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 11: Spanning Spring to Autumn: Consultancy Work

John H. Dunning

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


Throughout my academic life, I have always managed to combine my scholarly research and teaching with a variety of consultancy assignments. The only rule I set myself (and indeed my colleagues at Reading) is that whatever I did, it should complement and, if possible, enrich my academic work. Over the past four decades I (or they) have strictly adhered to this principle. Inter alia, this is reflected in my (or their) publications. While much of my consultancy work, and particularly that undertaken for the Economists Advisory Group (EAG) and the United Nations (UN) (which I shall describe later in this chapter) was either not published or did not appear under my name, some of it, or a spillover from it, did. Looking through my list of publications since the 1960s I would estimate that a third of my monographs, and a fifth of all my articles and chapters in books, were directly or indirectly the outcome of my consultancy assignments. I do not have the space, nor do I think it would be of great interest to my readers, to detail fully my career or experiences as a consultant. Suffice it to say, that over the past four decades most of the projects in which I have been involved were commissioned by local authorities, national governments and supranational entities. Not being a product of, or employed by, a business school (my appointment at Rutgers University was an exception) I have never developed close ties with particular business enterprises.1...

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