Professor of Management
After studying a Bachelor of Education and French at the University of Waikato, Professor Kate Kearins began her career teaching in primary schools. With a strong passion for the French language and a continuing interest in teaching and learning, she then headed to Europe on a French government scholarship, working at a polytechnic teaching English to engineering students.
On her return to New Zealand she completed a master's degree in French at Massey University – and as the only student in her class, she also took a job in local government. This was followed by her realisation that academic posts in French departments were a rarity and she could make a far more strategic pitch for a role in a business school through a Master of Management Studies and Doctor of Philosophy, which she completed back at the University of Waikato. There, she moved through the ranks as Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and then Associate Professor in Strategic Management.
In 2003, Professor Kearins took up the position as Professor of Management at AUT, and successive roles as Head of the Management Department, Director of Postgraduate Programmes, Associate Dean Research, Deputy Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor/Dean in the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law.
Her research is in the area of business and sustainability, stakeholder engagement and business education. She was principal investigator on a Marsden-funded project investigating New Zealand business and sustainability. She was an Associate Investigator on Dr Helen Tregidga's Marsden funded fast-start project on corporate greenwash and counter narratives, and has been joint-recipient of several international awards for cases on New Zealand businesses, which have been used in business schools around the world.
In 2006-2007, she was Chair of the US-based Academy of Management’s Organisations and the Natural Environment Division and later served on the Academy's Board of Governors. She was President of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management in 2016, as well as serving on several editorial boards. She is a Companion of the British Academy of Management and has also authored over 100 academic papers, with more than 50 appearing in refereed journals, and co-edited ‘Thesis Survivor Stories’ offering practical advice on getting through PhD and master's theses.