins has succeeded where few others have. He has written a book on the power of storytelling that is readable, critical and provocative. It is a book that will enlighten and stimulate practicing managers, students and scholars. But the highest praise for the authors is that in doing all this he has told a powerful story in its own right. And he has told it brilliantly.

(2007) Narrating the Management Guru: In Search of Tom Peters, Routledge: London and New York.

This research monograph was produced to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Tom Peters’ archetypal ‘guru’ text In Search of Excellence. Guided by a narrative approach the monograph offers, uniquely, a longitudinal analysis of Tom Peters’ texts and the wider storytelling practices which each exhibits.

A paper derived from this text was awarded the ‘Best Paper’ prize in the Management Consultancy Stream at the British Academy of Management Conference (Warwick, 2007).

To mark the 30th anniversary a paperback edition of this text was released in 2012.

Reviews include the following:

Tom Peters’ work is important and often under-estimated. David Collins provides a unique perspective on why Tom Peters matters.
Stuart Crainer, editor of ‘Business Strategy Review’ and biographer of Tom Peters.

Tom Peters changed the way we view management and this book by David Collins will change the way we view Peters.
Prof. David Buchanan, Cranfield University.

This is an excellent book. It offers a fascinating and lucid account of Tom Peters and his contribution. It provides powerful and persuasive insights into the management guru phenomenon while managing to combine a balanced account of Peters’ work with thoughtful and engaging critique. I would highly recommend this book to both academics and students with an interest in the area.
Prof. Cliff Oswick, Queen Mary, University of London.

A review in Organization Studies (Vol 29: 1064-1069) notes:
David Collins has delivered a gripping account of the Tom Peters story and, along the way, a very revealing illustration of the power and limitations of narrative in different discourses. His book is written with clarity, wit and the kind of no-nonsense approach that is a pleasure to encounter in an academic monograph.
Prof. Yiannis Gabriel, Royal Holloway, University of Bath.

(2000) Management Fads and Buzzwords: Critical-Practical Perspectives, Routledge: London and New York.

In many ways this book represents a precursor to the programme of work that led to the award of my PhD. The text offers a comprehensive analysis of the gurus of management and a critical review of the tools and innovations – such as Total Quality Management, Excellence, Culture and Business Process Reengineering - which came to prominence during the 1980s and 1990s.

The book, as a whole, is designed to allow readers to locate, understand and critique recent developments in management commonly (but mistakenly) referred to as fads. In an attempt to allow readers (and so practitioners of management) to come to terms with the (so-called) fads and buzzwords of management the text suggests that we should rethink our analytical approach. Thus Management Fads and Buzzwords invites readers to challenge the grammar as opposed to the vocabulary of contemporary management studies.

Pertinent and timely, clearly and fluidly written…there is an urgent need for an accessible and erudite book in this area, and one designed, as this book is, around themes common in management.
Monica Lee (University of Lancaster), Editor-in-Chief, ‘Human Resource Development International’.

Collins offers an exhaustive survey of the guru industry, its protagonists and detractors.
Fiona Czerniawska (Research Director: Management Consultancies Association) ‘Consulting to Management’

In sum, this is a fascinating book that highlights and intelligently analyzes the world of management fads and their accompanying buzzwords. I have not seen this level of analysis on this subject before, and I congratulate the author on elucidating this material so well. He does so with a tinge of British humour and with a tremendous amount of quality research and discussion. In bringing objectivity into the subject matter of management fads Professor Collins has done the field of management study and education a great service.
Daniel Rowley (University of Northern Colorado) ‘Academy of Management: Learning and Teaching’

(1998) Organizational Change: Sociological Perspectives, Routledge: London and New York.

This book offers a critical review of the field concerned with change management. Initially conceived as a ‘critical companion’ to Bernard Burnes’s Managing Change, the text argues that accounts of change management tend, either, to straddle or to lurch between ‘under-socialised’ and ‘over-socialised’ models of organization. In an attempt to reveal the limitations of such perspectives an alternative, more sociological, appreciation of the contexts, processes and politics of managing and organizing is articulated.

It would not be an exaggeration to suggest that this book has altered the lexicon of change management introducing terms such as ‘n-step guide’, which are now part of the field’s standard terminology.

Despite being designed as a supplementary text Organizational Change ranks among Routledge’s top-selling works and has out-sold most of the standard textbooks offered by this publisher. Between 1998 and 2001 it was reprinted no fewer than five times. Sadly, the advent of ‘digital printing’ has robbed authors of such bragging rights.

All royalties from this text are paid to The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. I am – I am informed – now one of the Carnegie Trust’s biggest benefactors!

This is one of the best books on organizational change around.
Chris Grey (University of Cambridge), ‘Gender, Work and Organization’


Book Chapters
(2019) ‘Management’s Gurus’ in The Oxford Handbook of Management Ideas, Sturdy A, Heusinkveld S, Reay T and Strang D (eds), Oxford University press: Oxford.

