Emeritus Professor Richard Thorpe


Qualifications 1988: PhD Lancaster University, School of Management
1980: MSc (by research) Strathclyde University, Business School Professional Association
Former Member of the ESRC Training and Development Board
Past Chair and President of the British Academy of Management
Fellow of the British Academy of Management
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy Honorary Member of the Canadian Association of Deans of Business SchoolsRichards career began as a management trainee in the footwear industry (Clarks) before working for a short period of time in the Rossendale Valley. He then used the industrial engineering skills he acquired firstly in a move to the water industry and then a move to the Highlands of Scotland where he managed a small clothing company manufacturing outdoor protective clothing. It was here that he enrolled on a part-time MSc at Strathclyde University Business School, his research focus being payment systems.
Richard moved to Strathclyde University Business School in 1978 to join the Pay & Rewards Research Centre, firstly as a Research Assistant and later as Research Fellow. It was from this research that he jointly published Payment Systems and Productivity, 1986 (Macmillan) and later Strategic Reward Systems (Prentice-Hall). From Strathclyde University he moved across the city to the Department of Management at Glasgow University. It was here the focus of his research changed from Pay and Reward to Small Firm Growth and Development. At Glasgow he was engaged in the development of a range of developmental programmes that encouraged start-up and growth businesses as well as teaching on the Departments MBA, MEng and the Scottish Business Schools Doctoral Programme. In 1983 Richard moved south to Blackburn College and through involvement in the North West Regional Management Centres MSc in Management moved to the then Manchester Polytechnic. For ten years the problem centred, learner centred MSc was the main focus of Richards work and research and he combined his small firm research with a growing interest in management and organisational learning and development. His research took a decided qualitative turn as working to help with individuals and organisations develop. In 1990, Richard led the development of a new MBA and became the programmes first director in 1991. The programme received AMBA accreditation three years later.
In the 1990s working firstly with the department of management and later as Director of the Graduate Business School he led the development of the Faculty of Management and Business (later Business School) doctoral Programme. This received ESRC training recognition for mode A and B in 1997 and for CASE awards in 1999. Also in this period, he worked closely with the University of Economics in Prague on curriculum development and institutional change leading to the establishment of a new business school Prague International Business School and an accreditation system for MBAs in the Czech Republic CAMBAS. Personal Assistant Hannah Preston
PA to Richard Thorpe
Tel: +44 (0)113 343 8754Richard has a range of research interests which include: performance, remuneration, small business and entrepreneurship, management learning and development, and leadership.

He has sought to develop these interests at all the institutions in which he has worked. His early industrial experience informed the way his ethos has developed. Common themes are: a strong commitment to process methodologies and a focus on action in all its forms; an interest in and commitment to the development of doctoral students and the development of capacity within the sector; a commitment to collaborative working on projects of mutual interest.

His current research interests are embedded in a number of funded projects. With Manchester Metropolitan University, a study of the Evolution of Knowledge in Small Firms (ESRC);

  • With Warwick Business School, the Open University Business School, Cranfield School of Management, the University of East Anglia Management Department and Henley Management College, a seminar series on Perspectives on Performance (ESRC);
  • With Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Bradford School of Management, Sheffield School of Management, York Department of Management, Hull Business School and Durham Business School, a network initiative to develop advanced training for doctoral students (ESRC);
  • With colleagues, an Evaluation study into Micronetworking in the North West of England (RDA).

Richard is a member of the Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and attended the International Teaching Programme (ITP) in 1983.

He has taught on a wide range of programmes, more recently at postgraduate level, but also recently at undergraduate level and has been active in course development and design.

Richard supervises a number of doctoral students on areas that relate to his own areas of interest and expertise. (with 25 completions to date).Richard's current responsibilities at Leeds University Business School are:

  • to work closely with the Institute of Corporate Learning in the development of management development initiatives;
  • as a deputy director at the Keyworth Institute;
  • he is a past chair of the University of Leeds post-graduate training and development committee.

Within the Management and Business community, Richard has undertaken a number of national roles:

  • He has been both chair and president of the British Academy of Management (BAM) and currently coordinates the Directors of Research Development Programme. Previously he undertook the roles of deputy chair, vice-chair, and secretary and responsibilities for training and development.
  • A has been a member of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Training and Development Board. Previously also sitting on two ESRC subject assessment panels (2001 and 2003) and one subject area panel (2000) to create new training recognition guidelines. Within the board he acted as examiner in chief and chaired a number of commissioning panels
  • He still acts as an accreditor for the Association of Business Schools (AMBA) and as a panel member for the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) accreditation service - EQUIS.
  • He is a member of the Henley School of Management research committee
  • He is a board member of the Society for the Advancement of Management