The new boy in the "hood"

09 September 2014
Kevin Lowe
Professor Kevin Lowe

Being the “new boy in the hood” is a novel experience for Professor Kevin Lowe, recently appointed Fletcher Building Employee Education Trust Chair in Leadership.

“I’m delighted to be here,” says Lowe. “My wife and I are still living out of boxes and getting used to looking the other way before stepping out into the roadway, but in many ways it’s a bit like back home in North Carolina, the people are friendly and I am still doing what I love – research and teaching in the executive space.”

Lowe was the Department Head of Business Administration in the Bryan School of Business and Economics at The University of North Carolina of Greensboro. He holds a PhD in Organisational Behaviour from the Chapman Graduate School of Business at Florida International University, an MBA with an emphasis in investments from Stetson University, and a BS in Finance from the University of Louisville. He is also Associate Editor of The Leadership Quarterly which is the internationally ranked academic journal on leadership studies.

His particular research interests lie in human resource management, leadership and cross-cultural management, but he is able to bring a financial lens to the conversation. 

“People always assume that leadership is ‘soft’ and hard to measure. Well, I can say quite categorically that it’s not soft and it can be measured. All of us know of companies where leaders have made good companies great with sustainable business models.”

Lowe is already looking at how he can add value to Fletcher Building and the Education Trust through his role as Chair. 

“The principal duties of the Chair role are to contribute to the development of a programme of teaching and research at the Business School and to also build a positive relationship with the Fletcher Building team,” he says. “I’m really looking forward to getting out amongst the Fletcher group of companies and understanding the key drivers for business success.”

The Business School’s Graduate School of Management has recently earned an Excellence in Practice Silver Award from the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) for the Leaders’ Edge executive development programme. The programme equips Fletcher Building’s leaders for winning through uncertainty, enabling them to make good strategic decisions in fast-moving environments and changing markets.

“I’ve only had the opportunity to engage with two of the pit-stops on the programme, but the change in the participants’ thinking, their ability to work collaboratively and their contribution to strategic decisions and actions that have a real financial impact on the company have been really notable,” Lowe says. “Fletcher Building and the school have really done something extraordinary with this programme and it’s a privilege to be their Academic Director going forward.”

Visit the Graduate School of Management website