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Dr Craig Johnson

PositionSenior Lecturer in Operations and Information Management
Director of Studies, MBA (Full-time, part-time and accelerated)
LocationUniversity of Bradford School of Management
Emm Lane
West Yorkshire
DepartmentSchool of Management
Telephone+44 (0)1274 234347

PhD Supervision

Reem Al-Gurg – PhD - An international comparative study on effective nutritional strategies to overcome vitamin D deficiency.

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Business Information Systems (Level 2 Undergraduate)
  • E-Commerce (Level 3 Undergraduate)
  • Project Management (MBA)


Craig has almost 20 years of experience of working in both the public and private sectors. He started his career as a software engineer, working on training simulators for the fire service and the Institute of Chemical Engineers. He went on to become operations manager for the national fire service computer, the Fire Information National Data Service (FINDS). He then returned to programming, acting as software consultant to implement the command and control systems for Dublin Fire and Ambulance Service and a second system for the Munster region of Ireland.

After taking over the finance and administration function for the University of Bradford technology transfer company, he developed a marketing and business development role before becoming its consultancy manager. Craig became an Associate Member of Staff in 2000, and joined the School of Management full-time in 2002.

He has a higher national diploma in computing technology, a postgraduate certificate in higher education practice, a diploma in management studies, a diploma in research methods, an MA in management by action learning and a PhD in organisational behaviour.

His PhD was entitled “Standing on the Toes of Giants: Social Movement Theory and the Case of the Learning Organisation”. This involved an assessment of how management theory is developed in general (social movements), the phenomenon known as management gurus (the giants) and how this related to theories of the learning organisation. A structural equation model was derived from survey responses by Chief Executives and Human Resource Director of FTSE- and AIM-Listed companies. The model demonstrated a high level of convergent validity of what constitutes successful management in a large, commercial organisation.

Study History

PhD (Bradford) MA DMS (Huddersfield) DipRes PGCHEP (Bradford) HND (Teesside) FHEA MCMI

Research Areas

  • The learning organisation
  • Organisational learning
  • Action learning
  • Participatory action research
  • Reflective learning
  • Experiential learning
  • Facilitation skills
  • Work-based learning
  • Professional development
  • Nature of managerial work
  • The management of change


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Corporate member of the Chartered Management Institute
  • Corporate member of the International Foundation for Action Learning (IFAL)
  • Member of the British Academy of Management
  • Member of the Academy of Management


Refereed journal articles

Johnson, Craig, (2010) 'A Framework for the Ethical Practice of Action Learning.', Action Learning Research and Practice7 (3)

Johnson, Craig and Spicer, David Philip, (2006) 'A case study of action learning in an MBA program', Education + Training48 (1) pp 39-54

Johnson, Craig, (2004) 'Hippy in a pinstripe', Action Learning: Research and Practice1 (2) pp. 221-229

Johnson, Craig, (1998) 'The basic principles of action learning', Journal of Workplace Learning10 (6/7)

Conference papers

Johnson, Craig, Spicer, David and Wallace, James, (2011) 'An Empirical Model of the Learning Organisation',Organisational Learning & Knowledge Capabilities, Hull, UK

Johnson, Craig, (2009) 'An Ethical Framework for Action Learning', Action Learning Research and Practice, Henley, UK

Johnson, Craig, (2003) 'Action Learning and MBA, never the twain shall meet?', th Annual Global Forum on Executive Development and Business Driven Action Learning, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Johnson, Craig, (2002) 'The Action Learning MBA. A New Approach to Management Education.', Academy of Management, Denver, USA


Johnson, Craig, (2011) 'Systems Thinking: From Heresy to Practice (Book Review)', Action Learning: Research and Practice8 (3), [In Print]

Johnson, Craig, (2004) 'Action Learning: Images and Pathways (Book Review)', Action Learning: Research and Practice1 (1) pp13-16

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