Malcolm Cunningham 1927-2014

«Malcolm Cunningham died peacefully on October 22nd in a hospice near his home in Manchester. He had just achieved his 87th birthday. Malcolm joined the University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology as a Lecturer after a distinguished career in business. He rose to become Professor of Marketing and Head of Department. Malcolm led the field with his earliest research into the determinants of choice of supplier for industrial goods, with John White, published in 1973 and on source loyalty in the purchase of transport services, with Keith Kettlewood in 1976. His insights into the nature of the business landscape provided inspiration for the later work of the IMP Group of which he was a Founder Member. But the contributions of Malcolm cannot be adequately described in a list of appointments held or papers published, although his achievements were great and his publications were many. Malcolm was a friend to an untold number of colleagues and students. Many of those who gather at IMP conferences have stories of the careful advice they have received from him and the journeys he has made to help them. Many of us have benefitted from his wisdom even when he said things that we would have preferred not to hear. But always we have gained from his honesty and been able to smile at his self-deprecating sense of humour. Malcolm retired from active research many years ago and devoted himself to a wide range of charitable works. But until he was no-longer able to travel, he was to be found at IMP Conferences, still contributing to discussion, still challenging and still bringing his enormous sense of fun. Malcolm’s final publication appeared in the IMP journal in 2008, based on his own empirical research, entitled: “Pictures at an Exhibition of Business Markets: Is There A Case For Competition?” It was a broad and challenging work, based in part on his empirical research in the packaging industry. In the paper Malcolm pointed to the danger of IMP researchers becoming inward-looking. But Malcolm was never negative. In the paper he also encourages us go on to great things by quoting the Czech composer Antonin Dvorak:

"To have a good idea is nothing remarkable;
but to carry out an idea and make
something great of it, that is the most
difficult thing. That is, in fact, Art"

Perhaps thinking about this quotation provides a good way for us to remember a great man. Malcolm’s funeral will take place at Bramhall Baptist Church in Manchester on Monday 3rd November at 14.00. It is open to all. Please email David.Ford@euromed-management.com if you are planning to attend.»
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