Chair in Strategic Management

National University of Ireland Maynooth
County Kildare


Robert is Professor  of Strategic Management in the School of Business at NUI Maynooth. He was the founding Head of the School of Business, is co-Academic Director of the Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention and a former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. 



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Robert teaches and consults on strategy, leadership, and top-team development and assessment.  He has a unique approach to strategy which involves the holistic examination of developed capabilities and leadership styles, in addition to the orthodox planning perspectives.

Robert is an active researcher in the field of strategy and leadership. His specific interests are in management and organisational cognition and in the role personality plays in strategy development.

Robert has an extensive suite of executive assessment tools which he uses to profile top-team candidates and high-potential managers.  These have been used by clients in a number of ways including recruitment, selection for promotion and as a pre-selection tool for senior executive development programmes.  He has worked with organisations such as United Drug, Glanbia, Quinn Group, Bord Gais, Coca-Cola, Aer Arann, IBM, Dell, FAS, Pepsi, and Kerry Group, Google, Office of the Attorney General, and the Defence Forces.

Prior to joining the National University of Ireland, Robert was head of executive education and the Senior Specialist in Strategic Leadership at the Irish Management Institute where he designed and delivered a range of senior executive programmes.

Prior to joining academia, Robert spent 17 years in industry working in both manufacturing and service organisations.  He worked in a variety of management roles including Engineering Design, Business Development, Quality Assurance, Operation Management, and General Management. 

Robert holds a BA degree in Management from the IMI, an MA in Adult Education from the National University of Ireland, a Diploma in Business Strategy from the IMI, and an award winning Ph.D. from Cranfield University in the UK.  He is accredited by the British Psychological Society to use a wide range of psychometric instruments.  He is a Fellow of the International Academy of Management and a Certified Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming.

Robert was appointed to the Board of the Institute of Public Administration in 2008, is a member of the Recognised Colleges Committe of the National University of Ireland, and is on the Council of the Irish Academy of Management.



  • Bachelor of Arts degree in Management (honours degree) from the Irish Management Institute (HETAC)
  • Master of Arts degree in Adult Education, Sustainable Human and Community Development from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.
  • Diploma in Business Strategy (ordinary degree) from the Irish Management Institute (HETAC)
  • PhD degree in Strategic Leadership from Cranfield University


  • Best Paper Award, Irish Academy of Management 2007 (with Kelliher, F. and Harrington, D.)
  • Directors Prize for Best PhD Thesis, Cranfield University, 2006
  • Highly Commended Award. EFMD/Emerald Outstanding Thesis, 2006


  • Fellow of the International Academy of Management
  • Member of the Strategic Planning Society
  • Member of the Academy of Management
  • Member of the Irish Academy of Management
  • Member of the British Academy of Management


  • Member of the Board of Directors, Institute of Public Administration (IPA) (2008-2012)



  • Strategy
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Top-team capability development
  • Talent management
  • Psychometric assessment



  • Strategic leadership and the effect of leaders’ personality and experience biases
  • Effect of personality & cognitive ability on managerial performance
  • Characteristics of effective chairmen and boards
  • Cognitive mapping and cognitive mapping analysis techniques
  • Innovation






Head of Executive Education at the IMI and Trinity-IMI Graduate School of Management

  • Theme Leader for Executive Development area
  • Member of the Trinity-IMI Graduate School of Management Research Board
  • Member of the Trinity-IMI Graduate School of Management Programme Board
  • Programme Director for:
    • Post-Graduate Diploma in Strategy
    • IMI Diploma in Management
    • Mini-MBA
  • Faculty lead of the Innovation BizLab research stream
  • Member of the IMI Programme Committee
  • Programme Director for customised Strategic Leadership Development Programmes
  • Programme Director for the Advanced Development Programme
  • Programme Director for the Senior Executives Programme
  • Facilitator of the E-learning National Action Learning Programme
  • Programme Director for the Young Managers Programme
  • Programme Director for the National Diploma in Business Studies in Management Studies
  • Programme Director and Series Editor for the Certificate in Supervisory Management



  • Group Operations Director
  • General Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Business Development Manager
  • Electrical Design Engineer
  • Quality Assurance Manager