Give us an overview of your research
The focus for me from day one has been the topic of toxic leadership.
Toxic leadership has always been interesting to me because if you go into a book store you'll find a lot of existing material on good leadership styles, you don’t find a lot of writing and research on bad leadership.
I think it's equally important for organisations and companies to understand because to me toxic leadership is like cancer, if you don’t detect it early it can have some really bad and serious effects on the organisation.
Why did you choose the University of Bradford to do your DBA?
Bradford's School of Management was interested in supporting me do this research.
I also wanted to make sure the profile of the university I attended was more internationalised and global.
The internationalisation here tells me a lot about the character of the University of Bradford, it shows that they understand diversity and the international landscape. It reflects positively on both the quality of students and the quality of academics that teach here.
What do you hope to achieve once you complete the DBA?
Because it’s a part-time DBA programme not a PhD, I have a full-time job. Getting the Doctorate is more symbolic for me. It will allow me to be able to give back to communities if I decide to teach in underdeveloped countries, not for the purpose of making money but for my passion of passing on knowledge.
More relevant to my work, once I have completed my DBA I want to take what I have learnt at Coca-Cola and combine it with the academic training that I will have received from the Doctorate programme. I can then use this as an opportunity to teach professional individuals about toxic leadership.
What is your current role at Coca-Cola?
My career requires a lot of international travel and finding the time for the DBA research is challenging. It's a very tough to balance my job that’s full-time, my research and my home life, but I have a great support network in my wife and kids.
What impact will your research have on industry?
I hope my work will contribute to a better understanding of toxic leadership, particularly around following toxic leaders, asking 'why do people follow toxic leaders?'.
If you think about some of the toxic leaders we have experienced through history such as Adolf Hitler for example, it makes you ask 'what makes millions of people follow a leader like that?'. It could be fear or other reasons and understanding that is critical.
Understanding what makes some people go against the grain and challenge that leader and what makes the majority follow them, despite knowing that its hurtful.
I hope that I have contributed to giving more knowledge to this field and making organisations aware of such a disease.