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Jonathan Gosling

Emeritus Professor of Leadership Studies, University of Exeter

Trained as an anthropologist, Professor Jonathan Gosling worked for several years as a mediator in neighbourhood conflicts in London, founded the UK‘s first community mediation service and was the founding Secretary of the European Conference on Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution. After taking a mid-career MBA, he moved into management education at Lancaster University, where he directed the MBA and other programmes for British Airways and other major companies. He now runs a family-owned consultancy company: Pelumbra, working on nuanced, pragmatic approaches to complex issues of continuity and change.

He co-founded, with Henry Mintzberg and three other malcontents, a new approach to management education, the International Masters in Practising Management. This takes place in six countries around the world, and has been the springboard for several subsequent innovations in helping practising mangers to improve the way they manage. Professor Gosling also played a significant role in the so-called ‘critical management‘ movement, launching an influential MPhil and PhD and contributing to the development of specialist conferences and interest groups. Wondering what business education would be like if founded on the assumption that we have only one planet, he co-founded the One Planet MBA at Exeter and then OPEN (One Planet Education Networks).

Professor Gosling has published articles in Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, Leadership, Management Learning, Academy of Management Learning and Education, and in many more practice-oriented outlets. His books and chapters cover many topics to do with leadership, including Sustainable Business: a One Planet Approach (a text book), Sustainable Champions (on Chinese companies), and in less optimistic tones, chapters and papers on ‘deep adaptation’ to possible societal collapse. He has also written character studies of Admiral Nelson and Emperor Napoleon, and several general introductions to leadership studies.

Currently he supports organisation development in front-line health services in Africa, and is Lead Faculty at the Forward Institute in the UK.

Professor Gosling advises several companies, international agencies and government departments on their leadership-related issues. He is a Board Director of DACS, and has served as Fellow of the Windsor Leadership Trust, of the Leadership Trust Foundation, Trustee of the Fintry Trust and JH Levy Trust, on the Advisory Board of the Defence Academy, a co-director of the European Leadership Centre, board member of the International Leadership Association and is co-founder of CoachingOurselves Inc.


  • –present
    Professor of Leadership Studies, University of Exeter


Lifetime Achievement Award, the International Leadership Association