Principal's Profile - Education

The Strategic Planning Service for full Research, Analysis & Advice to raise venture capital & debt finance with help in management audit & financial projections

Educational Establishments:
School - Leith Academy, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom.  During my final two years, I received

certificates for nine subjects where I was graded as being within the top five pupils in all subjects, scoring a

ranking ranging from fifth up to first.  So, for example, I was third in sciences and French, second in mathematics, and first in technical subjects.  The Academy, situated in a seaport, covered a full range of subjects suited to the employment within the locality during a period of full employment when the majority of male school-leavers would enter an Apprenticeship.  I had thought to follow my father into Marine Engineering,

but he was not keen that I should do so as a result of his own experience as a boy, when he suffered the loss of his own father, a Chief Engineer, who was lost at sea during an enemy engagement in 1915.  My father had been forced then to leave the same school as I was attending, and he himself went to sea as an apprentice marine engineer in 1915 at the age of fourteen.  The impact this had on him  meant that he did not wish me to follow his path into work and insisted instead that I find employment in a white-collared profession.  In keeping with the norms of family behaviour at that time, I took his instructions, although as a result of him having taught me how to use many tools and my pleasure in learning the fundamental technical subjects at school, I have always appreciated the work of the various trades skills I have encountered over the years and I believe it has aided the level of service I have been able to provide to those clients which provided a technical product or service to their customers.


Edinburgh College of Commerce, followed immediately by 

Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Degrees achieved: B A Hons - Accountancy & Finance.,  M Sc - Management Studies.

Fields Of Study:   Financial  Accountancy, Auditing,  International Finance, Management, Economics, Marketing, Personnel Management, International Management, and Production Management.    Law subjects studied included:  Company Law, Constitutional Law, Contract and Mercantile Law, Revenue Law and Taxation.  Other relevant subjects included:  Industrial psychology, Sociology, Management Mathematics, Cost and Management Accounting and Marginal Accounting.

Grades achieved:  

At College:       National Certificate in Business Studies with distinction in Statistics.

                          (Please note:  This certificate is normally awarded for the completion of studies in five subjects

                          over a three-year period with passes at 50%.  To achieve university entrance as a mature

                          student, I was required to pass nine subjects over a two-year period at minimum 60% grading.)


At University:   Completed both degrees in sequence + completed 3 professional qualifications simultaneously.

Dates attended:  1971 - 1973  and   1973 – 1978

Institute Memberships: CGMA., FCMA., MCIM., ACIS., ACCA., FIFA.  All explained as follows:

CGMA = Chartered Global Management Accountant - supported in the USA by the AICPA;

FCMA = Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, U K;
MCIM = Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, U K;
ACIS = Associate of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries, U K - retired;
ACCA = Associate of the Chartered Certified Accountants, U K - retired;
FIFA = Fellow of the Institute of Financial Accountants, U K - retired.


Previous Memberships of Business-Promoting Organisations:

Institute of Independent Business

British Institute of Management

The Institute of Directors.

In summary, I was educated at the Edinburgh College of Commerce and Heriot Watt University and have had management research published by a Professional Institute with a copy requested and lodged with INSEAD in Paris. The subject of that research was the extent of problems experienced by management arising from the impact of technology within both the product and the production process. This study, designed to advance specific understandings, was conducted as a small follow-up to a larger Harvard study.  I describe this in greater detail below under the Title "Integration - A Tool For Managerial Progress".


First, however, my Honour's Dissertation had the subject title "Accounting For Industrial Relations Purposes - A Proposal" and as I review it today, I can easily recognise that the period in which it was written was a prelude to a time of major change in Trade's Union Membership within the United Kingdom.  I remain indebted to the considerable direct interest which I received from Mr Alex Kitson, the then Executive Officer of the Transport & General Workers Union (TGWU) which was, at that time, the largest trades union in the United Kingdom with a membership of nearly 2.1 million members.  By comparison, the largest Trades Union today, Unite, which consists of five unions including the old TGWU, has a greatly reduced membership of 1.46 millions.  My work then reviewed the various studies, Legislative Acts, professional, academic and special reports commissioned by the government of the day, and allowed me to make some proposals for the inclusion of specific accounting information within normal corporate reporting to aid with the anticipated adoption of Worker Representation within Board Membership of a Company arising from the then discussions surrounding the "Donovan Commission; the Bullock Report (Report of the Committee of Inquiry on Industrial Democracy) and other accounting dimensions becoming evident from the development of the "Corporate Report".  Of special relevance was the Draft Code of Practice produced by ACAS, the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service which followed up on and directly related its advisory notes to the Employment Protection Act of 1975. Much of what I wrote then still has, I believe, considerable relevance in today's somewhat fractious economic climate.  My work then was professionally neutral as regards the various stakeholder interests within incorporated entities, and concentrated more upon the potential to provide relevant and unbiased accounting information, rather than arguing the desirability or otherwise of providing such data.


My Master's Research, entitled "Integration - A Tool For Managerial Progress",  by contrast to my Honour's Dissertation which had direct input from the Trade's Union side of business management, was directly supported by two Professional Institutes.  Both the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants - ICMA (now the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants - CIMA) and The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) , provided direct introductions to their members in practice functioning as Finance Directors and similar Executive positions; to enable me to circulate questionnaires regarding the desirability of appointing a suitably qualified person to act as an Integrator where the impact of technology was rising, either within the production processes employed, or within the product range itself.  I am indebted to Mr B Cox, the Chief Technical Officer of the ICMA at that time, for his insistence that I write an article about my research for the Institute's Journal, and also for his introduction of my work directly into INSEAD in Paris which then asked for a copy of my thesis for their library.  I was also grateful to the ICSA for the generous award I received upon the completion of my work.


As it is, that work did support the conclusions of Professors Lawrence and Lorsch of Harvard University that as the rate of technological change impacted upon an enterprise's operations, an Integrator was a function which may become desirable.  My own research not only supports that hypothesis, but also merges, to some extent, with the later conclusions of a ten-year study of Bell Labs by Professor Robert Kelley and his Team from Carnegie Mellon University which set out to identify the existence and traits of Key Workers in "brain-powered employments.  When I reviewed that later report, it seemed clear to me that they had, inadvertently, also identified Key Workers performing the role of an Integrator, and furthermore, had set down some aids in identifying such persons and perhaps methods to train for such skills in the future.  Given that his Team suggested that due to the input of such Key Workers, an organisation's "bottom line" might be improved by a factor of up to 600%, it is to my mind, an important piece of research which should receive more attention than I think it has received to date.


For American readers, it is probably appropriate to advise you that the position of a Chartered Secretary in the United Kingdom (the ICSA referred to above), is akin to the Treasury function arising within corporate entities in North America.


Finally, during my University years, whilst also studying for three professional qualifications simultaneously, each one said to be the equivalent of a degree to MA level, I made use of substantial tailored correspondence courses and also built up a considerable business library which, by the time I completed my studies, had a value in excess of £18,000.00 and which proved to be immensely helpful during my post-graduate practicing period.  Naturally, I continued to add to that resource for many years thereafter.