Prof Robert Galavan

School of Business, Edward M Kennedy Institute

Gaeilge agus fáilte


School of Business Building
(01) 708 6599


Professor Robert Galavan holds the Chair in Strategic Management at the School of Business. He was the founding Head and Professor of Business at NUI Maynooth and is a former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. He directs the MSc in Strategy and Innovation. 

Robert is an internationally recognised expert in Strategic Management and has taught in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and Brazil. He has consulted and provided executive development programmes for organisations such as Google, United Drug, Kerry Group, Pfizer, Pepsi, Aer Arann, Coca-Cola, Irish Blood Transfusion Service, Office of the Attorney General, Sisk Healthcare, Glanbia, the Defence Forces, Enterprise Ireland, and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. Robert’s primary research interests are focused on managerial discretion in the context of strategic decision making and firm performance. His work in the area is highly acclaimed and his doctoral thesis on the topic won the Cranfield University Director’s Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis, and the commendation in the European Foundation for Management Development – Emerald Publishing Prize for the Outstanding Doctoral Thesis.

Robert has published several books including Uncertainty and Strategic Decision Making (New Horizons in Managerial and Organizational Cognition series, Emerald), and previously Strategy, Innovation and Change, published by Oxford University Press. His previous text books include Management Techniques in Context, and Management Techniques in Practice. In parallel with his disciplinary interests Robert is also an active member of the Irish Academy of Management. He is committed to supporting work that meets the dual hurdle of both rigour and relevance in management research and teaching. Roberts teaches strategic management, strategic leadership, and innovation. He uses a range of innovative and technology based approaches to teaching including the application of complex business simulation models. Prior to joining the National University of Ireland, Robert was Head of Executive Education and the Senior Specialist in Strategic Management & Leadership at the Irish Management Institute where he designed and delivered a range of senior executive programmes. He was also a director on the Trinity College-IMI Graduate School research board.

Prior to joining academia, Robert spent 17 years in industry working in both manufacturing and service organisations.  He worked in a variety of management roles including Engineering Design, Business Development, Quality Assurance, Operation Management, and General Management and was one of the pioneers in the introduction of quality assurance programmes for Irish industry. Robert holds an honours BA degree in Management from the IMI, an MA in Adult Education from the National University of Ireland Maynooth, a National Diploma in Business Strategy (ordinary degree) and an award winning Ph.D. from Cranfield University in the UK.  He is accredited by the British Psychological Society to use a wide range of psychometric instruments. Robert has served on the Board of the Institute of Public Administration and the Social Sciences Committee of the Royal Irish Academy. He is a member of the Executive Council of the Irish Academy of Management and Chairs the IAM Strategy Significant Interest Group. He is Trustee and Treasurer of the Mount Street Club Trust charity.

Twitter: @robertgalavan

Research Interests

Management and Organisation Cognition, Strategic Decision Making, Strategic Management, Strategic Leadership, Personality and Psychology

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2022 Sund, Kristian J.;Galavan, Robert J.; Huff, Anne (2022) 'Uncertainty in Strategic Research' In: Handbook of Uncertainty Management in Work Organisations. Oxford : Oxford University Press. [Link]
2021 Galavan, Robert J.; Sund, Kristian J. (2021) 'Reflections on the First Five Volumes of New Horizons in Managerial and Organizational Cognition' In: Thinking About Cognition. Bingley : Emerald.
2020 Sund, Kristian J.;Galavan, Robert J.; Bogers, Marcel (2020) 'Exploring the Connections Between Business Models and Cognition' In: Business Models and Cognition. Bingley : Emerald.
2018 Hodgkinson, Gerard P.; Sund, Kristian J.; Galavan, Robert J. (2018) 'Exploring Methods in Managerial and Organizational Cognition: Advances, Controversies, and Contributions' In: Methodological Challenges and Advances in Managerial and Organizational Cognition. United Kingdom : Emerald Publishing Limited. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2018 Charleton T.;Gnyawali D.;Galavan R. (2018) 'Theoretical perspectives of coopetition: Review and integration' In: Routledge Companion to Coopetition Strategies. Oxford, UK : Routledge.
2016 Huff, AS;Milliken, FJ;Hodgkinson, GP;Galavan, RJ;Sund, KJ (2016) 'A Conversation on Uncertainty in Managerial and Organizational Cognition' In: UNCERTAINTY AND STRATEGIC DECISION MAKING. BINGLEY : EMERALD GROUP PUBLISHING LTD.
2016 Anderson, Karl S. J.; Galavan, Robert J. (2016) 'Uncertainty and Strategic Decision Making' In: The how of Multiple Leader Sensegiving and Strategic Change. Bingley UK : Emerald. [Full-Text]
2012 Robert J Galavan (2012) 'Strategising from the Perspective of Global Elites' In: Global Elites: the Opaque Nature of Transnational Policy Determination. England : Palgrave Macmillan. [Full-Text]
2008 Galavan, R., Murray, J., Markides, C. (2008) 'Introduction' In: Galavan, R., Murray, J., Markides, C(Eds.). Strategy, Innovation & Change. Oxford : Oxford University Press.
2008 Galavan, R. and Cullen, J. (2008) 'The Leader's Prison' In: Galavan, R., Murray, J., and Markides, C(Eds.). Strategy, Innovation & Change. Oxford : Oxford University Press. [Full-Text]
2004 Galavan, R. (2004) 'Doing Business Strategy' In: O'Connor, M., Mangan, J., and Cullen, J(Eds.). IMI Handbook of Management. Cork : Oak Tree Press. [Full-Text]

