Stephen lectures within the Tourism Subject Group of Edinburgh Napier's Business School, which he joined in 2009. He is Programme Leader for the MSc Tourism and Hospitality Suite which covers four named MSc awards (International Tourism Destination Management; International Tourism Marketing; International Hospitality Management; International Heritage & Cultural Tourism Management). His main teaching is Natural Area Tourism which is available as a third year (Level 9) module and as a postgraduate module (Level 11). In addition, he teaches Global Service Management (Level 9) and contributes to three further modules: Leadership & Innovation (Level 10); Global Hospitality Management (Level 10); and Management of International Hospitality Organisations (Level 11).
His main research interests centre around the natural environment. This includes the governance of natural areas (e.g. national parks) and the recreational use of natural areas. In respect of the latter, a specific focus is upon adventure tourism, and in particular, mountain tourism. Current research is focused upon the economic and environmental impacts of mountaineering tourism on Kyrgyzstan's 7,134 metre Peak Lenin.
Prior to joining Edinburgh Napier, Stephen held a lectureship in Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde. He joined the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management in 1998 (the then Scottish Hotel School). In addition to teaching both service operations and strategic management at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, he held various positions including Director of Taught Postgraduate Programmes and Director of Undergraduate Programmes (International). In this latter role, Stephen oversaw the launch of two highly successful undergraduate programmes in partnership with Hong Kong University's School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPACE). In 2008, he chaired the 17th Annual Research Conference for the Council of Hospitality Management Education (CHME).
Stephen commenced his academic career with the University of Dundee in 1991, where he taught in the School of Management and Consumer Studies. His teaching covered the areas of both marketing management and strategic management. Programmes included the MA (Hons) Hotel and Catering Management; BAcc (Hons); MAcc; and the MBA. In respect of the latter programme, Stephen undertook the role of International Director of the MBA programme. While at Dundee, Stephen also started contributing to teaching at the University of St Andrews where he was registered for a PhD. Latterly, he delivered the Contemporary Issues in Strategic Management class on the MLitt Management, Economics and International Relations (MEIR) programme (2001-2004). In 1993, Stephen co-founded a business consultancy firm, The Fifth Business, where held a directorship until 1995. Now in its 25th year, this organisation has offices in Aberdeen, London, The Hague and Houston.
Stephen has been a visiting lecturer at a number of other institutions. This has included the University of the Hague (Netherlands) from 2002 until 2011, where he contributed to the international semester on the Facilities Management programme; IMI Luzern (Switzerland), where he taught on the MBA Tourism and Hospitality (2001-2007); and at the Universitie de Savoie (France) on the Master of International Tourism Management (2002-2007). This has given Stephen excellent experience of a range of different European higher education institutions.
Before embarking on his academic career, Stephen worked for a number of major UK organisations in the leisure and publishing sectors. This includes Granada Group plc; Reed Business Publishing; Bass plc; and Mount Charlotte Thistle Hotels. Here he gained a wide range of business experience in both operational and strategic positions, including: Front Office Manager; Personnel Manager; Research and Development Manager; and Strategic Planning Analyst.
Stephen has studied at Robert Gordon University (Aberdeen); University of St Andrews; University of Strathclyde (Glasgow); and Edinburgh Napier University.