Dr Chellie Margaret Spiller

PhD (Management and International Business), MA (International Relations)


Dr Chellie Spiller, of Māori and Pākehā lineage, is an associate professor at the University of Auckland Business School. Māori Business is an exciting, innovative, growing field of research that is changing the way people lead and manage. Many Māori businesses have an intergenerational purpose to create relational wellbeing and wealth across spiritual, environmental, social, cultural and economic dimensions. Within this field of research, Chellie is motivated to be a generator of change, and a communicator and facilitator who engages business and community.

She has over 30 years of corporate experience in tourism, finance and marketing, holding senior executive positions in New Zealand and abroad, and brings this experience to her academic work and leadership and management development programmes. Chellie was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School and the University of Arizona between November 2011 and March 2012. She is a recipient of a 2011 Dame Mira Szászy Māori Alumni Award, 2011 National Māori Academic Excellence Award, and is featured as a "100 Māori Leaders" in recognition for her services to community: https://100maorileaders.com/dr-chellie-spiller.

In 2013 she released a co-edited book with Professor Donna Ladkin titled Reflections on Authentic Leadership: Concepts, Coalescences and Clashes published by Edward Elgar Press, which was nominated in the top ten leadership books of 2013 (University of San Diego Outstanding Leadership Book Awards).

Chellie is a co-author of a book on traditional Polynesian navigation Wayfinding Leadership: Groundbreaking Wisdom for Developing Leaders (2015) with Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr and John Panoho. Wayfinding Leadership (WFL), now in its second print run, is a best-selling book. It was shortlisted for the Māori Book of the Year awards, 2016. The book is written to be accessible, relatable, practical and impactful. WFL has catalysed a new approach to leadership development that is growing fast. WFL has strong relevancy and impact in organisations including AIRNZ’s 450 middle managers, CEO and senior leadership. It is the basis of Global Women’s Breakthrough Leadership cultural module. Other audiences include Northern Region District Court Judges, Māori Accountants, Principles Association, Waitemata DHB, UoA academic leaders and professional staff; LeadershipNZ, Te Rau Matatini, Taiwhenua Hawkes Bay, Te Putahitanga CHC, Government agencies, Asia Pacific Deans of Business Schools, Drucker School of Management.

Chellie is a co-editor of Indigenous spiritualties at work: Transforming the spirit of business enterprise (2015) with Dr Rachel Wolfgramm and a co-editor of two special issues: “Intellectual Shamans, Wayfinders, Edgewalkers, Difference Makers, Social Entrepreneurs, and Other Change Makers” for the Journal of Corporate Citizenship and “Indigenous leadership” for Leadership.

Research | Current

Research interests:

Māori and Indigenous business specialising in leadership, governance and management. HRM, diversity & inclusion, decision-making and social entrepreneurship are growing areas of research.

Teaching | Current

Wayfinding Leadership

Diversity and Inclusion

Business and Enterprise

Managing Change in Organisations

Māori management, governance, and leadership

Organisation Dynamics

Qualitative Research Methods

Advanced Strategic HRM

Postgraduate supervision

PhD Dara Kelly - Gift exchange ecomomies.

PhD Amber Nicholson - Arohia te karanga o te hiringa: Heeding the call of energy.

PhD Frank Xiang Yan - Immigrant entrepreneurship


2018 Invited to join Editorial Review Board for Academy of Management Perspectives
2018 Guest speaker at Harvard University on "What is a great leader"
2018 Program Co-Chair International Leadership Association global conference
2017 Featured in “100 Maori Leaders” for services to community https://100maorileaders.com/dr-chellie-spiller
2017 Awarded major research grant to examine Māori Leadership and Decision-Making
2016 Finalist Māori Book of the Year Awards for Wayfinding Leadership (non-fiction)
2015 Early Career Research Excellence Award, University of Auckland

Top ten leadership book of 2013. Reflections on Authentic Leadership: Concepts, Coalescences and Clashes has been selected as one of ten finalists, from over 100submissions, for the University of San Diego’s prestigious Outstanding Leadership Book Award 2014.

