Dr Peter LenneySenior Lecturer
Before I became an academic I had spent some 20-odd years in industry. Mostly with the industrial coatings/paints division of Courtaulds, the British multinational [now part of Akzo-Nobel]. I graduated as a chemist. My business career took me from the laboratory bench of product development, via various R&D management appointments, through global marketing, to eventually become the Worldwide Business Director of International Paint Marine Coatings - a global supplier of coating systems & services to ship operators and shipbuilders worldwide; at that time a $500m turnover business. Long before the word ‘global’ was fashionable the marine coatings business was truly global. Global customers with globally mobile assets made that inevitable. As a result I have had extensive experience of international markets and marketing. Additionally industrial coating operations are very often so integrated into customer processes that in many senses you have to know the customers’ businesses better than they do themselves. In my technical roles this facet of the coatings industry led me to get involved in the detail of a very wide range of industries…everything from ship-building to beverage cans, yacht construction, petrochemical production and aerospace, to name just a few. There’s no business, like paint business! I teach directly from my research and conceived and deliver the signature program of the MBA here at Lancaster - The Mindful Manager.
My primary research interests are the nature and processes of managerial work, management education and particularly managerial judgment. This latter research has led me to become engaged with the conceptions of mindfulness & metis and how the Aristotelian conception of practical wisdom – Phronesis - together with Heidegger’s, Arendt’s, Beiner's, Heidlebaugh’s, Martin's & Weidenfeld’s perspectives on judgment, can be mobilized in the education of managers
My primary research interests are the nature and processes of managerial work, management education and particularly managerial judgment. This latter research has led me to become engaged with the conceptions of mindfulness & metis and how the Aristotelian conception of practical wisdom – Phronesis - together with Heidegger’s, Arendt’s, Beiner's, Heidlebaugh’s, Martin's & Weidenfeld’s perspectives on judgment, can be mobilized in the education of managers. My current PhD student Lisa Guenther and just completed doctoral student Dr Zomuhlaba Musiyiwa, are working in this latter area.
The descriptions of managerial work developed in the literature to date have been, in the main, decidedly ‘thin’ [Geertz 1973]. I am endeavouring to develop a ‘thicker’ description of managerial work, one that reveals the ‘substance’ of the manifest managerial conduct. New perspectives on both managerial conduct & the character of the ‘content’ of managerial work are being sought.
The current focus of my writing/publication activity is in the deployment of ethnomethodological & discursive psychology approaches/methods to the analysis of the conversational conduct of managers [& researchers]. This is in the pursuit, one might say, of an understanding/elaboration of the conversational mechanics of Metis. This theoretical/analytical approach has been made possible by the assembly of a cross-disciplinary team in the analysis of the extensive and rich empirical material that I gathered during my 2 years as an Action Researcher/Ethnographer.
My field research is largely ethnographic and deploys an array of longitudinal methodologies including programmes of diary-stimulated interviews, work shadowing, auto-ethnography, participant-observation, action research and non-participant observation.
BSc Hons [1st Class] Chemistry (Leeds)
P.G. Cert. Academic Practice
Senior Fellow of the Foundation for Management Education
The Mindful Manager Programme of the MBA
The Reflexive-Reflective Manager on the International Masters in Practising Management