start of page content

Professor Brad MacKay

Professor Brad MacKay

BA, MLitt (Distinction), PhD, FRSA

Professor of Strategy

Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)1334 46 2810

Teaching 2016-2017

  • MN1001 Organisations and Society
  • MN4310 Scenario Thinking
  • MN5501 Scenario Thinking and Strategy

Biography

Brad MacKay is Professor of Strategy in the University of St Andrews School of Management. Formerly, he held a Chair in Strategic Management at the University of Edinburgh Business School, where he was also Director of Engagement (Associate Dean) on the Executive (2014-2016), Head of the Strategy and International Business Group (2011-2014), and Director of the MBA programmes (2009-2011). He also held an ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Senior Fellowship in the Future of the UK and Scotland program (2013-2014). He earned a BA in International Development Studies from Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Canada, an MLitt (Distinction) in Management, Economics and Politics (MEP) and a PhD in Strategy from the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

Research interests

Brad's research, teaching and consultancy interests include strategy development, execution and implementation, contingency planning, scenario planning and the political economy of strategy-making.

Handbook of Research on Strategy and Foresight - cover‌He was recently appointed by the ESRC (Economic Social Research Council) as a Senior Fellow for the Scotland Analysis, to investigate the impact of the independence debate in Scotland and the United Kingdom on business decision-making. He has published in a range of scholarly journals including the Academy of Management Journal, Organization Studies, Human Relations, the European Management Review, Futures, International Studies of Management and Organization, Management and Organization History, and Technological Forecasting and Social Change. He is also co-editor of the Edward Elgar Handbook of Research on Strategy and Foresight (2009).

His research is interdisciplinary in nature, importing sensibilities from economics, history, philosophy, psychology and sociology for the purpose of better understanding the mechanisms underpinning wealth creation. He is also a co-founder of the Strategic Foresight Special Interest Group (SIG) of the British Academy of Management, of which he served as its Chairperson between 2003 and 2007. His research has been widely covered in the press, including the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal. He is a regular commentator on business related issues in the media.

Selected publications

Books

Implications for International Business of Separatist Movements: The Case of Scottish Independence
MacKay, B., Frank, M., Driffield, N., Young, S., Ross, D., Wei, Y. & Barry, F. 2015 Palgrave Macmillan.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

Strategic foresight in business: counterfactual and prospective sensemaking in enacted environments
MacKay, B. & Constanzo, L. A. 2010 Routledge.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

The Global Networked Value Circle: A new model for best-in-class manufacturing
Harris, S. & MacKay, B. May 2009 CapGemini Consulting/University of Edinburgh.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

Handbook Of Research On Strategy And Foresight
MacKay, B. (ed.) & Costanzo, L. A. (ed.) 2009 Edward Elgar.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

 

Chapters

Business Attitudes (towards Scottish independence): The Economic Consequences of Scottish Independence
MacKay, B. 2014 The Economic Consequences of Scottish Independence. Helmut Schmidt Universität, p. 81 1 p.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Would a Yes vote be good for business? Would a No vote?: Scotland's Decision: 16 Questions to think about for the referendum on 18 September
MacKay, B. 2014 Scotland's Decision: 16 Questions to think about for the referendum on 18 September. Birlinn
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Prospective sensemaking in strategy context: Handbook of research in strategy and foresight
MacKay, B. 2009 Handbook of research in strategy and foresight. Unknown Publisher
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

 

Articles

Scenario planning with a sociological eye: augmenting the intuitive logics approach to understanding the future of Scotland and the UK
MacKay, R. B. & Stoyanova, V. Nov 2017 In : Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 124, p. 88-100
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Inward foreign direct investment and constitutional change in Scotland
MacKay, B., Young, S. & Ross, D. 2014 In : Multinational Business Review. 22, 2
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Storytelling and the scenario process: Understanding success and failure
MacKay, B., Bowman, G., McKiernan, P. & Masrani, S. May 2013 In : Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 80, 4, p. 735-748 14 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

