Edinburgh Research Explorer

Brad MacKay

(Former employee or visitor)

Profile photo

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of St Andrews
Bachelor of Arts, Dalhousie University, Canada



Brad MacKay is Professor of Strategic Management in the University of Edinburgh Busienss School, and Director (Associate Dean) of Corporate Engagement on the Business School Executive Team. He is formally the Head of the Strategy and International Business Group, and Director of the MBA Programme. In his capacity as Director (Associate Dean) of Corporate Engagement, he is responsible for the strategic direction of 45 professoinal services staff in five departments including Business and Alumni Development, Executive Programmes, Student Development, Marketing and PR and Communications. Before arriving at the University of Edinburgh he was a lecturer at the University of St Andrews. He earned a BA in International Development Studies (Economics and Political Science) from Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Canada, an M.Litt. (Distinction) in Management, Economics and Politics (MEP) and a Ph.D. in Strategy from the University of St Andrews,Scotland.


His research, teaching and consultancy interests include the logic of practice in strategy-making, processual approaches to strategy formation and implementation, strategy emergence in complex environments, improving decision-making and judgement under uncertainty with scenario planning and strategic foresight. He was recently a Senior Fellow in the Economic and Social Science Council (ESRC) funded Future of the UK and Scotland programme where he investigated business attitudes towards Scottish Independence. He has published in a range of scholarly journals including the Academy of Management Journal, Organization Studies, Human Relations, the European Management Review, Futures, ISMO, 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 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.


Dissertation Areas Advised

Any areas pertaining to strategy, including competitive strategy, strategic decision-making, strategy formation, strategy implementation, scenario planning and strategic foresight. 

Other information


Taking a praxis approach (i.e. combining theory with practice), Brad works closely with managers in private and public sector organizations in industries as diverse as automotive, consulting, the cultural industries, financial services, general manufacturing and oil and gas. His praxis approach feeds directly into his research, which is broadly described as investigating how organizations can develop strategy and decision processes in complex, turbulent and uncertain industry environments for the purposes of wealth creation.

My research in a nutshell

Research activities & awards

  1. Academy of International Business UK

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

  2. The Scottish Independence Debate: Evidence from Business

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

  3. Business Attitudes towards Scottish Independence

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk

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