Edited Book

Year Publication
2016 Sund, Kristian J., Galavan, Robert J., Huff, Anne S (Ed.). (2016) Uncertainty and Strategic Decision Making. Bingley UK: Emerald,


Year Publication
1998 Galavan, R. (1998) Management Techniques, Operations in Practice. : Irish Management Institute.

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2016 Heaslip, Graham, Galavan, Robert J., Huff, Anne S. (2016) 'Editorial: Special Issue on Transforming Management Research & Educaiton'. IRISH JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT, 35 (2):109-113. [Link] [DOI] [Full-Text]
2010 Kelliher, F., Harrington, D., Galavan, R. (2010) 'Spreading Leader Knowledge: Investigating a participatory mode of knowledge dissemination among management undergraduates'. IRISH JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT, 29 :103-121. [Full-Text]

Conference Publication

Year Publication
2016 Anderson, K.; Galavan, Robert J. (2016) British Academy of Management The Role of Multiple Leader Sensebreaking During Strategic Change
2016 Grange, Ray; Heaslip, Graham; Galavan, Robert J. (2016) Irish Academy of Management Governance in Humanitarian Logistics
2016 Ryan Charleton, Tadhg, Galavan, Robert J. (2016) Strategic Management Society Using Value Creation to Connect Coopetition and Strategic Entrepreneurship: A Capabilities Perspective
2015 Anderson Karl; Galavan, Robert J (2015) Frontiers in Management and Organizational Cognition Conference Digging a Little Deeper in Sensegiving Research: Building the Case for a Critical Realist Research Philosophy
2015 Farooq, Arshad; Galavan, Robert J (2015) Irish Academy of Management Conference Role of Evolving Web in the Discovery of Entrepreneurial Opportunities: Toward a Theoretical Model
2015 Chrleton, Tadhg; Galavan, Robert J (2015) Irish Academy of Management Conference Distinctive Characteristics of Horizontal Coopetition
2015 Lacey, Liam; Galavan, Robert J (2015) Personal Values and Leadership Challenges Symposium; British Academy of Management Finding Value in Leaders’ Decisions: An Empirical Examination of Leaders Personal Values as Antecedents of Strategic Choices
2015 Anderson, Karl; Galavan Robert J (2015) Irish Academy of Management Conference How do Leaders in a Multi-Leader Context, Give Sense to the Same Discontinuous Change
2014 Murphy, Joanne; Galavan, Robert J.; Brown, Gary; Braniff, Maire (2014) Paper presented at the British Academy of Management Public Management, Peace-building and Creating Change: Shifting the Lens from the Macro to the Micro
2014 Anderson, Karl; Galavan, Robert J. (2014) Paper presented at the Irish Academy of Management How do Leaders Give Sense to Discontinuous Change?
2013 Anderson, Karl; Galavan Robert J. (2013) Proceedings of the Irish Academy of Management Annual Conference Overcoming Methodological Challenges in Sensegiving Research
2011 Galavan, Robert J. (2011) British Academy of Management Beyond Demographic Proxies: How Psychometrics and Demographics Shape Perceived Discretion [Full-Text]
2009 Galavan, Robert J., Kakabadse, Andrew and Kakabadse, Nada (2009) British Academy of Management Conference, Brighton, UK Managerial Discretion: Exploring the Black Box of Demographic Research [Full-Text]
2009 Galavan, Robert J., Harrington, Denis and Kelliher, Felicity (2009) Irish Academy of Management Conference, Galway Why, What, and How of Rigour and Relevance in Management Research [Full-Text]
2008 Galavan, Robert J., Harrington, Denis, Kelliher, Felicity. (2008) EDINEB Conference, Malaga The Road to Relevance 15 Years on: Are we there yet?
2007 Kelliher, Felicity., Harrington, Denis., Galavan, Robert J. (2007) Irish Academy of Management Conference, Dublin Spreading Leader Knowledge: A Proposal for Practitioner-Academic Partnerships in Disseminating Leader Knowledge [Full-Text]
2005 Galavan, Robert J. (2005) Managerial and Organisational Cognition Conference, Munich, Germany Managerial Discretion: Exploring the Black-Box of Demographic Research [Full-Text]
2004 Galavan, Robert J., Kakabadse, Andrew & Kakabadse, Nada. (2004) Irish Academcy of Management Conference, Dublin Exploring the Black-Box of Upper-Echelon Theory: Setting a Research Agenda
2003 Galavan, Robert J. (2003) British Academy of Management The Pivotal Role of Perceived Discretion in Top Teams: Setting a Research Agenda
2001 Galavan, Robert J. (2001) Irish Academy of Management Conference, Dublin, 2001 Towards a New Theory of Organisation: From the Perspective of Non-Linear Systems [Full-Text]