(2015) Contributed entry on ‘Tom Peters’ to Augier M and Teece D (eds) The Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Strategic Management, Pakgrave-MacMillan, Hampshire and New York.

(2015) ‘Foreword’ in Örtenblad A (ed) Handbook of Research on Management Ideas and Panaceas, Edward Elgar Publishing: London.

(2012) ‘Management Fads and Fashions’ In Boje D, Burnes B and Hassard J (eds) Routledge Companion to Organizational Change’, London: Routledge.

(2001) ‘Managing the Process of Empowerment: Lots of Heat, Any Light? In Anderson A R and Jack S L (eds) (2001) Enterprise and Learning, Polestar-Aberdeen University Press: Aberdeen.

(2001) Wilkinson A, Redman T and Snape E (eds) The Informed Student Guide to Human Resource Management, International Thompson Business Press.
Contributed entries on ‘participation’ and ‘team briefing’ to this encyclopaedia of HRM.


Journal Special Issues
(2003) ‘Re-Imagining Change’, Special Issue of Tamara: The Journal of Critical Postmodern Organizational Science 2 (4) – Editor.

Refereed Journal Publications

(2019) ‘Auditors and Regulatory Work (1987-2013): From reporting accountants to skilled persons’ reports’, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 32 (7): 2088-2113. (joint with Ian Dewing and Peter Russell, UEA).

(2019) ‘Success and Failure in Professional Projects: The Nature, Contours and Limits of Consulting Professionalism’, British Journal of Management, (joint with Nick Butler, Stockholm University) In Press (DOI 10.1111/1467-8551.12331).

(2019) Hacer América grande…otra vez: el proyecto de excelencia be retrospective, Debats, 133 (1): 105-109.

(2019) Tornar a fer gran Amėrica: el projecte d’excel·lėncia en retrospective, Debats 133 (1): 105-109.

(2016) ‘Constituting Best Practice in Management Consulting’, Culture and Organization, 22 (5): 409-429.

(2016) ‘The Failure of Consulting Professionalism? A Longitudinal Analysis of the Institute of Management Consultants (joint with Nick Butler, University of Lund, Sweden) Management and Organizational History, 11 (1); 48-65.
This paper was short-listed for the Urwick Prize which is awarded by the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants.

(2015) ‘Between Maxwell and Micawber: Plotting the failure of the Equitable Life’, Accounting and Business Research, 45 (6/7): 715-737 (joint with Ian Dewing and Peter Russell, University of East Anglia, UK).

(2013) ‘In Search of Popular Management: Sensemaking, sensegiving and storytelling in the excellence project’, Culture and Organization 19 (1): 42-61. This work was supported by a British Academy Small Grant of £3,500.

(2012) ‘New Roles for Auditors and Reporting Accountants in UK Banking Supervision under the Banking Act 1987’, (joint with Ian Dewing and Peter Russell, UEA), Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 25 (3): 535-565.

(2012) ‘Women Roar: The “women’s thing” in Tom Peters’ storywork’, Organization 19 (4); 405-424. This work was supported by a British Academy Small Grant of £3,500.

(2009) ‘Postcards from the Front: Changing Narratives in UK Financial Services’, (joint with Ian Dewing and Peter Russell, UEA), Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 20 (8): 884-895.

(2009) ‘The Actuary as Fallen Hero: On the reform of a profession’ (joint with Ian Dewing and Peter Russell, UEA), Work Employment and Society 23 (2): 249-266.

(2008) ‘Has Tom Peters Lost the Plot? A timely review of a celebrated management guru’, Journal of Organizational Change Management, 21 (3): 315-334.
This paper is an edited version of the text that was awarded the prize for Best Paper in the Management Consultancy Stream at the British Academy of Management Conference, University of Warwick 2007. This work was supported by a British Academy Small Grant of £3,500.

(2006) ‘Assaying the Advice Industry’, Culture and Organization, 12 (2): 139-152.

(2006) ‘Crazy days call for crazy ways? Narrating Tom Peters’, Management Decision, 44 (5): 658-673 (joint with Ceri Watkins, University of Essex).

(2005) ‘Managing Change at Sears: A sideways look at a tale of corporate transformation’ (joint with Kelley Rainwater), Journal of Organizational Change Management 18 (1): 16-30.
This is an edited version of a paper, which was presented at the British Academy of Management annual conference (Harrogate 2003). It was awarded the BAM Executive Prize for ‘Best Overall Paper’.

(2005) ‘Pyramid Schemes and Programmatic Management: Critical Reflections on the “Guru Industry”’, Culture and Organization 11 (1): 33-44.

(2004) ‘Who put the con in consultancy? Fads, recipes and “vodka margarine”’ Human Relations, 57 (5): 553-572.

(2004) ‘The Machinations of Change: BEEPEEARR, debunking and the “in-between”’, Organization, 11 (5): 671-688.

(2004) ‘X-Engineering: ex cathedra?’, Personnel Review, 35 (1): 127-142.

(2003) ‘Fixing the Language of Change: A Response’, Journal of Organizational Change Management, 16 (5): 584-590.

