A Most Important Intangible Asset
Time: 18:00 - 19:00 (arrival from 17:30)
Date: Wednesday 17 February 2016
Location: Rose Bowl, City Campus
Professor Brown’s lecture will be divided into four quarters. The first part will provide an introduction to the concept of corporate reputation as an intangible asset. The second part will outline how Professor Brown and his research team gather the data around Britain’s Most Admired Companies and develop it into information. To some, this information is meaningless and a complete irrelevance, but to a growing number this information is the most important intangible asset. The third part will provide evidence of its importance, before concluding with examples of the contribution it has made to knowledge in general and companies specifically. It is, in part, a reflection of a life in education doing something that Professor Brown has loved, but it also offers an opportunity to look forward to future possibilities.
Speaking about his lecture, Professor Brown said: “It was Einstein who commented that imagination was more important than knowledge. If I had known 25 years ago what I know now, I would have used my imagination much more. I didn’t realise that corporate reputation was going to play such an important part in my life or indeed in the health and wellbeing of companies. However, it did and it has, and along the way our research has, hopefully, proved informative to some and contributed to the knowledge of others.
“It was another philosopher, Pythagoras, who not only gave us Pythagoras' theorem, which states that the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides, but something else that some would argue was even more important: his belief that ‘all is number’. After 25 years of conducting this research, I have gathered more than a million numbers. If I had a pound for every one of them… well, that’s my imagination taking hold again!”
About Professor Michael Brown
Michael Brown is Professor of Corporate Reputation and Strategy at Leeds Business School, part of the Faculty of Business & Law at Leeds Beckett University.
Professor Brown joined Leeds Beckett in March 2015 having spent 18 years at Nottingham University Business School and then five years at Birmingham City Business School. He is the author of a number of academic articles that have been published in internationally-recognised journals, including the British Journal of Management, Long Range Planning, The Service Industries Journal, Strategic Change and Business Performance.
For the last 25 years, Professor Brown has led research into the reputation of Britain’s most admired companies. This research has produced a database that has resulted in more than 100 articles incorporating or referencing the survey data. In addition, he has produced materials for many business-related journals such as The Economist, Logistics Europe and Management Today (including the lead feature in the December editions since 1994). Professor Brown is co-author with Professor Paul Turner, also of Leeds Business School, of The Admirable Company and he also has contributed chapters to a number of other books. Most recently, he wrote the lead article in The Yorkshire Post’s Top 250 Companies in Yorkshire supplement.
Thanks to his interest in practical intelligence and the integration of academia with business, Professor Brown has initiated Britain’s Most Admired Companies and Britain’s Most Admired Leaders annual lectures. These have included lectures by leading executives such as Justin King, the former CEO of Sainsbury’s, Marc Bolland, the outgoing CEO of Marks & Spencer, and Amanda Sourry, President of Unilever’s Foods category.
Professor Brown has worked in Europe (Poland, the Czech Republic, Greece and Denmark), Africa (Zimbabwe), the former Soviet Union (Azerbaijan) and the Far East (Malaysia), and he has given guest lectures in the United States (at Crummer Graduate School of Business, Rollins College, Florida, and Roosevelt University, Chicago). In the UK, he has delivered lectures at London Business School, Manchester Business School and the Chartered Association of Business Schools.
Professor Brown has delivered papers at conferences in the US and Canada for the American Academy of Management, and at conferences in England and Wales for the British Academy of Management. He has also presented at conferences in Croatia, Ireland, Italy and Turkey.
Professor Brown is a reviewer for the British Journal of Management and also the British Academy of Management, and he is a member of the editorial team for the International Journal of Corporate Strategy and Social Responsibility.
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