Seasons of a Scholar

Seasons of a Scholar

Some Personal Reflections of an International Business Economist

John H. Dunning

In his perceptive and easily readable autobiography, John Dunning walks the reader through the four seasons of his professional and private life. With just the right touch of humour, he recounts his boyhood experience during the eventful days of the Second World War, his three-year spell in the Royal Navy, as well as his years as a student and research assistant at University College London. He then goes on to describe his times as teacher and researcher at Southampton, Reading and Rutgers Universities, and the origin and evolution of the Reading School of International Business scholarship.

Chapter 7: From ‘Soldier’ to ‘Justice’: The Reading Years

John H. Dunning

Subjects: business and management, international business, economics and finance, history of economic thought, international business


1 It is now over 40 years since I was appointed to the Foundation Chair of Economics at Reading University. It seems like yesterday. As one gets older, time seems to encapsulate. Indeed, in a very real sense, the memories which make up one’s past life are timeless. When I received the letter inviting me to attend an interview at the old campus of the university in London Road, Reading, I was delighted, but not optimistic of the outcome. After all, I had not made the shortlist for a similar professorship at Sussex and had just missed out at being offered a second Chair in Economics at Exeter. But after the interview I decided that fortune plays a role in appointments of this kind. There were other equally well-qualified candidates for the Chair, and it may well have been that under a different appointments board, and perhaps on a different day, my good friend and later colleague Geoffrey Maynard would have been chosen. Or perhaps kismet, or the Almighty, did have a say! I was particularly pleased to be coming to the town in which my father started his ministry; and in retrospect, I do not think I could have hoped for a more congenial environment, and one more suited to my particular tastes and talents! From the outset, I knew exactly what I intended to do at, and for, the university. Under the vibrant leadership of David Rowan, Ivor Pearce and Gordon Fisher, the...

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