(2003) ‘Re-imagining Change’, Tamara: The Journal of Critical Postmodern Organizational Science, 2 (4): iv-ix.

(2003) ‘The Branding of Management Knowledge: Rethinking Management “Fads”’, Journal of Organizational Change Management, 16 (2): 186-204.

(2002) ‘Climbing Bridalveil Falls: “Organization change”, process and re-engineering’, Strategic Change, 11 (2): 81-93.

(2001) ‘BPR and the Substance of Change’, Strategic Change, 10 (3): 163-173.

(2001) ‘The Fad Motif in Management Scholarship’, Employee Relations, 23 (1): 26-37.

(1999) ‘Born to Fail? Empowerment, Ambiguity and Set Overlap’, Personnel Review, 28 (3): 208-221.

(1998) ‘Il a commencé à penser avant d’avoir rien appris: a processual view of the construction of empowerment’, Employee Relations, 20 (6): 594-609.

(1998) ‘Is empowerment just a fad? Process, Power and Culture in the Management of Empowerment’, Systemist, 20 (1): 53-68.

(1998) ‘Applying Empowerment? A reply in the form of a corrective’, Career Development International, 3 (2): 88-92.

(1997) ‘Knowledge Work or Working Knowledge? Ambiguity and Confusion in the Analysis of the Knowledge Age’, Employee Relations, 19 (1): 38-50.
This article was subsequently reprinted in 1998 in the Journal of Systemic Knowledge Management. In addition an abridged version of the 1997 article was reproduced for the practitioner publication Employee Relations Digest during 1998.

(1997) ‘The Obscure World of Empowerment’, Iconoclastic Papers, 1 (1).

(1997) ‘A Third Cheer for Empowerment? In Search of a Framework’, Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 18 (3): 127-135.

(1997) ‘Two Cheers for Empowerment: some critical reflections’, Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 18 (1): 23-29.

(1996) ‘New Paradigms for Change? Theories of Organization and the Organization of Theories’, Journal of Organizational Change Management, 9 (4): 9-23.

(1996) ‘Whither Democracy? Lost Debates in the Management of Empowerment’, Empowerment in Organizations, 4 (1): 12-24.

(1996) ‘No Such Thing As…A Practical Approach to Management’, Management Decision, 4 (2): 29-39.

(1995) ‘Rooting for Empowerment?’ Empowerment in Organizations, 3 (2): 25-33.
This analysis of empowerment was awarded ‘The Outstanding Paper: Award for Excellence’ by MCB at its annual prize-giving event.

(1995) ‘Towards a Quality Culture?’, International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, 11 (5): 19-29 (joint with John Sinclair, Napier University).

(1994) ‘The Disempowering Logic of Empowerment, Empowerment in Organizations, 2 (2): 14-21.


Articles in Practitioner Publications
(2005) ‘Organizational Thixotropy and the Problem of Change’ Spectra: The Journal of the Management Consultancies Association, Spring: 10-12.


Book Reviews
(2006) ‘Review Article: Managing to Change?’ British Journal of Industrial Relations, 374-376.

(2005) ‘Review Article: Making Sense of Organizational Change’, Organization 12 (1): 140-142.

(2005) ‘Review Article: Sweet Nothings – Odd Reviews of The Globalization of Nothing’, Critical Perspectives on International Business 1 (1): 64-68.

(2003) ‘Review Article: Management Gurus and Management Fashions’, Management Communication Quarterly, 26 (3): 459-462.

(2002) ‘Review Article: Empowering Service Excellence’, Employee Relations, 24 (2): 232-235.

(1995) ‘Review Article: The Nissan Enigma’, Personnel Review, 24 (1): 67-71.

Education

1983-1988

MA (hons) Political Economy and Sociology, University of Glasgow.

1988-1989

MSc Industrial Relations, University of Strathclyde.

This period of study was made possible by an award from The Carnegie Trust.

2006

PhD Management Studies, University of Essex.

2019

Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy (PR167739)

Positions

October 1988 – May 1989
Part-time tutor in Industrial Relations, University of Strathclyde.

March 1990 – May 1992
Research Assistant, Napier Polytechnic of Edinburgh.

May 1992 – Dec 1993

Lecturer in Organizational Change, Napier University of Edinburgh.

Jan 1994 – July 1995

Lecturer in HRM, University of Sunderland.

July 1995 – March 1997

Senior Lecturer in HRM, University of Sunderland.

March 1997 – July 1999

Lecturer in Management, University of East Anglia

August 1999 – October 2001

Lecturer in Management, University of Essex.

October 2001 – October 2003

Senior Lecturer in Management, University of Essex.

October 2003 – December 2012

Reader in Management, University of Essex.

January 2013- December 2016

Professor in Management, University of Hull.

January 2017-July 2019

Professor in Management, Dean of Suffolk Business School,

University of Suffolk (UK).

June 2020 – Present

Professor in Management, Academic Director of the Newcastle MBA,

University of Northumbria, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.