‘Responsible Governance’: New Book in the PRME Collection

Tom Cockburn (Center for Dynamic Leadership Models in Global Business)

Tom Cockburn, Khosro S. Jahdi & Edgar G.Wilson, (Eds.) (2015) Responsible governance:  International Perspectives for the New Era, New York, NY: Business Expert Press
Tom Cockburn, Khosro S. Jahdi & Edgar G.Wilson, (Eds.) (2015) Responsible governance: International Perspectives for the New Era, New York, NY: Business Expert Press

The Book

Evolving stories of governance and change are being written into the emerging custom and practice of organizations of all kinds today. These expose the challenges to focus will and capability of leaders and boards to critical scrutiny by key constituencies and the ‘citizen journalism’ of local and national or international critics in the community.

The aims of authors in this book are to provide readers a set of lenses to take a broad view across the wide vista of governance practice today at all levels: from top to bottom and left to right. The canvas is large, so broad strokes are used but with significant outlines of concepts, theories, and models to enable readers to discern figures in the foreground and background. We recognize that amid the diversity of philosophies and of ideologies, there are both implicit and explicit hierarchies of power, influence, resources, and systems, which impact and interact differentially in or between each of the constituent actors on stage, be they principals or agents.

As a group, the authors also recognize the imperatives of preparing the next generation and framing leader development and management education to ensure that the UN’s Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) are reflected in the ethical governance processes and agendas discussed. Such a mission often involves attempting to change the conventional mindset of leaders from envisioning a command and control system based on a Newtonian, “clockwork” world, to one of appreciation of global complexity and successful leadership through influence and agility. To that end, they must become aware of the incipient and evolving changes in global business and government contexts. Such complex change processes do not often follow linear trajectories from A to B to C, but instead may often spiral in a tangled “spaghetti” of feedback loops amplifying or diminishing each other as they intersect and interact in a self-organizing manner over time.

How to Use It

The book addresses and presents an overview of key perspectives on governance processes encompassing topics of interest and concern to current and aspiring leaders confronting emergent global complexity. We expect this intellectual “smorgasbord” to be of value to upper-level students in universities and colleges, as well as to the general reader and academic researchers seeking “food for thought.” Intentionally therefore, this book is not specifically aimed at technical, legal, or functional specialists. Nevertheless, the broader strategic focus stretching across many continents, including references to technology governance, illustrative case commentaries herein may be successfully applied to their current governance roles or to roles they may subsequently acquire.

Holding that academic rigor as well as professional integrity and due diligence requires thoroughness and scrupulous attention to details, chapter authors have critically analyzed the ethical, technological, political, and business challenges facing many organizations in different regions. In particular, they have paid attention to cultural values, priorities, issues, and related assumptions of governance from diverse perspectives while bearing in mind the UN’s PRME as they relate to chapter topics and relevant readerships.

The themes and approaches do not entail any assumptions as to skills or expertise of users and are comprehensible for both technical and nontechnical readers, so enabling all readers to readily see how to apply the models to their own evolving situations. Potential uses include, but are not limited to, personal, professional, and organizational improvement, used as a reference source on key issues in many regions or particular circumstances, library reference, or upper-level course supplement for students and instructors. However, these texts are not a substitute for leadership experience since as Warren Bennis has previously stated:

Leaders learn by leading, and they learn best by leading in the face of obstacles. As weather Shapes Mountains, problems shape leaders. Difficult bosses, issues in the executive suite, circumstances beyond their control, and their own mistakes have been the leader’s basic curriculum (Bennis 2009, 138). 

That is “learning by doing” or action learning (Revans 2012). Leaders obviously cannot experience all situations and contexts or perspectives and so must continuously validate and triangulate their ideas and information with other sources. Although this is not a “how to” text, part of the mission of this book is to provide some “brain food” to nourish thought and action for experienced and inexperienced leaders as well as other reflective readers.



Bennis, W. 2009. On Becoming a Leader. New ed. Philadelphia, PA: Basic Books.

Revans, R.W. 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Reg_Revans, (Accessed June 2, 2012).

Lead Author Biography

Although originally from Scotland, Tom has degrees from Leicester University and the University of Wales as well as professional qualifications gained from the University of Wolverhampton, the EdExcel Foundation in London. Tom was head of the third largest Business school in Wales for over 8 years before returning to the private consulting field in 2001. He has taught and examined within the UK at both undergraduate and masters’ level in Scotland and England as well as in Wales. He was an external MBA reviewer at University departments in the EU, Malaysia and New Zealand.

Tom has published in academic journals and presented at international conferences in EU, UK, Australia, New Zealand,Asia and USA. He has also co-authored three books for US publishers IGI global and Business Expert press and has a fourth book currently in preparation for Gower publishers as below:

  • Smith, P & Cockburn, T. (forthcoming, 2016)  “Developing and Leading Emergence Teams ”, Gower, UK
  • Smith, P and Cockburn, T.  (Eds.) (2014). Impact of Emerging Digital Technologies on Leadership in Global Business, PA, USA: IGI Global
  • Smith, P and Cockburn, T (2013) Dynamic Leadership Models for Global Business: Enhancing Digitally Connected Environments, PA, USA: IGI Global
  • In addition he has published another chapter in a PRME series book, titled Cockburn, T, Jahdi, K.S .& Wilson, E.  (2012). Ethical capital and the culture of integrity: 3 cases in UK and NZ. In W. Amann and A. Stachowicz-Stanusch (Eds.), Business Integrity in Practice – insights from international case Studies, New York, NY: Business Expert Press

Tom was appointed to the teaching audit panel of the UK government’s Higher Education Funding Council in 1995. He was also an executive member of the management board of the Welsh Management Education Council for 10 years. Tom is currently Director (Policy) Centre for Dynamic leadership models in Global Business,headquartered in Canada. In New Zealand Tom has lectured at the university of Waikato Management School and on the Leadership development programme and Executive Education at Waikato Management School (WMS) Centre for Executive Education.



If you are an author interested in publishing in the PRME book collection, please click here for the ongoing call for contribution.