A structuration approach to scenario praxis
MacKay, B. & Tambeau, P. May 2013 In : Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 80, 4, p. 673-686 14 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Choice, Chance, and Unintended Consequences in Strategic Change: A Process Understanding of the Rise and Fall of NorthCo Automotive
MacKay, B. & Chia, R. Feb 2013 In : Academy of Management Journal. 56, 1, p. 208-230 23 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Information Warfare and New Organizational Landscapes: An Inquiry into the ExxonMobil?Greenpeace Dispute over Climate Change
MacKay, B. & Munro, I. Nov 2012 In : Organization Studies. 33, 11, p. 1507-1536 30 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Creativity and dysfunction in strategic processes: The case of scenario planning
MacKay, B. & McKiernan, P. May 2010 In : Futures. 42, 4, p. 271-281 11 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

What if?
MacKay, B. 2008 In : Management and Organizational History. 2, 4, p. 295-314 20 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Post-processual" challenges for the emerging strategy-as-practice perspective: Finding strategy in the logic of practice"
MacKay, B. & Chia, R. 2007 In : Human Relations. 60, p. 217-242 26 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Strategy options and cognitive freezing: The case of the Dundee jute industry in Scotland
MacKay, B., Masrani, S. & McKiernan, P. 2006 In : Futures. 39, p. 925-941 17 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Back to the future: history and the diagnosis of environmental context
MacKay, B. & McKiernan, P. 2006 In : International Studies of Management and Organization. 36, p. 93-109 17 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

The role of hindsight in foresight: Refining strategic reasoning
MacKay, B. & McKiernan, P. 2004 In : Futures. 36, p. 161-179 19 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Exploring strategy context with foresight
MacKay, B. & McKiernan, P. 2004 In : European Management Review. 1, p. 69-77 9 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

 

Papers

Business Decision-Making in Conditions of Constitutional and Political Uncertainty in the UK and Scotland: Evidence from business final report
MacKay, B. Aug 2014 Economic and Social Research Council , p. 1-24 24 p.
Research output: Working paper

Scenarios for Scotland: The Future of the UK and Scotland
MacKay, B. Aug 2014 Economic and Social Research Council , p. 1-10 10 p.
Research output: Working paper

Business decision-making in conditions of constitutional and political uncertainty in the UK and Scotland: Evidence from business interim report
MacKay, B. Mar 2014 Economic and Social Research Council , p. 1-8 8 p.
Research output: Working paper

 

Other publications

Scotland's independence referendum: Your business, your vote
MacKay, B. & Ivory, S. Jun 2014 Federation of Small Business
Research output: Other contribution

The Scottish Independence Debate: Evidence from Business
MacKay, B. 28 Apr 2014
Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

The Process of Legitimising: How practitioners gain legitimacy for sustainability within their organisation
MacKay, B. & Ivory, S. 2014
Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

Examining the process of legitimising corporate sustainability within the organisation: towards a Generalised Legitimising Pathway
MacKay, B. & Ivory, S. 2014
Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

Materiality in strategy workshops: the role of strategy tools as objects and their impact on the effectiveness of workshops
MacKay, B. & Idoko, O. 2014
Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

An inquiry into the logic of sustainability in business
MacKay, B. & Ivory, S. 2013
Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

Corporate Sustainability, a critical review
MacKay, B. & Ivory, S. 2012
Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

Capabilities as structuring dispositions: Reframing resource based theory within a praxis framework.
MacKay, B. 2012
Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

 

Other information

Brad works closely with managers of enterprises in the private, public and non-for-profit sectors in industries as diverse as automotive, consulting, the cultural industries, energy, financial services, general manufacturing, life sciences, and oil and gas. His work with industry feeds directly into his research, which is broadly described as investigating how organisations can develop strategy and decision processes in complex, turbulent and uncertain industry environments. He sits on the Executive Council for the Chartered Institute of Bankers.