Prof Ken McPhail

Chair in Accounting

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  • Deputy Head, Alliance Manchester Business School
  • Director of Research, Alliance Manchester Business School
  • Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences
  • Professor of Accounting, Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester 
  • Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zeeland
  • Research Professor, La Trobe University


  • Vice Dean, Social Responsibiity, Faculty of Humanities, University of Manchester October 2014 - August 2017
  • Professor of Accounting, & Head of the School of Accounting, La Trobe University, from September 2010 - August 2014
  • Professor of Social & Ethical Accounting, University of Glasgow, August 2004 – August 2010
  • Lecturer, University of Glasgow, October 1996 -  August 2004


Ken McPhail is currently Deputy Head and Director of Research at Alliance Manchester Business School.  Prior to this, Ken was Vice Dean for Social Responsibility within the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Manchester. As Vice DEan, Ken oversaw the strategic development and implementation of the Universities distinctive social responsibility agenda across 5 schools, 36 disciplines, 18,000 students and 1,800 academic and support staff. In addition, Ken also sat on the University’s Social Responsibility Governance Group, chaired by the Vice Chancellor and Principle. 

As Vice Dean for Social Responsibility, Ken was involved in delivering a new strategic relationship between the University and Greater Manchester City Council with a co-funded Economic Advisor to the new City Mayor. He was involved in the New Strategic Inclusive Growth Unit partnership with Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Prize winning “Policy @ Manchester” platform for turning research into impact. He initiated the New Ethical Grand Challenges program, and facilitated the Sustainably Challenge delivered to 5000 new students in Welcome Week 2016. 

Prior to joining the University of Manchester, Ken McPhail was the Head of School at La Trobe University Melbourne. Ken was responsible for managing a complex departmental structure with staff across five campuses and played an active role in delivering the biggest change management process in the history of the school. Ken was also the Chair of the Business School’s newly establish 2017 Committee tasked with blue-sky thinking around delivering the universities strategic vision and beyond. 

Preceding his role at La Trobe University Melbourne, Ken was the Director of Undergraduate Studies and The Scottish Centre for Professional Ethics at the University of Glasgow. His role involved the management of some major changes in undergraduate provision across Glasgow University. Ken was also part of a team that secured grant funding of £50,000 to establish a Scottish forum for Professional Ethics.  

Ken’s roles have involved liaising with key professional bodies, professional service firms and other institutions, including The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland; The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Scotland; the BBC; The Scottish Science Centre, The Royal Academy of Edinburgh, The General Medical Council, the Law Society, The Association of Certified Chartered Accountants. 

Ken’s work is focused on various aspects of accounting ethics and corporate accountability.  He has a PhD from the University of Dundee and a MA (Honours) degree in Accountancy & Computer Science from the Heriot-Watt University.


PhD (without revision): University of Dundee (October 1992 - February 1997)

MA (Honours): Accountancy & Computer Science, Heriot-Watt University (September 1988 -July 1992)

Further information

Journal affiliations

Ken sits on the editorial board of a number of journals, including Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal; Critical Perspectives on Accounting; the Journal of Business Ethics Education; Sustainability, Accountability, Management, and Practice Journal and the newly established Business and Human Rights Journal.


  • Co-editor, the Journal of Business Ethics Education

  • Regional Editor, Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

  • Editorial Board, Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal

  • Editorial Board, Critical Perspectives on Accounting

  • Editorial Panel, The Journal of Business Ethics 2003-2006.

  • Editorial Panel, International Journal of Accounting Education 2004-2007.

  • Guest editor, special issue of Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal entitled, Theological Perspectives on Accounting 2006.

  • Guest editor of special issue of Critical Perspectives on Accounting on Corporate Accountability and Human Rights with Dr John McKernan. 2011

  • Guest editor of special issue of Critical Perspectives on Accounterability, with Dr John McKernan. 2012.

  • Guest editor of special issue of Journal of business Ethics Education, with Parmendra Sharma, and Eduardo Roca, The Post-GFC Debate: Pedagogical Implications for Finance and Financial Planning Disciplines, 2012.

  • Guest Editor “The Past Present & Future of Accounting for Human Rights” Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal.


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Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

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