2011 Best Reviewer: Social Issues in Management Division, Academy of Management
2011 Fulbright Senior Scholar Award - Harvard University and the University of Arizona
2011 Beta Gamma Sigma
2011 Dame Mira Szászy Māori Alumni Award
2011 National Māori Academic Excellence Award

Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings Award. Award in recognition of top 10% Academy of Management annual conference papers and published in the conference proceedings

2010 AuSM Best Lecturer Award – Te Ara Poutama, AUT University.
2010 Leadership New Zealand Scholarship
2009 Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga, MAI Doctoral Scholarship
2009 Te Wheke a Toi Post-Doctoral Fellow Scholarship
2005 Inaugural Paul Kelly Scholar, University of Auckland


Chellie is currently on sabbatical. Her service roles have included:

Associate Dean Māori and Pacific, 2015-2017 

GSM Board member, 2013-2017

University Academic Heads Steering Committee, 2017

University Scholarships Committee, 2016-2017

Academic (Co) Director PGDipBusAdmin (Māori Development), 2011-2017

Academic (Co) Director Master of Māori and Indigenous Business, 2013-2017

Business School Learning and Teaching Committee, 2014-2015

Academic Director, Master of Management, 2012

Areas of expertise

Wayfinding and Leadership, Managing Change, Strategic HRM, Maori Development and Leadership, Authentic Leadership, Organisation Dynamics, Qualitative Research Methods

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Review Boards

Academy of Management Perspectives

Nga Pae o te Maramatanga review panel member for Seed, Scope and Platform funding grants


Academy of Management

International Leadership Association (ILA)

Fulbright New Zealand

Beta Gamma Sigma

Indigenous Caucus Academy of Management

New Zealand Association Training and Development (NZATD)

International Indigenous Governance Alliance

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Henry, E., Newth, J., & Spiller, M. M. (2017). Emancipatory Indigenous social innovation: Shifting power through culture and technology. Journal of Management & Organization, 23 (6), 786-802. 10.1017/jmo.2017.64
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jamie Newth
  • Nicholson, A., Spiller, C., & Pio, E. (2017). Ambicultural Governance: Harmonizing Indigenous and Western Approaches. Journal of Management Inquiry10.1177/1056492617707052
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Amber Nicholson
  • Ladkin, D., Spiller, C., & Craze, G. (2016). The journey of individuation: A Jungian alternative to the theory and practice of leading authentically. Leadership10.1177/1742715016681942
  • Spiller, C., Barclay-Kerr, H., & Panoho, J. (2015). Wayfinding Leadership: Groundbreaking Wisdom for Developing Leaders. Wellington, NZ: Huia Publications. Pages: 250.
  • Spiller, M. M., & Wolfgramm, R. (Eds.) (2015). Indigenous spiritualities at work: Transforming the spirit of business enterprise. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. Pages: 330.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rachel Wolfgramm
  • Spiller, C., & Bhowmick, S. (2014). Whale Watch Kaikoura -- New Zealand. In J. Hayton, C. Salvato, M. Manimala (Eds.) Global entrepreneurship: Case studies of entrepreneurial firms operating around the world. New York: Routledge. Related URL.
  • Ladkin, D., & Spiller, C. (Eds.) (2013). Authentic Leadership: Clashes, Convergences and Coalescences. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Press. Pages: 352.
  • Spiller, C., & Stockdale, M. (2013). Managing and leading from a Maori perspective: Bringing new life and energy to organisations. In J. Neal (Ed.) Handbook of faith and spirituality in the workplace: emerging research and practice (pp. 149-173). New York: Springer Publishing Company. 10.1007/978-1-4614-5233-1_11

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 463
New Zealand

Social links