Other Journal

Year Publication
2008 Galavan, R. (2008) 'Four Words you Need to Hear: Boss, You're an Eejit' South East Business, :100-101.
2007 Galavan, R. (2007) 'The Leader's Prison' Management Focus, 9 :9-11. [Full-Text]
2006 Galavan, R. (2006) 'Book Review: Governance, Strategy and Policy' Water Science Technology, 44 :830-831.
2006 Galavan, R. (2006) 'On Leaders' Irish Times, .
2006 Galavan, R. (2006) 'On Leaders' Irish Construction Industry Magazine, .
2005 Galavan, R. (2005) 'It takes four qualities to get to the top' Irish Times Top 1000 Supplement, .
2003 Galavan, R. (2003) 'Value is Back in Fashion' Running Your Business, .

Working Paper

Year Publication
2015 Galavan, Robert J (2015) Understanding Resources, Competences, and Capabilities in EU Common Security and Defence Policy. WP [Full-Text]
2002 Galavan, Robert J., Kakabadse, Andrew. and Kakabadse Nada. (2002) Exploring the belief systems of strategic leaders: Multi-level determinants of biases in cognitive structures. C. WP

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2009 (2009) Developing your Strategic Leaders CIPD Annual HRD Conference London, England, .
2008 (2008) The Leader's Prison University of Concordia Montreal, Canada, .
2008 (2008) Developing Leaders of Innovation and Change CIPD Change Management Conference London, England, .
2007 (2007) Why managers can't do strategy Waterford Institute of Technology Waterford, Ireland, .
2006 (2006) The Personality of Strategy Oxford Psychologists Press London, England, .


Year Publication
2005 Galavan, R. (2005) Exploring the Belief Systems of Senior Managers: Antecedents of Strategic Discretion. Cranfield University: THES [DOI]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2023) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Description Function From / To
Strategic Management Society Member -
Irish Academy of Management Council Member -
Irish Academy of Management Strategy Significant Interest Group Chair -
British Psychological Society Qualified Test User -
Academy of Management MOC Outsreach Committee -

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
01/01/2006 Director's Prize for the Best Doctoral Thesis
01/01/2006 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Thesis
01/01/2007 Best Paper Award - IAM Conference
01/09/2016 Best Development Paper - British Academy of Management British Academy of Management


Start date Institution Qualification Subject
National University of Ireland Maynooth MA
Cranfield University PhD
Iriah Management Institute BA
Irish Management Institute Nat. Dip. Strategy