Click here for my CV

My thesis draws on my experience and builds on three distinct areas:

  • Sustainability
  • Positioning Theory
  • Foucault

    Having consulted to government and industry organisations since 1981 I have been struck by the contrast between those organisations that get on with change and those that flounder. My interest in doing a PhD was to understand and articulate what CEOs need to do to ensure that change happens in their organisations instead of permitting people to avoid what needs to be done.

    I observed a contemporary issue; how CEOs who were effectively dealing with sustainability issues were going about leading that change. In other words, what sort of deliberation takes places in organisations that are dealing with sustainability issues effectively?

    What I discovered has broad implications within all organisations and for individuals in their private lives. I have applied my learning within client organisations as reported in my book chapter 'Assessment of Quality Systems with Positioning Theory', in Harre, R and F Moghaddam 2003, The Self and Others: Positioning Individuals and Groups in Personal, Political, and Cultural Contexts, Greenwood Publishers, Westport, Conn. Now in a google book

    I am working with Charles Kovess to develop a program to help people learn about themselves and others so they can develop themselves and their relationships with others.

    Papers Published So Far

  • inpress"Preparing Leaders to Deal with Sustainability", in Journal of Management EducationSpecial Issue on Sustainability
  • 2007. "Sustainability Perspectives", Philosophy of Management, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 87-97
  • with Dalrymple, J. and Staples, W. "Cost of Tendering: Adding Cost Without Value?", in Clients Driving Innovation: Moving Ideas into Practice, Proceedings of 2006 Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Construction Innovation Conference, Gold Coast, Queensland, 12-14 Mar 2006
  • "Harnessing Hope to Enable Opportunity", in Women and Work Research Monograph (2005), Fastineau, M. and Charlesworth, S. (eds), RMIT Publishing, 2006
  • "Discourses of Quality", in Quality in Higher Education, Dalrymple, J. (ed), Emerald, 2005
  • "Sustainability and Entrepreneurship", in Journal of Asia Entrepreneurship and Sustainability, Special Edition (Proceedings of Initiative 21 Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Sydney, July 2005), Vol. 1, Issue II, Oct 2005
  • The Sustainable Way, Brolga Publishing, Melbourne, 2005
  • "Being Able to do What You Aspire to do", in Women and Work Research Monograph, Fastineau, M. and Charlesworth, S. (eds), RMIT Publishing, 2004
  • Assessment of Quality Systems with Positioning Theory, in Harre, R and F Moghaddam 2003, The Self and Others: Positioning Individuals and Groups in Personal, Political, and Cultural Contexts, Greenwood Publishers, Westport, Conn. Now in a googlebook
  • "Positioning Theory Method for Culture Analysis and Development", in L.Boxer (ed) Excellence in the Face of Crisis, MAAOE03 Proceedings, Intergon, Melbourne, Oct 2003
  • Improving Education Quality with Positioning Theory - QHE, 2002
  • Assesing Organisational Effectiveness with Positioning Theory MAAOE, 2002
  • Presented at ICIT2002: Assessing QMS with Positioning Theory
  • Read - Subterfuge of the Sustainability Trinity MAAOE, 2001
  • Using Positioning Theory to Make Quality Happen in Higher Ed., AQHE, 2000
  • Using Positioning Theory to Make Quality Happen, QIMC, 2001

    Passed 30 July 2003
    RMIT confirmed this on page 8 of the July newsletter.


    John Elkington's 1998 book has provided a foundation for my research. A second book, The Chrysalis Economy has been written to build on this foundation.

    I put forth that people, who care about the environment and community they work in say things like, "I know this is going to cost the company money, but I think there are other reasons for doing it – environmental and / or social."

    Triple bottom line is an attempt to recognise that if you only consider things for the dollars they cost, you miss many benefits, because they just do not fit on the balance sheet. The selective way they account for things means you do not see the whole enterprise and its affect on things. A purely financial interpretation would be inappropriate.

    Positioning Theory

    Dr Ian Ling suggested that I consider Prof Rom Harre's positioning theory as a basis for my research. Lings 1998 thesis and Harre's 1999 book have provided a foundation for my research.

    The position a person occupies intellectually defines the way information is taken in and perceived. This counters the idea that man is an objective being.

    Positioning theory relates to discursive psychology. It attempts to describe the dynamics of people in action with each other and considers how they position themselves and each other. Furthermore, it deals with what happens when people choose not to accept the position assigned to them or when the positions they are attempting to impose on others are renegotiated. The tool box of positioning theory includes:

    • metaphors, that are used to describe how people look at various situations
    • storylines, that describe situations where people are working with others
    It appears that senior managers may feel it is appropriate to adopt a certain position, that may blind them to certain issues, such as those relating to TBL. This is explained by Davies and Harré:

    ‘Once having taken up a particular position as one’s own, a person inevitably sees the world from the vantage point of that position and in terms of the particular images, metaphors, storylines and concepts which are made relevant within the particular discursive practice in which they are positioned.’ (Davies, Harré, 1999, p 35)

    It is not the intention of this research to determine whether or not all senior managers adopt a similar position, but it is put forth that senior managers likely have positions assigned to them and they likely accept these imposed positions, seeing a refusal of the position to be counter productive to themselves as a senior manager.

    Michel Foucault

    My analysis was assisted with a number of Foucauldian ideas. Gaze and governmentality were two concepts that sensitised me to develop my concept of Social Flux. See my discussion of Foucault's ideas in Chapter 3 and my development of Social Flux in Chapter 7.

    A great metaphor
    If you think product design is the glue between marketing & manufacturing that might explain why parts fall off things you make.

    Sound Advice from Napoleon Hill
    The moment you commit and quit holding back, all sorts of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance will rise up to help you. The simple act of commitment is a powerful magnet for help!

  • Centre for Management Quality Research
    a part of
    RMIT Business - School of Management
    Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology