An Interview with Rick Haythornthwaite, Chairman of Centrica and MasterCard

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22847037023_7625149c7e_z[We’re pleased to welcome Richard Bolden of the University of the West of England. Richard recently published an article in Journal of Management Inquiry entitled “Digital Disruption and the Future of Leadership: An Interview with Rick Haythornthwaite, Chairman of Centrica and MasterCard” with co-author Nicholas O’Regan of the University of the West of England.]

  • Can you provide a brief reflection on your paper?

This interview is informed by an address given by Rick Haythornthwaite, Chairman of Centrica and MasterCard, at the University of the West of England in October 2015 in which he reflected on the implications of digital technology and innovation on leadership and management practice. As a high profile senior leader it is interesting to see how his comments reflect a number of trends within leadership and Current Issue Covermanagement theory but also go further, addressing a number of issues that are rarely considered in traditional academic research. In particular, he highlights the importance of context, relationships, ethics, trust and strong but inclusive leadership. We feel that this article offers a useful resource for leadership and management education through the ability to provide the perspective of an experienced, reflective practitioner that could facilitate class discussion, and may also provide useful insights for leadership and management researchers into important areas for future study.

The abstract for the paper:

Unprecedented changes in the nature and prevalence of digital technology have significant implications for leadership theory, practice, and development that, as yet, remain largely unexplored in mainstream academic literature. This article features an interview with Rick Haythornthwaite, Chairman of global businesses including Centrica and MasterCard, where he reflects on the ways in which digital disruption is impacting upon the nature of leadership and strategic practice. It is accompanied by a commentary that highlights the importance of factors such as context, trust, ethics, and purpose in a fast moving corporate world.

You can read “Digital Disruption and the Future of Leadership: An Interview with Rick Haythornthwaite, Chairman of Centrica and MasterCard” from Journal of Management Inquiry free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to stay current on the latest research from Journal of Management InquiryClick here to sign up for e-alerts!


BoldenRichard Bolden is professor of leadership and management and director of Bristol Leadership Centre at the University of the West of England. His research interests include distributed leadership; systems leadership, complexity, and change; leadership in higher education; worldly leadership; and leadership development evaluation. He is associate editor of the journal Leadership, fellow of the Lancaster Leadership Centre, and research advisor to the Singapore Civil Service College. His publications include Exploring Leadership: Individual, Organizational and Societal Perspectives (OUP, 2011) and Leadership Paradoxes: Rethinking Leadership for an Uncertain World (Routledge, 2016).

Nicholas O’Regan is associate dean (research and innovation) and professor of strategy/enterprise and innovation at the University of the West of England, Bristol. His research interests lie in strategic issues, technology deployment, and operational effectiveness. He is co-editor of the Journal of Strategy and Management and has published in numerous international journals and is on the editorial board for journals such as Technovation. He was elected a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2011.

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