Emeritus ProfessorFax: +44 (0)1334 462812
Strategic management, corporate renewal; cognitive approaches to group strategic decision taking; senior management cognition
Peter Grinyer is an Emeritus Professor of the University of St. Andrews. He was born in London in 1935, his wife is Sylvia, and he has two adult sons. His first degree (1957) was in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University and his Ph. D. (1968) was in Applied Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, London University.
Peter Grinyer has had an unusual career in that it spans positions of leadership in University administration, significant positions as a non-executive director and Chairman of companies, membership of important non-governmental public bodies, and academic contributions as a dedicated teacher and researcher.
He has held the Foundation for Management Education Chair in Business Strategy at the City University, London and the Esmee Fairbairn Chair in Economics (Finance and Investment) at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He has also been a Visiting Professor for four years at the Stern School of Business, New York University , and an Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, and is currently a Visiting Professor at Imperial College, London.
His academic administrative roles have embraced being Chairman of Departments of Economics and Management, founding the latter, and Vice Principal (Vice President in American terms) and for a while Acting Principal of the University of St. Andrews. St. Andrews is Scotland's oldest university, founded in 1411, and was rated recently in the top ten of British universities. In this capacity he represented St. Andrews on the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals of UK Universities as well as that of Scottish University Principals. He has also served as a member of the Business and Management Studies Committee of the Universities Grant Committee that determined grants to be made available from public funds to support Departments of Management and Business Schools in the UK.
He was re-appointed by the Secretary of State for Scotland as a member of the Scottish Legal Aid Board and served the maximum of two four year terms on this Board (1992-2000) where he chaired a number of important committees. This Board manages a budget of some £135 million to defend those accused of criminal acts and aid those involved in civil disputes who cannot afford legal support themselves.
In 2000 he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Industry as a Member of the Competition Commission to serve on its Appeals Tribunal (CCAT). This tribunal judged on appeals by companies against decisions of the Director General of Fair Trading and the Regulators of the telecommunications, electricity, gas and water industries in the UK under the Competition Act, 1998. In 2003 the Tribunal was reconstituted as the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) and its role was extended by the 2002 Enterprise Act. Professor Grinyer, together with the other CCAT members, was appointed to the new CAT on which he currently serves.
As a company director, he was involved with strategic decision taking of five companies, and was involved in one contested takeover and three agreed ones. These companies included three quoted on the London Stock Exchange (John Brown plc, Ellis and Goldstein plc and Don Bros. Buist plc), and a small, private, but high profile design consultancy of which he was Chairman (McIlroy Coates). In addition, throughout his career he has advised companies as a consultant on strategic issues, whilst being careful to ensure that this has not crowded out his research. This practical experience has informed both his teaching and his research.
In 1989 he was the joint founder of the St. Andrews Management Institute, for which financial backing was obtained from the University of St. Andrews, government via Scottish Enterprise, and Shell International. This applied strategic decision taking approaches, including scenario planning, developed in Shell to assist a wide range of business and academic organizations and undertook contract research projects. As Chairman of the Institute and its wholly owned subsidiary company, St. Andrews Strategic Management Ltd, through which it undertook consulting assignments, he guided its development conjointly with its co-founder (Gareth Price) to a successful operation with a well established track record with blue chip UK and international companies. To give greater emphasis to its research activities, and more closely involve it with the University, its structure was reorganized in 1995, when its operations were taken into the University of St. Andrews.
Peter Grinyer has also made significant, some much cited, contributions to the literature. He has had some 60 papers published in the journals or as book chapters and five books reporting his research. Following early work in the area of operational research and industrial engineering, he undertook research on strategic planning, and was among the first to apply cross sectional statistical analysis in empirical studies in this area. :
In summary, Peter Grinyer successfully bridged between rigorous, significant, research and high level contributions to academic administration and business decision making. This is not unique but remains relatively rare. It gives him an interestingly different perspective which should continue to inform his work.