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Prof David Dawson

Professor In Leadership

As an internationally recognised expert on Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Ethics my work support leaders across the Commercial, Education and Defence sectors excel in their roles. That means they deliver for themselves, their staff, and their organisations.


I am an international expert on leadership, entrepreneurship, and ethics. I have over 30 years of experience in higher education working with businesses to raise the capacity of their leaders and staff to deliver on their objectives. I am a Visiting Professor at leading business schools in Italy, Slovenia, and Spain.

In addition, to publishing papers and policy reports, I am frequently keynote speaker at international conferences on leadership in higher education. I like my work to have practical impact and as well as working with leaders I can often be found working with artists, helping them to sustain their practices through enterprise.


  • PhD: On the Structure and Language of Contemporary Virtues in Business, University of Gloucestershire, 2018
  • MPhil: Job Attribute Preferences of Non-Managerial Job Seekers, University of Bristol, 2001
  • PGCert: Teaching in Higher and Further Education, University of Gloucestershire, 2002
  • BA (Hons): Business Studies, University of Luton, 1993

Membership of professional bodies

Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Teaching & Research


My teaching applies ground breaking theory and techniques to practice. Through this approach I work with leaders and managers in the Commercial, Higher Education and Defence sectors, to meet their potential. Getting people to reflect on, ground, and develop their approaches to leadership is key to helping them become effective for themselves, their staff, and their organisations. I also lead the Strategic Consultancy projects where MBA students use their expertise to have a positive impact for small businesses and voluntary organisations.


In 2018 I developed the Higher Education Qualities and Skills framework. Using that framework, my current projects focus on establishing leadership development programmes for Higher Education sectors. I have successfully applied for projects that have been funded with over €4 million. These projects have worked with universities and the Ministries of Education in Moldova, Morocco and Indonesia ensuring improvements in the leadership of universities in each of those countries. With an international team of experts, I also work on projects that support the development of entrepreneurship in a range of sectors, most recently working with artists and wine producers.


More publications from Prof David Dawson can be found in the Research Repository.

External responsibilities

Subject for media interview

Higher Education Leadership

Organisational Leadership

Ethical Management / Positive Management Practices

Industrial action