Cranfield School of Management has appointed Professor Kevin Morrell as the inaugural Rowlands Chair of Transformational Strategy.

Conventional thinking and techniques in strategy are often designed to tune a business within existing parameters. ‘Transformational strategy’ enables organisations to respond to disruption, take advantage of leaps forward in innovation and, if necessary, to reinvent themselves as they rethink core aspects of their business model.

The Rowlands Chair is an endowed position with funding generously donated to the University by the Rowlands Charitable Trust.

Professor Morrell is joining the School of Management from Durham University Business School where he is currently Professor of Strategy having also served as Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research and Director of the PhD programme. Prior to that he was Head of the Strategy and International Business Group at Warwick Business School. He will take up his post on 1 July 2021.

Professor Kevin Morrell, said: “It is a tremendous honour to have the opportunity to work at Cranfield. I am excited by the vision behind this post and keen to realise Simon Rowlands’ ambition of building something path-breaking and that also has a lasting impact.

“Cranfield is globally renowned for its close links to its business partners and cutting edge postgraduate teaching and I am looking forward to working with, and learning from, colleagues as we develop the School’s thinking on Transformational Strategy. I see this as a once-in-a-career opportunity to contribute to the practical application of management knowledge and be a trusted adviser to organisations - steering away from dated, off-the-shelf models to develop bespoke solutions to today’s grand challenges.”

Professor David Oglethorpe, Dean of Cranfield School of Management, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Professor Morrell to Cranfield as the School’s inaugural Rowlands Chair of Transformational Strategy.

“If the past 18 months has taught us anything, it is that organisations need to be incredibly agile in order, to adapt and survive. However, often these are short-term reactions to shocks, rather than long-term transformation. I’m looking forward to Kevin developing the School’s thinking and a much deeper understanding of transformational strategy, examining how organisations can re-imagine and re-invent themselves and offer practical solutions in how to do so.

“On behalf of the School of Management and the wider University, we are thankful to Simon Rowlands and his family for this extremely generous and heartfelt gift that has enabled us to create this Chair.”

Simon Rowlands, MBA 1986, said: “I am delighted Professor Morrell is joining the School of Management to lead our new work in Transformational Strategy and the development of thought leadership”

“When the endowment was created, someone with Kevin’s vision, knowledge and desire to see their thinking turned into action was who we had in mind. I’m looking forward to seeing Kevin create tools that guide and support entrepreneurial companies and large established businesses to develop more radical transformational strategies.”

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.