Gordon Redding

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Stanley Gordon Redding
Stanley Gordon Redding

Gordon Redding (born 30 May 1937), MA (Cambridge, PhD (Manchester), D.Econ h.c. (Stockholm SSE), is a British professor, academic, author, editor, and consultant. He is today a specialist on China and the regional ethnic Chinese, and also works on the comparison of different systems of capitalism, and on the role of education in societal development.His core interest is in the role of culture in the shaping of societal progress. He has published 15 books and 100 articles related to these subjects. He retains a number of professorships, and is currently working as a senior advisor to the HEAD Foundation (Human Capital and Education for Asian Development), based in Singapore. This is a non-profit foundation which he was invited by regional philanthropists to establish in 2010, and initially directed to 2014. He also spent 24 years at the University of Hong Kong, where he founded and directed the HKU Business School (now the Faculty of Business and Economics). He was also for ten years a Director of the Wharton International Forum, working globally in executive education. Now living in London he was from 2013 to 2015 a Visiting Professorial Fellowship at the Institute of Education, UCL.

Early life[edit]

Gordon Redding was born in Bootle, Lancashire, England, the son of Leslie Redding and Georgina Redding (née Mitchell). He also has a sister, Lesley Redding. He was educated at Bootle Grammar School, and attended Cambridge University, where he read Economic Geography at Fitzwilliam College. He also holds a doctorate from Manchester Business School and an honorary doctorate from the Stockholm School of Economics.


Professional career[edit]

After university and national service, Gordon Redding started work in the retail industry in the UK, as an executive for the department store group Owen Owen Ltd. After a decade of managerial experience, mostly in general management of stores, he took three years to do doctoral research in organization theory at Manchester Business School. He then relocated to Hong Kong, allowing him to research extensively in Asia. He spent 24 years at the University of Hong Kong, where he founded and directed the Business School, now the Faculty of Business and Economics, . He also founded and directed the Poon Kam Kai Institute of Management [1] at HKU in the field of executive education.

He has also served as a consultant on executive development, strategy and organisation for large organizations, including HSBC, Cathay Pacific, Hutchison Whampoa, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Bank Mandiri, BHP Billiton, Daimler Chrysler, Christie's and a number of Asian regional conglomerates.

His consultancy has also included work on university governance for the University of Hong Kong, Australian National University, and Monash University.

He was for seven years Director of the Euro-Asia Centre of INSEAD in France, a globally established business school. He still retains an adjunct professorship there in the field of Asian Business and Comparative Management. For two decades earlier he was honorary Secretary of the Association of Deans of Southeast Asian Graduate Schools of Management. His work has also included membership on the editorial boards of ten research journals. He continues as guest lecturer for several universities on programs for both MBA, M.Ed, and to executives. He addresses conferences regularly and collaborates in research with colleagues in Europe, Asia, and North America. His career has included guest faculty membership at the Wharton School, Duke University, Columbia University, University of Southern California, Australian National University, Stockholm School of Economics, University of Hawaii, University of Zurich, Xiamen University and Zhejiang University.

He has addressed conferences at the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University (also known as Harvard Kennedy School), Manchester Business School, University of Stockholm, Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (also known as Science-Po), Oxford University, among others. He is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Hong Kong, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Stockholm School of Economics for services to the school in the teaching and research of Asian business. He now holds a Conjoint Professorship at University of Newcastle, Australia.

He received the annual Award for Distinguished Scholarship of the International Association for Chinese Management Research in 2006.

Academic career[edit]

Following his doctorate at the Manchester Business School and spending 10 years working in the retail industry, he moved to Hong Kong where he furthered his specialisation in the field of comparative management, and conducted research on societal systems of capitalism, with a focus on the role of culture, religion and social capital on the economy.

His main theory work has been on Chinese management, notably in The Spirit of Chinese Capitalism (1990), and (with Michael Witt) The Future of Chinese Capitalism (2007). His current work is on the comparison of different systems of capitalism, and in the societal processes such as education that affect success and failure in supporting a country's progress. He has published a further ten books and approximately a hundred academic articles. His most recent books include "The Hidden Form of Capital" (edited with Peter Berger) Anthem Press, and "The Oxford Handbook of Asian Business Systems' (edited with Michael Witt), 2014. His most significant theory papers have been 'The thick description and comparison of societal systems of capitalism' (Journal of International Business Studies, 2005), and 'Impact of China's invisible societal forces on its intended evolution' in A Lewin, M.Kenney and J P Murmann (eds) China's Innovation Challenge, Cambridge University Press, 2016. Other representative works are ' Separating culture from institutions: the use of semantic spaces as a conceptual domain and the case of China' (Management and Organization Review, 4,2, 2008), and, with Max Boisot and John Child 'Working the system: toward a theory of cultural and institutional competence' (International Studies in Management and Organization 41,1, 2011).

Recent work[edit]

He is now working (with Antony Drew and Kris Olds) on a project for an Oxford Handbook in Higher Education Systems and University Management.

Personal life[edit]

Gordon Redding has two sons from a first marriage: Philip (born July 1965, CEO); and Peter (born August 1967, Regional head of marketing in a multinational): and six grandchildren. His wife of 27 years is author and journalist Laura Lam and they have a son Thurstan (born August 1992), a recent Cambridge graduate now developing a career in photography. They are now based in London with regular visits to Asia and France. Personal interests include Asian art, the social chemistry of good dinner parties, photography, and Victorian biography.

Selected publications[edit]

  • Redding G 'Critical thinking, university autonomy, and societal progress: thoughts on a research agenda', Working paper No.11, Jan 2017, Centre for Global Higher Education, Institute of Higher Education, UCL. (in press Higher Education Quarterly).
  • M A Witt and G. Redding "The Oxford Handbook of Asian Business Systems", Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • Redding G and Peter Ping Li) "Social Capital in Asia: Its Dual Nature and Function" in The Oxford Handbook of Asian Business Systems (2013)
  • Berger Peter L. and G. Redding (eds) The Hidden Form of Capital: the Spiritual Contribution to Prosperity, London, Anthem Press, 2010.[1]
  • Redding G. and M A Witt, The Future of Chinese Capitalism, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Redding G. The Spirit of Chinese Capitalism, New York, de Gruyter, 1993.
  • Redding G, (2005) The thick description and comparison of societal systems of capitalism, Journal of International Business Studies, 36, 123–155.
  • Redding G. (2008) Separating culture from institutions: the use of semantic spaces as a conceptual domain and the case of China. Management and Organization Review, 4:2, 257–289.
  • Redding, Gordon (2010) The business systems of Asia, in H.Hasegawa and C.Noronha (eds) Asian Business and Management, London, Palgrave Macmillan. 7–30.
  • Boisot M., J.Child and G. Redding (2011) Working the system: towards a theory of cultural and institutional competence’, International Studies in Management and Organization, 41, 1, 63–96.


  1. ^ "Gordon Redding Books – List of books by Gordon Redding". Allbookstores.com. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 

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