Keynote speakers

Aligned with the conference theme we are delighted to announce the following keynote speakers, who are now confirmed as part of the conference programme. Each will explore an aspect of responsible leadership in terms of: trust and moral capitalism, leadership as purpose, locating responsible leadership, and calling and leadership.

Professor Susan R Madsen

The Orin R. Woodbury Professor of Leadership and Ethics in the Woodbury School of Business at Utah Valley University. Susan has been heavily involved for over a decade in researching the lifetime development of prominent women leaders. She has personally interviewed a host of women university presidents, U.S. governors, and international leaders and has had two books and a host of articles published on her work. Overall, Susan has published over 60 articles in scholarly journals and presents often in local, national, and international settings.

In recent years she has done research in China, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. In 2012 she presented in sessions at the United Nations in New York and Geneva on women, leadership, and education and was also an invited panelist at the New York Times. In 2007 she received the Early Career Scholar Award from AHRD and has also received numerous awards and honors for her teaching, scholarship, and service. For example, she was recently recognized as one of the 2013 “30 Women to Watch” in Utah. She recently finished a four year project for the state of Utah; she led research team and community task forces to figure out how to get more Utah women to graduate from college. In the past few years, Susan has also founded the AHRD Leadership Special Interest Group, the Women and Leadership Affinity Group within the ILA, and the Utah Women in Higher Education Network. Dr. Madsen received her Ed.D in 2001 from the University of Minnesota in Work, Community, and Family Education with a specialization in HRD.

Her keynote address for the conference is entitled Leadership and Calling: The Role of Calling in a Woman’s Choice to Lead. Recent research has continued to find that low numbers of women are found in top leadership positions in nearly all industries and countries. Although progress has been made, there remain many barriers that arise from within the complex team and organizational environments (external) and also within women themselves (internal). In finding ways to better prepare women for leadership, one of the most important and foundational areas of emerging research focuses on understanding women’s aspirations and motivations to lead. In most cases, these aspirations and motivations appear to be significantly different for women than for men.

Some initial studies have found that a powerful motivator for many women who have stepped forward to lead is that they believe they have been “called” to lead. After becoming aware of their own giftedness and then understanding this call to lead, it appears that, among other things, their self-efficacy and ability to become more resilient seem to increase. These are key characteristics needed for women to step forward to take on positional leadership roles. Dr. Madsen will first provide a brief update on (1) the progress of women’s leadership around the world, (2) findings on developing leadership capacity for women, and (3) research and insights on the role of calling on a woman’s aspirations and motivations to lead. She will share research, cases, and personal experiences and passions to help conference attendees explore this multifaceted phenomenon and its applications to the leadership research, theory, and practice.  


Professor Brad Jackson

The Head of School of Government and professor of public and community leadership at Victoria University of Wellington. He has also been the Head of School of Management and Director of the Centre for the Study of Leadership at Victoria. More recently he has been the Fletcher Building Education Trust Chair in Leadership and Co-Director of the New Zealand Leadership Institute at The University of Auckland Business School.

Brad has been a Visiting Professor with the Copenhagen Business School, Doshisha University, Peking University and the University of Pretoria and was an Associate Professor of Continuing Education at the University of Calgary.  His research explores the role of communication in the social construction of leadership; the relationship between leadership and governance processes; and the application of geographic perspectives to leadership research, development and education.

Brad has spoken to academic and practitioner audiences throughout the world and has published five books—Management Gurus and Management Fashions, The Hero Manager, Organisational Behaviour in New Zealand, A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Studying Leadership and Demystifying Business Celebrity and edited the Sage Handbook of Leadership and Major Works in Leadership.  He is co-editor of the journal, Leadership, the Vice-Chair of the International Leadership Association, a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management and The Leadership Trust.

His keynote address is entitled The Importance of Purpose in Leadership and Leadership Development. Defining and communicating purpose is an integral yet often taken-for-granted and subsumed function of leadership.  This presentation will argue that as leadership scholars we need to take responsibility for not only foregrounding purpose as a critical focus for understanding leadership but also in promoting the problematization and articulation of purpose as the central responsibility of leadership. It will conclude by suggesting a research and development agenda that is centred on leadership as purpose.


Professor Ken Parry

Professor of Leadership and Director of the Centre for Leadership Studies, at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. Prior to that he was Founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Leadership in Wellington, New Zealand.  He has researched, studied and consulted in Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Europe and South-East Asia.  He has written or edited 8 books, mainly on the topic of leadership.  His most recent book is the second edition of A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Studying Leadership, co-authored with Brad Jackson; published in four languages.  Ken was Founding Editor of the Journal of Management & Organization, the research journal of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management. Ken has had nine years of experience in manufacturing industry as an inventory manager prior to entering academia.  He has addressed the Senior Executive Service of the Australian Public Service at the National Press Club.  He is widely used as a speaker at professional conferences and industry events. 

Ken’s keynote address is entitled The New Discourse of Moral Capitalism. The discourse of business leadership is dominated by greed and anger and pride and jealousy.  We know how discourse creates reality. Indeed, discourse can create a universal reality in the minds of a whole population.  Business schools have played a big part in generating problematic realities because of the discourses that they impose upon students. Cinema and the media have played the same pathetic part. As a result, we all have created a brutal capitalism, something we should be ashamed of.  By examining the nature of trust, and the role of business within our communities, a new discourse of moral capitalism is proposed, as is the role of the leadership R&D community in creating this new reality.  


Professor Kevin Lowe

Professor of Management in the Graduate School of Management and Fletcher Building Education Trust Chair in Leadership at the University of Auckland. Prior to joining the University of Auckland Business School Professor Lowe was the Burlington Industries Research Excellence Professor in the Bryan School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Professor Lowe's research focuses on leadership, cross cultural management, and diversity management. He is an Associate Editor at The Leadership Quarterly and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, Group and Organization Management and the Journal of World Business and is in the officer succession line to become the President of the Southern Management Association. An enthusiastic teacher Professor Lowe received the UNC Board of Governors Teaching Excellence Award and was a nominee for the CASE U.S. Professor of the Year Award. Professor Lowe holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the Chapman Graduate School of Business at Florida International University

Kevin’s keynote address is entitled Responsible Leadership:  Elevating the Internal Perspective. The notion of responsible leadership, while gaining increased attention in the academic and practitioner literatures, has developed predominately along a few specific lines. First, much of that literature actually discusses responsible leaders (as individuals) rather than responsible leadership (as processes). Second, responsible leadership has been examined primarily through an externally oriented framework. Third, within the external lens, the dominant foci have been ecological impacts and the role of corporate philanthropy. This presentation will expand and elevate the view that increased attention to responsible leadership within the firm, from both an individual development and organizational process perspective, is a necessary condition for achieving the proffered external responsibilities. A research and development agenda more focused on the responsible for whom perspective rather than the responsible for what perspective will be advanced.